Snowpoet – Bristol jazz festival, the Lantern

Sunday 18th March

Another random gig pick from the jazz festival program. In for a penny and all that. I knew this would be a weekend I would be without either of my boys and I’ve got a genre to explore!

Given the bands name it seems somewhat ironic that, despite it being mid March I had to trek through snow to get to the venue today. Fortunately buses were running, seemingly more reliable today than usual, so getting in wasn’t as bad as I had worried it would be.

Back in my favourite venue, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad gig in the Lantern you know. Front row spot secured and despite the cold (please fix that during the refurb) the atmosphere was great. Whoever scheduled Snowpoet for the lunchtime slot on Sunday deserves a pat on the back, because it was perfect. Gentle harmonious and lovely music is exactly what you want on a Sunday afternoon.

“Please welcome Snowpoet to the stage” and they kept coming out, one by one, like a comedy troupe,6 in total, which is a bit of a squeeze on the Lantern’s stage. When the bass/guitar player went round to play piano for a bit (he also sings, it’s not fair how wildly talented some people are is it?!) he was shoulder to shoulder with the keyboard player and I was a bit worried one of them would elbow the other, they were that close! The saxophonist also played bass and the keys/programming dude also played piano. It was a little bit swap shop at times as they moved around to take up different instruments.

Glorious, smoky vocals pitched just perfectly to sit above the shimmering music and we were off on a lush set lasting nearly 90 minutes. Gentle and beautiful, this is the kind of jazz you don’t need a degree in music to understand and I liked it. It wasn’t an instant hit, more of a soft growing and developing admiration. I can see myself listening to the album and it growing on me like a gentle garden blooming into life. Soft, brush work drums, sparingly used bass, shimmery lead guitar, gently piano and keyboard all melting together with vocals that weren’t just about words, made for a lovely combination.

I will happily listen to Snowpoet some more and in time I hope to see them again, there was an awful lot to admire on that stage today.




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