Richard Lomax & Tontine - Kings Arms
Live Review

Richard Lomax & Tontine – Kings Arms, Salford

It all started in such a relaxed manner before descending into a sex and swearing festival.

The word “jazz” can divide music listeners faster than a Black Friday shopping experience, so if a gig goer knows in advance that a band has been tagged as “jazz influenced” they may wish to pass over the opportunity to cast an unbiased ear in the direction of Ben Playford and his two colleagues.

Yet the blacked out upper portion of the Kings Arms contributes to an ambience ideally suites for such an experience to savour Ben Playford and his two colleagues, Tim Williams on double bass and Aden Peets on drums as they delivered a warm, subtle, affair that sets proceeding along the right lines.

The minimal amount of stage lighting, mainly from 3 small lights put at floor level, alongside tables with flickering candles away, provided the backdrop for Livvo, aka David Liversidge and his one man electronic orchestra. Greatly assisted by Buttercup syrup to overcome his lurgy, the result was a glossier, more anthemic sound, laden with radio friendly noise.

So we got to the sex bit, the anal sex. Avital Raz is a storyteller with amusing or disturbing tales to tell. Sat on a chair with a guitar on her lap, the easygoing atmosphere belied the black tones of her lyrics. There is a girl “who laughs like a river” or “an ugly sister picks hairs from her moles but she’s a good f**k”.

Born in Jerusalem, Raz regales the story of a chance, drunken encounter on the streets of Edinburgh that explains her sexual encounter, when she says was her contribution to the Israeli-Palestine peace efforts. There is a raw fascination in knowing where the story will lead you, but when you get there, a twist in the tale is inevitable. I don’t remember Joan Baez being that personal.

Taking things in a different, reverb-heavy direction are Big Safari. Seemingly having taken a liberal sprinkling of approach styled by The Cramps, put it through the filter marked “surf” then mixed it with a sprinkling of Sprit in the Sky, the result was result was an extremely vibrant, enjoyably messy, squall of noise enjoyed by those present

Then the Winter Project used the C word. It’s only November and someone has the temerity to mention “Christmas”. Luckily they redeemed themselves via their music, a lush, languid affair that contains nagging chords, tinted with eastern influences and a laid back vibe.

Closing the event was the organiser and Richard Lomax, appearing with 3 other members as Richard Lomax and Tontine. Time constraint and bus timetables meant only a couple of numbers were caught, but the layered quality of the songs and tight delivery were of the quality that was devoured by the audience at Carefully Planned

– Ged Camera

Venue: Kings Arms, Salford
Support Band: Avital Raz, Livvo, Big Safari, Winter Project

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