Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Locus Festival 2019

Locorotondo, Puglia, Italy.

The 15th Locus Festival and our third. A mixture of free concerts in the municipal piazza over several weeks plus a number of paid gigs, see Calendar of events 2019. For the free gigs we take along a couple of folding picnic chairs and a cool bag of wine and park ourselves at the back of the piazza where the raised position gives a good view of the stage, if a little distant.

Saturday 28-July-2019
Piazza Moro h 21 | Free
Live: JOSÉ’ JAMES “Lean on me” + Tonina feat. Dario Jacque

A funky set from the support act Tonina: "an independent singer/songwriter, bassist, music journalist and poet from St. Louis, Missouri who performs her original music along with her arrangements of covers in both Spanish and English."

That got the evening off to a good start.

The main act was José James: "Often referred to as a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, New York City-based vocalist José James combines jazz, soul, drum’n’bass, and spoken word into his own unique brand of vocal jazz."

Not bad at all.

Wednesday 07-August-2019
Stadio Comunale h 21 | Ticket
Live: MS. LAURYN HILL + Mahmood

A ticketed concert with Lauryn Hill who we know only from her first solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" but another draw for us was the support act, Mahmood, who we were as much interested in seeing as Ms Hill.

As the concert was in the Locorotondo sport stadium we got there very early mistakenly thinking that they would use the terrace seating but no! They were sealed off and it was an all standing concert. We positioned ourselves against the barriers surrounding the mixing desk and camera tower so we could sit with back support or have something to lean against, if standing.

We discovered Mahmood when on a language course in Rome back in February. The bar where we often went for a nightcap was constantly playing his music. We liked it and so we bought the album.

An excellent set lasting a hour and playing almost every track from the album.

Lauryn Hill had her own support act so the first part of her set was DJ Reborn.

Then Lauryn came on a did a mixture of stuff we knew and stuff we didn't.

By this time we were a little tired so didn't wait to the very end but slipped out just before midnight.

Thursday 08-August-2019
Piazza Moro h 21 | Free
On stage: COLIN STETSON + Mammal Hands

Back to the free concerts and two bands / artists we knew nothing about.

Mammal Hands were excellent and very much in the mould of GoGo Penguin who we saw last year. Maybe that helped because our ears were already attuned to their mix of ambient, jazz, electronic music and world music. I went to buy the vinyl afterwards and chatting to the band it turns out they are big mates with GoGo Penguin and have performed together.

Colin Stetson was not our cup of tea at all. A solo performance using tape loop to lay down a denser sound but that sound was too raucous and self-indulgent for us. After the first couple of pieces we'd had enough, thank you, and cleared off out of there.

So, apart from Colin Stetson, a good showing from Locus 2019. Mind you, it is free so you can't knock it and it does introduce us to new artists. There were a number of other concerts but we could not make them all due to our hectic social life.

Locus 2020 is definitely on our "must do" list for summer next year.

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