From Brain Damage - 11th Feb 2009

Written by Matt:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Tuesday night (February 10th) saw the second of Phil Manzanera’s three consecutive shows at London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, in the heart of Soho. And, to the delight of the audience, special guest for part of this particular night was his friend David Gilmour. Phil, Roxy Music guitarist, writer, and producer, took the stage with the Firebird V11 band - Charles Hayward, Yaron Stavi (also part of Harry Waters current band) and Leszek Mozdzer, the incredible Polish pianist who, like Phil, also participated on David Gilmour’s On A Island and Gdansk projects.

Phil Manzanera assembled this band earlier this year and over the course of one week they created the seven track instrumental album, Firebird V11. It was released in November 2008 and tracks from the album were given their live debut recently at Gibson Guitar’s Showroom in London during an impressive, albeit fairly short performance [see picture, right]. The three night residency at Ronnie Scott’s enabled them to enjoy themselves properly!

Before the shows, Phil said: “The last time I was at Ronnie Scott’s was to see the great Charlie Mingus. I was accompanied by Robert Wyatt, and the performance left a lasting impression on me. I’m delighted to be returning, some 40 years later, to play on that hallowed stage and with such a great band of musicians.” The low, dark ceilings, and the simply spotlit stage in the wonderfully intimate and historic venue complemented the performance, making for a mesmerising experience for the sell-out audience of around 150 or so. Running for almost two hours (with an interval) Phil and his band ran through material both old and new - from some of his earliest bands, through to Roxy Music who were acknowledged with a pair of wonderful performances, including a stunning ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’, right up to his recent solo albums including 6PM, Diamond Head, and 801 Live, alongside pieces from Firebird V11.

It was after the interval that David was called up onto the stage. Putting on a black Strat (of course!) he spent some 20 minutes adding his unique tones to the countless legends who have performed there. An intro of ‘Autumn Leaves’ flowed into Sidney Bechet’s ‘Petite Fleur’, a bluesy instrumental that was a big hit for Chris Barber in the US back in 1959.This was followed by ‘Filles de Kilimanjaro’, by the great Miles Davis, the conclusion of which saw a very happy Phil Manzanera telling David that his great performance had meant that “You’ve earnt your Margarita!”

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