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Steve Pretty on the Origin of the Pieces

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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5-29 August, 14.40

I should say that I was game for this show from the off: a talented, intelligent jazz trumpeter lending a kindly critical eye across the history of popular music from 50,000BC is my cup of tea. If it’s not yours, this one isn’t for you.

There’s much that could be curmudgeonly deconstructed. Billed as comedy, the gag rate is slow. He’s a fantastic musician but inexperienced performer: even the better gags aren’t always landed right, the stagecraft is clumsy and he once stops midway to check his notes.

But this becomes irrelevant in the company of an endearing, charming, intelligent man who’s done his research. From the evolution of the round, call-and-response and chorus-lines to interactive stone-age jam sessions and live 12-bar-blues improvisations, I left better informed and happier about the world – and determined to properly relisten to Sergeant Pepper once I get home to a decent vinyl deck.

- Will Young


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