Reverend Beat-Man @London, Buffalo Bar

REVEREND-NUN2Eine Gitarre („fünzig Bucks.“), ein Verstärker („fünfzig Bucks.“), ein Lautsprecher („fünfzig Bucks.“) und eine Bassdrum („aus dem Abfall.“) ist alles was Beat Zeller, alias Reverend Beat-Man, je gebraucht hat, um in die Welt hinaus zu kommen. Vor einem Vierteljahrhundert fing der Berner an, mit seinem anarchistischen und höchst unterhaltsamen Rockabilly ein internationales Netzwerk von Gleichgesinnten zu erkunden. Gleichzeitig baute er eine globale Künstlerliiste für sein eigenes Plattenlabel Voodoo Rhythm Records auf.

Auf der Bühne verwandelt sich der joviale Reverend in einen Berserker

REVEREND-LEG1Seine absurden, multi-sexuellen Lyrics stösst er in einer Art Urschrei aus, der teils tierische Lust, teils post-koitale Melancholie und teils pure Komödie markiert.  Mittels unablässig ratternder Bassdrum tribt er sich vorwärts, er gönnt sich zuweilen einen Dylanesken Stossseufzer auf der Harmonika und ist rundum ein Original. Bei seinem packenden Auftritt vor einem dankbaren Publikum in einem der vergnüglichsten kleineren Musikvenues in London schafft er es, nicht nur einen, sondern zwei Verstärker zu ruinieren. Klasse!

Andreas Schaerer Makes Friends with London

Guest appearance with Soweto Kinch at King’s Place, London. May 31st 2013.
Photos Reto Andreoli

IMG_8967bI’d like to say he has bionic vocal chords

The vocalist, Andreas Schaerer, is captivating. I’d like to say he has bionic vocal chords but in fact they probably resemble yours or mine. Whereas I can’t even whistle, Schaerer can convince you that a nightingale has got caught in the rafters or a percussionist has taken to the stage with a shekere, Batá drum and a pair of claves.

This Bern-based talent had been invited to perform in London by Soweto Kinch, the British alto sax player and rapper. Part of the show was made up of tracks from Kinch’s ambitious concept album, The Legend of Mike Smith but part way through Schaerer joined Kinch to improvise with him, his bassist Nick Jurd and drummer, Shane Forbes.

The game was to interplay sounds and rhythm with Kinch on the modern theme, ‘how will consumerism respond to the depletion of resources?’ Appropriation and optimization were amongst Kinch’s articulate raps but to be honest, these themes didn’t cut through into the music. What did was Schaerer’s vocal craft.

The turn that made the audience’s mouths drop was his ‘muted trumpet’

Starting with a beautiful three-note call and whistles, African plains and fluttering birds floated through my mind, Schaerer went on to bubbling, clicking and bashing before building an industrial cacophony that dropped into some fresh beatboxing. The turn that made the audience’s mouths drop was his ‘muted trumpet’ duet, echoing and dancing with Kinch’s sax runs. It was so convincing that people looked over at Kinch thinking he’d picked up a trumpet.

The gig could have relaxed a little, allowing the band and Schaerer to expand on their improvisations, but it’s to Kinch’s credit that he spotted the potential punch Schaerer brings to a gig. His ‘joyful noise’ left us all smiling, including Jonzi D, director of the breakdancing festival, Breakin’ Convention. He was intrigued by Schaerer’s vocals and how he used his physicality to echo them, bringing a visual dimension to the performance.

Jazz musicians need to make international friends and connections as their potential audience is spread far and wide. Schaerer is doing just that. I hope that part of his journey is also taking him deeper into vocal expression, developing his potential to truly move people. His talent is beyond a party piece.

Swiss Bands at the Olympic Games 2012 in London

The Olympic Games will kick off in London on July 27, and alongside the prowess to be displayed by the World’s leading sportsmen and women, the occasion of The Games will also provide the opportunity to enjoy music from all the nations represented in this greatest of all sporting events.
Many of the participating countries have already arranged with some of London’s leading venues to take advantage of these facilities to set up ‘Houses’ to offer hospitality to visitors and to showcase established and up and coming artists to international audiences. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) along with Zürich has made arrangements to set up the House of Switzerland at the prestigious Glaziers Hall situated by the Thames at London Bridge.
Acts will perform on almost every day of the Games as part of the “Swiss Artists in Residence“ programme. Artists performing what is described as, ‘a wide range of creative and ambitious Swiss music’ will include: Hillbilly Moon Explosion, The Dandies, Mama Rosin, Pegasus, National Fanfare of Kadebostany and Philipp Fankauser, accompanied by the Walking Acts Micha Sportelli, Nadja Stoller and Nino G and the Human Beat Box.
The highlight of the Jazz/Pop/Rock concert series ‘Zürich Sounds’ is expected to be the performance by the up and coming Boy on 31 July. Other acts to watch out for will be, Legendary Lightness, Evelinn Trouble, Yves Theiler Trio, Ingrid Lukas, My Heart Belongs to Cecilia Winter, Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin and Rusconi.

Further House of Switzerland UK 2012 details can be accessed at:

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