Abingdon Street, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, is where Tina Fullerton and Warwick Hargreaves were living…or perhaps leaving…ten years ago, when they started playing together as a sassy and very classy, duo.
And today at the Brisbane Jazz Club, we were fortunate to have them here, with some very talented friends, sharing a celebration of their tenth anniversary of performing together as Out Of Abingdon.
Tina: ‘I didn’t imagine, when I first picked up the bass 10 years ago, that we would go on to be able to celebrate here, at the beautiful Brisbane Jazz Club’.
And celebrate, they did, in a memorable Sunday session.
But before I attempt to describe to you what you may have missed, I have a cunning plan…
I am going to suggest, by way of setting the scene, that you check out this beautifully atmospheric YouTube clip of Tina and Warwick performing their original, and most requested song, ‘3-Piece Suit’… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abQ0KcF2L9w
…so, welcome back…after what was either a wonderful reminder of what you enjoyed on the day, or a little taste of what you missed; and thus, a reminder perhaps, not to miss them next time.
Out Of Abingdon have played over 1000 gigs, locally, nationally and internationally, during their 10 years together. And they are…
The Pocket Rocket, Tina on double bass and honeyed vocals. Close your eyes when Tina is at the mic, and you are lifted, up and away, by the magic that she creates, with the lightness of her touch on the bass, and the breathy, sultry warmth of her voice.
The Guitar Whisperer, Warwick. Today he had three guitars singing, talking, weeping and/or wailing…as well as having them ready for a quick change, after a couple of broken strings. And we loved his occasional touch on the wah-wah pedal, his gyrations and his smouldering, understated vocals.
In their first set today, which started with just Tina and Warwick on stage, they performed several songs as a duet, including Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’ and Adele’s ‘Rumour Has It’. Both featured Tina on lead vocal.
Warwick led the vocals a couple of times too, including his deep, bluesy rendition of Ray Charles’, ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’.
At times, during that first set, they were joined by two beautiful singer-songwriters;
Michelle Phillips on piano, vocals and sublime harmonies, for Warwick and Tina’s ‘What Kind Of Life’, and Michelle’s own ‘Inch By Inch’.
Lisa Brennan on guitar and vocals and more sweet harmony, for Warwick and Tina’s ‘Shegecki’, and Lisa’s own, ‘I Like You More’.
Then, in closing the set, Tina and Warwick brought the house down, with their intertwining, his and hers vocals, and the sexy, tango vibe of their own, great ‘3-Piece Suit’.
Wow!! That is a powerfully evocative story-song. Absolutely world class. (Excuse me, while I check out that YouTube clip again!!).
For the entire second set, they had Steve Ewart on horns, (trumpet, flugelhorn and trombone – sometimes beautifully muted), and Efiq Zulfiqar on drums and flute. Michelle and Lisa re-joined them on stage, for the last two songs.
This set included captivating arrangements of tunes by Gershwin, Nina Simone, Bjork, Kylie Minogue and Melody Gardot…and Tina practising her Spanish on Bebe’s ‘Pa Mi Casa’.
It also featured two more of their own tunes. Substation 75, which tells of an old building in Woolloongabba, which they are hoping will one day be saved as a creative space.
While Prospect Street was a gentle shuffle about their current residence, a little house in Kangaroo Point, not far from the Brisbane Jazz Club. It was spoken, rather than sung, by Tina, and included a touch of beautiful horn playing from Steve, and an insistent clapping, which evoked the ticker-tick-tick of traffic on the nearby Story Bridge.
A special mention too, for the Club’s Sound Engineer, Mark Smith, who has been a part of Out Of Abingdon’s journey ever since he recorded their first demo, back in 2009. (Amongst his other work with the band, he also recorded and mixed the video single for ‘3 Piece Suit’, in 2014).
His work at the desk today was masterful, as, with the skillful and judicious use of levels and reverb, he expertly oversaw the re-creation of the ethereal, ephemeral sounds for which these musicians are renowned.
Thank you to all of you, for a beautiful Sunday morning.
And if anyone can find a better way to spend a Brisbane Sunday morning in Spring, than down by the Brisbane River, celebrating Out of Abingdon’s 10th Anniversary, then we would love to hear about it.
Brisbane Jazz Club