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Swing, stride and boogie your way to Balnarring
One of the many charming aspects of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival is the diversity of its venues. The Red Hill Baker, setting for Swing, Stride and Boogie at the Bakery, is licensed cafe, provedore and art gallery-cum-occasional music venue.
The Red Hill Baker put on a simple but delicious pre-show meal for the time-poor or the just-couldn't-be-bothered. All that was required of them was a short stroll through the grocery section into the art gallery-turned-Tin-Pan-Alley-speakeasy for the show. It has to be said that, given that the temperature outside was in the 30s, the performance space made a better art gallery than it did a music venue. The room was hot and airless until a visibly-wilting audience (not to mention performers) necessitated the activation of the air-conditioning. It would have been a hard decision for the organisers due to the low hum of the motor, but the vote in favour of air conditioning would have won in a landslide.
Heat of a different kind was being generated on the stage between pianist Tony Baldwin and double bass player Leigh Barker, clearly comfortable in each other's musical company and that of the Gershwin's ('George and his lovely wife Ira'), Fats Waller, Benny Goodman et al. Between numbers, Baldwin shared his encyclopaedic knowledge of popular music and film scores from the 1920s to the 1950s. This, combined with the raw energy of the double bass, added to the audience's enjoyment of the stylised improvisation of the (mostly) well-known tunes.