Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
The velvet notes and corduroy voice of Swing, Jazz and R & B
Fringe is like a box of chocolates, as the late Mrs Gump might have said, you never know what you're going to get.
At first glance, for example, one might not think that something called Vintage Modern might be your cup of tea. It does sound a tad pretentious, and if they're one thing you can find at any Festival it's pretension. In fact, the air is usually so thick with it you can cut blocks out of it with a blunt knife and build a replica Great Wall of China.
Adam Hall, Trumpeter, Singer, Composer (Photograph courtesy Perth Fringe World)
But, when you look a little closer and see that it has Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys; Mark Turner; Perth's busiest double bassist Kate Pass; Matthew Hanson on drums and Anthony Dodos on trombone and Sousaphone, well then, think twice.
Running as the second show at the Edith Spiegeltent in Yagan Square (do have supper at The Shoe Bar before you go, their food is delicious and the coffee beyond criticism, Vintage Modern arises out of an idea Adam had of styling modern songs and ballads as if they were Swing hits - certainly a novelty.
But it's not just that this really, really, talented group run the whole gamut of music from the 30s to the naughties.
Adam and the Playboys in the band (Photograph courtesy Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys)
The hour, which seemed to go by in a flash, began when Adam in his trademark midnight blue brocade le smoking started us with a lovely version of St James Infirmary. With a little chat, most professionally and neat, thought out links we went through R & B, Swing, Big Band and Jazz, jazz, jazz.
A really engaging cover of the re-named The Lady is a Champ was enthusiastically received by the audience, Matthew's virtuoso drum solos, Anthony in his huge, glittery Sousaphone (something I've never seen outside of a marching band) were just magic.
The Fringe show runs until the sixteenth, but you can catch Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys whenever they're at home and not touring. Try the Ellington, for example.
Or buy a CD (I bought two) and just relax and enjoy the sound of a real original. A magical hour.