Neil Yates Quintet at Matt & Phred’s

Neil YatesMatt & Phred’s jazz club in Manchester was a new one for me, so as ever with a new place I always look forward top checking it out. As an aside, when I got home one of my flatmates (who I don’t know all that well) said he lives not far from the centre of Manchester and has been wanting to go to the club for ages and has just never got round to it! Small world.

Anyhow, onto the night in question. Venue wise, it’s what you would expect from a real jazz club. Full of jazz lovers of all ages, a reasonably priced bar, great atmosphere and great gigs almost every night. Although you have to queue on the door to get in if you arrive a little later in the evening, it’s well worth it and you won’t be disappointed.

I had never heard of Neil Yate’s Quintet before, but they wowed me with a superb performance, especially some of their covers of other artists work, inlcuding one of my favorite artists, Mile Davis. Their musical style was modern and fresh, but keeping the spirit of the older jazz tracks that they themesleves and their audience were clearly familiar with.

Audience interaction was permantly on a high, and the way they got everyone to join in with typical Manchester phrases instead of the one songs original spanish vocals was great fun! The way they carried themseleves on stage was very laid back, which I love in a live performance. All of the band sported pints of beer on the sidelines, and the bass player had to be called back to the stage from the bar after a break in the set.

Overall this live performance was impressive, and although the quintet are obviously a small-time group, they are welll worth the entrance fee to any club in which they might be playing 🙂


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