Along a cobbled alley, in a candlelit attic, it's easy to forget the thronging crowds in the centre of Edinburgh just outside. Here, Chris Clark takes the audience through the jazz and blues highlights of the 20th century. Brought together under the umbrella theme of 'the trials of every performance artist – how to say 'I love you’’, all the classics are covered, including Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and George Gershwin, among others.
Although this at first sounds like it has the potential to verge on trite, Clark breathes life into the setlist, feeding the audience juicy facts about the songs and insightful trivia about the artists who created them. Clark avoids the pitfalls of covering over-played songs and presents some slightly dustier, lesser-known gems, though these are still familiar enough to any fan of the genre.
Clark's easygoing manner inspired a relaxed attitude and the audience relaxed and nodded along. The band are laid-back and seem to enjoy themselves, creating a gorgeous, mellow atmosphere. Tom Finlay gives a spirited piano accompaniment in the style of Thelonious Monk with some impressive solos, while Edinburgher Ed Kelly on the double bass grins along in the back and Jordan Gilmore delivers subtly bluesy drums. Clark really shines when he pulls out his guitar and delivers some great jazz solos himself. All accomplished musicians, they play with flair and talent and, refreshingly, don't take themselves too seriously.