Last night Mr & Mrs Pieman headed for the Town Hall in Chester to see The Penguin Cafe. Who are for tonight anyway are a ten piece group led by Arthur Jeffes, son of original Penguin Cafe Orchestra leader and creator Simon Jeffes.
Extremely difficult to describe as they encompass many styles, genres and rhythms to produce a beautiful, beguiling, bopping and absolutely brilliant sound. Often starting slowly with a particular instrument to the fore the rest of the ensemble join an ever growing cacophony of sound to get your feet tapping, lifting the spirit and putting a smile on your face. The only disappointment is the end!
The group starts as pianist, Percussionist/Drummer, Viola, Violin x2, Cellist, Double bass, Cuatro, Ukulele, Guitar but quickly this evolves throughout the performance with a roundabout of movement on stage between songs. A wide variety of instruments are taken up by the group during the performance including a harmonium for a rendition of "Music for Found Harmonium". They are clearly accomplished musicians and their obvious enjoyment on stage is infectious.
The venue was ok (very Hot) although the acoustics were not brilliant. I can't recommend the group highly enough, I won't pass up the opportunity to see them again.