I am really looking forward to seeing Zoe this Friday at the Chapel Arts Venue in Bath. After almost two years since I last heard them, it will be amazing to see some special live music again. The chance to chat with husband and wife Rob and Zoe is especially great. They are such an amazing couple, so passionate about music and so very kind to their fans. In anticipation to this great event to come, I thought I’d write up about our last encounter.
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion at The Huntingdon Hall Worcester – 23rd November 2019 – The Scene
The 23rd of November 2019 seems like a long time ago now. But I still have vivid memories of a wonderful night watching and listening to a truly amazing band of exceptional musicians giving us a lesson in sublime musical teamwork!
Let me just set the scene. The venue is a beautiful acoustic space. It brimmed with a great history, everyone of its elements lovingly restored. It isvlocated in a wonderful Cathedral City.
The band comprises husband & wife team. Rob is on guitar & Zoe on vocals. We also have Pete Whittaker on keys & Paul Robinson on drums. Now consider the following pedigree. Zoe’s experience include Classical music, Jazz and Blues. Rob knows his Jazz & Blues. Pete has experience with many great artists including a No. 1 hit with the Wonder Stuff. Paul has the best connections imaginable with 19 years with Nina Simone, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison and many others. You’d expect the sound to be pretty good and you wouldn’t be disappointed.
So the scene was set. The air was full of anticipation with the audience poised for the entertainment to commence. The first song was ‘I Wonder who my next man will be‘ as Zoe would say, ‘One of our tunes’ and a great song too from the ‘Exposed‘ album.
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion at The Huntingdon Hall Worcester – Setlist
- I Wonder Who My Next Man Will Be (Exposed)
- People (This is The Life I Chose)
- Sitting on Top of the World (Howling Wolf) (Blue Commotion)
- Give Me the Key to your Heart (Chameleon)
- Hello My Old Friend (Chameleon)
- The Blues Don’t Scare Me (The Blues Don’t Scare Me)
- The Blues & I Should Have a Party (The Blues & I Should Have a Party)
- Way Down In The Caves (The Blues & I Should Have a Party)
- When The Blues Come a Knocking (Chameleon)
- I Can’t Live Like That (This Is the Life I Chose)
——–o Interval o——–
- Beatitudes (Good Times)
- If Only I Could Be With You (Chameleon)
- Don’t Hold Back (The Blues & I Should Have a Party)
- Liberated Woman (The Blues Don’t Scare Me/I’ll Be Yours Tonight Live)
- Better Days (Better Days)
- Life Goes On (Chameleon)
- I’ll Be Here For You (Chameleon)
- Shout (The Blues & I Should Have a Party)
- Thank You (The Blues & I Should Have a Party)
——–o Encore o——–
Angel Of Mercy (Exposed & I’ll Be Yours Tonight)
The band offered their audience a wonderful array of brilliant music! It was great that we were treated to a preview of six of the tracks from the then upcoming album ‘Chameleon‘ which I believe to be their best so far. They have so many other albums and what an amazing pedigree the band has with its four extremely talented musicians. That night, we witnessed a really special evening of sublime music. The band demonstrated how all their individual musical experiences have now come together. The musical output of their combined instruments, their fantastic songwriting skills have blended into a terrific performance!
I certainly enjoyed all the Chameleon songs. The emotional ballad ‘Hello My Old Friend‘ is a particular favourite bringing out the lovely vocal talent, a great guitar solo from Rob, beautiful keys and percussion interplay. When the Blues Come a Knocking is a great rocking tune. A great selection of tunes to please everyone and a lot to make you want to get up and dance. I loved the connection with the audience which is so very key at live events. When requests for an encore were explored I think everyone approved of ‘Angel of Mercy‘. This is such a wonderful emotional tune that just soars!
It is exciting to think that I’ll be seeing them again this Friday. They are playing at the Chapel Arts Venue in Bath. It is a great start to hearing great live music again. Check out the band’s music, backstories, bio information and upcoming show dates on their website:-
If you’ve forgotten why you used to go to live music, check out this little reminder! It makes a lot of sense :-
The promo video for Chameleon album here gives you an idea. Pardon the quality here, but this is just a snippet of the concert, namely the encore piece, Angel of Mercy.
About The Huntingdon Hall – Worcester
The Huntingdon Hall in Worcester is a really impressive venue. It started its life in 1773 as a chapel. The Countess of Huntingdon, founder of the Calvanistic/Methodist group known as the Countess of Huntingdon Connexion, built it.
The last service was held in 1976. After ten years, nearly £1 million was raised to restore it to the wonderful venue that it is today. Some of the features have been retained. These includes many of the original pews, the pulpit, and the graceful curved staircases leading up to it with two eagle lecterns at the side. In addition, the organ that John Nicholson of Worcester built in 1840 remains.
The Elgar School of Music buildings were originally glove makers’ cottages. They were restored in 1983. The school gives over 200 lessons per week. The Huntingdon Hall Bar, staircase and foyer were completed in 1993.
The overall result makes the Huntingdon Hall a unique and wonderful venue for live music with great acoustics. Its staff are volunteers and all friendly, helpful and proud of the venue. All that contributes to a truly amazing experience.