The Gallimaufry is always my go-to venue, not only is it a 40 second cycle from my house (very convenient), but they curate a diverse calendar of events and it’s the only place I know of which hosts free live music every single day of the week. I knew tonight was going to be a big one, there’s only a handful of instances where the furniture has been reshuffled to create a dancefloor. Additionally, cameras were set up in preparation to film the events which were to unfold that night.
The scene was set with pyjama warrior Harry Stoneham perched on his bass amp wearing bed socks and assorted woollen clothes, James Vine sat behind his assortment of cymbals – also shoeless – and Alex Veitch was sat in the cockpit of his dual keyboard set-up, his Moog synthesizer and Nord keyboard creating an L shape around him. Everything about him was methodical, music sheets were printed off along with what looked like an itinerary for the evening, he possibly has the best posture in the biz.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are AVTRIO”, Alex warmly announced, he was well-spoken and softly mannered which is also how I would describe his piano playing. This was especially true at the start of the set as he eased the audience in with tunes that would not feel out of place at a J Dilla mixtape, or alternatively a 9 hour lo-fi hip-hop beat compilation to relax and study to. It was clear that Alex had spent some time curating his set list, by the end of the night things, the beast that is contemporary jazz had been released. It became twisted and experimental, most notably the improvised track which was packed with texture and rhythmic keys sections. As a performer, Alex is meticulous and rarely lost his line of focus, often mouthing along the melodies, a sign of a near perfect connection between what the musician wants to play, and what they are playing.
It’s undeniable that their songs are complex, time signatures were tricky to decipher and even harder to tap along to. Slick and smooth chord progressions lay the foundations whilst the bass and drums provided punch and vigor. Inevitably bits of Waldo’s Gift seep in and I think this is a good thing, each member is so in tune with one another all it took was a single nod to signify a shift in what was to come next.
They ended the night with the newly released Pachinko, it oozed some classic neo-soul which twinkled well with the rough and ready drum and bass parts. Despite the fact AVTRIO have only been together less than 12 months, their residency at The Greenbank alongwith the handful of shows they’re played has most certainly garnered them a following. I look forward to more rediculous shows in the future.