“You’re a big man but you’re out of shape..” Charles Hazlewood lacks the menace of a man about to throw you off the roof of a Gateshead car park but he has brought enough brass to blow the bloody doors off. This hugely enjoyable canter through the Crime Jazz genre has a killer set list with music so dangerously sexy and effortlessly cool the stage should be sealed off with police incident tape.
The bar is set high and early with Lalo Schifrin’s hard-driving ‘Mission Impossible’ theme and a flute melody filled out in triplicate. Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory’s has brought his synths to replicate the hammered strings of the eerie cimbalom for Roy Budd’s effortlessly groovy ‘Get Carter’ and the audience do the sitting-down sashay appreciatively. There are suprises too. Who knew Raymond Burr’s stolidly square TV ‘tec ‘Ironside’ had such a banging Quincy Jones theme? There’s even a jazz flute solo. He dabbles.
Lalo Schifrin is revisited with ‘Dirty Harry’ seeing the violinists conscripted as vocalists, singing lustily into their bridge contact mikes following the pizzicato filth of ‘The Aftermath Of Love’.
We don the black leather gloves for a sensual slice of Italian Giallo. Carlo Rustichelli’s ‘Atelier’ (Blood And Black Lace) evokes doomed romance with solo trumpet and swooning violins from the Army Of Generals while Portishead’s Adrian Utley bags Monty Norman’s iconic guitar riff for the ‘James Bond Theme’, a piece of music so inevitable tonight it’s performed without preamble. Surprise guest Pee Wee Ellis ambles on and effortlessly honks through Henry Mancini’s ‘The Pink Panther’. The thigh-rubbing horniness of the set reaches mutual orgasm with the ludicrously lubricious ‘Police Squad’ suite and a chance to revisit Leslie Nielsen’s deadpan-perfect “Nice beaver” compliment to Pricilla Presley from ‘The Naked Gun’.
A merciless closing double-whammy of Starsky & Hutch (‘Gotcha!’) with Charlie’s Angels evokes tumbling cardboard boxes, frosted big hair and Studio 54-style 70s disco frottage. It also hints at a potentially great future project for Mr Hazlewood and his All-Stars. Imagine the heavy breathing hyperventilation if they revisited Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra, Isaac Hayes and Chic. Mmmm. Yes please.