Cowal Music Club's first concert by Swing 2016 was a resounding success as the packed Hanover Street hall were taken back to the 'Hot Club' period of the 1930's in France with music by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. The all- string combination of Seonaid's violin with the guitars and bass wove a magical tapestry that was second to none. Their opening number 'Am Confessing That I love You' captivated the audience and prepared them for an afternoon of astounding virtuosity and professionalism. There were no brash and loud sounds but a real warmth to the sound that had a genuine sense of the Hot Club joie-de-vivre. During the first half Seonaid displayed her singing skills with her rendering of 'J'Attendai' which was warmly enjoyed by a very appreciative audience. The first half ended with a foot tamping number 'Minor Swing' and had the audience entering into the number finishing with a resounding ovation that lasted for a good two minutes. After a well earned interval the four started with 'Blue Rag' followed by Seonaid singing 'I Saw Stars' and again,the audience just thoroughly enjoyed her clear diction and superb control resulting in a very emotional piece. John Russell, the founder member of the group, introduced in a humorous way each piece. He also explained the kind of jazz they played how they started with a melody and then developed that theme eventually returning to the original idea to finish the piece after each member had been spotlighted displaying their skill at improvisation and control of their instrument. It did not take long for the audience to appreciate this and showed their appreciation with ovations.
Much to the audience's delight Soenaid was again introduced by John and she gave a highly emotive rendering of 'The Man I love' which had been requested by a member of the audience. Fortunately, John was able to persuade her to sing again and she sang the poignant song 'Don't Worry About Me' with effortless control producing an astounding vocal sound. The concert finished with the famous 'Caravan' number and had the audience entering into the moment with hands and feet tapping frantically away. The audience refused to allow them to leave the stage and they were rewarded with an absolutely superb interpretation of 'Dark Eyes' again allowing each member of the band to take over which was very much appreciated by the audience who gave each one a resounding applause as the finished their solo, John Russell on guitar, Stephen Coutts on guitar, Seonaid Aitken on violin/vocal and Roy Percy on Double Bass This was something of an institution in Scottish Jazz and it was a privilege to be part of this wonderful experience. A critic from the'Scotsman' wrote:- '……..something of an institution in Scottish Jazz…' and that was certainly true after Sunday's concert.