Review: The Annie Whitehead Experience at St James Theatre

By Paola Bassanese

The last day of November brought us the Annie Whitehead Experience at St James Theatre, near Victoria Station, London.

The funky jazz ensamble lead by trombone player Annie Whitehead included the exceptionally talented bass player Jennifer Maidman (who played for David Sylvian, Boy George, Joan Armatrading among others), drummer Liam Genockey and piano/synth player Steve Lodder.

The mixed bill featured funky jazz, some ska and some atmospheric pieces inspired by space travel: from her album Naked (1995) were To Dudu, Tranquility Base, Hubble and Chalk and Cheese; from Mix up (1985) Pigeon Post.

Technical skill, years of playing live and great musical knowledge: Annie Whitehead and The Experience treated the audience to musical excellence.

When I spoke to Annie briefly during the break, I asked her about her musical influences. She mentioned Miles Davies shaped her music in the Eighties but of course the list goes on.

The venue itself, St James Theatre, is like a miniature version of the Barbican Hall and the jazz club setting with small tables scattered all around the stage made this experience unique and intimate.