May 01, 2012
If you can think of a better place for Dixieland Jazz aficionados The Blind Tigers than Kensington Palace's picturesque veranda, then you're either lying or you've been to New Orleans in the 1920s... which makes you at least 100, congratulations. But on a warm afternoon in London, there can be no better place for the tweed clad Straw Boater Rocking trad-jazz wizards than at an outdoor event.
Lead by the "dreamy" Tom Leaper and featuring a collection of London's finest young jazz musicians, The Blind Tigers are firm Sternberg Clarke favourites for a number of reasons; firstly, they can play completely unamplified which means quick set up times, no trailing wires and a low decibel level. Secondly, they dress really cool - but more importantly, they boast a gleefully scattershot repertoire that somehow manages to be eclectic whilst also managing to be identifiably 'Dixieland'.
Taking inspiration from Jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Hoagy Carmichael, Jelly Roll Morton, these Visually Impaired Jungle Cats take in everything from traditional songs (This Little Light Of Mine, When The Saints) to crossover artists like Harry Connick Jr and Eliza Doolittle as well as the occasional playful cover of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, which has just played merry hell with my spell-check.
The Tigers proved the perfect accompaniment to the outdoor drinks reception at the palace, adding a touch of vintage class to a venue that's already swathed in it, before moving inside for another performance once the evening set in.