If you’re a follower of the annual Mercury Prize – the yearly bet-fest where some of the brightest and best British albums fight it out – you’ll know that, without fail, there’s always the Token Jazz Act. So much so that it’s become a bit of a joke, with sneery music bloggers and journos falling over themselves to wonder who that year’s jazz pick will be.
But usually this particular selection throws up an interesting artist that might not have got the coverage otherwise. Polar Bear, for example, saw a huge rise in interest following their nomination a couple of years back, and this year the excellent Gwilym Simcock made the shortlist. A 30 year old piano fiend, he takes jazz into interesting, accessible, and curious directions – playing with discord and plucking the piano’s interior strings to create woozy, melodic pieces (and takes on classics like Cry Me A River) that quite rightly saw him plonked on this year’s awards list. Simcock and his band head to the Capstone Theatre this week for a rare show in the city – heralded as one of the brightest hopes in the jazz world at the moment, he’s one not to miss.
Gwilym Simcock, Capstone Theatre
29th September 2011, 7.30pm
£15 – tickets available now