Photo of the band Secret Night Gang by Carl Freeman

Music Spoken Here presents
Secret Night Gang
The Marr’s Bar, Worcester, Thursday 30th May

It was great to see so many come through for the second anniversary celebration of Music Spoken Here at The Marr’s Bar on Thursday, with the incredible Secret Night Gang from Manchester.

The 90-minute set got straight into the groove with ‘Journey’, an up-tempo dance number from their first, eponymous album with a brilliant solo from Aaron Wood on trumpet, as Callum Connell switched between alto sax and congas. ‘Don’t Know What Tomorrow Brings’ from their second album ‘Belongs on a Place Called Earth’ opened next with a hauntingly echoing solo from Callum on sax before the groove dropped and Kemani Anderson came in on vocals. The piece ended with another feature from Callum, with Reuben Sheridan getting excited on the kit! From the same album, ‘Never Ever’ was followed up with ‘Find A Way’, which featured Aaron again, this time on flugelhorn with Callum and Kemani adding congas and cowbell respectively as Manny kept the solid groove down on bass. The jazz-funk belter ‘Captured’ from the first album gave Nicola Guida an opportunity to bring out his keyboard chops in a fantastic solo, before passing the baton to Manny for the first bass solo of the evening.

Nicola’s solo piano introduced the ‘Out of my Head’ from their second album, as Kemani joined with vocals before the band came in with the infectiously catchy backbeat groove. This one featured Callum, with a tuneful alto solo, again enhanced with just the right amount of echo building to a crescendo that got Rueben excited on the kit once more, before bringing us gently back down to earth. ‘Every Nation’ conveyed a positive message against the backdrop of current conflict around the world and featured another piano solo from Nicola before guitarist Jack Duckham, who until this point had been blending in, took the spotlight to close out the piece with a blistering solo.

The soulful ‘When Will the Sun Rise Again’, written during the uncertain times of the pandemic, was based around a soft motif from Callum and Aaron on flugelhorn as Kemani’s vocals danced all over the groove laid down by Reuben and Manny, leading to Jack getting busy on the fretboard once more.

‘Fall in Love’, a soulful ballad that momentarily ventured into a reggae break, featured Manny working the dusty end of his five-string bass as Reuben splashed around the kit. Things remained chilled with their rendition of the Roy Ayers hit ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’ – the only full cover included in the set. They closed with their debut single ‘The Sun’, which caught the attention of Gilles Peterson and got them onto his Brownswood table back in 2021. This live performance provided another opportunity for Jack to shine with another accomplished solo on guitar, as horns and vocals stepped aside. Reuben got involved again on the drums before the whole band simmered down almost to a stop. Kemani then led the dub refrain, which the audience enthusiastically got involved in.

After 90 minutes and 12 songs played straight through, the band were done and unfortunately the eager crowd, for all their clapping, stomping and chanting, could not entice them back down from the green room for an encore. Not surprisingly, the band shifted quite a few copies of their albums from the merch stand as the crowd lingered to chat with the band and make new friends among the growing audience for these exciting club nights at The Marr’s Bar.

Find out more:

Share this: