A return to the Greenbank for the Pushy Doctors was greeted with an easy familiarity by the assembled punters last night. Treasuring the exclusively local opportunities to see the doctors over the last six months or so, we’ve never had to wait too long for the next chance. The peer-less practitioners of their arts ensure the experience is always memorable . I’ve caught them a couple of times before, once in the same venue and then at The Bellin Bath. The material hasn’t really changed nor its arrangement, but that doesn’t mean they are just going through the motions. The ease with which they slipped into their examination of the repertoire (I’ll get bored of the medical puns soon) on this occasion suggested the regular gigs have added an extra dimension to the interactions. So no white coats last night, but Andy Sheppard was wearing s suit. “Have they been promoted” folk at the bar wondered.” Pushy Consultants now?”
There was something a bit different last night. Were they a touch more reflective? A bit jazzier? A vamp at the end of Killer Joe dropped to a whisper and a few of those breathy, soaring phrases that can only be Andy Sheppard were unleashed. Segues between tunes were a bit looser and freer before snapping back into a tight groove. ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ squeezed mine a bit harder than usual delivered as it was with tense emotional force. The encore Naima was almost angular delivered over another ‘just so right’ groove with Tony Orrell producing just the perfect accessory to shake (brought along for this moment?). Breathtaking stuff again with a different twist. I did pause to reflect on the fact we had all paid just £4 in this pub in the back streets of inner city Bristol to see world class jazz, that had been promoted mainly through word of mouth, tweet and facebook as far as I can tell. Count your blessings say I, and this lot are still a big life affirming one. Keep your ear and eyes to the networks (and facebook page) for the next one.