The latest gig from the Jazz at the Blue Lamp online sessions saw popular Aberdeen collective Hamlet return to the Lamp to put on an hour of prerecorded shenanigans. Premiering to over 300 viewers, the five piece gave a fantastic performance, showing off their virtuosic solo playing and tight bond as an ensemble. The band is comprised of saxophonist Matthew Kilner, trumpeter Gavin Hunter, guitarist Neil Kendal, bassist Finley Campbell and drummer Richard Glassby.

Hamlet made their beginnings in jazz, but have evolved to cover a wide range of different sub-genres- some newer influences seem to be from a post-rock kind of direction judging by Kendal’s ambient guitar solos and delay effects. Though they take influence from such a wide range of places it never feels messy, and is always tied together beautifully with tasty fills from both Campbell and Glassby.

The set opened strongly with Chubby’s Bounce and only got better from there, with the comments section full of encouragement and praise throughout. Kendal knocking over his stand and sending his music flying during Wan Grand Gesture provided a good belly laugh but everything else went without a hitch, with all the boys looking like they were glad to be back playing together.

The penultimate tune was firm fan favourite Chip in the Wall from the band’s 2019 debut album Act One. This is where we were finally graced with a drum solo that did not disappoint with Glassby absolutely knocking it out of the park. Props on this one to Kilner and Hunter with their fast-paced unison opening- these are two very experienced players whose tone complements each other wonderfully in phrases like these.

Some stand out moments from the gig include Hunter’s back tingling high notes in Not My Vision and Kilner’s iconic sax riff and solo in final tune The Illusion, rounding off the set with an intense and exciting accelerando.

Both the collective and each of its individual members are definitely ones to watch in the coming years as we hopefully begin to see the return of live music.

You can still catch the gig here:

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