The Enrico Zanisi Trio played a lot of very slow pieces and it looked like it was a lot more difficult for the group from Rome to attain almost stillness than it has been for some of the other bands we featured to produce their head-banging numbers. The drummer, Alessandro Paternesi's rock 'n roll appearance belied his delicate percussion work and bassist, Joe Rehmer, tied the group together wonderfully. Enrico appeared at times to be reciting a beautifully sad poem as he played and I wanted another two hours of this show.
Cactus Truck were some of the hardest working live musicians on stage over the four days of last week's 12 Points Festival - i was exhausted just watching the intense improvised pieces they invigorated the packed house with. The trio comprises of two Dutch men: drummer, Onno Govaert, (who looks like a sweet boy from next door until he gets a pair of drumsticks in his hands, when he turns into Animal from The Muppets); and guitarist, Jasper Stadhouders, the son of music teachers, and himself a guitar teacher. Their American band leader, John Dikeman, is part Dutch, part Irish and part Native American Indian. He was brought up in the States, lives in Amsterdam and spent last weekend in the land of many of some of his ancestors, as well as his favourite writers, so he seemed very pleased with himself. Though in the Festival Club early on Sunday morning, John did admit that he missed one previous job - playing the saxophone to babies.
And finally, the last group to play at 12 Points 2013 last Saturday night - the amazing Beats & Pieces Big Band. How great to see the big band tradition alive and well. And in the capable hands of their composer and MD, Ben Cottrell, it is obviously thriving in Manchester. This big band may have switched tuxedos for more casual attire and added an electric guitar, but nothing of the music's vigour was taken away. It was the closing event from heaven as Ben's compositions (and infectious moves) brought his musicians, the audience, and the festival to a joyous crescendo!