Accompanied by long-time collaborator Stanley Brinks, along with 2/3rds of the ever dependable Wave Pictures, beguiling chanteuse Clemence Freschard got this lucky Friday 13th Jumpin Hot co-pro show off to a fabulous start in the enchanting & very unique courtroom of Middlesbrough Town Hall. Opening with the beautiful ‘Friends’ from her 2016 album ‘Sunday Night , then for the next 45 minutes or so, she took us on a twilight tour of the streets and bars of her adopted Berlin, via her native France and many places in between.
Presenting a mixture of Gallic sophistication coupled with an affable naivety, Freschard left more than just this scribe bewitched on this most superstitious of nights. Highlights included ‘Going to the Bar’, from ‘Midnight Tequila’, her 2018 collaboration with Brinks, and a spine-tingling acapella rendition of ‘Oh Boy’. The atmosphere created led me to believe that maybe the triskaidekaphobics were missing out.
A short break followed during which, no doubt, several libations were swiftly taken , Stanley and the Wave Pictures; David Tattersall, (guitar), Franic Rozycki, (bass) and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm, (drums), kicked off a tuneful and eclectic set, encompassing alt-country heartbreak (‘I Love You Like a Fool’), the downbeat and sorrowful ‘Four Times We Kissed’ and the uplifting Bo Diddley-esque rhythms of ‘Going Home to Africa’ from their latest album ‘Tequila Island’.
Joined once more by the enchanting Madame Freschard for a rendition of the crowd pleasing ‘I Am the Boss’, replete with audience participation, the booze continued to flow till the very last and we headed out into the chill Middlesbrough night with a warm feeling of conviviality, assured that we had just witnessed a pretty special night.
Alas, diversions on the A19, closure of the A1 at Morpeth and then work on the railway crossing at Widdrington put paid to any hopes of an early night. Perhaps there is something in this Friday the 13th malarkey after all?
The real John Hardy