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Review: Zappa plays Zappa, Hall Two, The Sage Gateshead

FRANK Zappa's son Dweezil has been touring and performing his father's songs for a half a dozen years.

FRANK Zappa's son Dweezil has been touring and performing his father's songs for a half a dozen years.

In the past Dweezil’s concerts have centred on significant albums but this year he decided to pick music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, calling it the decades tour.

Zappa senior had a reputation for being somewhat bizarre. Zappa junior is keeping the family tradition alive.

Fairly early on in the set, a band member stood at the front of stage and played a tune based on making flatulence sounds with his armpits.

Audience participation was solicited but the Sage audience, fortunately, proved too dignified.

The musical highlights for me were from Zappa’s 1960s Mothers of Invention days and Joe’s Garage from the late 1970s.

Dweezil has assembled a great band of outstanding musicians who clearly enjoy the zany side of Zappa.

I could have done with less lead guitar but I suppose a Zappa concert without long guitar solos would be like an Italian restaurant without pasta. The concert finished with a long encore. Dweezil brought on a guest clarinettist then improvised a jazzy piece with guitar and clarinet and ended with classically inspired Strictly Genteel.

Frank Zappa has always been an acquired taste. His son didn’t disappoint the fans with a polished performance.

Martin Ellis

 

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