The North West Tour of A Real Distraction

Last winter saw Phil's north west tour of his new album, A Real Distraction, playing to enthusiastic crowds in Chester, Lancaster and Brampton. David Gosling has this review of Phil's gig at the Lanercroft Cricket Club on Saturday 6th December 2014:‚Äč

Brampton based saxophonist Phil Furneaux played Lanercost Cricket Club as the last date of a short tour promoting his album 'A Real Distraction'.

Supported by Tony Atkinson on guitar, Alex Green on bass, David Winthrope on drums and Krys Markowski on keyboards Phil kicked off with a selection of well known tunes that delighted an enthusiastic audience. His playing, on both tenor and soprano saxophone, has a bluesy soulful feel to it and with a selection of tunes that included Dave Brubeck's 'Take Five', Grover Washington's 'Winelight' and King Curtis' 'Soul Serenade' he was able to demonstrate his capabilities as a front man.

The whole show was interspersed with surprise elements, which included a projected light show that moved to the frequency of the notes being played on the saxophone and a version of 'Over the Rainbow' with only a ukelele for accompaniment, played by a member of the audience.

Tracks from the album, 'A Real Distraction', began with 'In a Sentimental Mood', a duo number for Phil on sax and Krys on keyboards and was followed by the full band on a bouncing up-tempo number 'Funky Dancer' with Phil alternating between tenor and soprano sax as the tune progessed. It was 'Catalyptic Calming' however that was the highlight for me with Phil's haunting and hypnotic sound stealing the show.

The surprises continued with an unusual take on the Killers hit tune 'Human' which swung from reggae to jazz and back again whilst having a blues feel underpinning it. The blues content was no surprise given that David Winthrope (drums) and Alex Green (bass) were in the band and they showed their talents on numbers such as 'Drift Away', 'Too Hot to Handle' and 'Caldonia' with Alex providing the gritty vocals that these songs demand.

An enjoyable evening was brought to a close with the audience's encore demands producing a second playing, also at the audience's demand, of the opening tune to 'A Real Distraction', 'Sunday Morning in Paris' , a suitable end to an evening that proved a welcome distraction for everyone involved.

Phil wants to thank all those who made the effort to attend ... especially Ruth From Gaza! The audiences reception were overwhelming.