TiGeR's Blog: No Small Wonder|
Posted Apr 17, 2001 - 12:30 AM
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A few cognoscenti would know who I was on about if I mentioned the line-up of Helm, Asda, Lorenzo and Bronson, although the recognition factor would rise exponentially if I gave their collective name, SMALL WONDER.
I've known Bronson for yonks. Since our surnames are close, we used to meet regularly in a different kind of line-up down at Arwenack Avenue before the gig moved to Penryn - ah, the good old days! However, the first time I heard him in his professional capacity was when he and Helm, together with Matt Exelby, were backing John Cocks when he showcased his penultimate CD at the Jakes about three years back. What a night it was - it really was!
Then, winter before last, I caught Bronson depping for a few gigs at the Star & Garter jazz nights - not entirely his bag but he made a pretty good fist of it. However, the real revelation came when kato inveigled me, following a worthy but turgid meeting, into the Watermans soon after it opened last summer. Small Wonder were onstage and giving it some, increasingly claiming my attention until they climaxed with a roof-raising version of Bohemian Rhapsody.
I promised myself I'd catch them again but failed to redeem until this week, a delay which they soon caused me to regret.
In a lively first set at the Watermans, Helm led dynamically throughout on keys and vocals, including a lively percussion duet with Bronson. There was more than a touch of African rhythm which kept me boogieing.
After the break, Asda featured with a fine guitar solo on "You're Indestructible" and, with Lorenzo, laid down some excellent funk - more please. The latter bravely essayed a few Irish steps, smiling through the pain of coming ninth at an Irish dance competition at St Blazey earlier that day.
The repertoire varied from Paul Simon, through Abba and Tom Jones (nothing tacky) to a rousing finale of "With a Little Help from My Friends", the whole being driven with stick and wellie by Bronson in their typical high-octane style.
As well as being fine instrumentalists they're great entertainers and can be caught every Wednesday either side of midnight at The Pirate. Alternate Thursdays they're back at The Watermans and, from June, they've got a Monday gig at the Red Lion in Newquay. Highly recommended.