TWO members of the British jazz group Touch and Go lived up to the band's name last week when they touched down in Sofia on Wednesday morning and returned to London the following afternoon.
Trumpet player Jim Lynch and singer Venessa Lancaster had been invited to Bulgaria to play at the opening of a city centre nightclub but when the engagement fell through they appeared instead as special guests on the Slavi Trifonov show.
The duo performed Touch and Go's 1999 hit 'Would you...?' from the album I Find You Very Attractive with backing from the Slavi Show's Cuckoo band. The provocative and unusual lyrics of the song gave it particular appeal to audiences around the world. Lancaster sings 'I've noticed you around and I find you very attractive, um, would you would you like to go to bed with me?'. The song's accompanying video featured Lancaster asking the same question to various inanimate objects including an iron and a shopping trolley.
During their interview Trifonov asked Lancaster if she often asked strangers to sleep with her. She replied that when they wrote the lyrics they were looking for the craziest questions that they could ask somebody. "The songs are often constructed around the sort of come-on lines used at the social get-togethers of the well-heeled and fashionable," added Lynch. He later played a stunning trumpet duet with the Cuckoo band's trumpet player Gumzata.
The next day Lynch and Lancaster visited Sofia's First English Language School for a question and answer session in a small classroom packed with eager pupils. The session was conducted in English and the pupils were keen to know if the two stars liked the school, what they thought about Bulgaria, and if it was difficult to compete in the music business. Lancaster answered and asked the students what they wanted to do in the future and if they found it hard to study English.
The session was rounded off by an impromptu trumpet duet, Lynch playing again with Gumzata. The children then demanded autographs before the two were whisked away to catch a plane back to London. Caught between the waiting car and autograph-hunters, Lynch briefly answered questions, explaining that earlier this year the band had visited Eastern Europe for the first time and played to an ecstatic crowd of 80 000 in the Ukraine. "The music is really popular over here and you can see why if you listen to their music," he said. He added that they hope to return to Bulgaria in the future.
In London, where the band is based, Lynch works with Touch and Go, as well as playing at West End shows. Last year he toured with the Spice Girls, and this year he played on stage with Robbie Williams. "He's a really nice guy," Lynch commented.
Touch and Go is a project conceived and masterminded by David Lowe, who writes all of the material, produces, arranges, and plays drums, keyboards, and most of the bass, as well as doing some of the vocals. Most of the parts are filled in by a cast of various musicians, none of them part of Touch and Go officially, contributing vocalists, brass, and wind parts, guitar, and violin. Touch and Go's first album, I Find You Very Attractive, combined retro-lounge jazz, swing, and Latin-Caribbean sounds with more modern dancebeats and samples. Lowe was unable to accompany Lynch and Lancaster on their trip to Bulgaria. Touch and Go's album is available here on Virginia Records.
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