The 360 Band could be seen as the alternative Average White Band. Led by ex-AWB vocalist Hamish Stuart and drummer Steve Ferrone, the 360 Band grooved through some of the best material from the Scottish funk outfit’s catalogue.
The tone of the evening was set by a gorgeous support set from newcomer Kitty Liv, with a soul/jazz-tinged performance reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, a comparison she may carry for a while.
As the 360 Band’s first London outing since the passing of former AWB/360 Band member, Molly Duncan, this was always going to be an emotional occasion. Sentiment was kept in the music with a few nice words spoken by Stuart in memory of his friend Duncan.
With ten musicians, including a four-strong brass section, the 360 Band gave renditions of many of the AWB songs on which Stuart’s voice graced the original recordings.
Kicking off with “Work To Do”, the band ventured into AWB territory that the AWB no longer frequents, with a sublime version of “Queen Of My Soul” and a breathtaking “Cloudy”. Stuart’s voice no longer compares to the original but nobody was complaining and it was a privilege to hear this material performed live by the original singer.
“Wordsworth” from the 360 Band’s eponymous 2016 album was dedicated to Molly Duncan, followed by “Mighty Fall”. The smiling Ferrone’s subtle and effortless driving groove underpinned the evening’s performance, simple yet brilliant, exemplifying the talent that has made him one of the most respected drummers in the world.
“Let’s Go ‘Round Again” closed the band’s first set. They came back with more AWB gems such as “What You Gonna Do For Me” with an awesome organ solo from Ross Stanley. “Love Of Your Own” and “Feel No Fret” followed.
A real treat was a track that the AWB never used to play live, according to Stuart, “Would You Stay”, with the brass section squeezing rich harmonies to perfectly augment Stuart’s emotional vocals.
Back to the Ferrone groove for the ultra-funky “When Will You Be Mine” and into an extended “Person To Person” with AWB friend and UK guitar legend Jim Mullen guesting.
The Montreux version of “Pick Up The Pieces” closed the show with the magnificent brass arrangement by Arif Mardin originally performed by a host of Atlantic Records musicians at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, with the Average White Band being joined by a quite staggering array of artists including the Brecker Brothers, Jim Mullen and his erstwhile musical partner Dick Morrissey, Ben E. King, Herbie Mann and many others.
The 360 Band picked up and pieced together the history of the Average White Band. And what better place to celebrate music history than Ronnie Scott’s?
BAND PHOTOS: HAMISH STUART
Due to constraints placed on reporting this event by management at Ronnie Scott’s, there are no photos available for this show.
WORDS CHAZ BROOKS