The Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival, is a music festival in the vaguest sense possible. All of the events are free and in various (mostly) outdoor locations across the two named town centres. My plan is to do a write up of the whole festival but one band were so good that I've decided to do a separate section about them. The Busquitos are four dudes from Holland who play a self proclaimed style of 'comedy jazz'. The name refers to their hisory as a band of buskers. They all dress in rather natty blue suits with matching shoes and they played a huge mix of music, from classical pieces (they said they'd play some classical music to confuse us), Jazz classics and even TV Themes (they did an encore of Yakety Sax'). While Jazz gets a bad rap for being pretentious and dour, the Busquitos make it as much fun as possible. As musicians they are all very talented and able to play all styles of music easily, and double bassist Ronald sings in a pleasing Lois Armstrong style. Yet it's the spontaneity of their performances that make it fun. Whether that be Violinist Jelle, casually tapping me on the head with his bow, or mock fighting the Saxohonist Thomas with props, using their merch sign to fan an audience member down, or grabbing audience members and getting them to dance. At one point three of them decided to serenade a girl in the audience, before competing for her. Jelle grabbed her by the arm and walked off with her while playing 'here comes the bride', while Thomas chased after them mimicking a police siren. For the finale they got two children to join them on stage, and they then went one further and had every child there, take part in the hokey-cokey. All very daft, but they played for two hours and the whole show was free. It was
one of the best shows I've seen all year.