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RNCM Big Band with Ryan Quigley

RNCM Theatre, 23 January 2016

Ryan Quigley

This was another altogether copacetic RNCM Big Band concert, featuring the virtuoso trumpeter Ryan Quigley.

When Quigley was on stage the band played some of his own compositions and some of his arrangements of Beatles songs, together with other lively and lovely stuff, not least by Maynard Ferguson.

It was an enjoyable and invigorating set, though it struck me that the lyrics of ‘Yesterday’ are wimpy, self-pitying, immature and downright nonsensical. Not one of McCartney’s finest, despite the lovely melody. I mean, taking the lyrics at face value: even if the guy does make it to ‘yesterday’ – a sheer impossibility – what does that get him? The girl hasn’t left but she is surely thinking of leaving. It’s a done deal. Hardly a situation you’d want to live through again. In my view, it is vastly overrated. By contrast, ‘Hey Jude’ holds up: it is up-beat, it is a song that demands courage (‘go out and get her’), it has a kind of grandeur. It leads you back to the world.

There was plenty of fine musicianship on show here, from Ryan Quigley and the band.