The Wizard and OZ at the Folkus Room, Wed 2nd Dec
by Jim Williams

Andrew Farrell (piano/vocals) and David McMilan (guitar/vocals) are the Wizard and Oz. On Wednesday the 2 December a small but appreciative audience was taken on a musical journey from boogie to classical to jazz and back again.

Andrew’s piano playing is certainly a wonder to behold with his mastery of many styles and the intermingling of those styles to produce a unique experience. David lends his gravel voice to give extra spice to the songs that they play together.

Our journey started with a Bo Diddley blues classic (Before you accuse me) and the talents of both were on display with a high energy start to the evening. Moving on we visited Chris Rea (Road to Hell) and Clapton (Wonderful Tonight).

One of the highlights of the performance is Andrew playing a Rachmaninoff suite in which David then seamlessly adds the vocal for All by Myself for which Eric Carmen apparently borrowed, from Rachmaninoff, the theme to this pop classic.

Andrew also showed his vocal prowess on a couple of self-penned songs displaying a fine tenor voice with of course a suitable piano accompaniment.

The energy level then rises whenever the first few hints of a boogie start to emerge. This is really a musical genre that only the piano can drive with its intense and rhythmic base notes and the playful high notes ripping along. The audience was certainly drawn in by the dazzling keyboard work of Andrew with David playing along on guitar.

The versatility of both players was further displayed as they ventured through an array of covers from Leonard Cohen’s (Hallelujah) , Neil Young (Old Man) , Lennon and McCartney ( 1 after 909), Nillson (Without You) through to Julian Lennon (Saltwater).

After some prompting David showed his guitar playing expertise, which is often overshadowed by the masterful piano playing of Andrew, on an electric solo piece.

The night was rounded out nicely by a great version of the Credence classic Playin’ in a Travelin’ Band with the boogie sparks flying from the piano of Andrew and driving vocals and guitar from David.

The evening was enjoyed by all.

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