The Duck is back in town. And at their brilliant best.

Tonight, it would have been handy for the Brisbane Jazz Club to have been twice our size. We could have comfortably accommodated everyone that wanted to catch them.

For the capacity-plus crowd that were able to get in, it was an absolute blast. A night to remember.

Galapagos Duck started life at a New South Wales ski resort in 1969. In 1973, they became the house band at Sydney’s ‘The Basement’.

In various combinations, over the years, they have always been at the top of their game. In their current incarnation, they are dynamite;

  • Willy Qua, alto sax – drums/percussion.
  • John Conley, Double Bass.
  • Richelle Booth, tenor sax, clarinet, flute, steel drum.
  • Rodney Ford, drums, vocals.
  • Wil Sargisson, keys.

So, what can be said about a night with one of Australia’s best known Jazz bands, that hasn’t already been said…a squillion times?

Perhaps I’ll just summarise my personal experience and observations, and the key elements that stood out for me…

  • Sublime talent as individual musicians.
  • The magic in their combination, as the power of five soared, roared and lifted the roof.
  • The subtlety and sweetness of their solos.
  • The obvious joy they shared on stage. It glowed, radiated and illuminated the band’s performance.
  • Their humour and never-flagging engagement with a wildly appreciative audience.

After a memorable night, for an enthusiastically demanded encore, Willy and Richelle started by playing their saxes off-stage, each tucked away in a corner of the Club. As they walked slowly to join their fellow band members, the audience’s appreciation built to a huge and thunderous applause; a roaring ‘Thank you and good night’.

The Duck is a class act!! Quack.

Alan Smith

Brisbane Jazz Club