"This show is not just a surprise, it’s a real treat. Let’s face it, it’s a treat to refer to a jazz performance as a ‘show’, in the formal sense. True, this did have the rare appeal of viewing a hilarious 1924 Buster Keaton silent film ‘Sherlock Junior’, but it’s a sign of a wildly adventurous imagination to put it together with such a good bunch of jazz musicians. Step forward the show’s creator: another Buster, the noted British drummer Buster Birch, whose quartet played for us while the film ran, though very far from the 1924 style. As the comic melodrama proceeded, the band adroitly accompanied each scene with well-chosen jazz tunes and popular songs – Killer Joe, Sidewinder, My one and only love, Salt Peanuts and so on. Buster Birch’s well-knit band - Jo Fooks, Jim Treweek and Pete Ringrose – played with joy, spirit and some deft touches of musical humour. This audience loved it – I defy anyone not to."
Brook Theatre, Chatham
"Buster gave an entertaining introduction to both halves managing to impart facts and insights whilst keeping us laughing. What I found fascinating was that the audience was younger than usual, mostly in their 30’s whilst the films and music were older than we usually put on. However from the beginning there were cheers and whooping in response to the playing and films. A great evening."
Blow The Fuse
‘Buster Plays Buster’ was simply one of those nights that will be remembered long after the last note was played. I don’t think anyone present on Friday 19 April could have anticipated being entertained with music of such quality and sensitivity that, at times, had the power to bring tears to the eyes... the evening began with Buster explaining his interest in the works of Buster Keaton, his life and his influences. Not only did he direct and star in those wonderful movies, but his stunts were incredible! The slightest miscalculation in his positioning or timing would have meant certain death for him. The film ‘Sherlock Junior’ was definitely one of Keaton’s greatest and I am sure the audience would agree. What a great evening of top class entertainment on our doorstep!
Eynsford Village Hall
‘Sherlock Jr.’ is one of the great Buster Keaton films: a stunt-riddled comedy about a would-be detective that, 90-years on, still leaves modern comedies in its wake – even though it doesn’t have a soundtrack. Which is something that leading jazz drummer Buster Birch has now remedied. His specially scored, utterly melodic and genuinely witty musical accompaniment is played live by a quartet of superb musicians during this screening of ‘Sherlock Jr’. Forget ragtime: buried here are tunes from the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Harold Arlen, Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter. Buster (Birch, that is) precedes the screening with a 5 minute discussion. Funny. Breathtaking. Delightful.