UTILISING David Bowie and Brian Eno as an aesthetic springboard, this was a programme that took place at an intersection of popular, minimal and ambient genres.

The risk was that the Delta Saxophone Quartet’s exploration of these styles might blend into sameness; this was far from the case.

Even when packed out (as it was tonight), the resounding acoustic of the Unitarian Chapel sometimes hinders, with increased volume occasionally resulting in a loss of clarity. With their rounded tone, the admirably cohesive Deltas occupied every corner of the space while retaining impressive precision.

The initial musings of David Lancaster’s Swan gave way to anxiously colliding loops in an engaging accumulation of tension, while the deceptively veiled opening of Hayley Jenkins’ Spectrum Of A Peopled Street was superseded by bristling spontaneity.

Two new miniatures by James Thornton and Thomas Crawley, meanwhile, presented an engagingly kaleidoscopic view on early-20th century styles.

Even when exchanging saxophones for clarinets in Lancaster’s rendering of Eno’s Music for Airports, the Delta sound proved aptly spacious. This sense of expanse came in handy for volatile and hazy soundscapes by Cage and Bryars; performed as part of a suite, these items were contrasted with dynamism: the urgency of Nyman and the swells of Glass.

Less orthodox episodes proved effective: an arrangement of Heroes worked best in its disparate opening, whilst David Power’s take on cuts from Low provided scope for experimentation. One of Bowie’s many legacies, it seems, is that space can always be made for instinct and innovation.

Review by Richard Powell