It was a dark and stormy night. Meanwhile, somewhere in Kansas… this week’s Noos

The Grand Hotel

Mighty fine set by the absolutely fabulous Miss Smiff (well, I for one quite like her singing, and the shtick that goes with it) accompanied by Dean on drums, young Curtis on pianoforte, and Avi on bass. Turned out to be rather a good line – up, and even though the GH is clearly winding down for Easter, a reasonable audience. Their collective but inaudible gasp at the surprise appearance of Captain Chaos was a sight to behold. As was CC himself, having a good time as usual.

Next week, you are all going to attend Compline or something on Good Friday so you will miss absolutely nothing at the Grand, because we are having a week off. No Hortense, that is not a Scottish chest complaint…

The Leinster Arms, Watering hole to the gentry, indigent, indolent, insolent, and various other folk who took the music challenge and failed..

I had better make this quick, as I notice Hortense popped up in the preceding paragraph, which means Madge from Altona will not be far behind. And those who have seen Madge’s behind generally prefer it to be as far as possible…Now, where was I? Oh yes, The Gold Street Gossip Shop, home to some of the worst music this side of the equator. Or not as the case may be.

Sunday Arvo started a bit thin, no bass player, so at least half an hour of very bad bass lines on the piano by meself. Once a few more desperates had shambled through the door, it all got a bit brighter, and by bedtime, the standard of the music, children, was perilously close to quite good . Newcomers included Tess (singer) and some dude on sax who blew hot and sideways for a while. His name may have been Phineas P Lightdrizzle, but as I neglected to check, I can’t be sure. Tess was pretty damn good. Chelly sang, Bettina sang, Ben twanged the geetar and worried that his kids would misbehave (they didn’t) Julian tooted. and the usual range of suspects got up and boogied.

Then followed a fine set by the piss elegant (can I say that whilst the Editor is away?) Lisette, first time I have heard her sing, and I hope it is not the last. All class. And by the time I left, Richard had taken over, which is never a bad thing.

Again: NO JAM SESSION THIS SUNDAY – you are all going to be spending the day rifling the vegie patch for Easter eggs or something. Abnormal service will be resumed the following Sunday.

And stick to the black notes – they’re cheaper.

What’s On at The Grand

Friday 15th March, Grand Hotel, corner of Spenser and Flinders, from 5.30pm
Chelly Parisi is on, that’s what – with newcomer Jimmy on Bass, Andrew Putnam on drums, meself on piano, and Captain Chaos back in the saddle. Unless you are booked to drive in the Grand Prix the next day, please feel free to drop in and hear a few great new toons from Miss ‘Chell

The Sunday Arvo Jazz Bash does it again

Wandered in to find Felix playing guitar solos to backing tracks, the Captain looking either confused, sheepish or both, and the prospect of a fairly average arvo. 

Not so as it turned out: I have a sneaking suspicion the Captain pulled some complex charts with the aim of getting Felix to shut the ### up. Which he sort of did, then realised that he was going to have to play tunes he didn’t know as well as his backing tracks, and actually got right out of his comfort zone and did alright. Most of the time. Props to Felix!

 Actually, double props, because he then got the singer from his regular band to get up and belt out a number, which was really quite good fun. Meanwhile back at the ranch, or wherever we were, a few more musos turned up, joined by a few more musos, Bettina back to win the worst chart of the year so far award (but don’t worry, we will fix it for you if you want) Shelly in particular singing up a storm, and well, you get the picture – off and flying for a great afternoon of music, ballad mangling, trumpeteering, saxwaggling, Glendrumming, bassography, malicious gossip, and the occasional refreshment. Didn’t finish until near 8.00pm, which I am only prepared to recognise as being marginally nearer my bedtime than breakfast.

 I think I just broke autocorrect on my computer. Oh well, see ya next week.

Jazz Festival Concept Update: The Maldon Diet

The Maldon Diet
It works! Really it does! Just take the afternoon off,drive a couple of hours from Melbourne, have a pleasant meeting with the Mount Alexander Shire Council, a walk round Maldon looking at possible Jazz Festival venues, then repair up the hill to the Penny School Gallery Restaurant where the owner had promoted the music, tuned the piano, and offered a meal for the musos in lieu of payment.

Except for the promotion, the piano tuning and the meal, he came good on all counts, and didn’t even put a surcharge on the drinks….

So, a great night’s music in front of less peeps than we had hoped, Juliane in fine form, Lee from Bendigo and Jude from Castlemaine joined local Ken Turnbull, and Andrew Putnam on drums, still raving (justifiably, I would say) about his Tasmanian tour, all showing just how good a jazz event in these parts might be, on a warm (!) night with no food and drinks at bar prices.

Other than that, the Council meeting was good – there would be support for the concept there, but the support for Maldon, and from Maldon people that we met, for the town as a location for a Jazz Festival was at best lukewarm.

Not sure where that leaves us, but we will, in the style of the constabulary, “make a few enquiries”. Concurrently, there have been suggestions that we also look at Warburton, and the possibility of some good contacts in Daylesford.