It’s that time of Year.. The Gossip Shoppe goes Autumnal

Autumn, it would seem, is somewhat late this year, but upon us nevertheless. As I ambled through the doors of the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe at the unusual hour of 4 o’clock last Sunday, there was the palest glow of feeble sunshine, the first chill breeze of the season, and stuff all going on inside.

A quiet session seemed in prospect, starting with pianist/drummer Gentleman John Curtis as gentlemanly as ever, and the McCue de Bendigo getting better and better on the ivories. It took a while for the joint to fill, but fill it did, and by the time 24 musicians had turned up, tuned up and joined in, it would be fair to say that this was one of the busier sessions. And not a little musical from time to time, although the habit of playing real jazz on a Sunday afternoon sets a dangerous precedent and is to be discouraged…

There were plenty of good moments in between the occasional debacle. Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse (retd) absent mindedly played bass rather well. Fortunately such an experienced old hand will not let that put him off his game, and he will surely be back to stomping on the ground so hard the floor shakes in no time. No time being the operative phrase. Anyhoo, he got things moving along rather nicely. Possibly because there was also a very good bass player, Matthew Birtchnell, who started rather hesitantly, and by the time Katerina got up and ripped the joint apart with Summertime and All of Me, was absolutely flying. More please.

Lewis, the guitarist for whom 1000 notes is never enough, was back, and in great form, Ben “Twang” Stewart produced some fine solos, and Luis (soprano saxophone) played some ace bossa.

Brian, Kev, Vlad and Kay all sang: Brian’s Ab chart for That Old Black Magic a ripper, Kay as entertaining as ever, Kev making it look easy, and the rhythm section playing Killing Me Softly in totally the wrong key for Vlad.

Michelle, Bill and Andre drummed, Julian flooted and presiding over it all was a benevolent Captain Sensible. Who, in a spirit of consistency, decided not to call fours, and therefore failed to produce his customary 5 bar magic. Stolen Moments was fun, although pianist Kay stole the show on that one.

So… a really enjoyable afternoon of ballad mangling, and by the time Landlord Glen produced the party pies, I think everyone was well mellowed.

Autumn is a good time of year…

And we will do it all again, especially the debacle bits … at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 2nd April 2017, at 4.00pm.

The Royal Standard Hotel: Joys Njambi…

Singing this Friday at the Royal Standard Hotel.
Last week, Nadira absolutely wore us (Dave Taylor, Greg Appleton, “Twang” Stewart and meself) out, flying around the playlist like a lunatic, but, hell, it was fun.


This Friday, Joys Njambi is back, with another set of old and new toons: probably the most experienced of the singers to have done the RSH thing, and a lot of fun… if she remembers her microphone. And a lot of fun if she doesn’t…singing anything from Bessie Smith to George Michael.

Kip Dale (bass), Michelle Morrison (drums), meself and Captain Sensible (saxophone) will be making up the orchestra.

Friday Night Live at…
The Royal Standard Hotel
333 William Street
North Melbourne
7.00 pm – 9.30pm Friday 31st March

Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2017 News Update

June 9th – June 12th 2017

Venues: Run Rabbit Run is definitely in – one of the original venues and right in the middle of town.

Musicians: Musician Registration must be completed and registration fees ($20) paid by 24th April 2017… The fees are needed for Festival cashflow, but provided income is available, these will be reimbursed (and hopefully more) afterwards. No registration, no reimbursement.

Volunteers: for any Jammers not registered to play at the Festival, the opportunity exists to be a volunteer Door Manager. Apart from getting to hear some great bands, you will also get a free Festival pass. Anyone interested should contact Colin Garrett initially, on 0422 568 537

click for site & info

It was just one of those things…

Strange little jam session last Sunday: started with lots of casual sax, only one bass player all arvo, a coupla singers, three drummers, and the usual complement of guitarists and pianists. As the good Captain remarked, there were times when it almost sounded like music… which is another way of saying there were times when it didn’t.

Hortense, I am almost certain, was not there – she has been much distracted of late Continue reading →

The Royal Standard Hotel

Friday Night Live with the songstress from the Ho
Nadira Farid (Hobart) is coming to town for this Friday’s session, supported by David Taylor (bass), Greg Appleton (drums), myself (piano), and Ben Stewart on guitar.

Expect an evening of swing tunes done with Nadira’s trademark panache – quite what the locals will make of such a stylish singer remains to be seen, but if enthusiasm is infectious, we will all catch something. See ya there!

Friday Night Live at…
The Royal Standard Hotel
333 William Street
North Melbourne
7.00 pm – 9.30pm Friday 24th March


Nadira Farid, singing this Friday

Phileas Fogg Trio

Castlemaine Jazz Festival Featured Bands

Philéas Fogg Trio

One of the truly international ensembles to be playing at Castlemaine, born from the desire of its three members to combine a love for the classic jazz repertoire with European Romanticism.

Andreana Micanova (Macedonia): piano

Daniel Seddon (UK): bass

Philippe Castermane (France): drums

The JC Big Band

Jason Chalmers, occasional jammer, is a ridiculously talented saxophonist and band leader. The JC Big Band is registered for Castlemaine, and is proposing to run a couple of big band Karaoke sessions as well, following the success of these in Melbourne. Get involved!


Captain Sensible Sharpens the Quill…

With several regulars at the Inverloch Jazz Festival it was a slow to start to the day. Geoff was first up on the keyboard followed by Noel who was road testing his new ear plugs. Taariq left the bass to take over the keys for quite a while and did a great job until Don and Kay arrived to continue his good work. This allowed him to Continue reading →

The Royal Standard Hotel:

Last week, Katerina Myskova and her Inverloch bound quartet (with Kip Dale sitting in for Doug Kuhn) aced a set and left a hotel heaving. Very satisfying.

This week, Frank has gone for the green beer for St Patrick’s Day, so no Captain Chaos. We will be back next week with Nadira Farid (Hobart) breezing in for an evening with the lads – meself, David Taylor (double Bass), Greg Appleton (drums) and the eponymous Captain.

Friday Night Live at…
The Royal Standard Hotel
333 William Street
North Melbourne

7.00 pm – 9.30pm Friday 24th March