Only four day’s notice, a cold grey sort of day, we walked into an empty room, with a rock drum kit set up in the corner; and took far too long setting up, due, probably to a surfeit of experts. Sticks Findlay amused himself by stuffing the kick drum, swapping the cymbals and snare, whilst the speakers, piano (adjusted to Hornby height), PA and amps were all moved around at a dizzying pace.
Within no time at all, the opening crew of the Captain, Sticks Findlay, meself , Fermin and Ivan had embarked on an opening stanza of Corcovado, then Coming Home Baby with interminable sax solos and a coupla sensible but otherwise bebop toons. Applause. Easy starters, and the locals looked on in astonishment.
Piers on double bass. Cue singer, and La Myskova lit up the joint. Jesse the Boss at the bar started to grin from ear to ear. More locals wandered in, and not a few jammers (Pete, Brian and Noel amongst them) snaffled the pound seats. One sensed that our carefully laid plans (six or so hand picked musos, two singers, and an audience of one (Naoki, you’re a star!) were going rapidly out the window. Jeff as loud as ever on sax, and a quick check of the other bar to make sure we weren’t disturbing the neighbours. Hirsh esq. turned up, Hornby took over, Memories of Tomorrow, and a few adventurous instrumentals ensued. Then Katerina’s second set of up tempo standards really hit the spot with the packed room – and Neil torched a coupla guitar solos.
The Captain neglected to play until later, possibly due to the happy grin – it had been a stressful week
In the final headcount, there were four singers – Katerina, Annie Smith, Susie and Kevin; the Captain, Lawrie, Jeff and Rick on sax, before Rick switched to some great harp playing; Keef (clarinet)and Julian (Floot), Sticks Findlay, Hirsh, and Bill on drums; meself , Malcolm, and, at very short notice, Sam Izzo on piano.
I think management were well chuffed – and the room well packed, not just with Jammers, but the majority of bar patrons from the other bars. We fielded a few questions and a lot of positive comments.
The Room is ideally shaped for good acoustics, and prominent on the Junction corner. The beer is good. There are plenty of seats. There is no problem with noise travelling to the other rooms. There is a lock up store room for equipment (yay!) and we will definitely get quicker at setting up.
More sessions: we will be playing the Junktion Hotel for the next two weeks, and Jesse the Boss announced he would like to see the Jam become a regular weekly feature. He even sang Isn’t She Lovely at the end.
Musicians. By a stroke of good fortune, we had almost all the better musos turn up (and it only took a day on the phones to arrange that!).
Audience: The MJJ entertainometer was almost off the dial most of the arvo.
Next week: Annie Smith will be the featured singer, and Katerina will be back. Double bass maestro Dave Taylor has agreed to come and Ivan will come as well. We need a few of the less seasoned performers to turn up, and will do our best to get you a spot if you do turn up.