The Jammers Bit: On Sailing

On Sailing
There is a saying amongst wise sailors that if you even start thinking about taking in a reef, it is already time to do it.

The Tower Hotel Jam Session: launched with a pretty spiffing start. Not full sail, perhaps, but of the 24 peeps who rocked up, all of them said they would come again, most thought the joint fairly classy, and the sound quality was better than ever. Miss Kay even used the cheap Chinese Shure knock-off microphone, which was a vast improvement on what we have been used to.

Highlights of the day included

· A bunch of locals dropping in for a meal, and staring, gob smacked, at the musos performing for them. Several said they would come again – the beginnings of a new crowd, perhaps?

· Calamatta, resplendent in his red hat, playing more than he ever has at a jam before.

· David Lole (piano) dropping in for a look-see, staying all afternoon and playing up a storm

· The Debster, Kay and Ash the only singers, getting plenty of air time

· Saxofollicles from Alan, The Captain, Jeff

· Drums by the Hirsh, and Andre – Andre probably the best on the day, but Mike gets the gong for helping to pack up – much appreciated.

· Garram, Malcolm and meself making up the four piano players for the day

· Ivan, Nelson and Pete taking turns on bass – three very different styles but all good.

· Quite a few people saying the venue was closer for them than St Kilda had been.

All of which makes it so much more of a pity but, reluctantly, we have decided to put the sessions “on ice” for the present. Apologies to Gina (Bistro Manager) but we would like to come back. By which, we probably mean that we will resume the sessions some time around September, but I am not saying which year..

Hopefully, the two (or is it three now) regular readers of the Jammers Newsletter will appreciate that this is being done for all the right reasons which may or may not include the fact that we wouldn’t mind a break anyway, can’t be a***ed to go on writing the Newsletter if there is nothing much to write about, and we would rather everyone went home and caught coronavirus mildly but nicely whilst there, and the Jam Sessions weren’t to blame.

Hatches battened down, and a reef taken in.

Stay in touch, and toodlepip
TW

Off and Running… again

The original Dizzy’s, the Night Cat, The Scarlette Bar/Onederland, The Glasshouse, Ramage, La Pena, The Royal Standard, The Leinster Arms, The Junktion Hotel, The Post Hotel, and now….There has been a fair bit of movement this last week, with Jammers suggesting, and looking at, a fair few different venues. The upshot is…

The Tower Hotel, 686 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn East VIC 3123

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Good parking (free on Sundays), and the Jammers will be in the Bistro – food and bevs available. Go in the door on the left in the above picture. We have organised a 4 week trial to see how it goes, and whether any Jammers turn up, other than Jane who suggested the joint and then arranged a family function for Sunday so she cannot be held responsible. Sensible girl.

The room is larger than the corner bar at the Junk, and a similar shape so the sound should be good. If not okay. Or reasonable. Or ‘orrible in the finest traditions of the previous venue.

Does anyone get the impression that we won’t know until we have tried it? And it has more carpet than Mr Hirsh esq. could have ever dreamed of.

So….Don’t come this week unless you are desperate. We are secretly banking on having just a few peeps there so we can play some half decent tunes.

Oh, alright…See ya there?
TW

The Jammers Bit

Chaos at the Post?

So, we started at the usual time of 4.00pm, and got told at 6.00pm that the management had booked a paid band for 7.00pm, and would we kindly stop playing, but stay around for the next band, order meals and spend lots of money to make the Post more profitable. Just to add to the fun, the hotel management had failed to inform their own bar staff of the change, and the incoming band were equally unaware of the situation. Not particularly classy.

There had been some meetings and discussions over the past couple of weeks so we knew the Post had a problem – but the upshot is that we have removed the jammers equipment and set in place an urgent search for an alternative venue. It is still theoretically possible that we will return to the Post, but only if the jammers – you – are treated with some respect. The jam sessions have been the busiest day of the week for the Post, for quite some time, and have presumably been profitable for the hotel.

The Questionnaire

We feel it is important to seek the views of jammers old and new on the future of the jam sessions – there are some people who have been coming since before 2008, and some who are recent arrivals. All your views are important.

You will have received a questionnaire regarding this. We have already had quite a response to this – 50 respondents in less than 24 hours, as well as people ringing to ask what is going on. Thank you.

If you haven’t filled in the questionnaire, please do so urgently. We already have appointments with several potential venues, and some great suggestions.

There will be no formal jam this Sunday – we cannot arrange this at such short notice, but the plan at the moment is to arrange a one month trial at another venue, then go back to the Post to see how their new arrangement is working out for them.

Colin Garrett 0422 568 537
coling73@gmail.com

Ted Woollan 0431 968 982
bede147@gmail.com

The Jammers Bit

Pay Attention at the back…

Welcome back. As there hasn’t been a Jammers Newsletter since 8th December, there is a bit to catch up on…..

Item 1 The Jam Session after…

Following the biggest Jam Session we have ever had, for the Christmas Bash, we had an extra, for the benefit of Yuko’s parents, who were in town the following week for a 5 day trip from Japan. Apparently they had never heard Yuko sing, so we thought it might be fun… we rang a drummer and a bass player to make sure we had a quorum… and then 36 musicians turned up, all of them apparently with nothing better to do or no homes to go to or something.

Much Fun ensued. ‘Nuff said

Item 2 The Australian Jazz Convention

Quick toddle up the Hume in the Captain’s car, and it wasn’t until we got to smokey Albury that the thought occurred that we were playing with a singer who had never done a gig before in her life…or anyone else’s come to think of it.

We amused ourselves by going to gigs by two outstanding singers – Annie Smith who absolutely scorched through a set with Nicole Thorne, and Anita Harris who was a powerhouse in a duo with Kim, and then with her larger band.

annie smith.jpg

After a nervous first set, and a fun extra session with Jeff Harris, Steve Bray, and meself, Yuko soaked up every bit of stagecraft and then sang up a storm with Steve Bray (drums), The Captain (saxophone), Dave Taylor (double bass) and some old half blind, half deaf pianist.

yuko ajc at atura

Other Jammers we saw; The Hirsh playing brushes for a full set. Ace. Marion and her new band putting up a pleasing show. The aforementioned Annie singing better than ever. Steve Bray and Jeff Harris in particular playing out of their skins.

Job done. Let’s do it again

Hirsh

Mr Hirsh, of carpet fame.

Item 3 The Quartet Sessions at The Post.

I thought we had arranged for others to do this, until I got a text from Obergruppenfeuhrer Mike whilst at the AJC. Put together a band at short notice for the next two weeks.

Katerina Myskova sang first week, with Ivan, Michael Findlay, the Captain and meself. Fully unrehearsed, the bar staff gobsmacked at how good it sounded.

Second week, Jess Dams, with Pete Micevski bass, Mac Beshai drums, the Captain and meself again. The rhythm section sounded even better. Again, a classy sound, under the tutelage of Toby the Heavy Metal barman. Gobs were smacked again.

The First Jam Session of 2020

Will be this Sunday, 19th January at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. If you have nothing better to do, you could consider strolling in at around 4.01pm, scoring a spot and playing the tits off your favourite tune. If you have something better to do, you had better do it some other time…

Hope to see you there.

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

The Great Sound System Debacle continues (episode 23)

In recognition of what has now become an ongoing tradition, we have dedicated pretty much the whole review to the following debacle. Congratulations are due all round….

Step 1 Spent a pleasant hour or so in the morning not understanding the sound system as explained, patiently, by Mike, the all round ober gruppenfeuhrer Der Post, part time audio engineer and optimist in chief. Eventually the sound system of his dreams worked: signal through the mixing desk sitting on the amp we weren’t using (no one noticed until step 4 of Ensuing Debacle) to the ceiling mounted speakers, via the control panel behind the bar. Active speakers deployed as fold back, taking signal from the guitar amp, bass amp, piano and vocals via the mixer and feeding it to the singer/saxes, and to the piano/drums/bass.

No one notices the switched off amp/mixer and the two biggest EV speakers which are not connected anyway. And we couldn’t fully check the microphones but did notice that the output signals from the mics were not matched.

Step 2 of the Ensuing Debacle. Captain Chaos (now where have we heard that name before?) helpfully connected the Roland piano amp to the piano, thus managing to destroy the balance in the Obergruppenfeuhrer’s system. Quietly removed power and lead. No one noticed until step 3 of the ensuing debacle.

We started around 4 – ish with the sound system and foldbacks working better than ever. Questions remain over the microphones, some adjustment at the mixer, thereby further depleting the balance in the set up.

Step 3: Tits up and Pear shaped About 20 minutes later, the Obergruppenfeuhrer’s computerised system crashes, bringing down the secret computer panel in the cupboard and most other things in its wake. This causes the foldbacks to stop, err, folding back. The Captain converts one foldback to a fold forward as the overhead speakers had ceased emitting a signal due possibly to the aforementioned Step 3.

Step 4: Gimme Noise! Pianist points the other foldback at the pianist, thereby excluding the saxophones. He also elects to plug in the separate keyboard amp, as he can’t hear the foldback (which isn’t working). We need’nt worry about the singers, as by this stage, the microphones weren’t working either. Someone pushes the sliders on the mixing desk to max. Has no effect as the leads are feeding to Aux not Main.

Step 5: Noise Goes Up: Instrumentalists now elect to play louder as they can’t hear themselves or indeed anyone else in the foldbacks. As a result, the increased volume forces everyone else to shout .. at each other, at the bar staff, and at the top of their voices. So the sound goes up some more….

Step 6 : Switch the other speakers on: Captain Chaos is nearing end of his tether. In desperation, we switch on the Yamaha mixer amp, which powers up the two enormous EV’s with what remains of the balanced signal – although we successfully amplify the short comings in the microphones.

Outcome? Everyone happy, and a splendid afternoon ensued, proving that no sound system, however awful, can keep a good jammer down. Or as an alternative, no Jammers, however good, (and there were 25 of us) can fix a sound system up. Take your pick!

Honourable Mentions go to Laurie, sweet as ever, Alan the best of the saxes on the day, Marion for being properly audible, Aimee and the Captain for hot solos on You Are So Beautiful, and Aimee’s mum for staying on after Aimee had gone home. And to the Right Honourable Miss Annie Smith for singing so well, so late.
TW

All of them Good?

Quite what makes a jam session work is an enduring mystery, but if there is a pattern to these things, it may well be emerging. Another crap day, weather wise, no advertising in Melband, very few hits on the Newsletter due to a cock up at least partly of my own making, and this week comes after a huge session the week before, all of which generally presages a drop in numbers, a lessening of musical quality, and quite possibly a visit from Hortense, of whom, more later…

The Ensembleclip_image002[6]

Long story short, 25 musos turned up, the crowd in the bar were just as enthusiastic, fairly thirsty, and a few new/old faces dropped by. We started with four bass players (Dave T, Dave NN, Slawie and Pete. Pretty good session as a result … well, at least nothing got broken and nobody died.

Highlights? Jeff turned up with a dodgy Chinese knock off flute, that sounded rather good. Laurie soloed memorably on All Blues, and Alan, who gets better every week, was his usual affable self. Singers included Aggie Smith on gardening leave, Jess trying out new material, including I Get A Kick Out of You, which isn’t exactly new, but you get the drift; Aimee struggling with young Malcolm on the piano (a reggae beat on Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? Really?); Nurul rocked it on Sway and All Blues, and a trio of newcomers on guitar, piano and vocals, all good but from which I only managed to get one email address, which I cannot read.. ..followed by Janine (God Bless The Child) and Nicole (Summertime) before a big wind up with an ensemble singing of Hit The Road Jack, which, eventually, we did.

In discussion with the Captain, we estimated over 50 musicians and singers have performed at the Post. How wrong could we be – 83 have been listed in the newsletter since we started on April 19th. Apart from early days, (such as no singers on May 17), numbers have been running at or above 25 on most weeks.

And all of them good… Hortense, who often makes a discreet appearance when numbers are down, has hardly been at all.

See you next week?

 

Total

Oncers Came again
Piano 13 7 6
Sax 10 4 6
Guitar 10 5 5
Bass 7 2 5
Drums 12 4 8
Other 4 2 2
Singer 27 9 18

And all of them good… Hortense, who often makes a discreet appearance when numbers are down, has hardly been at all.

Steve on drums, hot guitarclip_image002

See you next week?
TW

Stuff Me, that was a good One!

A few stats and dot points for starters:

  • This was the third week in a row that we have cracked 25 musos. Stop mucking about, Captain Chaos is exhausted.

  • The finale for this session was a cracking Santana number, followed by “Moondance” with 12 musos up at once. Equals our biggest ever line-up. They couldn’t see the folks on the other side of the Bar, dancing…

  • If you count young Grace bopping away, it actually exceeds our biggest line-up. Grace is all of three which makes her our second youngest performer. Marley still the youngest, by a short head.

  • This week saw the smallest line-up of saxophonists for ages. Well, Jeff isn’t that small, and neither is Alan. The Captain is at least medium but you get the drift.. Come to think of it, Jeff didn’t even play his sax, only floot…Those boys had a ball, and played damn well.

  • The Captain, mortified by last week’s rhythm section taking the piss, launched into a spirited rendition of “Four” again. One of the other saxophonists scored it a 3.5. Those boys are savage on each other.

  • While the musos were playing, we “worked the room”, and gave out around 50 of the new cards. Happy little audience – we reckoned there were 80+ peeps in the bar.

  • Special mention for Kevin, who sang one of the hardest ballads going around – “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn. Slawie (bass) and I aged several years in the process, but it all hung together. Bravo.

  • Nicole was a first timer, jumping in on the spur of the moment. One of the best to date – Summertime and Fly Me To the Moon fairly standard offerings, but sung beautifully – please come again.

  • 82% of Annie rocked the joint to finish. The other 18% is replacement parts. Indestructible but not, it would seem, irreplaceable. Little does she know we use her as an example of how to sing, entertain, engage an audience and control a band. Quite often, she is a good example.

  • We haven’t even mentioned Kay, Jane, Yuko, Brian, Susie, Malcolm, John Curtis, Peter Garam, Lisette, Pete, Ivan and Eiji ace bassists, Neil (best guitar in ages) , Alan Richards, Steve Bray, Hussein, Andre, and Jane’s mate from Cairns. You were all spiffin’, mostly, so we won’t mention you now….

  • Jane is off to the USA, and has promised to send us all a postcard. She has also promised to forget to post it. Have a great trip…

  • Finally, we had more people than ever come up and say how much they were enjoying the music at The Post. We also had the first negative comment, so let’s not get too excited.

The Wrap: A really, really good session. Positively noisy at times, and increasingly crowded. There seem to be more people coming specifically because of the live music. Several punters thought “the band” was tight and very professional – not realising that this was a walk-up assembly of a motley crew of musos, none of whom take it too seriously, spurred on by a dedicated audience of regulars who should know better, but care not to.

See you next week? Could be a train wreck? Could be good? Ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids!

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 4th August, starting at 4.00pm

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street, St Kilda

You can park on St Kilda Road (Sunday, no restrictions). Public parking is available on Bath Street, just past the Hotel on Inkerman Street. Or catch a tram if they are running, or take a helicopter, land elsewhere and get an Uber. Or walk. Or take the bus, but fer gawdsake bring it back. Or come the next week instead. Or as well..

The Castlemaine Jam

And it don’t come in jars. The Maurocco Bar rocks this Sunday 4th August. The Maurocco was opposite the railway station last time I went, and I would be surprised it they have moved it since. 2.00pm start and a good time guaranteed.

St Kilda Road Blues – all dug up

A very quiet day at the Post, with St Kilda Junction all shook up, and the 6 lanes of St Kilda Road reduced to 1, for tram works. Half the Post (the other half) almost empty. Obviously not many of the Jammers could get a day job ripping up tram tracks, as a fair few of them turned up anyway.

Jeff warming up . . .

Quite an afternoon – Serge kicked off on double bass, and was followed by bassists Pete, Slawie, Dave the Bass, and Anton “Papa Jazz”1. They all played nicely. Frontline saxophoneezers included the Captain, Jeff, Alan West, and Laurie 2. Alan upstaged us all with an egregiously 3 great solo on “Cry Me A River” . Jess sang a neat set, with Too Close For Comfort ripping along nicely.

 

Civility was restored to proceedings once Gentleman John Curtis took over ivory tickling duties, and Alan Richards surrendered the drums to an equally rowdy Sala. Those boys were having way too much fun, as did “Carpet” Hirsh 4 after nearly throwing a hissy fit because the saxes wouldn’t play “Four” without a chart, although they managed in the end.

Alan . . . great solo

Singers… Jess gets better and better, Carol was all good fun, Aimée may have her name spelt right for the first time and sang with confidence. Kevin and Brian each ripped through a coupla songs in fine style. Later honours belonged to LilyRose and Meggan from Brisbane – they got up and duetted on “Summertime” followed by “ Dream a little Dream of Me.” Magic happens….

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L to R The Captain, Meggan, Dave the Bass, Lily Rose and Mr Hirsh all having fun – “Summertime”

 

Notes
1. Note correct use of Oxford comma. Society is to blame.
2. “Egregiously”, as in Alan doesn’t do this too often?
3. “a good toon with which to finish” Note pedantically correct use of preposition
4. The Irrepressible Mr Hirsh once insisted on a new carpet for the drummer. We were initially offered a bucket of earplugs, several blunt instruments, and advice that could have got us arrested. He eventually settled for a secondhand carpet, and hasn’t been the same since. Or before, for that matter…
TW

Do not adjust your set…

A bitterly cold afternoon, the piano locked up somewhere, a few desultory souls wandering in. Should have been a disaster from the outset, but it wasn’t. And it all started with four saxophones, one pianist (no piano for a while though!) and then a drummer…

So it is a little surprising that this ended up as a crowded, busy sesh, 26 musos in attendance, including the many singers, all of whom would tend to sulk if we did not include them in the muso count. Apparently we scored a mention on ABC FM this week, but even that proved to be insufficient warning and peeps turned up in droves.

By mid afternoon, the saxophonist count had risen to 7, with Laurie then leaving early, after a lively contribution, Roger “the Stiff” Clark there all arvo, Jeff H playing sax, clari and then flute, Cardinal Calamatta sounding sweet as ever, Alan in fine form with Josephine, and Keef getting a decent spot to solo – this has been on our to-do list for a while, the Captain de Chaos, meanwhile, almost losing the plot – he had to fit in nine different singers, (Kay, Jane, Brian, Yuko, Annie (Every Time We Say Goodbye), Ashley de Wang, Emily (Cry Me a River), Susie and Deb). Three turned up late, and one was easily better than all the others, but I can’t remember which one. You’ll all have to come again…

We only had the one Ukrainian bass player, name unpronounceable “ДϒΗНО”. He was pretty good, and of course Pete Micevski played solid all arvo.

Slap and Rattle department well handled by Alan R, then Sala, then Mac and Hussein (great rhythm on Sway really lifted this Annie Smiff version).

Rhythm and booze: all the piano players (Peter Garam, Malcolm and meself) played piano and Ben Stewart played some mean Guitar once he had got the cobwebs out.

The Captain opined that the standard of music was as high as ever, all afternoon – and I would have to agree. The audience seemed well impressed – this week, we went round and handed out cards, chatted up the burlesque dancer in the corner, tried to persuade the barmaid to leap the counter and sing, etc.etc.

I could make all this up, if only it weren’t true.
TW

Sunday Jazz : And a brief digression . . .

Arrived at the Yugoslavian Embassy to find Ambassador’s wife in a state of high anxiety, and His Excellency engaged in a complicated manoeuvre that may have involved several inappropriate farm animals, and a bitter reference to the mid nineteenth century Balkan conflict. And if you have been reading this rubbish since that was last mentioned, it is high time you got out more…

As does Hortense from time, making one of her desperate forays from the nether recesses of the back bar in the hope of more excitement than would be found on a good day at the Strangled Ferret, were it still open, which, of course, it is not. Having burnt to the ground years ago.

 

But I digress. Again.

Jam Session? Yup, that went alright. Got there to find the gear had all been put in place, so the Captain had time for a sound check and a beer. By the time we started, the pub was pretty much full, and noisy, and we ripped through a coupla instrumentals, probably more instru than mental, with Jane and meself swapping drums mid toon without in any way altering the standard of drumming and Geoff welcome back on piano. Then singer Jess took first swipe at the donkey: a neat little vocal set with “Turn Me On” a highlight.

Much noise, beer and clapping, and on we went, with saxes CaptainChaos, , Alan, Jeff, Laurie and later on, Keef. Mercifully, Sala arrived so we had a proper drummer, followed by Frank who only came to the pub for a beer, and only said he played drums for a joke. Pretty good. Max Teakle played bass then piano, Hussein and Mac alternated on drums, Neil played some brief guitar, and Marian recorded away.

 

All good fun, followed by a succession of tonsil artistes – Jane, Carol, Dayle (first up, good, thanks for waiting patiently, please come again), Judee Horin (p and v), Brian doing a Sinatra bracket, Yuko back again, Annie, unflappable, Chris (Route 66, and welcome back!) and then Susie accompanied by Malcolm back after a spell, with a closing stanza from Janine.

Jam session went alright? Actually, it was huge, 25 musos got up, noisy, fun – and we are starting to worry about how we might stuff it up…
TW

Sunday Jazz : A day to remember…

Sitting at the winkle blue screen pondering the latest Session du Confiture, and what a noisy crowd there was… not all of them, it must be said, musicians – and that probably includes some of the musicians…

I must start by mentioning Marion, who I have managed to ignore completely for at least three jam sessions in a row… player of the most exotic recorder and self-deprecator extraordinaire. Whoops, sorry!

A goodly crew of musos turned out on what was the coldest June day since 1985 – we scored nine singers, six drummers, a standard complement of 4 saxophones and a busy, noisy, happy pub.

Image result for Dizzy Gillespie

. . . a trumpet player

Highlights of the session? A fine cameo from 7 year old Jenson on drums, becoming the youngest ever muso at a jam session. A wop bop a loo bop, the lad understands the finer points of whacking the skins- a lot of fun and a most composed young man – took years off the singer (Kay) and didn’t do Gentleman John’s composure much good – but whatever…Jenson will remember his debut for years to come, and we probably won’t forget it either.

. . . another drummer

. . . another drummer

Saxes oscillated between elegant solos, and playing too many notes for too many choruses. ‘Twas ever thus. The Captain easily the smoothest soloist there, Alan entertained us ( in Db fer Gawds sake) and Keef played the sweetest sounding clarinet. Jeff pulled out a raucous first set, then settled into some finer playing as the evening wore on.

Percussion: Welcome returns on drums from Mack, and from Hussein, who apparently has only just remembered he lives round the corner from the Post. Hope they come again. Sala, Knuckles Hirsh and top gun Alan R all played the Post drum kit with panache, finesse, an insouciant air… and drum sticks.

Singers: just the 9 of them – props to Jess and Yuko who are both already singing better than their teachers might believe possible, and to Briony who absolutely smashed a version of Misty. The Debster, Susie, Jane, Brian, Kay and young Annie (22 and a bit) all entertained as only the Debster, Susie, Jane, Brian, Kay and young Annie (22 and a bit more) can.

Image result for Miles Davis

. . . but no trumpeters!

And finally…The Post Hotel June 23rd Award for best Muso of the day must go to Pete Micevski, who returned after a lengthy absence and played better than ever – according to the several musos we asked…. welcome back.

It was a day to remember. See ya Sunday for another rowdy bash?
TW

Sunday Jazz rattle the rafters at The Post Hotel …

Aaaand… the Castlemaine crew were back. They managed to avoid the usual exaggerated tales of musical exploits – but all played noticeably better, particularly Sala (drums). The session started somewhat late, due to a now regular re-arrangement of the cables, doodads, foldback, wotsit and thingummies. Hell, I hadn’t a clue what was going on.

The Captain, who else?

When we got started it turned into a pretty friendly affair, smooth changeovers and I am fairly sure everyone got a go. Highlight of the day was either David Lole kicking off on piano, or the Philippine mafia, junior division, under the tutelage of Alf Nicdao, consigliere or something. They were a talented bunch – Dorothy, Francis and Joshua waited patiently, then singer and drummer got up and acquitted themselves well.

Soxaphonists: Col, Alan, Laurie, Keef and Luis. As you know, Adolphe Sax, inventor of the sax, died in abject poverty in 1894. So total was his demise, that he never recovered from it. He also invented a six piston trombone, so things could have turned out a lot worse.

Drums: variously wrangled by Alan Richards, who puts the drum pedals back together every week, Sala Kord, philosopher and Persian emigré, young Joshua (or was it Francis?) who played way beyond his tender years and was rather good, and our resident bikie Knuckles Hirsh who is way beyond his tender years, but was also rather good.

Yodellers: a fine bit of warbling, all of which was enthusiastically received, from the Debster, Carol, Jane and Dorothy. Agatha Smythe (22 and a bit) arrived late as usual, but can be forgiven on the grounds that she sings. If she didn’t, well, who knows what might happen…?

Image result for yodellers

Guitar: Nice one, Fermin!

Pianists: David Lole played up a storm, the Debonair Curtis was so hot he shed his jacket (we returned it after we had checked for loose coin, incriminating evidence etc, of which it was disappointingly devoid). Finally, I managed to confirm that getting up at 4 am to write a programme for the upcoming Festival in Kew, before sitting in on a meeting with the Committee, before swallowing 16 antibiotic pills and completely cocking up the set-up, is not conducive to playing some semi sensible piano. Ah well…

See ya Sunday?
TW