The troublemakers are all in Castlemaine, Il Duce goes awol, and a Gentlemanly assembly keeps itself nice at the Basement di Bungle.

No kidding:- Col, Kev and Sir Roger De Coverley’s ageing roue descendant all hit up the Castlemaine Jam (which was a good one by all accounts), a lot of jammers were away furiously arranging a Port Fairy set list or three, in the hope that they could fool at least some of their audience into thinking they know what they are doing; Il Duce, who quietly sets up the room each week, was in Queensland, and we had everything shipshape and Bristol fashion by about half an hour late…when a gentlemanly rump fronted a very quiet Leinster Arms for the obligatory afternoon of doing things differently.

And how different they were… Peter Garam produced the first firework of the day Continue reading →

The Jam Session last week – got it wrong again…

As I was saying only last Friday, “And next week? Probably no one will turn up. Unless you do.. ” How wrong can you be! At least 33 musicians must have heeded the call, two of them, possibly, as a direct result of reading the newsletter and realising that attending a jam was marginally less painful. To put it in perspective, this is now the second busiest Jam session we have recorded since 2008 (the busiest was 35 musos for the Captain’s birthday bash).

The early warning signs were there (4 saxophones with -ists attached by 4.30) and by about 5.30 we were out of control… But what a great afternoon it turned out to be. Continue reading →

The Sunday Arvo Jam Session: Serenity at the Leinster, Chaos at the Castle

Strolled into the Gold Street Gossip Shop to find the lads still setting up, Captain Chaos in absentia as he had gone to the Castlemaine Jam to show them how it is done… he enjoyed it so much, he went back the next day for a Castlemaine Jazz Festival committee meeting.

Hortense, as is her wont, was either there or not. It is a poor substitute for those heady days with the Oscar Beetroot Band at the Strangled Ferret, where they really lit the place up, in a way that only the Fire Brigade, (such handsome Boys!), could put out…Altona West has never been the same, but then, as Madge remarked only the other day, it never was.

But I digress. Umm, the Jam Session. Ah yes, I remember now, bloody good fun, with cameos from Lisette, guitaristical things from Ben, Andrew and The Reverend Kevin, an afternoon of  extended saxophonical solos from Ali and Keef, in fine form, plus his customary duets with every other soloist, Anne Craig (Floot) playing like a real musician should, leavened with some tonsil work from the Debster amongst others (Cal? Natural Woman? No chart for that one?), underscored by Stan the Bass who played, heroically, from then ’til much, much later.

John Perri turned up and left his hat. Some seriously good drumming followed by unwisely offering some ill-placed guidance to young Putna Mondrum, who as one of the more sympathetic drummers hardly needed it, but generously returned the compliment. Sebastien was unequivocally the best of the French drummers, and played some fine stuff too.

Indeed, all was going well until Melinda Traves bounced in later. Then it all went very much better. Lively and enjoyable set. The Lunatic Soup Lounge was rockin’.

Which all made for a fine afternoon’s entertainment, topped off by the tap dancer in green shoes who stepped up, laid down his board and boogied. Glen and Wilhelmina were looking on from the back bar in (a) horror) then (b) amusement before (.c) grinning like idiots and commenting that now they had seen it all, Probably right, I have never before seen green shoes at the Leinster either…