I phoned Chris today to discuss meeting with him and Mel and Bernie, the guys on the “Greek Street” Cd. That will be in Soho at the beginning of May. It will be good to see Chris up and about again. He’s also planning to resume gigging with us at the next Inn On The Green gig on the 11th of May as long as he continues to make progress. The band are looking forward to that.
Last night I went to the Eel Pie Club in Twickenham where Bob Hall was joined by Top Topham for another evening of nostalgia. I define nostalgia as anyone who has been around as long as me and is still playing blues. Other people who say that nostalgia’s not what it used to be, are thereby proved wrong. Of course, they may have another definition, but I like to get personal about some things and however you define it, I’ve been around long enough to have picked up some nostalgia.
Yesterday I met Mel Wright, the Waydown drummer and original Shakey Vick Big-City Blues Band drummer to check out an old live recording which we did about 19 years ago at The 100 Club in Oxford Street. Actually I didn’t meet him directly.
I saw Chris yesterday and he is on the mend. His lungs have healed up and he is walking in the park each day and his strength is improving. We discussed the possibility of him returning to action and he is hopeful. It may be sooner rather than later. He has tried singing and it went well.
April 21, 2008
The King’s Head Theatre Pub, Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN
Last Monday’s gig at the King’s Head was noticeable for the absence of the drummer, Dino Coccia. We carried on without him and later found out that his car had broken down. The joys of the open road, once again. Incidentally, Dino will be away in the States from the 14th of April, the day after our Inn On The Green gig. He’s going to do some gigs with bassist Steve York, who is now living in Mexico. Afterwards, Dino will stay with friends in Los Angeles and returns on the morning of our May 5th gig which will be at the King’s Head. That’s as long as the plane doesn’t break down too.
April 13, 2008
The Inn On The Green 3 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL
As I expected, the Grand Junction gig was the last blues gig as the brewery are “cutting down on the music budget”. How this spokesperson (with such erudition) isn’t in politics, I’ll never know. “It ain’t working, sod off!” would have done the trick for me. There were a few more people there than for the last couple of weeks, but never enough to make it pay. However, I did almost enjoy the gig and we got paid once I’d produced the invoice like a rabbit out of a hat.
I spoke to Chris a couple of days ago and he is progressing well. We’ll meet during the week.
Have spent the last couple of evenings seeing how the postwar generation celebrate their sixtieth birthdays. First off was Diz Watson partying at the Oval Tavern on Tuesday night and transporting a great supportive crowd to pre-Katrina New Orleans with his vocals and piano, brilliantly supported by double bass and percussion. Later Jamie Rowan did a guest spot and I remembered to book him for my next Inn On The Green gig, as Al Vincent is unavailable next month.
Had another enjoyable visit to the Oval Tavern in Croydon yesterday. This is my favourite gig because the interval music is always great to listen to. It’s a vinyl freak’s delight and although I’m not one (a delight, I mean) I really do enjoy Graeme’s selection. Great blues and a great audience. Had a chat with John O’Leary, who admitted that his was an Irish name and that he actually had a Paddy’s night gig, as distinct from my St Patrick’s evening blues gig at the King’s Head. I’m not sure whether John said he was going to be doing “Danny Boy”, but I certainly am not.
March 16, 2008
The Oval Tavern, 131 Oval Road, CR0 6BR