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 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 (Nyoki, 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.