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The more things change . . .

A pleasant little toot up the Hoddle Strasse, followed by the sounds of a Bavarian Brass Band playing Moanin’ as I wandered into the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Ladies Tea Roomes for yet another afternoon of indulgence.


Or so I imagined. Quite by mistake, I fronted first and had, instead, the fun of setting up the various bits of hardware, sackbutts, viols, contrabassoons, contrafagotti, cromornes, double bassoons, fifes, fipple flutes, flageolets, flugelhorns, funk band instruments, hautboys, heckelphones, hornpipes, and spittoons that are apparently the necessaries (see note 1) of a jam session.


Which started, as is more often the case these days, with a coupla dodgy charts from Corporal T‘s songbook, the distinguishing feature of which is that Corporal T, appeared unable to follow them. In which, it must be said, he was in good company. Curtis was summonsed to the rescue, and having sensibly dispatched with guitarists, proceeded to show how it might be done. Strangely, Captain Chaos proceeded to play the correct form most tunefully, and got better as the afternoon wore one.


Keen aficionados of the Jam Session procedures manual will recognise this as a particularly underhand attempt at confusing the rest of us, by playing so unrecognisably. Which would have succeeded had we not been confused already.


By the time scones had been served, Chance (drums), Laurie (salt shaker), Peter Cole (belgian nose flute) Brian, Kevin (tonsils), Ivan (tea chest) Geoff , Peter (keys) had all had a dip, with Bill and Michael alternately hitting things in the background; before David Ruiz dragged a carol singer through the door (Angelique, she was rather good) , Omar, and even the Pellster turned up, and the afternoon descended into a happy muddle with all sorts of good things being played.


At which point Rose got up, sans charts, and sang a beautiful slow version of Route 66, with a hot sax solo from Tony thrown in for good measure – at the end of which we all felt much better… Don, I think, tried to draw things to a sensible conclusion, but I had gone home for tea and toast by then…


By the time I left, with the score at nil all, the good Captain had barely broken a sweat, and for all I would know, they danced well on into the night, as they often do. Old faces and new tunes, old tunes and new faces – the more things change, the more they stay the same.


TW


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