The weekend kicked off early, with the Hellhounds taking the stage at Sharky's, pushing through two solid sets despite some illness in the ranks that threatened to derail proceedings earlier in the day. If you haven't caught up with the extended, rhythm section version of the Hellhounds yet ... well, you should. It's better each week.
Friday night saw the Lazy Jazz Drunks take over upstairs at Huxley's, overcoming some technical issues (such as the absence of a second guitarist, disintegrating drumsticks, and the need to go out and find extra mics) to raise the roof in the way that only the Drunks can. The Swedish Ambassador was doing his damnedest to put the Jazz back in the LJD, and after the crowd thinned out to go to Walkabout for the big draw things got looser, culminating in a prolonged stopping-all-stations jam on Whole Lotta Love with Ian throwing in lyrics from any song he could think of, and I think several that he couldn't think of. The Drunks will be at Rory's on Saturday 28th trying to be as quiet as possible, and back at Huxley's on the 5th.
For a complete change of pace, Saturday night's first birthday party for Chinese House was a much mellower affair. The occasion called for something special, and it became the debut of The Panthers, a new project that the Swedish Ambassador and I have dreamed up: the quieter, mellower side of D'Sco: The Geckos of Love, with an emphasis on standards and ballads, a chance for him to play keyboards and a chance for me to sing rather than play guitar and to wear a pink suit and hand out roses to beautiful women. Stick around, that sort of stuff happens all the time. So we captivated the crowd for an hour or so, taking the usual opening night nerves in our stride, before being joined by Ritchy on guitar and vocals (and switching to bass and drums) to provide some live music for a herd of swing dancers (is that the appropriate collective noun? perhaps a press of swing dancers, or a swirl of swing dancers) who put on a very enjoyable show (including an intriguing solo number Cupid's Arrow). The evening then degenerated into pre-recorded music ...
On Sunday D'Sco: The Geckos of Love were back to basics at Talking to a Stranger, relaxed with less equipment and just two guitars. We played the game where I play songs that Dan has never heard (and in some cases I've never played in public, or indeed at all) and he does his best to keep up, and usually does dazzlingly well. In the second set I played half an hour's worth of my own songs, at the strong encouragement of some gentlemen at the bar, feeding my interest in putting together a band to play original material next year, to test the theory that punters are interested in such a thing. A quiet night, but by no means unpleasant.
I gather there was a band at The Cavern on Saturday night which from reports sounds quite interesting. Anyone see them?
Seeya round the traps