I'm not going to be able to name names unfortunately because I haven't got access to the Internet to fact-check, but me and my Champagne Friend had such a nice night out last night that I decided to write about it anyway. We met up in town for a cup of tea at my favourite secret cafe and then went on to the 12 Bar, where Dot, who I met at a conference in Leeds a few years ago, was playing keyboards for the band. They had set off at six in the morning from Edinburgh, and were raring to go.
The 12 Bar is a dear old place. It gets revamped from time to time, lurching from one type of scruffiness to another. The one thing that never changes is the sticky floor (and I have mentioned the sticky stage before, that is so beer-sodden that the prongs of my stool legs got completely embedded in it one time). The other thing that doesn't change is the extraordinary clientele. Everybody is weird. In fact, it's the one venue in London where I feel totally comfortable, which is a little depressing when you come to think of it.
Last night's prize was won by the lady carrying a plank, who was there with a man with a broken foot in a plaster cast. The plaster cast had an elaborate and rather beautiful face drawn on the toe, complete with eyelashes and full, sexy, red lips. The man sporting this elaborate affair looked too grumpy to have such a fun plaster cast but maybe I caught his eye at the wrong moment.
Anyway: back to the music. The singer, Annette Chapman, is a wonderful blonde Scottish woman, who is strikingly tall and who has a disarmingly straightforward stage manner and an absolutely gorgeous voice. She could, I am sure, sing anything that jazz threw at her but she's obviously a total blues fan.
Robin Robertson the guitarist is a seasoned blues player and his fingers charged about all over the fretboard of his Fender with total ease, playing some scorching solos as well as tight rhythm. The drummer, Ruaridh Saunders, and bass player Brian Branford were solid and tight and Dot my girl, you were a revelation! You can more than carry a solo and I do hope your gig went well tonight too!
Both me and my Champagne Friend really enjoyed good powerful music played so close you could touch it. Who cares about Beyoncé and her thousands of dancers, Madonna and her horrible 'sexy' costumes, the silly young 'ins and their desperate need for column inches! There's nothing like good live music played by enthusiasts in a weeny venue with a sticky floor on a Wednesday night. There really isn't!