Sunday 23rd June 2019 Hoochie Coochie
Never has the phrase 'hit the deck running' been more apt than at Hoochiee last night! SSBB did that and more on the opener Fast Cars the title of which would come back to bite me later on...
Spurred on by super-dep stickman McKeague this band wasn't smokin' it was burnin' and leader Lamb and guitarist PJ fanned the flames - phew, it's 'ot in 'ere! Things cooled down with a couple of vocals from Ms. Grace - Blue Skies and Mad About the Boy - our girl was in good voice on a night when she had to be! Jamie Toms blew tenor on Blue Skies. He too had to be on his metal for the next number - Grand Central.
A good olde-style tenor joust between Toms and Kerridge that had the two saxes slugging it out in the manner of a pier 6 brawl or a Cameroonian 'ladies" soccer match - the return bout came in the second set. More Alice, Oh What a Beautiful Morning and The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else before the set closed with Bemsha Swing. This had been Guy Fawkes Night come early and there were still two sets to go. A time to meet old friends and new ones. Our dear friend Liz from York texted me to say the Kenton branch of her family was at the gig and to introduce myself. Easier said than done in a room packed wall to wall with bodies. However, the task was accomplished and it was a pleasure to meet up with Andy Kavanagh, Muriel and Eddie Luck.
Back to the music and Alice set the scene with her own composition Travelling Light. An instrumental, Catch as Catch Can, before singer number two exploded with Higher Ground. Carly McKee has a full-toned soul-sounding voice and it became obvious she wasn't here just to make the numbers up - two great singers and one to go.
Kerridge and Toms squared up for the return bout - Jammer Time - and once again it was the Thriller in Manila and the score is one all - this is what jam sessions should be like! Big Time brought Jennifer Davies to the mic. Having heard her at a recent jam session I had no doubts that she'd deliver and she did - big time! Alice finished the set off with Spanish Joint and that good old Al Dubin/Harry Warren classic Lullaby of Broadway still a great song and Alice did it no harm at all.
Final set and nobody was leaving which is just as well otherwise they'd have missed Sing, Sing, Sing by the three sing sing singers and this was an absolute treat. The Boswells, the Andrews, the Puppinis and now the as yet unnamed trio - surely they can't just leave it at that?! Jennifer stayed on board for Rainbows in my Teacup, a song with lyrics by another past SSBB guest, Joe Stilgoe. Nice trombone by Barnes and clarinet by Summers. Strasbourg - St. Denis featured ace solos from first-timer James Peacock and Pete Tanton, Carly hit us with I Wanna Talk With You, Dave McKeague kicked seven shades out of the kit on Crawlin' - this solo even had the band applauding! and, natch, the audience too. Comes Love sang Alice before the three singers reunited to bring the show to a close with Feelin' Good which we most certainly were! My apologies to those guys I haven't mentioned everyone contributed massively. The evening had begun with Fast Cars but didn't end that way when the normally reliable number 27 bus spluttered to a halt just short of Heworth Interchange. "The brakes aren't working" explained the driver, "I'll have to send for a replacement bus". Fast cars and slow buses - quite a contrast so, rather than wait for a bus whose brakes did work I walked to the Interchange and jumped into a taxi. It hadn't spoiled my night. However, if the bus had been going downhill when the brakes failed...