Tag Archives: Denny Walley

An English ‘un, a Belgian, an Irishman and a Scotsman all walk into a bar!

London 8th December 2013

It flowed.
This set flowed quite perfectly.  ‘We are the Magic Band and we’re here to play the music of Captain Beefheart’ announces Drumbo as he declares the evening’s manifesto that has, of late, become the band’s opening mantra. A small jump in the air follows and, as his feet re-connect with the stage, the five of them career off into track twelve from Trout Mask Replica.
My Human Gets Me Blues has been the set opener for the last few years and it sets out the stall, nails their colours to the mast and most importantly delivers the goods, big style!
The way you were dancin’ I knew you’d never come back
You were strainin’ t’ keep yer
Old black cracked patent shoes
In this lifetime you got m’humangetsmeblues

Bliss!

Other bands with a tune as strong as Lo Yo Yo Stuff would hold it back, until near the end of the night, but blimey, look, here it is already pushing its way to the front of the queue, the heavily tremeloed chords cascading from Eric’s Jaguar, tell us that absolutely no prisoners are being considered tonight.

image

But woah, slow down there, big fella, and let’s rewind for a moment.The gig in question is in the Borderline in Soho, a small venue if not bijou. Probably, at best, the size of Glasgow’s ‘King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut’, should it ever got the chance to inhale and stick it’s chest out.
This is my fourth Magic Band encounter this year, lucky ol’ me!
We, that is Shields, Lenka, Stanistreet, along with the troubadour Alan Burke, sporting a coat that I’m certain Abraham Van Helsing would be proud to be seen in, arrive with only a few minutes to spare before showtime. There’s no support involved tonight, as the intention is to perform two sets with the usual ‘meet & greet’ at the interval.
It’s absolutely rammed full and it’s a major endeavour to get across the floor to the ‘lengthy but surprisingly not really doing a lot of business’ bar. Having eventually arrived there, we are all immediately separated by a slowly moving herd of docile greybeards.The sound from here is perfect but the sightlines are fairly poor. It’s easier and better to watch on the large TV screens dotted about the place, but not ideal.

A young man then attempts to use Shields as a tripod for his camcording endeavours and is quickly advised, by yours truly, that this is not today’s best idea!

Bo Diddley’s Diddy Wah Diddy has more of a bounce to it, tonight, than recently. I’ll have to source bootlegs, but to me it sounded a fair bit more uptempo than of late.

This is immediately followed by Rockette’s regular bass solo, which in turn makes way for a wonderful Spitball improv duet (with John on sax and new drummer Andy Niven showing he’s got more than enough chops, to hold his end up in this company). That then leads us into a wonderful Golden Birdies, with Eric Klerks replicating Zoot and Art Tripp’s guitar/marimba part(s). At the conclusion, as has become tradition, the crowd to a man shout the Webcor Webcor refrain. I say ‘to a man’ quite deliberately, as this is the most gender skewed MB audience I think I’ve ever encountered. Apart from the women in our coterie, I can only see another three!

Hot Head sees a third guitar being dusted off and brought into action by the singer.This song, rather oddly, always reminds me of DEVO. In my head, an invisible mellotron  blasts away, behind the motorik beat.
It’s almost, what some would call, Krautrock.
When Prog-rock friends play their usual party game and ask what my favourite mellotron tune is, they’re always somewhat crestfallen when I cite Hothead over, let’s say, King Crimson’s Epitaph, along with everything by Yes and The Moody Blues.

Dr Dark is a relatively new addition to the portfolio (not quite sure why, however I imagine EK being the driving force behind it’s inclusion in the latest set) and tonight they play it as a full quintet. On the last tour, Mark used this spot to go for a breather, but tonight’s five piece arrangement allows the Jaguar to ‘double’ or ‘mirror’ some of the bass lines. This is torrid stuff indeed.Not one for the faint of heart!

Circumstances has become the traditional first set closer. Therefore when John starts singing ‘Little girl don’t you know that the stars, up above, are runnin’ on love’, I know it’s time for yours truly to signal to the barman for a quick (and only my second, mind) Guinness, as the interval is looming and a stampede barwards is quite probable. Last time I heard them perform this, in England, I got a mid-song name check. It is with considerable regret, that I report no such luck, tonight!

The interval arrives and it’s a surprisingly long one. The two of us stroll quickly forward, unchallenged, until we are only three folk back from the stage. Close enough to see the whites of their eyes and, I dare say, if you were really determined you could get close enough to smell them. New vantage point secured, the interval seems to go on forever (A small eternity with Yoko Ono!). However this is leavened by realizing we’re stood right next to Christine Barfoot and Jeff Preece from Wales, nearby is Clint Walker and we’re close to Jan Podsiadly (who kindly provided these photographs).
Up until today I’ve only spoken to these lovely people online!

On my way towards the toilets, I bump into Denny, who’s pressing the flesh, and getting his picture taken, with seemingly every woman in the place. I tell him how much I’m enjoying the show so far.
Just wait till you hear the second set
he replies with that marvellous twinkle in his eye.
Eventually, with the merch stall now bereft of goodies (I left it too late to get a teeshirt) the older drummer returns onstage, tinkers for longer than he should with his equipment (it’s Drumbo, it’s what he does!) before sitting down and starting a solo that slowly builds and builds and, yes, builds again. Whether it’s his tap dance training or, more likely, a double beater pedal on the kick drum, he certainly creates what Glaswegians would call ‘a stooshie’ until the three guitarists walk on plug in and deliver an immaculate and surgically precise ‘On Tomorrow
Not a drop of that ‘bromo seltzer’ stuff in sight!

Alice in Blunderland sees Eric step up to the mark. This is one of the only Beefheart tunes, I can think of, where a guitarist is allowed absolutely free rein. Back in the seventies, it must have been quite galling for Zoot to ‘hold the formation’ every night while Elliot was allowed to take a ‘normal solo’.
Playing through an amp combo, so small that I ponder for a while and convince myself that I own bigger shoeboxes, Eric (Winged Eel FingerKlerk) then lets rip and a lot of the lines and phrases deployed from his fretboard are more reminiscent of a horn player than guitarist (go figure!). I always hear a lot of Tom Verlaine when Eric takes this solo and that’s not a complaint!

I’d always considered Suction Prints as the runt of the litter and perhaps an underdeveloped backing track that was used as filler, on Shiny Beast. Tonight, the scales fell from my eyes and the tune finally made sense. Denny’s really on fire and showing off what he can do on slide. He’s firing out chord shapes so flagrantly bright that I become concerned about the welfare of the ends of my my carefully coiffured moustache. Suction Prints? This is a full blown ‘lizard on a window pane’ (see what I did there?)

A tasty Hair Pie is proferred for our consumption, one of my favourites from TMR, and at this point it crosses my mind that, so far, the second set has been entirely instrumental, as well as being entirely mental! With Drumbo remaining behind the traps, young Andy’s probably having a relaxing nap backstage.

Back in March, having travelled down to Preston, I heard them play Owed T’Alex which was for me, the very first time. It was jawdrop time, back then, and nine months later it’s absolutely no different. Mark has his five string going through what he tells me later is ‘a little box that John gave me, I’m not too sure exactly what it does’. The result is a quite ridiculously fat analogue synth sound that really serves the song well and has the crowd swaying slowly back and forth as one.
I am now, more than ever, grinning like an idiot!

Then, with harp and slide guitar both mimicking a train whistle, echoing from the far end of the valley, John and Denny both slowly lead, force and cajole the other three into a Click Click that’s as good as these ears have heard.
It was just one of those magical nights.

Floppy Boot Stomp, Moonlight on Vermont – this band now plays these tunes better than anyone ever did (I’ve both seen and heard Don, I’ve listened to ALL the bootlegs and believe me, this crew is the real deal!) and then its the turn of THE hit that never was, Big Eyed Beans From Venus, the Beefheartian National (or should that be Planetary?) Anthem. I laugh to myself, nowadays, when I think that, the first time I ever heard this, back in the day, on Clear Spot, I thought they’d really sold out, man! At this point in the show, I was now so close to the stage, I could, for the first time ever, see who was playing each wee part. Lovely stuff indeed. All the women around me opened their purses and I let my wallet flop out!

And then suddenly, yet inevitably, its all over and they all quickly scuttle off to the left, waving and grinning at a noisy disbelieving crowd.

A quick breather and they return both to the stage and to the album where it all began, Safe As Milk.
The tune that this humble site takes its title from, is first off the blocks,its Electricity

Anorak alert!

the seemingly unusual and loping cadence of the bass line, tonight, is not actually the SAM album version but comes however from the early demo version, that can be found on the Grow Fins Boxset.

Anorak alert over!

and then its straight into SureNuff ‘N Yes I Do which, towards its end, segues into a double speed coda, quite gospelly in feel. Not too sure why, but Delaney & Bonnie sprang to mind when thinking about how to describe this section to pals.

All together a great evening, terrific performance, lovely company and a fitting conclusion to my gig going in 2013.Thank you to all concerned.

p.s. Those that want to see tonights drummer playing those two rather fine tunes, but forty five years earlier, should look at the video below, which I’ve posted simultanously to this one.

p.p.s. just realised I’d never actually written about the MB before. I must do it again. Whether that’s good news for the readership remains to be seen!

All photos, apart from Denny and my wife, come courtesy of Jan Podsiadly.

 
 
 

Check out how heavy/thick those strings are…..

Two Roadies were approaching, as the amp began to howl!

image

What with motorcycle crashes and a period of fairly heavy drinking  (but enough about me, already!) I’ve somehow lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Bob over the past 35 years (it’s somewhere in between that of The Magic Band and Costello who I’ve now seen on 32 different occasions). I was fairly late getting round to see Dylan live, by the time he appeared at Earl’s Court in 1978. Each time since, though, has been in the cavernous Hall 4 of the SECC. Tonight is different though, because it’s in the far more intimate& bijou setting of what’s known locally as The Armadillo. It’s quite wonderful looking, even before anyone’s onstage.Heavy velvet curtains, picture framed mirrors, very sparse and subdued lighting (Bob’s mainly backlit most of the evening, whether this is due to vanity and hiding his wrinkles, I know not. However it crossed my mind. He’s almost as vain as myself!)

I am here, with Rhursach, to see and hear the wee man who I consider to be the greatest songwriter of the 20th Century. This is the second of a three night residency in Glasgow and tonight we are down on the Guest List courtesy of Denny Walley, slide guitar colossus with The Magic Band and Zappa alumni. I know I’m a name dropping bastard, however if you’ve got it, flaunt it! These seats are wonderful. Any closer and we might as well be on Bob’s piano stool!

My friend the Professor suffers from a syndrome whereby, if there is a deranged lunatic anywhere in a bar we visit, he/she will seek out El Prof and, within seconds, impart their gospel of lunacy completely uninvited (“Did you know that I was the very first person in Glasgow to ever drink coffee?” springs to mind as the most recent example). I on the other hand seem to attract strangers who want to demonstrate that they have no sense of rhythm whatsoever. The lights go down and a solo acoustic guitar (Stu Kimball) chimes out in the darkness. The mumsy looking woman on my left must be listening to something else completely different, in her head, as the handclaps and rhythm that she demonstrates at no point coincide or compliment Kimball’s chord work at all. A combination of the band then joining in, as the lights come up, Bob’s onstage arrival and my arched eyebrows pointing in her direction bring her ‘batterie extraordinaire’ to a merciful close

image

Looking very much like Charlie Chaplin dressed as Zorro, Bob has nowadays ,for sound arthritic reasons, totally eschewed guitar playing . As a result, when he’s centre stage he hangs on to the mike stand with right hand, however, the left hand is a bit of a loose cannon. He hasn’t learned what to do with it yet. The result is that he occasionally looks like (a) a gunslinger who’s forgot to pack his ’45
(b) a clippie counting out the change for your tram fare in his invisible/imaginary satchel or
(c) on the occasions when playing one handed piano, Dale Winton having just had a slight ‘trouser accident’.

image

Charlie Sexton’s guitar playing throughout the evening is absolutely sublime and he never takes his eyes off of Bob, looking for any clues or cues as to where the song’s going to go next. I’d love to hear him let rip  ‘off the leash’, so to speak!

The whole band, actually, are incredible and reconfigure their instrumentation for each tune (Guitars, stand-up and electric bass, fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel and even the much loathed banjo were all given a good dusting off). They are all, however fairly anonymous looking chaps and, had they all taken their hats off, and stood next to me, at the interval bar, I would have been none the wiser.

Speaking of which, during the interval while in the toilet, Rhu sees a father with adult son doing lines of coke. When they move into the cubicle next to him, there appears to be some jostling to get in and suddenly there’s the remark ‘You’ve spilled it, I paid good money for that now lick it up!’
Yuck!

Bob meanwhile is Bob and, as such, adored by this strangely reticent crowd.

Much is made these days about his singing. He’s an old man and, in my eyes, going about his business (and with Dylan Hoodies selling for £80 in the foyer, this clearly is a business) with a lot more dignity than say those masters of ‘mutton masquerading as lamb’, The Rolling Stones. The set list leans heavily towards his latest album ’Tempest’ and these songs understandably suit his voice, rather than, say, Mr Tambourine Man which a punter behind me persistently shouts for. The set finishes with Long and Wasted Years and it’s terrific. A shimmering muscular burnished beast. Nothing like the album version. All the Tempest tunes have grown so much, I begin to wonder if he recorded it too early ie before the songs and band had ‘bedded in’.

Tonight’s  encore is Watchtower/Blowing in the Wind and right at the start of the first song, Tony’s bass amp seems to give up the ghost. This results in much onstage head scratching by his roadie while the rest of the band power on regardless. It seems to be fixed for the last chord or two before they slide into Blowin In The Wind.

I’ll be back tomorrow night to hear Bob play All along the Watchtower for the 2,180th time (fact).

Magic Bandage

 For my sixtieth birthday, I had invited family and friends along to a party in the centre of Glasgow. Unbeknown to me, Luisaidh had been in touch with Denny Walley and this resulting wee song was filmed at the Magic Band’s soundcheck, in Heerlen, that very night, before being quickly emailed over and put up on the big video screen in the venue. My being quite moist of eye, was quickly followed by a gasp and giggle of absolute disbelief.
My thanks to all six conspirators for a ‘gift’ I’ll never forget 🙂

Later that night, my five well wishers were caught on film plying their trade, as only they know how………………

Preston Bulbous !

Midday, Tuesday March 13th 2012, I turn my PC off and bid my fellow desk-jockeys farewell.

I haven’t bothered telling them that I’m heading to Glasgow Central and then off down my own personal Yellow Brick Road, for the next forty eight hours. The fact that I have, in the past, been so radical that I actually go along to ‘mid week’ gigs, already takes some explaining, so this latest venture would likely have them immediately phoning for the guys in the white coats. It’s an odd situation really, as no one would bat an eyelid if I were to suddenly transit off to the South of France to cheer on the Glasgow Warriors, while other folk in the office occasionally travel to various corners of Europe, in support of one side, or another, of the Old Firm. However, I just know that disclosing the fact that I’m actually taking two days leave, to go off to England, in order to see ‘n’ hear my favourite band of all time would be met with considerable bemusement at best, if not sheer derision.

image

Four hours, a generous bag of Werthers’ Originals and numerous coffees later, I alight at Preston station and quickly go find and book into my B&B. I decide to get my bearings and take a walk in order to see where the gig is actually located. Not too far at all, it transpires.
Having ‘Google Mapped’ it before I left home, I quickly recognise some fairly obvious landmarks (The Gujarat Hindu Society, anyone?) and realise I must be getting close.

At the end of the next street, I can see a Transit and the unmistakeable silhouette of one Mark Boston entering the building.

image

image

The Continental is a lovely wee pub/diner, situated next to the river, and almost tucked under the railway bridge. People are walking dogs, jogging, cycling and doing all those sort of things that folk do when green space is in short supply. The stage door, right onto the street, is very slightly ajar; I peek in over a linguini-like mountain of cables and quickly recognise both the ‘John French, Red Sparkle Flight Case/Bag Of Tricks’ (Patent pending), as well as its owner. Before I can see or notice anything else, the door is quickly and politely closed in my face. Doh!

I turn around to establish if I can head back, by a different, perhaps more scenic, route, and suddenly see Eric Klerks and Craig Bunch. I call across the street to ask them when time show time is and Eric replies ‘Half past eight, I think… Hey I remember you, you’re the guy from the Kazimier in Liverpool!‘

When I finally come round, one jogger is wafting smelling salts before me, while another is loosening my clothes (that last wee bit’s obviously a complete fabrication, but can you imagine how chuffed, if not stunned, I was at being recognised by one of the Magic Band?) While Craig seemingly snapped absolutely anything that moved,with his new iPhone, I took the opportunity to ask Eric if there was anything new in the set and he said they’d been encoring with one or two things that they hadn’t done last time round. We both remarked that so far, very little video footage of the tour had been uploaded to YouTube in comparison with the vast numbers from last December. Microphone testing having now been completed, the two escapees are suddenly summoned back to the inner sanctum for a proper sound-check and serious instrument hitting duties. I tell them I’ll see them later, wish them luck and I head back for a shower and to change into my glad rags.

For dinner, I had pre-booked a table, in the venue, for six o’clock and had no sooner sat down and began perusing the menu when the promoter comes along and pins a sold-out Magic Band poster on to the front door, then posts another up quite near me, in the restaurant.
I toy, albeit briefly, with the idea of pinching one, as a souvenir for wall-hanging duties, back home, but decide a quick photo will suffice instead. image

So out with the camera – but just as I’m lining up the shot, I freeze in my tracks. There’s a new sound that has appeared in the room, a low, low rumbling; I’m either about to be the target of a prowling, previously unseen, Grizzly; an Ent has perhaps emigrated here from Fanghorn or Preston’s tectonic plates are shifting miles and miles below my feet. Thankfully it is none of these, but merely John French standing at the counter behind me asking the waiter about the provenance of some of the stranger items on the menu. His curiosity appears to be quickly assuaged and he’s also helpfully advised that some of the starters are ‘actually big enough to be main courses’. I scuttle off back to my table to discover that my own starter has since arrived, a rather delicious Chilli Chicken Livers with Brioche on a bed of Rocket, but decide that this waiter’s catering boast, regarding size, may well have been a little white lie.

The food and the ales, however, are indeed sublime and the place is now beginning to fill up with excited gigsters. Four ol’ guys all come in wearing the same MB tee shirt (the one that’s slightly reminiscent of the With The Beatles sleeve), I’m never quite sure what statement someone’s intending to make by wearing a band tee shirt when they go along to that particular band’s gig. They’re quite obviously a fan, or they wouldn’t be there in the first place, so what does it really mean? (I may possibly pitch this as a future topic for Sir David Attenborough to debate and consider, for a new show)

image

Simon and Lee are two Scousers who are debating whether they’ve got time to eat before ‘show-time’ and ultimately decide to panic-buy some fries. They sit down at the next table with a couple of CD sleeves, obviously earmarked for autograph purposes. Safe as Milk is there, clear to see, however I don’t recognise the other one. Being nosey, I lean over and ask them more about it and it turns out it’s the long awaited Bat Chain Puller. I confess to them that I’m getting a little pissed off at how long my Barfko Swill copy is taking to arrive, having been allegedly despatched three weeks ago. They instead had bought this copy from G&S in Liverpool and got it by return post! I tell them I was really amazed at the size, age and enthusiasm of the Kazimier crowd and they both reckon that Liverpool’s always been a particular Beefheart/Zappa ‘hotspot’ – a theory reinforced recently by no less than Gary Lucas on his website saying that his recent seminar ‘sold out’ two night spot could easily have been five nights!

Turns out one of them ,Lee, is a big Frank fan too, so we discuss the amount of posthumous albums that the ZFT have released, the somewhat slapdash nature of their artwork and their other particular pros & cons.

We both enthuse and drool over FZ’s recent Carnegie Hall CD, how good a recording it is and what a shame it’s only ‘mono’, at this juncture I venture an unsolicited opinion that Aynsley Dunbar was perhaps too heavy handed and bombastic, behind the traps, for this style of music and Lee enthusiastically agrees. I realise just how much of a real nerd conversation this has become, BUT at the same time how much I’m enjoying myself…and the gig still a full hour away yet!image

Finally the doors open and we’re allowed to file in to the performance area. The room itself is what an estate agent might well describe as ‘bijou’. I’m not sure of its history, or original purpose, but I could quite easily imagine Captain Mainwairing putting Pike, Jones and the rest of the crew through their Home Guard paces in here. In fact, the room’s so petite, halfway through the set, some wag nearby shouts ‘How do you like playing in our Village Hall, John?’ It’s tiny, cosy and definitely one of, if not, THE friendliest gigs I’ve ever attended.

The band throughout looked relaxed indeed, and the fact that the houselights stay ‘up’ for the whole show actually helps the atmosphere rather than detracting from it. I now propose a new theory, readers, that JF actually wears those shades to protect his eyes from the gleaming grins of their audiences, rather than any stage-light malarkey.

I get chatting to a small Mancunian who is enjoying himself so much that, by the interval, has decided that he’s going home to attempt to persuade his wife to go along to York, with him, the following evening. I didn’t actually see him at The Duchess the next night, so can only assume he didn’t state his case strongly enough!

I’d have to look at the YouTube clips, to establish exactly when, in the set, it occurred, Hair Pie probably; however on two separate occasions both John and Denny grin, towards each other, at the conclusion of a particularly ‘challenging’ musical manoeuvre and remark “….and they said it couldn’t be done!” Immense ’n’ intense!

The silver haired lady immediately in front of me bears an uncanny resemblance to Margaret Mountford from The Apprentice. She’s loving every minute of tonight’s Troutmask smorgasbord; boogying away with style, swaying back and forth with her hands crossed across her backside. No problem with this at all, except the gig’s so packed, I am then forced to have to stand like a football player, in the wall at a free kick, lest she touches me somewhere that she, me and her ever-so-burly husband might all agree is a tad inappropriate.

After around an hour into a blissful, blistering set, John eventually says something along the lines of “Thanks for taking the time and trouble to come out to see us, we’re now going to towel ourselves down and come out and meet you guys”, and indeed they do; pressing the flesh, signing all sorts of memorabilia as well as posing for snaps galore. I tell Eric I’m looking forward to his big solo in ‘Alice’, a tune which he is really beginning to put his own stamp and personality on.
No pressure!

I also get my picture taken posing with Mark who sniggers at my waxed moustache and remarks he had one like that thirty years ago and may well attempt one again.
image

While pinching myself, because I’m actually once again blethering to THE Rockette Morton, I tell him I got a shock recently when I realised that it was almost forty years ago to the week that I saw him for the very first time (Spotlight Kid Tour, Glasgow Kelvin Hall, April’72) As always, the guy’s an absolute gem of a gentleman and I take the opportunity to present him with a haggis, that I had brought along with me, to entice the much rumoured ‘Autumn Tour’ to come along to Scotland (haggis gifting is a tradition initiated by Kenny Black and myself, back in the Seventies, when we used to go and see Stomu Yamashta)). It takes me, and the chap standing next to me, several attempts to persuade him that it’s actually haggis NOT coffee; I’m still not convinced we succeeded and shudder to imagine what his perculator may now look like!

Apart from the organiser/owner, whose name I’ve now forgotten, but who I thanked profusely and often, I must have chatted to fifteen/sixteen people on the night. What really surprised me was no one seemed to be from Preston.
Sheffield, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester and even Swindon (a distance which impressed me on the night but, on checking since, is exactly the same, to the mile, as Glasgow) but, apparently, no one claiming to possess a Prestonian post code.

The merchandise stall has been going like a fair all evening and the new tee-shirts are flying off the counter big time, I opt for a black logo on a red shirt. Merch-man Mick is a pleasant approachable sort and we briefly discuss, amongst other things, the fleshpots of Largs and how well this tour’s been doing so far.

The band then returns to the stage for the second half, kicking off with an impressive On Tomorrow.
Strictly Personal’s never been my favourite album but this latest configuration of players seems to really bring something new to these particular tunes, Kandy Korn in particular. It stomps!

After the show, while he’s packing up his mikes and harps, I take the opportunity to buttonhole JF and ask if he knows exactly what ZFT have planned for Troutmask, Gail being already on record as saying they intend a “revisit” in 2012. Unfortunately, for me, he knows nothing of what I’m talking about however appears to be slightly intrigued.

I also ask a passing Denny about the likelihood of the two other 2005 shows (that Sundazed, apparently, have up their sleeve) eventually seeing the light of day, he doesn’t seem to know what I’m talking about either. It’s either the Glaswegian accent or the fact I’m an overexcited uber fan asking about future releases rather than those of the past (note to self; consider taking Scots/American translator along to similar, future events)

A final pint of that magnificent Continental Ale and another wee blether with EK at the bar who tells me (I didn’t know this) that he also plays double bass and ‘used to play jazz guitar but due to Magic Band Music, no longer can!’.
Now I’m not quite sure, and meant to ask him, but got sidetracked, whether this is due to subtle changes in finger musculature or perhaps a heavyhanded visit from the Jazz Police. I’m sure he’ll let us know!

And then finally back, late, to the Bed & Breakfast, walking on air after a superb evening of THAT music, good food, great beer and and having imparted my wisdom to the entire band, over the course of Day #1.
York tomorrow……………