Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The bends.

I spent Sunday and Monday in something of a trance after the jazz festival on Saturday – how lucky can anyone be? Well, I’m hoping for just a little more luck – this week The SkaSouls are playing on both Friday and Saturday which means I can pick and choose my day, depending on how I feel.

Feet don’t fail me now!

Mind you not everyone had such a great time on Saturday. My friend Theo was very patient but it wasn’t his bag at all (old hippy).

And while I was struggling through Clapham Junction station I picked up a new ‘friend’, a rather old fashioned jazz fan – we chatted, and through the day he kept popping up in unlikely places to tell me “It’s not jazz as I know it, it’s more like Rock and Roll”.

Which is a bit odd really, as he was there the whole day – bugging me to the very end. Perhaps he was supplied to keep my feet on the ground, like with the Roman Emperors.

When they were given a ‘Triumph’ – a ceremonial passage through Rome (usually for a military victory) the entire population would turn out cheering and throwing rose petals. That’s enough to turn anyone’s head. As a result, there would be a slave whose job was to stand behind him whispering in his ear; “You are only mortal”, just to remind him. Mind you, it didn’t work very well – look what they did.

Anyway, I went to my Jazz Club at The Red Lion, Isleworth expecting to wind down with a more staid kind of jazz, the kind my Saturday friend would be more at home with.  I was using my club to bring me down slowly from a real high.

I really like Dave Lewis – a great Saxophonist;
Trevor Tomkins was as usual excellent on the drums, while Mike Gorman was brilliant on the organ – the only glitch for me was that having enjoyed a real live Hammond organ a couple of days before, the electronic copy was never going to sound the same. It didn’t.  Jim Mullen was, as usual very proficient on guitar.

You can tell my heart wasn’t in it, rather like a diver who comes up to the surface too fast and has to go into the decompression chamber to avoid the bends. I had to come back down to earth.

But when I got home I was getting out of the car and looked up into the night sky. It wasn’t that clear, there was a bright moon, and yet I just happened to see a very fine shooting star.

You can carefully plan to go out when a meteorite shower is due and never see a good one – then again like Monday you can be lucky, anytime.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


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