Very disappointing to see a mere 8 Jammers here this week and just a handful of Listeners to welcome our houseband guests Steve Cook and Mark Sheepwash. The last time we had the pleasure of seeing Steve here at the C&H I'm pretty sure we had a much larger audience way back then and I'm sure it must have surprised him - not that it fazed him, I may add!
For various reasons, Steve had been away from the music scene for quite some time which explains why he had been absent from the C&H for so long, but having bumped into him last August I was mightily pleased to hear that he had recently been re-united with his band (The Hook). Taking on board that piece of good news I had no hesitation in inviting him back to the C&H where he had been so instrumental in our relocation from The Heathcote. I was also more than happy for him to share the limelight with his good friend and bass player Mark Sheepwash therefore allowing me the pleasure of sitting out in front of the stage ro enjoy an excellent opening set from Steve, Mark, John Edmonds and my good friend Clive Nash - the latter deputising for our very own Reg Patten this week and next week.
The much lower-than-average attendance this week did provide us with a silver lining by enabling us to hear six numbers on the opening set rather than the usual five (or even 4 on some occasions), and how nice it was to hear some of Steve's own brand of rocking Blues numbers back here again beginning with "Rich Woman" with that great bass-line from Mark! I did love his rendition of "Spoonful" - all seven minutes of it! Steve's four other numbers were a delight, so much so that my bass-playing fingers were beginning to twitch, but little did I know that Mark Sheepwash had travelled up to London from Woking, and needed to leave early in order to catch the night train home. I therefore had the pleasure of joining Steve Cook for his last two numbers at the end of the night which were "Laundromat Blues" and, dare I say it, "Mustang Sally" - oddly enough, a number that I particularly enjoy playing!
Our thanks to Steve Cook and Mark Sheepwash for two thoroughly enjoyable sets, great support from MC John Edmonds and superb drumming from Clive Nash. Good to see Steve back with us - another guest-spot awaits him in the New Year for sure!
One thing is certain: no matter how low our attendance may be, we are never denied a quality night of Blues jamming. Thankfully we just about had enough vocalists to lead the four jam-sets that were performed this week.
The first belonged to Jan Fielder. She was accompanied by guitarists John Edmonds and Kevin O'Brien, bassist Chris Lafbury and that endangered species - a drummer, in the shape of Vinnie (don't know his surname) who certainly made his presence felt on Clive's drum-kit!
Good to see guitarist/vocalist Dave Richards back here to head the second set with regular guitarist Ray Miller as his sidekick. We took advantage of the houseband's fine rhythm-section by putting Mark Sheepwash and Clive Nash back on stage to join Dave - unfortunately, his "Key To The Highway" wasn't recorded for some unknown reason.
Set three was taken up by that super-cool vocalist Phil Hughes who also brought along his saxophone. I must say how privileged I was to play bass on his set, but we were joined by guitarist Richard Stenhouse and Clive Nash - so how could it possibly failÉapart from a slight confusion as to whether we should play 12 or 16 bar solos on "Sugar-Coated Love"!
For the fourth and final jam-set we made use of MC John Edmonds who also had the privilege of having Phil Hughes playing saxophone on his three numbers, guitarist Ray Miller and bassist Chris Lafbury had second helpings while Clive Nash played his third set.
Despite a near-empty room our enthusiasm wasn't dampened in the least, so our thanks and appreciation to all the musos. Time to call...
The Roll Of Honour:
As usual, there are videos to be seen and heard on the Coach & Horses YouTube channel (below centre) and Ernie King's YouTube channel (below left), and a selection of mp3s will be available to play or download in the Audio Player shortly.
This week's photos are provided by "Queen Bee" Vera while I was feeling somewhat unsteady on my feet! Special thanks to Ernie King for setting out all the equipment and to Richard Stenhouse and Ken Coates for stacking it all away at the end of the night.
I'll be taking another break from the houseband when we'll have the bass-playing talents of Max Edwards guesting. Here's hoping for a far better attendance!
Something For The Weekend:
At The Manor Arms, 150 East India Dock Road, E14 0BP on Saturday 18th November two of our long-lost C&H regulars will be guests of honour with Ronnie Collins' Last Project, said musicians being Tim Hill & Eddie Angel. The fun & games run from 3pm - 6pm, no charge at the door!
Thanking all our Jammers and Listeners,
C+H Blues Jam
C+H Blues Jam