Tuesday, October 24, 2006


A late breakfast (we persuaded the girls at the Liffy Valley hotel to make a special late musician breakfast) then the ferry and driving home, through wales and down. So a short tour of Ireland but we have driven over 1460 miles since leaving home! Next time we'll make a longer tour and stick more gigs/towns in between.


Today we drove like madmen from Kinsale down to Dublin where we played at the ARC Cafe. This is another of Declan's many establishments and amoung the revellers were friends from the music biz and Brenda with some of the local swing dancers. Our last gig on this short but long (in miles) Irish tour and it was another wild one and the swingers found some space to dance and became quite an attraction. Sax player Dereck O'Conner was there with most of his family and very friendly they were too - nice to meet you all!


The next leg of our triangular tour of Ireland was an eight hour drive from Derry down to Kinsale, near Cork. A very nice drive though, small roads and through the beautiful green countryside - I guess the Romans never got this far so there are few big long straight roads.

We arrived in Kinsale about 8.00pm for the Gourmet festival to find people had been walking around the town eating and drinking since about 11.00 this morning so we hoped they'd all still be going at 11.30pm when our first set was to commence. Of course always up for the craic they were dancing till late and the show went great after an intro from Billy Crosbie who organized the whole thing (after a jam with Vince, the professor, on the piano in the bar - Billy plays piano too as well as being the king of Kinsale).


The first gig on our 3 day extenisve tour of Ireland is a return to Derry where we play every May for the jazz festival. This is our first return in between festivals and the show was sold out the day the tickets went on sale, a good sign. The gigs in Derry are always great and this was no exception with many of our freinds showing up - Derry is still one of the friendliest we have ever been! And speaking of friends, good mate and local sax hero Gay McIntire popped in and stole part of the show getting up and playing on "All of Me" and "Summertime" and returning for a jam on the second encore. We know some people couldn't get in to see us as it was a full house so next time we'll have to play two nights. See you all at the jazz festival!


Today is the Riverfront Jazz Festival in Greenwich and we played on a boat sailing down the Thames. George and the Roaring Forties band members were again amoung our auspicious guests. The Essex girls were there and loud as usual (plus a girl who is "definitely" from Kent and "definitely" not from essex at all). Loads of people were packed onto the boat and away we went. Unfortunately I saw a couple who ran onto the dock waving tickets and the boat crew couldn't turn around and go and get them - if you are reading this send us an e mail and we'll get you into another gig to make up for the awful loss and emotional distress.

The gig went well with everyone who couldn't jive already getting a quick lesson from Ceroc Greenwich Dan.

On the way home we popped to Black Heath Village where festival organizer Dave Silk was gigging with female vocalist Emma (who strangely enough was also from Essex!) and John, Pete and Vince got up for an immortal and legendary jam session.


Brighton Jive tonight and its the R and B Revue with ourselves playing and Oo Bop Sh'Bam opening the night. We had the great Laura Blake sing a wee set with us including "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean". A very nice night put on by Colin and Janeka, very professionally organized (and, most importantly, loads of tea, coffee and biscuits in the dressing rooms). The Teenybopper also gave a great performance to kick the night off.

Earlier in the day we met Stinky from the Cockney Rejects in Hastings, they're still touring and he just wrote a book, for those of you who remember the early days of punk. We wre doing an anti drug event there and he is anti drug himself - I guess many mucisians see the sad endings of friends and realize the harm drugs do.


We flew to Cork in Ireland for a one night only gig at a new posh venue called Soho. They fed us extremely well with beautiful steaks etc (the way to a musician's heart is usually through the stomache - take note event organizers and bookers - you feel good afterwards and you are sort of obliged to give a good performance in exchange for scrumptious grub!!).

Anyway, as we always try to give great performance this had to be special. And it was, although not exactly by plan. The stage in Soho is about 15 feet in the air so for the 600 or so punters stuffed just into the downstairs area it looks like the band are on a TV screen and for the band it is a bit far away to communicate with the audience. So I jumped down onto the bar to sing "Oh Marie" to an Irish gal, as usual, and just stayed on the bar. Got JOhn and Al (sax and bone) to jump up on the bar too and we did the whole two hours show bar-walking the length of the club with barmaids serving drinks between our legs. Luckily the Irish being always up for some fun, the gig ended up wild and woolly and very memorable.

The Roaring Forties chaps were there for the craic and of course this has all been added to anuls of history by noted writer "Pure Cork Boy" and "Donal" on thier blogs and Flikr sites - the former who like most historians of note, wasn't actually there.