Monday, 5 September 2005

The Big Jam Session Last Saturday

OK, so my reputation as a raving ego-maniac stage whore was cemented if nothing else.

It was mostly to the good. I was, undoubtably, just a little too much full-on for the early part of the Jam but my justification was I wanted to get the crowd interested. I ripped off the Hayseed Dixies' "Do you like Bush?" intro to nobody's amusement but my own, though I think one or two at the back got it.

I had a fairly good crack at Muddy Waters' "Nineteen Years Old" when a slow blues was played. I was, mostly, restrained and when the two verses had run there course Peter got up and did something else instead, so that saved me running through all the other slow blues I could remember. I know Jam Session are supposed to be semi-endless noodling, but sometimes I'd be happy with "verse, solo, verse, end" as a structure and leave it at that. Which is why my best moment was, again, Dead Drunk and Naked. I start, I sing, I make my point and stop. This time it had a decent build up as more band filtered in during the song. Actually the unfortuate thing here was I had nothing to follow it up with. I quite fancied Mr. Bad Example, but I didn't think I my time-keeping would hold through all of that, so the mood kind of fizzled while the band found something else to play.

I did manage a sly version of Jacques Brel's Next, later, to a tango, apparently it worked.

A Djembe player, Lamin, turned up for the first time so there were quite a few extendend percussion based work outs. These made a change from the usual jazz, blues, rock 'n' roll template and were a crowd favourite, I think. I also seem to remember I snuck my way in for some of that, too, with some Bo Diddley and Woody Guthrie's Hoodoo Voodoo plus, if I remember correctly, a verse of Living for The City.

Trouble, normally an easy song to blast through, flopped and died quite horribly, though. Again "verse solo verse solo end" would have suited it but it was just flabby all round and never really took off in the way that it can. I may have to retire it for a bit (like it's cousin Hootchie Cootchie Man) until I feel it can be brought back with some dignity.

One last highlight late on was Klaus, the night's main drummer, playing Suzie Q on guitar while Peter did Set Them Free over it and I added wild-man backing vocals. At some point I started doing Papa Was A Rolling Stone which was a slightly odd choice, but fun never-the-less. A nice capper, really.

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