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Bude Jazz Festival 2018

It's great to see the Bude Festival easing itself gently into its fourth decade - long may it continue! - and we speculated among ourselves as to how many festival appearances - with this band and with others - must have been made by current members of the band ... too many to count was the consensus! Unlike our previous visit to this fine venue (in early June this year) when this Blogger was waxing lyrical about the excellence of the Falcon Hotel as a jazz club venue, and about the impressive standard of dancing on a club night, we faced on this occasion not the energetic and youthful Bude dancing crowd but a packed house - all seated! - of doubtless knowledgeable and discerning jazz fans ... itchy feet there may have been, but the opening session of the Festival was strictly a listening affair, so we had to be on our best behaviour and lay off the banter during Mr Denham's scholarly lecturettes between numbers, for fear of retribution during the post-gig debriefing.

As often happens at Festivals, we had a welcome chance to catch up with quite a few fans of the band that we hadn't seen for ages, plus some new faces who actually seemed to like us ... life's full of surprises! We even signed a clutch of CDs for eager purchasers, so the official band pen - kindly loaned for the occasion by our Illustrious Leader - was working overtime. It was good to hear how our preference for little or no amplification met with audience approval - we usually only use it for Hamish's vocals and Mike's learned introductions - and that folk appreciated the fact that our repertoire aims to be a bit different, in that we try to avoid the standard 'in-your-face-trad-numbers' in favour of rarely played and/or less well known tunes ... fortunately for us, numbers like Morton's Smokehouse Blues and Georgia Swing, Bechet's Egyptian Fantasy, the ODJB's Livery Stable Blues, and Keppard's Stockyard Strut all received particularly appreciative comments - we thank you, music lovers! As for Steve Graham's virtuoso kazoo chorus on When Erastus Plays His Old Kazoo - as George Melly once said of a rival singer : "Magnificent is not the word!" ...


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