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"At the roundabout, take the third exit ..."

Our SatNavs were recently on Full Alert as we gradually traced our respective routes to five consecutive gigs from Sherborne to Gussage to Great Bookham to Bridport to Bournemouth ... hopefully, roughly in that order ...

It's been said that all bands play a venue at least twice - once on their way up, and again on their way down ... given our frequent appearances at Cheap Street Church in Sherborne - not to mention that our most recent CD was recorded there - we're wondering where we stand in the 'rise and fall' stakes! Hopefully, we'll manage a few more concerts here yet, as it's a wonderful venue with a great acoustic and terrific audiences, and Raymond and his team always make us very welcome. We managed to redeem ourselves this time by fulfilling what is essentially a Royal Command - a boogie piano duet, which somehow didn't happen on our last visit ... phew!

Mike announced that this was the band's nineteenth appearance at the annual Jazz Supper in the delightful village of Gussage All Saints ... this could not be independently verified, as only Pete Ward has been in the band that long, and he could hardly remember playing last night, let alone nineteen years ago, as he was feeling a bit old and tired. As always, the cheerful villagers of Gussage gave us a great reception, and - a rare treat on gigs - a sumptuous sit-down meal (including the most succulent sausages produced by the local butcher who was actually in the audience!) with a positive plethora of all too tempting desserts ... belts had to be considerably loosened for our second set ...

A few hours and a hundred or so miles later found us once more at The Old Barn in Great Bookham for another lunchtime session in front of a fabulous home crowd led by the ever-energetic Mick, and boasting some of the best dancers on the circuit ... it's always great to play here, and our particular approach to the music - acoustic performance, and an eclectic mix of numbers with plenty of rarely-played gems - seems to find favour with one and all ... thankfully! We'll see you all again early in 2019 - thanks for inviting us!

Monday night at the Ropemakers in Bridport was, as always, like home from home. It's where we play most often, and it's always great to receive such a cheerful welcome from both sides of the bar and to see all our smiling 'regulars', who are so tolerant when we risk trying out some brand new number or other! It was also great to welcome back Ali Whiting, who once again was in fine fettle on violin and vocal (not simultaneously, though perhaps next time ...)

The fifth gig in our 'mini-tour' was at one of John Shillito's excellent residential jazz events - this time at the Queen's Hotel in Bournemouth. Last time we played for John and his jazz-loving guests he introduced us as playing 'lots of [pregnant pause] - er - interesting numbers' ... we weren't quite sure what to make of that, but we think he quite likes us, because he keeps inviting us back! He also attracts some wonderful folk to his events, who clearly know their jazz and even share his liking for - er - interesting numbers! Thanks, John!

Phew! ... Yawn! ...

"Time for bed!", said Zebedee ...


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