Rockabilly Jamboree

Originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Following on from the last blog entry, The Hare and Hounds (aka The Hairy Hounds) is just round the corner from me and I must have been in it twice in the past 20 years, but never before upstairs. (Last time was to see local soul band The Champions.) Downstairs on Saturday night was an enthusiastic young punk band The Eleven 37s, but upstairs it was the Rockabilly Jamboree! Gorgeous Rusty was on the door and I'd just missed the support band, so I got a pint of Bombardier and settled down for Jailbait, with Andy Roberts. But it wasn't just Jailbait, there was also burlesque! Including a distressed damsel tied to a cactus, the attack of the 50-foot woman, and of course, Stella Starr in full cowgirl gear. Earlier I'd popped down to the opening of Red Mutha on Trafalgar Street where my old clubbing chum Marky Charles of London was playing with his band Gobsausage. They were very exciting, with lots of noise, naughty gimpishy nudity and microphone throwing! True essence of punk. The kids were gobsmacked!




Originally uploaded by fred pipes.

I've lived in Brighton for over 20 years now, but there are still parts of it to discover - Kemp Town, for example. Last night I met my uke chums Foz? and Peter plus Lisa at a pub I'd never been to - 'the home of the blues in Brighton' The Ranelagh Arms, on a little side road called High Street, for a quick pint before repairing round the corner to Bom-Bane's on George Street. Now I'm sure I've been here before when it was something else, but now it's more an art installation than a restaurant (see it to believe it!), and on alternate Tuesdays they have music downstairs, curated by Jane Bom-Bane's son Rudi. It kicked off with a quartet of violin, Rudi himself on mandolin, banjo and a guitarist singing some sweet songs, with co-proprietor Nick Pynn precariously perched on the spiral staircase fiddling, not with his usual instrument, but with the sound mixer. The tiny space was packed but not uncomfortable and took me back to 1969 and the Arts Lab, when troubadors like Roy Harper, Brigid St John and John Martin would stop by. Artistes were seemingly picking from the instruments hanging on the wall (Nick's?) and playing them! Next up were the mandolin and clarinet duo James and Alex who for me were the stars of the night: lovely voices, excellent songs. The first half concluded with Gabriel Byrne who was OK but whose guitar was annoyingly out of tune. As everyone jostled to buy more Belgian beer, two strange figures sat calmly waiting to start the second half: an African warrior with black feather head dress and a dreadlocked chap in glasses with gourd things on their laps. Music was coming from somewhere, but was it a tape? or was it really eminating from those enigmatic globes. No musician movement could be detected! It was Linos Wengara Magaya and Tim Lloyd from Zimbabwe playing Mbiras (thumb pianos) and even though I couldn't understand a word of the vocals the hypnotic sound really communicated a happy atmosphere. Then, the highlight of the evening, a magical unaccompanied duet from Jane and her beautiful barmaid about a journey around Brighton, ending up at - Bom-Bane's. Top of the bill Sam Beer down from London, was, well very top-of-the-bill! He was a pleasant enough chap and a very accomplished guitarist, but the songs were just the slightest bit dull. Carrier pigeon take me home! The audience, most of whom weren't even born when I moved to Brighton, loved him though, and overall it was a top night out for 3 quid, with not one dud on the bill. Must go back there and try the food!