This Week’s Shows 9.12.21

It’s been a busy week with three very different bookings…actually I should be getting ready to go to a fourth in Eccles at the moment but I had a last minute cancellation so here I am. On Wednesday, I played a corporate fundraiser for a mental health charity at the storied Midland Hotel. According to legend, and US intelligence reports, the Midland Hotel was coveted by Hitler as his would-be HQ once he had taken over the UK. Because of this, the area around the Midland wasn’t bombed very heavily because they didn’t want to risk damaging Hitler’s favorite building and as a result Manchester has some really fabulous architecture. It’s also the place where the Rolls dude met the Royce dude, leading to the creation of Rolls-Royce. I believe the saying is, you drive a Bentley, you’re driven in a Rolls-Royce. Finally, the Beatles were famously denied entry to the French restaurant at the Midland for being underdressed. Enough with the history lesson…

Anyway, the gig was a quartet, with myself on clarinet, two guitars, and a bass. It was kind of a hybrid ensemble of my new band and some old and new faces. Joing Jim and I from the new venture were Matthew (Gypsies of Bohemia) and a new-to-me bass player named Tim. It was a great group and we sifted through Jim’s arrangements with ease. The gig was the typical midweek corporate thing where the people are there to have their two drinks, listen to the CEO’s speech and GTFO, but we had a good time playing anyway.

The second gig of the week was sort of the polar opposite. The full band played at a small club in Macclesfield called Mash. It was a tiny cave-like listening room where people were all seated facing the band, listening intensely and responding to solos and alike, which was super fun. Jane and I drive through Macclesfield pretty often on the way to her Mom’s house but never thought there was any reason to stop. Now I know better.

The third gig of the week was a garden party played under my alter-ego, EDDA. While it may have been stretching the limits of what I would consider summer, I realise the standards are very different here in the Northwest of England. It’s been a little while since I’ve had my saxophone out on a gig with all of the clarinet playing I’ve been doing so it was fun to focus on that for a bit. It was also a nice change of pace to be playing over very modern beats after being so heavily focused on music nearly 100 years old with the band!