On Monday night we saw the Denise Lawrence Band
at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking. Unlike many jazz fans, we always enjoy this band and we have CDs of the full band and of Tony Lawrence playing solo piano.
We arrived to find all the furniture cleared from the playing area except for two heavy sofas where the rhythm section sit. It transpired that Dominant Denise had telephoned the equally dominant Joyce at the Cricks asking for more room for the band and this was the result. Drummer Pete Littleproud and I defied them both with some furniture rearrangement that put Selina and myself in prime position. Only regulars could get away with that !
A reader of this weblog had e-mailed to ask if reed player Mike Atterbury was his friend from RAF Weston Zoyland many years ago. Mike sat with us throughout the first break and confirmed 'he was that man'. Denise gave him special dispensation to continue talking to us throughout the first number of the next set. It was 'What a Wonderful World', which he does not like playing anyway. Mike lives in Horsell and sang his own composition 'Woking Man's Blues'.
Then jazz evening organiser Dave Lowe lit candles on a birthday cake right under the smoke alarm and set a bell ringing for the next 30 minutes. The band had to play over it as well as over the hubbub from various groups of noisy people. Denise produced some caustic comments on the fact that both are typical of her gigs.
It was an eventful evening !