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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Jam session @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - July 25

Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums) + Kate O'Neill (vocals); Harry Keeble (tenor); Stu Finden (tenor); Fiona Finden (vocals); Richard Herdman (guitar); Jen Errington (vocals); George Sykes (tenor); Dawn Furness (vocals); Kay Usher (violin); John Rowland (tenor)
(Review/photos by Russell).
Late July, schools out, students gone, would anyone turn up? On another warm evening with the door to the conservatory open the house rhythm section - Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger and Abbie Finn - set up then set sail on a relaxed Wave. The sitters-in began to arrive in Brandling Park, some by car, some by Metro, some on foot and that most laid back of tenor players, John Rowland, parked his velocipede outside of the Dun Cow. 
Satin Doll continued the relaxed vein and vocalist Kate O'Neill chose to keep it that way singing I Only Have Eyes for You and a dreamy Night and Day. There needed to be a shakeup/wake up call and tenor player Harry Keeble grabbed Blue Bossa by the scruff and didn't let go. Tremendous playing witnessed by the latest jammer to arrive, George Sykes. Earlier Keeble divulged a trade secret - he soaks his reeds in vodka (small jar, with lid, containing clear liquid and a reed swimming around in it). One wag quipped: I've met plenty of musicians soaked in vodka...Keeble followed up with  Autumn in New York - would we get to hear the four tenors together - Keeble, Sykes, Rowland and Stu Finden?

Fiona Finden joined her other half - tenor man Stu - to sing It Could Happen to You, Jen Errington determinedly joining the party - Come Rain or Come Shine. George Sykes jumped aboard the A Train with fellow traveller, the little-seen (or heard) Richard Herdman taking a seat to play some tasty Gibson guitar chords. 

Operatic Dawn Furness entered from the wings to suggest Let's Face the Music and Dance following up with The Way You Look Tonight. The classical/high arts' vibe continued with the patient - our violinist had been sitting quietly in the conservatory - Kay Usher pointing, metaphorically, to the skies to proclaim Here's That Rainy Day

John 'Not Quite Tour de France' Rowland just about stole the show with a marvellous version of In a Sentimental Mood. And that was it, well, almost. As the Dun Cow audience wanted more, MC Paul Grainger suggested a two-chorus-each contribution from the three tenors (Stu Finden chose to stay at the bar) on a brief but smokin' Straight No Chaser. If only there had been time to stretch out but, hey, Keeble, Sykes and Rowland on the stand together brought the evening to a rousing end. 

A word for the house trio - Stu, Paul and the fabulous Abbie - working nonstop on a humid evening. A job well done. There will be more in a fortnight (August 8) and, take it as read, the house band on that occasion will feature a couple of other names that you really won't want to miss! Such a tease!
Russell

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