Last night Eastern Straynotes, found themselves playing for a wedding deep in rural Norfolk. We had a wonderful evening. Either we were very good or the guests were very game but we had them dancing from the first number right through to the end of the final set. I will never think of 'Petite Fleur' in the same way again: we performed it as a very upbeat and rousing tango.
Of course it may have had something to do with our special guest star, Colin Brady, who came along to play drums. A rare gap in the Lee Vasey Band's calender meant he was free for the evening. With versatile use of a small kit he added colour, depth and extra texture to our unique mix of swing, klezmer and the like. I hope it isn't too long before we can play together again.
We also had Paul back on double bass, having missed the last two gigs, and it was clear how much we have gelled as a band since he joined us in November. I am already looking forward to our next gig.
One of the most satisfying aspects of being in Eastern Straynotes is playing music that appeals to so many people of all ages. It reminds the older folk of their youth while the younger crowd recognise a music that was, after all, originally written for the young.
Perhaps the greatest accolade of the evening was being asked if we would travel to north London to play klezmer for a fortieth birthday party next year. And that was a serious enquiry made before the champagne toast!