Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sarah, Sarah, Sitting in a Shoe Shine Shop

I have been to see Ben Waters. He is an exponent of the boogie-woogie piano (he was the entertainment at Jools Holland's wedding if that puts him into context), and I confess I was feeling a certain trepidation at the thought of sitting through two hours' worth of eight to the bar and walking blues bass lines, accompanied no doubt by out of time handclapping from the audience. I was however, more than pleasantly surprised, because Waters mixed up the musical styles with plenty of rock & roll, plus some less expected covers such as the Kinks, the Beatles and ABBA. On top of which he was an amusing and entertaining raconteur. I was aware that he had connections with the Rolling Stones and he had several anecdotes about the various band members; although to be honest if you can't make something funny out of material like Jagger and Richards then you're in the wrong business.

He also told a number of stories about his mentor, the man who, himself steeped in the traditions, passed on the tricks of this particular piano style (and incidentally taught Waters very well because I had a good view of the keys and his hands were an absolute blur as he played). Given that this is a type of music that originated in New Orleans a century and more ago you can imagine the sort of mental image I had as he spoke. All of which proves that one should never jump to conclusions because the chap in question turned out to hail from Ilkley, and furthermore was sitting in the audience. Thus it was that a sprightly Yorkshire pensioner took to the stage, banged out a few numbers and regaled the audience with his own yarns about playing with Fats Domino, Dr John and the like; although sadly not Professor Longhair, perhaps that would have been too much to ask for. It's a funny old world.

One expectation that wasn't dashed - the audience clapped completely out of time all the way through.

We need some music at this point. Here's something from Fats Domino that speaks to me for some reason:

No comments:

Post a Comment