Wine, Winning & Song

As a stickler for adhering to old wife’s advocacies, GJ Strachan faced an (admittedly small) conundrum yesterday afternoon. This infinitesimal poser manifesting during discussions with a friend about 1970’s UK punk band The Sex Pistols. The episode playing out when I was questioned about the title of their only studio recorded album.

Although acutely aware this iconic punk collection was labelled ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’, as I was always taught by my well-meaning parents to follow the adage ‘Never say never’, I was torn between sharing that knowledge with my buddy.

Eventually, though, deeming it unlikely orating the record’s first word would afford me foul serendipity, I revealed the title of John Rotten and his anarchic cabal’s collection of musical malcontent to my buddy…… Five minutes later I tripped over the dog, in the process spilling my lunch and bruising my ego.

Yesterday evening I’d a trip over to Liverpool with my fragrant chum Sarah for an evening of horse racing and live outdoor musical entertainment. The latter gifts to the ear (and dancing feet) upbeat creations of grammy award winning writer/producer Nile Rodgers and band Chic.

Feel good music that time never ages, played by accomplished performers from Rodgers on guitar (and lead yowsaherer), singers Kimberly Davies/Audrey Martells, drummer Ralph Rolle, bassist Jerry Barnes, keyboard player Richard Hilton, along with an accomplished brass section.

The power exuded from Kimberly Davies’ voice was of such velocity it must’ve exposed Aintree racecourse windows to shatter jeopardy. Particularly during the concluding vocals of the refrains ‘I Want Your Love’ and ‘We Are Family’. During the band introduction at the end of the gig, Nile Rodger’s revealed to an upbeat audience Ms Davies, who also pursued a solo career, recently had two number 1’s…… I’m no doctor but that sounds like a water infection to me.

Audrey Martells’ voice is gentler, but no less integral to the synergy of the group’s sound. Her hand shapes performed with the linear grace and elegance of late French mime artist Marcel Marceau. Her seemingly constant smile, even when she sings, overtly displaying the joy this gig bestows her…… Unlike Kimberley Davies, her regularity of passing water wasn’t touched upon by Mr Rodgers.

Ralph Rolle provided a drumming masterclass throughout. As a rotund, exuberant, black man the drummer, he’s as visually unlike David Bowie as you could possibly get. However, he provided the vocals on a splendid cover of the late Londoner’s hit ‘Lets Dance’ (the original produced by Rodgers in the 1980’s). I doubt Rolle has a future as a Bowie tribute act, but I’m sure the quality of his drumming will ensure he’s never out of work.

Jerry Barnes’ bass line underpins each of Nile Rodger’s upbeat disco riffs. Producing a bass sound as smooth as a Gregory Porter vocal or a pint of porter beer (stout). His mid-song ‘jam offs’ with Mr R one of many highlights of this splendid evenings entertainment.

With Sarah and me picking four winners during the seven races which proceeded the Chic clambake, it was a fabulous night of wine, winning and song. The only downside being despite picking all four runners in one race we still didn’t pick that particular chase’s winning…. Although, I might have dreamt that bit!

An evening of wine, women and song

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