Monday, 15 September 2014

15/9/2013 Lounging in Leyton...

An interesting Sunday afternoon in some respects, even if it didn't go according to plan - so what's new? The plan was to go and see some ex-bandmates play in a pub in the East End. These are the same ex-bandmates I went to see at a small local festival elsewhere in East London a couple on months ago - see earlier blog. This is also a sort of festival event, but this time in a pub. Like last time, things didn't go according to plan. The band were supposed to play a two hour set. I arrived a bit late due to it taking about an hour and a half to get there by tube - having to go all the way into the West End and get a train out again. It's not actually that far as the crow flies but it would have taken even longer by bus... If the band had actually played the full two hour set I would have still seen most of it, but due to the rainy weather the organisers had cut their set down to half an hour to make way for a jazz band who were moved indoors from playing in the garden out back. I arrived at the Birkbeck Tavern just after my friends had finished. Some sort of jinx?

Still, as my day out involves around a three hour round trip of travelling I might as well stay around and socialise for a while and enjoy a few drinks - be rude not to really. Actually, the Birkbeck Tavern is rather a nice (if a little shappy) friendly and traditional East End boozer - it still has separate bars - not a feature you still see often these days. A nice selection of real ales at decent prices, although I'm annoyed I cant get into the pub's free Wi-Fi even after being given the password - then later it vanishes completely. I can't say I enjoy the jazz band much. Unlike my friends they get to play two sets as well, as does a drumming duo, although they only play one 'song'. I enjoy that more than the jazz though!

A bit later on some people start arriving who look like they might be musicians. Maybe it's worth sticking around? It is.
The band are called Bang Bang Boogie and they are rather good. As you may gather from the pictures they play rockabilly - with a bit of added washboard to give a skiffle flavour. There are a few familiar songs from the 1950's and the band play them very well. Unfortunately the singer has a throat infection and is suffering a bit - although you wouldn't know it from how her voice sounds - the (Stray Cats style stand-up) drummer takes over vocals for a song or two to give her a rest while she plays drums.
In spite of playing in the cramped confines of a pub with no stage and through a small PA this band have a great sound - very authentic sounding 50's rock 'n' roll.
Bang Bang Boogie certainly make it worth sticking around for another hour or so and I enjoy their two sets. I like the pub itself too, but I doubt I'll be coming back as it takes so long to get there...

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