9 Below Zero, Charlie Austin – The Brudenell – 26/05/18

Do we roll? Yes we do! The Brudenell tonight ticked every box for what you’d want from a Social Club. A warm summer(ish) night with folks outside soaking up the sun, we walked passed the old room where ‘Sloth Hammer’ were thrash-metal-grunting away, the European Cup final was on bar area and in the ‘new’ room, top R&B funsters, 9 Below Zero.

First up was Charlie Austin who accompanied herself on guitar and ukulele to great effect – she has a beautiful voice and joined the band for most of their set.

9 Below Zero are one of those bands that I was aware of but had never heard until Gideon Coe played a live session by them a few years ago – I remember listening to it thinking ‘This is ace! Why haven’t I got anything by them?’ – their 1980 ‘Live at the Marquee’ LP captures them in their full glory – right up there with Dr Feelgoods ‘Stupidity’. Tonight they didn’t quite have the same energy (well, it is nearly 40 years later) but there was some amazing musicianship on display – Loved Dennis’ guitar solos, Mark on harmonica was amazing, the sax player did a fantastic solo whilst doing a walkabout in the crowd – everyone was top notch…..made me want to pick up a harmonica and play the blues….

Another great bit of the Brudenell is the games room which was buzzing post gig. Sledge and I sat down with a beer – chatting to folks about this and that – watching this guy play snooker who was beating all comers. He was wearing headphones which I assumed were to cancel out noise so he could concentrate….but there was a blue flashing light on them “He must be listening to something”…..before we left I had to ask him – He grinned at me and put them onto my head – “Watch my phone while I go to the loo” – the LOUDEST Soca music you can imagine was blaring out – what a guy! What a place……God bless the Brudenell xx

Bob the Chiropodist


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