It was Remembrance Sunday and Barbara had a Last Post to play in the morning. Walking to Shepherd’s Bush station with my guitar and cavaquinho, I stopped to watch the remembrance parade. There was a brass band to my right and a bagpiper to my left and I wished one of them would stop. To avoid offence I won’t say which one.
One of the things we try to remember to bring to Chico Chica gigs is a metal camera case which we call the shop. There are three items we sell: Mélangerie, our first CD, The Glow of Havana, a 10” vinyl release and a piano book written by Barbara Snow called Animal Jazz . This book, published by Edition HH, sells surprisingly well. After all, piano players are less numerous than listeners so one would expect this to be too niche.
There’s something compelling about an article consisting of ‘do’s and don’ts’. A couple of years ago, I saw one about online dating and being a complete sucker with too much time on his hands, I clicked it. The reader was told not to describe himself as a ‘nice guy with an edge’, presumably because the phrase was too common and it’s important to stand out. The phrase gave me the idea of a setting a fictionalised online dating profile to music. The result is Nice Guy With an Edge, track three of Chico Chica’s album The Glow of Havana released earlier in the year.
Song of the Week is not really a feature on this blog but I make an exception in this case because this week I have been learning, playing and thinking about funk/soul classic If I Ever Lose This Heaven by the Average White Band.
People constituting an organisation are apt to give themselves pompous titles. Well a band is an organisation so there’s no reason we can’t join in the fun.
My role in Chico Chica is a combination of Project Manager or Artistic Director and the other band members are happy to indulge my deluded vanity. It’s generally down to me to push the band forward – booking recording and live dates. But I also do fun stuff like choosing the setlist and this, crucially, defines the band’s character and direction. And there’s the small matter of writing words so in publicity blurb I’m usually referred to as the lyricist.