Saturday, March 27, 1982

Visions of Claire

I spent the morning tidying my bedroom up and reading the opening pages of Maggie Cassidy: Kerouac’s description of he and his teenage friends in the snow and streets of Lowell is really good.

During the afternoon I went with Dad to Moxthorpe Library and got out K.’s Visions Of Cody and The Buddhist Way of Life by Christmas Humphreys and also bought two paperbacks at a newly opened 2nd hand bookshop on Beatrice Avenue: Zen Buddhism and Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. For some reason I felt really despondent and frustrated, as if I wanted to be somewhere, buy something, but didn’t know what or even where.

I caught a fleeting glimpse of Claire who was with her sister and John Jackson in a van; they were broadcasting with their CB and people kept looking round in the street, wondering where the voices were coming from. I didn’t realise it was them at first, but as I ran over I was glad to see ‘em.

At six-thirty I left for the second night of jazz. I bought Grant a ticket for tomorrow night and watched Emergency Entrance briefly in Simmonds Hall before taking my seat for Cayenne, a nine-piece latin-jazz band, who were quite enjoyable if somewhat bland and predictable. They’d done away with Crimplene Trousers.

During the interval I saw Ms Hirst and man-friend and also Colin Baron and Adrian Barlow.

Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia took ages to come on but when they did it was good jazz-rock,  Ms. Thompson herself quietly seated out front with her sax, playing occasionally until she walked completely off stage, returning for a brief and unenthusiastic blow at the horn and looking really subdued. After a few numbers, drummer Jon Hiseman came to the mike to explain that Babs wasn’t feeling too well, “she has gastric flu and can hardly walk and she may not be able to carry on . . .” Shocked subdued mumbling from the audience but Hiseman said they were willing to “fake it through” without her, to enthusiastic applause.

Ironically, I enjoyed their set after this point immensely. There was just Hiseman with a bassist, keyboardist and a violinist, but they seemed to play with renewed energy and excitement, the violinist especially sending spectacular screeches, descending and ascending wails, and stuttering rapid-bow-burst fire tearing from the violin.

The best bit was “Temple Song” with an obvious Indian feel (shades of the Mahavishnu Orchestra!) and the violinist gave a wrenching, twisting solo performance before Hiseman launched into an amazing, incredible blistering quarter-of-an-hour long drum solo that burst, rolled, shuddered, crashed, and flowed. Blat! Blam! Blat!

This got a reception that was nothing less than ecstatic, an explosion of congratulatory demands for “more!” and endless clapping that finally faded as the lights came up and the crowds began to disperse.

I stayed awhile, savouring the atmosphere, and listening again to Emergency Entrance with Colin Baron and Barlow.

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