The Six in Lots Road in Chelsea (above on a quiet night) is a regular haunt of mine. It's the nearest of the most-nights-or-seven-nights-a-week venues to where I live. It's part of the lifeblood of the London scene. I'm a member. I like the place. Steve Rubie has done, and continues to do immense service to the jazz scene in London. Plus he has remained loyal to some artists for years and years. And the night I had the good fortune to play a full evening there with a very indulgent Malcolm Creese and John Donaldson, it was even quieter than in the picture above.
There's some practical stuff. The club do expect people to have a meal, and the cooking is reasonable value and pretty good. For people who want to talk, noise from the bar area never seems to carry into the jazz room. The club has a silence policy during the sets, but there are sometimes thick-skinned posh Chelsea folk (eg people tell me stories about the socialite types brought in by Frank Walden's sister Celia who is a celeb diarist at the Telegraph...) who don't understand the simple concept...Noun: music. Verb: listen. Mouth: shut. But most people behave.
The last three times I've been there it's been absolutely packed. and the place has special atmosphere when it's full like that. Hamish Stuart packs them in, as does Liane Carroll who was there on March 1st.
The first time you go, the routine with the steel mesh gate and the buzzer to get down into the basement take getting used to....And the line
And beware the rapaciaous traffic wardens who lurk the streets round the club - they have the unfair advantage of unpredictable parking hours to trap you. Double-check where you park.
A few gigs to pick out this Month.
-Dave O'Higgins on tenor this Saturday and again on Friday 13th with Chico Chagas is an irrepresibly energetic man and a fine musician.
-My old mate Miko Giedroyc runs his once-a-month gospel session on Sunday lunchtime 15th with high-energy singers led by Tracey Campbell. Tracey is a unique voice. If Miko was to tell me one day I could only ever hear Tracey Campbell if I travelled to Ulan Bator, I would be checking the MIAT Mongolian Airlines timetable about as fast as Miko could find middle C. (She's actually from Brixton.)
-John Escreet on the 18th as mentioned before in Should all the Brits?
-Gareth Lockrane's FABULOUS new Big Band on 22nd lunchtime. Crammed with superb players . This one I really like the look of.
-Bobby Wellins “one of the most original voices in European Jazz” , now in his seventies and playing better than ever, on the 28th with Liam Noble and the Daves Wickens and Whitford
-Ian Shaw singer/pianist/sometimes subtle (yeah, right) always funny entertaineron Sunday 29th.