This week I have been hanging out with Jeff Kaiser of pfMentum records from LA he's here with Andrew Pask the Kiwi saxophonist who lives in LA.Tonight we went to to the Sussex.Its the venue for Hugh Metcalfe's Klinker club.The improv enclave in Islington.According to the info on the internet Tonight should of belonged to a group called The Gathering which is an improv ensemble organised by the vocalist Maggie Nichols.We arrived thinking they would be in full flow instead we were greeted by the upstairs bar being packed with people watching a large screen Tv,The fooball was on.England were playing Denmark in a friendly match.As this was the first time I was going to the Klinker I didn't Know what to expect.Especially as when we stepped in it resembled a wild west cowboy type bar.Everyone gave us strange looks as we arrived with cases etd,so we backed out of there fast.It really looked like the session was cancelled or happening some place else .So we then called various musicians to check if this was really the place,
Everyone said the same thing "I have been once it was really hard to find,its a strange vibe."but were all very helpful. I then followed some instructions to another place were there were 4 different pubs just in case this was the wrong pub.As one person had said there were 3 Sussex pubs.unfortunately none of them was called the Sussex.The mobile was ringing with lots of vague hints and tips from people,but no one had a definite location,until Stefano Tedesco the vibes player called with definite directions.this led us in a circle back to were we first started.By this time the football was finished and a new clientele was seated drinking.
This time we could approach the bar and found a friendly face.She told us that last week only 1 musician had turned up, so there was a chance that thought nobody would turn up this week, especially as its in the middle of August, which is normally their quite period.we waited around the bar for 45 minutes to see if anyone would come in.Nobody did,So we Then decided to go down to the performance space ourselves and play anyway.
We ended up playing a duet for about 45 mins,Pans and Trumpet. In the Klinkers stark space There were definitely Some interesting moments and some real good stuff came out of it. Jeff plays well and really knows his instrument, so it was a real pleasure.We then left to get back to home, hotels etc. Its definitey lthe first time I've played in a venue with no audience.Maybe thats another new scene.The No Audience,empty room movement.Who knows it could catch on.It should be a good gig tomorrow at the Red Rose.