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This blog site includes news on latest wines, food, events, offers and happenings at artisan & vine. It also includes stories of my wine adventures in and outside the bar, wine facts and wine profiles.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Live jazz, tense anticipation

At 6:45pm last night we had a buzzy bar but my heart was in my throat and all I heard was silence. I was waiting for the new sax man. Where was he? He was meant to start playing live at 7pm! I had updated my little A-Board outside and sent out my facebook invite and website calendar update & he wasn't there!

Every Thursday night at artisan&vine we feature live local jazz acts; entry is free. I have a few performers I've really come to like and we use them over & again. I still always want to keep things fresh though so last night I wanted to try a new solo saxaphone player. We've had some 'special' experiences with musicians over the last months and every minute that ticked towards 7pm without a musician made me more & more nervous. You'd think I would have become immune by now but I haven't. I always think: even if this was my 116th night in artisan&vine, I knew from looking around that for a lot of customers in the bar that night, this would be their first experience of the bar... I wanted to make sure it was great.

I ran through the scenarios: 1. he doesn't show at all; 2. he shows and plays awful; 3. he shows and does something inappropriate; 4. anything else? Please don't be able to think of anything worse. (A too easily distracted crevice of my brain remarked the speed with which the human mind can formulate a series of potential tragedies). Why do I try new music? Why do I try? Of course I'd seen his MySpace site but what could I tell from that?!

We sell two more bottles of THAT South African Sauvignon Blanc (yes, it is delicious and unusually tropical for a Sauv Blanc, I love it too!) and a couple of pints of draught beer, hurrah, the new draught beer installation is working!


In walks sax man! Like a mother that finally finds her runaway toddler in a busy supermarket, I'm too happy to see him to be mad he wasn't already there!

What were my worries? Graeme Airth, our new resident sax player, was fantastic! We had rave reviews from everyone there. A great balance of smooth sound with good tempo. Later I discovered that Graeme used to play with "Curiosity Killed the Cat", which Paula was impressed by... sorry... my lack of living in the UK in the 80's has that one a little lost on me... so it appears we had some celebrity in the bar too!

I thought Graeme was wonderful and have booked him again for a fortnight's time. So, if you'd like to enjoy some sure fire excellent live saxaphone at artisan&vine, stop by on Thursday, 27 November. If you want to check out his MySpace site in the meantime, it's: http://www.myspace.com/gripperg

Next Thursday, 20 November, we feature another of my favourite acts at artisan&vine, "Night & Day Jazz", with Amanda doing smooth vocals and Jonathan on keyboard.
In artisan&vine last night: in addition to Graeme and his entourage, an ex-colleague of mine, Rehana, came by with a group of friends. How surreal it was to actually be in the bar we'd been fantasising about just a year ago in the BP staff cafeteria!
Popular buys last night: 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Reyneke Vineyard, Stellenbosch. Wonderful tropical notes with a crisp, fresh palate. Everything you'd hope from a Sauvignon Blanc and then some. We sell for £12.20/bottle to take home.

Picture: there are few things in life better than sitting on our cozy sofas, drinking sensational wine listening to great live jazz.

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