Fate plays a funny hand sometimes, doesn't it? Just a little over six months ago, my bassist mate Mick tells me to go switch on the the telly...."Like, now!" he said. So I did, and he said that his girlfriend was going on the TV show "The Voice" as an entrant. Well to start off with.....I didn't even know that he had a girlfriend in the first place! So I did, and was quite knocked out. He's dating her??? Come onnnn, stop pulling my leg I told him.
But it turned out he was indeed telling the truth!
So some time at the end of August or beginning of September, I get a call from Mick again...."What are you doing next Tuesday? Morning?" Told him I didn't have much going until much later that afternoon with students taking up my time until evening. So he asked if I wanted to meet Viki (as we in the band tend to call her). He then added....."Well, I teach at this secondary school, me, Viki and a couple of others are going to perform a few of her songs but we'd like you to play some drums...you can 'pick up' on songs if I showed you, right?" Said it was no probs if they're straightforward.....after all he and I played as a rhythm section in a couple of other funk bands before. But what Mick had in mind was to show her how I can play percussion as well as kit, as it turned out that he had told her and Chris (the sax player in our band), who was also teaching at the same school, that what I can do with percussion would add a particular flavour to the band. So once I met Viki, straightaway we clicked (I even surprised her with my basic grasp of Russian, which really made her totally relax when we performed for the school). So, after that first get-together (Viki on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mick on bass, Chris on sax, myself on drums and some of the bits of percussion I rustled up from the music room, plus one of the teaching staff on piano), Mick informed me that Chris's twin brother Anthony was going to be the drummer, and asked if I wanted to come in and be focussed on percussion. I asked who was going in on keyboards, and when Mick had mentioned that a friend that we played with before, Tom, was coming in on keyboards, I told them to count me in. This was certainly going to be a good line-up.
So these past few months we've done a number of gigs. However, a little while back we kind of realised that we needed someone a little more specialised to add to the group, so Mick also pulled in a mate of his, Evan, on guitar, so that Viki could then just concentrate on her vocals. A few weeks back this new seven-piece line-up did it's first performance at UWS (University of Western Sydney) Kingswood Campus - as Tom, Viki and Mick were finishing their music degrees there.....and Evan had graduated the year before. That night went down really well and Evan felt like he was now a member of a band instead of a ring-in. And so now tomorrow night (Wed 5th December here) we'll be playing together, along with two other artists, at The Vanguard in Newtown, Sydney (which is a pretty good gig to score on the scene here in Sydney, as they host a variety of jazz, blues, funk and roots music performers....the who's who of great Sydney artists)....so this will definitely be a 'feather in the ol' cap' for me!