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Thelonious Funk

The chaotic-but-groovy jazz combo I’ve played with for the last three of four years, Thelonious Punk, has sort of morphed into a really loose, funky function-band with the addition of a couple of vocalists over the last year or two.

We spent New Year’s Eve playing in a strange drinking dive full of punks, drunks, goths, jocks, old geezers, and one guy who was the double of Frasier from the TV series; there was also a totally bald-headed guy with neck tattoos, massive studded boots and an ankle-length leather greatcoat who I sort of christened Lord Morgoth.

Of course, for at least two good reasons I can think of, the real Morgoth was never actually christened.

The band sounded great around midnight but the quality of the sound degraded in direct relation to the flow of alcohol so that by 3.30 am the drummer, Special K, had fallen over his kit while singing Old MacDonald and the Frasier-alike had taken over on ‘scat’ vocals.

By 4am I’d packed away my tenor, hitched a ride in Pistol Pete’s car, leaving the remnants of the band – K, The Count and Frankie – still playing. They reminded me of the jug band in Disney’s The Aristocats, who make such a racket they come crashing through the ceiling, still bashing out a tune.

I think they’re probably still playing now.

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