Brazilian Party at The Grand

…and a ninja gig in Courtenay Place

The band backstage at The Grand - photo by Deborah HarrisThere’s not much room on-stage at The Grand, and barely any space in front of it either when the crowd is in full-on samba mode, so gigs at this venue are always great fun, highly-charged, very energetic, and a bit of a squash. We were playing at a Brazilian party in honour of Carnival, which was great, because we get to watch a group of pretty enthusiastic dancers at close quarters, grooving on down to our drumming.

After the gig, which seemed to go by in a flash – it’s so easy to play when your audience loves what you’re doing – we headed out onto the street to have a bit of a jam. Having begun by playing outside The Grand, we decided to move on up Courtenay Place to the tripod sculpture, and play there for a little while.

It’s interesting playing Courtenay Place on a Saturday night.

We began by playing in a circle, facing inwards. One by one, a few brave (and probably a bit drunk) souls broke through the ring of drummers and began dancing in the centre of the circle. When the number of dancers became too great for the circle to hold, we moved into formation instead. At one point we broke ranks and mixed ourselves up with our audience. It’s a very wonderful experience to be playing one-on-one with a bunch of people who are really loving what you’re doing, and who are interacting with and responding to the rhythms you’re creating.

Having re-formed our group into rows once again, we continued playing for a while to a very enthusiastic crowd who had somehow morphed from drunken rowdies into mellow dance party kids – complete with a couple of cops looking on in a friendly manner from the sidelines, just to make sure we were all behaving ourselves. It was very cool.

What was not quite so cool was that we later found out that our playing – which we’d thought had been not noticeably louder than your general ambient rowdiness of Courtenay Place on a Saturday night – was quite a bit louder than that, and had kept some people awake somewhere nearby. We’re very sorry about that, and we’ll try very hard not to let that happen again.

Photo gallery

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