Gerry and The Pacemakers

Gerry and the Boys @ The Phoenix, Wednesday 28th Oct, 2009
Bic Parker, Special Correspondent

After yet another beaut Spring day, I sat waiting for a bus in pouring rain, wondering whether it was really worth going out. The rain stopped, the bus did not come and I walked into town to the Phoenix. I decided to take a philosophical approach to everything and anything and someone up there must have been thinking of me. I walked into the Pheno. A small crowd of enthusiasts were gathered as they do (and why not?). I could hear some seductive jazz and I caught a glimpse of a really shiny tenor saxophone, a beautiful instrument itself. I ordered a cup of jazz (coffee) and pushed my way to the front just so I could sit down in comfort.

There were a few older bearded blokes across from me who I reasoned must have been friends with the double bass player as he was an older gentleman himself, at least seventy. And I was right.

His name was Gerry. Then it dawned on me. I was watching a legend (he used to play with Johnny O’Keefe according to  a bloke at the bar), within the Australian music scene, a pioneer. I was enthralled. These blokes, who also comprised an acoustic jazz guitarist, a trad kit drummer and a poet for a front man, were really hot. Initially, to the untrained observer, one might think these blokes were novices, but the more I watched and listened, the more I could see this had been practised before.

The front man, Brian henman (I hope that is right)(Ed – Hincksman) who looks as if he was out of Wayne’s World and orated in a similar fashion to that dude off Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Ed – Raymond J Bartholomew) seemed to bring the whole performance together with his presence, giving them purpose.

A really good night (who does not like jazz). I was in a great mood thanks to the breezy style of music, very laid back, very cool. In four years I have never heard this combo although they have been spoken of in some esteemed music circles and I have heard the stories. I thought that they had stopped doing their stuff. As it turned out they are still cutting the mustard and nailing it down.

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