Friday, 27 April 2018

The Midnight Runner

I played a golf match this week and it turned out one of our opponents, who I'll call Barry, played the saxophone together with a bit of clarinet and other wind instruments. He'd had a career teaching music, mainly peripatetically as he has also got in quite a few gigs over several decades. His current gig, which he's been doing for six years? Dexy's Midnight Runners!

This was a little bit of a surprise as Barry didn't look the fittest of chaps and he did admit that standing through a long gig was the toughest part. However, he clearly had a strong pair of lungs. Not long ago he had been given an asthma test and blew the end off machine, which the doctor had never seen anyone do before.

Famous front man Kevin Rowland appears with them some of the time - it sounded like he picked his gigs.

Barry said that the best musician he had played with was Neil Sedaka, for his remarkable voice - "He used amplification but didn't need it". He also said Sedaka was a fantastic bloke.

Somewhat surprisingly the least enjoyable musician he'd had the privilege of backing had been Petula Clark, who insisted on telling the drummer how to play rolls and fills and was generally an all round pain.

The sax piece he gets the biggest buzz from playing is Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street. (Now that's a very tasty blow on the sax!)

I asked him if he did that jazz player thing of playing two instruments at once (see Best Musicians I've Seen -3, 16 March 2018). "Yes, I can do that" he said. "Basically you need a big mouth".

So there you are then, from the horse's mouth or at least the golfing saxophone player's mouth!

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