June 12, 2003
I love this town

Another good night out.

I went to the Leidseplein again, 'cos I was especially keen to go to Bourbon Street and the Wednesday night resident band, The Bourbon Boys. Of which, more later.

As I did yesterday, I got the tram to Fredericksplein, and walked from there. But rather than walk along the main road, I dived into the back streets. Many of which were, in fact, canals. Amsterdam really is a lovely place. Green, quiet, elegant old buildings. It feels rather old-fashioned, in a good way - people were sitting outside their houses, playing badminton. (That bit wasn't a canal.)

After some rather un-memorable (and rather overdone) pasta, I went to Bourbon Street. The reason I was particularly keen to go last night was that Tom, a Solaris sysadmin at the company I'm visiting, is on drums there on Wednesdays. I was also meeting his flat mate, Ingrid, whom I've met before, and she brought along another nice chap whose name I couldn't remember if you put a gun to my head.

Excellent band. The first couple of sets were blues, mostly covers, mostly Eric Clapton covers, in fact. A couple of nice original numbers, too. Then a set of rock, old and new (from Chuck Berry to Robin Williams via the Beatles and the Stones, amongst others). Then, one more blusey set before oh-shit-is-that-the-time.

The rhythm section was tight and pacey, driving everything along nicely. I couldn't take them entirely seriously when they did some high-pitched backing vocals, though - you want skinny girls in tight dresses for your backing vocals, everybody knows that. And it's not like Amsterdam is short of skinny girls... The Pianist was fairly jazzy, but it seemed to work. The guitarist and singer (an ex-pat Londoner) played awesome slide and lead, and had a gravelly voice, which probably ended his operatic career, but which suits blues and rock just fine.

For some reason, they played this gig under the name 'Bourbon Street Unplugged'. I can't think why. Acoustic guitar and bass, yes, but wired for sound. Even the Piano was well amplified, which makes a nice change. The only thing that was unplugged was the decibel monitor.

Yes, a really good night, on the whole. A bit on the late side for me, though - I'm used to pubs which close at eleven. Two and three on consecutive nights is not what I'm used to. Things didn't start to go pear shaped, though, until I got back to the hotel...

Posted to On the road by Simon Brunning at June 12, 2003 03:29 PM

Things went pear shaped! Did you meet an English girl?

I'll get me coat.

Posted by: Stevan Rose on June 12, 2003 03:32 PM

Hey, I thought I did the fat lass jokes around here!

On another note, I'm interested to know how the good burghers of Amsterdam manage to play badminton whilst sitting in a canal outside their houses. Is this a new sport that the British can be rubbish at as well?

Posted by: Andy Todd on June 12, 2003 03:41 PM

I think he just makes it it all up whilst sitting in his hotel reading python books.

And isn't Bourbon Streen in New Orleans?

Posted by: Stevan Rose on June 12, 2003 03:53 PM

OK, I could have put that better, couldn't I? ;-)

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