feat. Sirpico, Riverside Blues Band, Southampton Mafia, The House Band

Musician's Party

It’s New Years Day and The Thomas Tripp has given their stage for the evening to an annual event (in local music circles), unsurprisingly monikered the “Musician’s Party”. The brainchild of this event is none other than Elaine of “Mr. Smiths” fame. I’m informed this is a 20 year old (and counting) event and is taking place here at the Tripp, due to the original venue being “unavailable”. Looking around me at a packed pub, this seems to be a masterstroke. With the Tripp’s recent expansion and refurb what better place to be presenting an event like this. Elaine gives a brief summary of the evenings proceedings, including the humourous “rules” regarding time slots for drum solo’s (90 seconds) and guitar solo’s (120 seconds)!! Steve Loader has very kindly provided the “rigging” for free and the bands are limited to just 2 songs. And away we go.

The House Band
The House Band 1
Howies Hayes
Howies Hayes 123

The 1st band are introduced as the “house” band and kick off with a couple of songs before “Howie’s Hayes” take to the stage. Featuring none other than local legend Howie Casey alongside (I’m told) another legend Steve Hayes. They hit us with a couple of classics (whose titles escape me) to fantastic applause. George (Hayes) then takes to the stage to belt out a confident ‘Midnight Hour’. His vocal is emphatic and his expression one of pure joy as he laps it up on this stage. “Somebody To Love” follows and he again takes the plaudits.

Sirpico 123

Next up are old Tripp favourites Sirpico. They choose to go 1 original, 1 cover. They open with the ballsy “Golden Handshake” and then give a decent cover of “Feeling Good” (Muse). They too leave to good applause. As I look around at half the audience seated, half standing I’m reminded of the old “In The Round” nights at Mr. Kyps – it has that feel to the evening. Paul Holman (Loose Chippings), another well known face to this establishment makes his way to the stage. He is joined by guitarist Marc Arnold (Flaming Softies) and Andy Place (bass) to do a rendition of “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number” which is very popular. It is followed by Badfinger’s “No Matter What” which again goes down well.

In a slight change in style it’s the turn of The Riverside Blues Band and their take on Dylan’s “Highway 61”. Now I’m no Blues fan but this band are in their element and the crowd are loving them. They waste no time in plugging “Stan’s Blues Jam” before they hit us with another song. Their performance is larger than life, while the punters are still smiling. The next band on contain Steve Davey (drums) of TRB,Japan,Seven fame (to name 3), alongside members of the house band. They manage to coax Steve Loader into a powerful version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” to now loud applause.

Riverside Blues Band
Riverside Blues Band 123
Steve Loader House Band
Steve Loader House Band 1

I’m informed we have some “out of towners” in, in the shape of the “Southampton Mafia”. They give us an altogether interesting take on “Green Onions” which we’re informed is Ray (keys) favourite song. To say it’s a tad overlong would be kind but they get away with it. Following them are none other than local legends of those Sunday sessions at Smiths the Smith Brothers Band. They open with a song I believe was called “Lookin’ For You” and carry on with “Switchboard Operator”, peppered with digs at each other and banter with the crowd!

Southampton Mafia
Southampton Mafia 
The Smith Brothers
The Smith Brothers 123

A band who have risen through the Tripp showcase ranks are up next in the shape of Joelle. At this point I’m hankering after a quick exit to catch The Clash on BBC4 but I stick around! To give singer Ellie her due she has a fantastic voice, it’s just this “genre” isn’t my bag! In fact, the whole band are very proficient and who would I be to criticise. They leave to great applause. They are followed by Tony and Jamie. They proceed to do the softest version of “Hey Joe” I’ve ever heard. It’s ambitious, but probably deliberate. A quick trip to the bar is taken while listening to “Play That Funky Music”, before I head back for more of the same.

The Joelle Family Band
The Joelle Family Band 12345
Tony and Jamie
Tony and Jamie 

At some point during the evening I’m informed there’s a “big name” drummer “down from London”. Please give it up for Jeremy Stacey, well known in these parts and more recently having toured with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. He and accompanying band belt out the Finn brothers classic “It’s Only Natural” and another whose title once again escapes me (no setlists to rely on here)! It’s these songs that get the biggest cheers tonight as the feelgood, New Year vibe is upon us.

Elaine Davey
Elaine Davey 

Another local favourite takes to the stage now, none other than Kev Jackson and gives us a rip-roaring “Lucille”. Again I don’t know what follows but he also gets good applause before the final act of the evening. Craig of BB3 fame gets up on stage for a heartfelt rendition of “I Shot the Sherriff”, before ending on a high with the soulful “What’s Goin’ On”. And that folks is that. Announcer Elaine takes to the stage once more to thank all concerned with a wish to stage the event at these premises next year. All in all a great event from a who’s who of local and (out of town) musicians in the local music fraternity. I feel this could be the start of an annual event here at The Tripp.

Kev Jackson House Band
Kev Jackson House Band 1234
Craig BB3
Craig BB3 1

Bands: too many to mention!

Tracklisting: too many I didn’t recognise!

Review by Ross A. Ferrone

Disclaimer: If I have put the wrong name to any pictures or got names of persons muddled in bands I apologise – but it was a long night!!!

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