Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-07-25 - 7:51 a.m.

First thing I played through the 10 Larger Stories to make sure I was still happy with them. They are here:


I got a lift to Richmond and was in Gfd by 11.30am. Vita was in - I haven't seen her for at least a year. I congratulated her on her degree and clarified which professional institute she has joined. There was bad news about her India trip - her travelling companion has gone down with an infected kidney and so the trip has been abandoned. After a bit she left for Horsham to see her bf who before long will be off to work in Chile. I saw the fotos of her graduation, I picked up Nye on the American technological sublime - I have put this book up on my linkedin reading list and so I had better mug up on it.

I caught the 6.30pm train to Clapham Junction and started off walking towards Battersea High St which after the first bit was quite residential. The bar where the gig was to take place was easy to find. I sat down at a little table with a view of the bandstand and ordered the smoked salmom amd a bottle of Chilean sauvignon blanc. About 7.45pm Charlie and Andy turned up, also Leslie, Charles' wife who sat down at my table. Just as well there was someone to help me with the bottle - Leslie ordered a salad and chips. A number of students from Charles' Saturday guitar class showed up.

I mentioned to Leslie that when Andy was playing accompaniment it sounded like a bass was playing - she explained that it was a 7 string guitar. I discovered later that the 7th string is a low A down a 5th from the botton E - a pitch which is the same as the 2nd lowest bass guitar string. I asked Andy in an interval how he managed an extra string without an extra finger - he said that it was like the 6 string where one uses lots of 4 string chords. He could do that thing in swing accompaniment where it is one chord per beat - at quite fast tempos it's very effective. As usual Charles was playing his 335 with a Roland 70 watt Jazz Chorus combo.

The repertoire ranged quite widely - jazz standards, Hot Club de Paris, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea. Playing in a duo like that is very exposed - either you are soloing or you are holding the piece together on chords. I was introduced to a couple of Charles' students - very nice people who spoke very highly of Charles' teaching. There is also a jazz vocalist class alongside Charles' jazz guitar and two of the students sang with the duo in the last set.

I dragged myself away at about 11.15pm and headed for a bus stop. The first bus to come along was going to Vauxhall so I got on that. At Vauxhall there were too many bus stops to chose from - I spotted an 88 bus which I remembered of old wound its way through the streets behind the old Tate Gallery to Whitehall. I got off at the Treasury and went down into Westminster tube station just missing a train. It was a long wait for the next one but eventually the last District line train to Richmond turned up - I stayed on it to Barons Court where I dashed across the platform to a Picadilly line train which was going to Northfields where eventually I caught a Heathrow train.

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