Jay Fraser Live at the Station, London – featuring Elton John on beers

He's actually not a sketchy bloke

He's actually not a sketchy bloke

The Icarus Club, takes place at the Station hotel each Thursday night. It’s a go-to joint for singer songwriters looking for exposure and experience playing live in London.

Jay Fraser, a musician currently doing a residency in Paris (ok, so he’s crashing at my apartment, but technically it’s a residency, no?), lined up a gig there last night.

I first met Jay in a rat-ridden hostel run by an authoritarian German cheap and cheerful hotel  in Chelsea, New York, where we had bonded over a mutual dislike of Ben Lee: “His eyes are too close together. I don’t trust him,” said Jay.

Jay had been on a tour of southern America, playing in New Orleans and working his way up.

Three years later and here he was playing tonight in London.

I don’t know what I was expecting…but among the things I certainly wasn’t expecting to be served beers by Elton John’s doppelganger.  sir-elton-john, now pulling beers at The Station in Hither Green.

Once this shock had subsided, it was time to head into the music room to enjoy some classic live performances.

The format allows for each artist to play a set of three songs, and then another set of two.

One more thing, we weren’t allowed to talk during the gig: THIS WAS SERIOUS MUSIC.

Apparently owing to the rooms ‘acoustics’, talking was quite audible. Well, that’s the point of talking, no? As for acoustics, did they mean the two enormous Peavey speakers pointing outwards from the stage?

I’m sorry, but please allow me a snigger – it’s an audience member’s right. But no, apparently at this establishment “We Don’t Like No Sniggers Ere”.

The musicians were, by and large, very technically accomplished. One young artist, Ben Little, paid homage to Muddy Waters and the ilk, before launching into some very good blues riffs. One comment, perhaps his lyrics could be developed a little:  singing  “Going down to the river, going to the river, going to go down,”  sounds fine when you’re a black muso – you assume it’s Mississipi. But when it’s  a white guy in London, I couldn’t help thinking that he was referring to The Thames.

Another one of his lines was “I’m waking up in the morning with tears in my eyes.” Again, As he was white and English, I instinctively thought he was saying “I’m waking up in the morning with tea in my eyes.” Perhaps he shouldn’t leave the mug so close to the bedside table?

The next guy launched into his set by saying “I’ve just hit 30 and am having a bit of a nervous breakdown” – that’s great, but unless you’re singing it, I don’t want to know about it. One of his songs was about realising that you have to downwards readjust your life ambitions, and accepting that. I started to respect him.

Then the moment we had been waiting for: Jay Fraser.

The MC took to the stage. He was clearly funny – I know this because he was wearing a tie-dye shirt and a hat cocked to the back so that a tuft of hair protruded as a fringe.Either that or perhaps mum hot-washed his clothes causing them to shrink and the dye to run.

Anyway, back to the jokes: his opening line was something along the lines of: “So, 400 years ago Guiness bought the rights to some land for 35 quid. And now they just have to pay 35 quid each year, so, yeah. That’s been a good deal for them (trailing off)

Without wasting further time, he introduced Jay:

“Ladies and Gentleman, he’s come all the way from Australia.”

I clap and no-one joins me.

“It’s Jay…”

I clap again. Still no-one joins. A problem with premature eclapulation?

“…Fraser.”

Luckily Jay lived up to the hype and was awesome.

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One Response to “Jay Fraser Live at the Station, London – featuring Elton John on beers”

  1. Geraldo Euclides Says:

    SHAME,
    SHAME
    SHAME,
    SHAME.

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