Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Period Piece

Yesterday evening saw the gardens of the Horniman Museum transported back in time by a musical performance by Albert Ball's Flying Aces.

Obviously I went along because of the name, but it was a wonderful evening (and free!). Playing ragtime and jazz from the period surrounding and during the First World War ("This one is called 'Afghanistan'. Don't shoot the messenger, it was written in 1920"), the band wore Edwardian garb and played vintage instruments, including the sousaphone, swanee whistle, and the spoons.

The event was advertised as a 'jazz picnic', so I brought muffins and a bottle of pink wine, but was confounded by the latter unexpectedly having a cork. My trusty companion slightlyfoxed went on the hunt and borrowed a corkscrew from a bloke in a boater, so the evening's relaxation could properly begin.

The very personable band leader had invited us, without much hope, to dance if we felt like it. For the first few songs, nobody did. Then a spry old gent in shorts persuaded various female members of the audience to dance with him, and then mummies and daddies danced with their little girls, teenage girls danced with each other, one middle-aged couple danced with great competence, and the whole affair was most charming and agreeable. I got quite choked up thinking about That Last Golden Summer and so on, and imagining that the jets passing by on their way to City Airport were actually Sopwith Camels off to France. slightlyfoxed and I had a quick dance right at the end to the swoony final number, 'By The Light Of The Silvery Moon'.

Incidentally, the band's website claims that its members were formerly of 266 Squadron. I know some of you will recognise the significance of that one.
Tags: gigs

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