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Cottier Cold 2003/11/29

Posted by Dave in Music, nights out, Reviews.

Ruth and I went to 'The Cottier' to see 'Zuba' perform live.

We were looking forward to going with Joobes, Mumsie and maybe Ina and new boyfriend. Joobes and Mumsie came over, ate pasta and decided they were too tired after Christmas shopping, so we went along on our own.

'The Cottier' is a far from good venue — it's a converted Victorian Gothic church (complete with steeple), and it doesn't really 'fit' it's new purpose… obviously planning restrictions prevent them from changing anything architectural, so it was a strange case of original features and scaffolding.

It was very chilly, and dank — poor acoustics and no atmosphere.

The stage was a 30mm high plinth infront of the altar.

Either side were the dressing rooms and the main access to the bar was in front of the stage to one side.

The stage measured only about 4m by 3m – and there were a lot of people and equipment on it.

The support was a hybrid band.

A tall chap from Rio de Janeiro wore a cricket umpire's hat, colourful shirt open and over a plain tee shirt. He sang (not the best voice in the world) in Portuguese and played a mean bosa nova on his relatively tiny nylon stringed acoustic.

A Glaswegian with a high forehead, dour expression and long dark hair grabbed into a ponytail, sat on a stool and played a huge double bass.

In the centre was a slim, smartly dressed woman – somewhat school-teacherish — who sang ballads using a lot of finger and hand gestures and facial grimaces.

Then on a short milking stool was a bong-player with some street cred — he hooted and whooped on cue and was from Venezuela.

On the far right was Michael, a Russian saxophonist.

He was white haired, with a stubbly chin, beer belly and dressed entirely in black.

All in all – they (whoever they were) were pretty good… it just wasn't the right place or time (it was too cold for a start – that music needs a warm climate).

We stood stiffly by, wearing coats.

'Zuba' had Gerry dressed in African gear as usual, but this time it was all white — so he looked for once like he wasn't wearing his mammy's best curtains!

The guitarist as usual looked like a cross between 'Neil-from-the-Young-Ones' and Jesus, still barefoot, and still with his red strat.

The bassist was also all in white, and he jumped around pretty much all night. The wee good-looking Spanish lass seemed wasn't there, and her place was taken by the chubby negro lass – who did a sterling job on support vocal.

One of the main things I suppose about 'Zuba's' past performances I have seen was the way the two girls danced about and laughed — they showed us that the music was fun, and motivated the audience.

The Spanish lass was sorely missed as a result.

They had a new drummer — on a jazz kit.

He was from Dundee and studied drumming at the famous Berkeley Jazz school in the USA. He was excellent.

They had a wee old fat chap playing piano, keyboards, sax and flute — a talented Glaswegian and clearly in charge of the arrangements which had changed all the tunes.

Finally, they had a chap from Paris on percussion — he'd studied in Cuba — it was his birthday… and so (this could only happen in Glasgow) the audience sang 'Happy Birthday' — all of it!

All-in-all 'Zuba' were as good as you would expect (they are never terrible), but the venue has a lot to do with it. We noticed the gig was filmed too — always an off-putting thing to know the camera's on you!

After we had drinks with Ina and her physicist, and then home for a heat!


1. REVIEWS 2003 « davedevine - 2008/12/08

[…] REVIEWS 2003 December 31, 2003 Zuba Live: 2003/11/29/cottier-cold/ […]

2. BA CISSOKO « davedevine.co.uk - 2009/03/26

[…] reminded me of Ruth’s pal, Jerry’s band, Zuba — Ruth, Judy, Chris and I used to go along to see Zuba as much as we could at the likes of King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and The  […]

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