I see lots of Facebook posts asking for artists to play at certain venues then ending the post with a “Ok, we have found someone”. So when I saw my friend Tracey asking if anyone was interested in playing a last minute gig at The Troubadour, I didn’t hold out much hope. So I was doubly thrilled when I got a positive reply from Deuan, the guitarist from Ska band “Maroon Town” who was originally posted the request. So with 2 days notice I rocked up at the iconic Troubadour in deepest Earls Court with my guitar, pedals box and the kind of enthusiasm you have when you get to play a venue that you have been trying to get a gig at for 8 years!
I parked easily and as I got there early (as I always do) I managed to catch a bit of Deuan and Maroon Town soundcheck before I headed round the corner for a coffee and a read of a new book I had just started reading, Billy Bragg’s Roots, Radicals and Rockers “How skiffle changed the world”. It’s a great read for anyone interested in the rise of popular music and was just what I needed before I played my set at The Troubadour.
After a large bucket of filter coffee courtesy of Starbucks, I headed across the road and navigated my way through and down to my office for the night. Maroon Town had just wrapped up their soundcheck and it was now my turn to plug in and play. I pulled my gear in from the “Green Room” and met the top Troubadour sound guy whose name escapes me…. (This should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me and my inability at remembering names. One day I will tell you of the “Chris Rickets” affair….) I digress…. whose knowledge of his gear and the venue made the soundcheck a dream.
The evening was billed as a “Carnival Weekender” it being the weekend of the Notting Hill Carnival and what with Maroon Town being a Ska/Reggae band! I was a little curious to see how a man with a beard, a guitar and some passionate songs he’d written himself, would go down with a Saturday night “Carnival” crowd. However, to my surprise and delight they bloody loved them and even me! There was one guy who looked a little sad when I shook my head as he held up his little drum hopefully in the middle of “3 am” but we shook hands afterwards. It was great to see Tracey, who had shared Deuan’s original post, in the front row. I also received some great comments from people that came up to me afterwards in the bar as I took in Maroon Town’s rocking set.
A great night at a brilliant venue that I hope to repeat in the future.
I shot a load of GoPro footage of the night that will be made available to my Patreon patrons in the very near future.
The Troubadour does serve food upstairs but I can’t tell you what that was like as I didn’t eat there. In the meantime, if you are around the Earls Court area I can’t recommend the Troubadour highly enough as a music venue. The sound is amazing and the atmosphere friendly and fun.