Ah, here comes the summer - packed tube-trains with the smell of armpit-onion emanating throughout, tattooed bare-chested strut-wits parading their wares for the local laydeez (and vice-versa), last year's ice-cream being sold at next year's prices, Christmas puddings on sale, yeah I love the summer in London.
Seriously though, there is very little better than listening to some cracking music and drinking something that resembles what it looks like instead of which river its been pumped out of. No matter where you are in this great (grate) capital of ours, make an effort to attend the 2010 Greenwich Beer and Jazz Festival - it really is 'mmm nice!' (to quote the Fast Show character).
Music-wise this year sees a real treat for fans of 90s acid-jazz and the Talkin' Loud scene, as well as a few other surprises. The festival kicks off on Thursday 27th May and ends on Sunday 30th with 3 main music performances per day, a lunch, afternoon and evening session to be precise. Day ticket prices are below - so read on!
Thursday sees the critically acclaimed bongos-master and pioneer of the latin-jazz crossover during the mid 90s, Snowboy bringing tracks from his new album as well as a few live favourites with the evening session provided by another staple on the acid-jazz gig circuit, James Taylor Quartet. Thursday costs £15 for entry.
Friday turns to a more varied field with banjo-wielding rock-worshippers, Hayseed Dixie (afternoon) and the original Scooby-Snackers, Fun Lovin' Criminals (evening) while Saturday welcomes South London's soul-ska-funk outfit, Size Nine, blasting their horns and breakin' it down in the afternoon and the mouth-watering prospect of smooth funkateers, The Brand New Heavies. The Heavies racked up a string of hits in the 90s with 'Dream On Dreamer', 'Never Stop', 'Midnight At The Oasis' and 'Sometimes' although I remember loving their 'Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol 1' album. Lo and behold, they have a volume 2 on its way so let's hope they perform some of it! Both of these days are £20 each.
Sunday has the Spandau-swinger, Tony Hadley performing some classic jazz standards from way-back (and no doubt 'True' will get wheeled out at some point) and there are further lunch-slots and Sunday afternoon guest still to confirm. £27.50 for that one.
One afternoon definitely confirmed is Monday's - there's nothing like Omar (see what I did there) and as proof he will be entertain the crowds before another major group from back in the acid-jazz day, Incognito take to the stage on Monday evening to round it all off and all for £20.
Add in the small matter of over 200 beers of all strengths and sources as well as cider and juice and you have a great day out over the second May Bank Holiday. Please be aware that the sister event, the Hampton Court Beer and Jazz Festival line-up will be announced very soon - watch this space!