Tuesday, October 12, 2004

care in the community

It was the local Jazz Festival this weekend. I went along to see the town's Community Orchestra perform. The CO can be described as jazz in only the loosest sense of the word (and I know this can be pretty loose), but as the Festival's programme includes everything from brass bands to thrash poetry I suppose that's allowed.

The CO meant to perform for two hours, but only had one 15 minute dirge. They managed to mither passers-by with this on three separate occasions over the course of their allotted two-hour slot, during which scruffy young urchins usually called Cinnamon and Dylan (the type which could only belong to the town's grow-yer-own-muesli-whilst-knitting-yer-own-Guardian clientele) threw chips at each other and generally added some spice to the death-drone.

Essentially, how it works is a load of scruff-arse teachers and social workers get together for an hour each week to, ahem, jam. Several of them bring their alterno-lifestyle offspring with them, usually to hit a plastic water-butt whilst Dad noodles on a guitar and Mum gamely tries to smoke a roll-y whilst pudging out a three note riff on a melodica. The production of this calamitous din is overseen by a vaguely trendy bloke with a bongo between his legs and an alto sax between his lips (usually best not to get these mixed up I find), who sort of referees the performance and somehow gets the shambles to start and finish broadly around the same sort of time... ideally before last orders, because that's when they all nip off to the pub for a pint of Old Crotchsniffer and a packet of Tofu Scratchings.