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Nether Edge Cabaret: Nether Edge Bowling Club, 8th November

Being new to the Nether Edge area I was keen to find some interesting local events to while away the evenings. I didn't take me long to find Cafe #9, a coffee lover’s oasis. After a few caffeine-induced afternoons, the manager Jonny told me about a sister project, Nether Edge Cabaret Club, an event that he and Garry Hutton produce every second Friday of the month at Nether Edge Bowling Club. I rocked up to the club for their November offering. The atmosphere was warm and jovial. One of the things that first struck me was the fabulous demographic of the audience – grand old chaps, playful families and young professionals. Sometimes this can make for an awkward evening, but tonight this was certainly not the case. All were soaking in their surroundings and looking forward to the entertainment to come. My initial expectation of ‘cabaret’ is feathers, glitter and dancing girls. This could not be further from the truth. Cabaret is meant to be a mix of varied entertainment, something the Nether Edge Cabaret Club certainly delivered. The evening was kicked off by compare Gary in what was the only glitter of the evening, a sequinned blazer. Gary knew the tone of the audience and delivered to everyone’s taste. The first act was a one Mr Andrew Costa. His initial offering was playful and silly. Claiming he was “nervous” before playing some “hard songs”, our ears were greeted by such offerings as ’The Entertainer‘, before some very skilful classical Spanish guitar. He captivated the audience with his pure showmanship. Next up was Chris Murphy accompanied by his chum Matt. These two played some very meaningful original acoustic tunes from their album. Chris's voice is pure Chilli Peppers with a healthy dash of soul, and Matt covertly added backing vocals at just the right point. Mr Antonio Banderas (AKA Stan Skinny) added the required comedy injection to the evening’s affairs, bursting into the room claiming to be the regional semi-finalist for the Spanish equivalent of the X Factor. His comical attire and cheeky charm melted much of the audience. Skinny obviously has musical talent; “My Mini Moustache” was original comedy gold. Needless to say this was a welcome addition to the evening. Finally – after the humorous and unique raffle, where the audience had to write a joke on the back of the ticket and where the prizes came from the charity shop opposite – we were introduced to the Payroll Union. These guys play pure, authentic Americana songs, all original and deeply enchanting in their slow, continuous rhythm. It is rare to find a band with such a range of their own material, each song showing a continuity with the next but maintaining its own identity. That’s the Cabaret Club in nutshell – a smorgasbord mix of entertainment, professionally produced and full of unique appeal. I would recommend the evening to all, regardless of your taste. And trust me, cheesy feathers and glitter are not what this down-to-earth event is about. )

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