This week’s ‘London Shoes’ activity focused its attention on one of my favourite topics – a ‘music’ related blog.
The subject matter in question, for this week’s publication onto the London Shoes website, is: – “The ‘Other’ Palace” Theatre – which is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Victoria Station, in the direction of Buckingham Palace.
The reason for attending this particular theatre, was to witness another ‘live’ music event where my ex-drum tutor ‘Gentleman’ George Double (from way back in late 1990’s when I was managing the Barclays Bank branch in Mare St-Hackney, and George was a customer) – had yet again, very kindly arranged for me to be ‘with the band’, allowing me to have access all areas backstage, enabling me to take some behind-the-scenes photos to accompany my blog.
The gig in question was a performance by the ‘Chris Ingham Trio’ who were accompanied by Mark Crooks on sax and clarinet (and of course my good friend ‘Gentleman’ George Double on drums).
The Chris Ingham Trio were accompanying one of London’s (and beyond) most popular female jazz vocalists, the brilliant and entertaining “Joanna Eden” – to perform the excellent “Jazz at the Movies” set.
Joanna Eden has performed her jazz influenced music all over the world and has been on the support bill for top-draw jazz musicians such as Jamie Cullum and Courtney Pine.
Joanna Eden has released 4 albums including over 35 original songs.
She has performed ‘live’ sets on BBC’s Radio 2 – and internationally read music magazines such as ‘Mojo’ & ‘Time Out’ have given her work extremely favourable reviews, even going as far as describing her as the UK’s Nora Jones.
The ‘Other’ Palace Theatre itself has an interesting history in its own right.
The actual history of the site dates right back to 1766, when a Chapel stood there. This Chapel lasted a long time, as it wasn’t until 1924, that it was finally deemed to be too run-down and beyond repair.
The site then became the ‘St. James’s Picture Theatre’ cinema, which then, in 1931, became the ‘Westminster Theatre’ – and the old chapel’s crypt was converted into dressing rooms and a bar.
However, by the late 1990’s the building was again very close to being demolished – but was saved following some heavy objections by influential ‘faces’ in the theatre world.
In 2009 the Westminster Council granted permission for another theatre to be built on the site – and as a result, in 2012 it reopened as the ‘St. James’s Theatre’.
In 2016 the building was bought by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Really Useful Theatre Group’, and renamed as “The’ Other’ Palace”-Theatre.
Today, the theatre seats 312 in its main stage area, and roughly 120 in its ‘Studio’ section deep in the bowels of the building.
The theatre also has its own ‘The Other Gin Palace’ bar and its own ‘The Other Naughty Piglet’ restaurant.
So – for the evenings entertainment, Joanna Eden & the Chris Ingham Trio featuring Mark Crooks, performed their entertaining and excellent “Jazz At The Movies” set on the theatres Studio stage, banging out tunes in a jazz style from popular films including ‘Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid’ – ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’ – The Aristocats – The Pink Panther, plus many more – which the full-house audience lapped up, and demanded encores.
For me, (thanks yet again to the kindness of ‘Gentleman’ George Double) I was again able to experience the gig from a sort of ‘roadie’ perspective, which obviously enabled me to take a number of ‘behind-the-scenes’ photos to accompany the blog.
So that’s now 3 jazz gigs that London Shoes has blogged and published, where I have been lucky enough to get close-up to the action ( The Elgar Room – Ronnie Scott & now The Other Palace Theatre), and hopefully there will be more on the same theme to come.
Hopefully the accompanying photos help create the ‘vibe’ of the evening’s thoroughly enjoyable entertainment.