I’m thinking about shortbread so it must be that time of year. That time of year when, in any bar, you will easily find a gaggle of gabbing women and groups of Corona drinking men two thirds of the way to impotence but nonetheless deep in conversation about the fortunes of Manchester United. Yeah and verily, and with the smell of turkey rapidly overcoming the smell of kebabs, a visit to the basement of The Roxy 171 seemed like something of a plan.
First to distract me from chipolata sausages was the Darcy DaSilva Band. Conventional and traditional, Ms DaSilva’s voice was an example of the art of balancing folk flavoured fragility with a delicate eloquence and, accompanied by her two equally sensitive sidekicks, she brought more niceness to the room than a mere mortal would have had a right to expect.
Following on was the rather more worldly Ann-Marie Burns Lochrie who, in a similarly understated way, demonstrated that complexity, in both musical and emotional terms, was nothing to be afraid of. Again, she was not alone on stage but, as you would expect of a veteran of many an acoustic night, she proved easily capable of turning a festive audience into friends.
If you are going to have a main event then Natalie Clark would fill that role admirably and duly she did. A pop princess in the making, she ran right up the white line with songs that could quite rightly be classified as commercial and crowd pleasing and gave a performance that confirmed her place on stage. Oh, and she did a seriously cute version of “Santa Baby” that would roast anybody’s chestnuts.
Another night over and time for the fried food. Or maybe shortbread. No, it has to be turkey pakora. Yo ho ho and all that!