Friday, June 7, 2013
Zoo Zoo, 24th May
I've been to the Blues Kitchen before, for after work drinks and dinner and really liked it. But I wondered how it would work for a proper late club night of sorts such as Zoo Zoo.
Zoo Zoo is a night from the lovely people behind Mousetrap and all things 60s soul, groove, funk and R 'n' B to name just a few - the New Untouchables. I really enjoyed Mousetrap in its dinky cellar club but was looking forward to some old school music in a slightly bigger, slicker setting.
We got there at about nine, and the place was certainly lively. But it was lively in that kind of after works, sit-down meal kind of way. All the booths were full of people eating and I suspected a lot of people were there just because it was a bar near their workplace rather than for the entertainment.
Promised for the evening were two live bands, one at 10, one at midnight, with 60s R 'n' B, Soul and Garage played in between. As ten o'clock swung around the place was so busy I didn't even notice when the first band started playing. Everywhere was packed and it required a valiant effort to get down to where the stage and audience were. I think I managed to get to the edge towards the end of the set. The music was good and had certainly been good in the background, although the singer left a little to be desired.
The after-work crowd began to thin, or perhaps everyone was just worried about getting the last tube home. Far from lessening the atmosphere I think this actually helped; there was room to breathe - and dance. Close to midnight as promised the second band took the stage and they were amazing! They had the crowd eating out of their hands. What a voice that singer had. Powerful, soulful... stunning. They were a 7-piece - singer, two guitarists, drummer, keyboard player and trumpeter and trombonist.
So caught up in the atmosphere was I (and the lovely frozen margaritas were probably taking effect) that I didn't really register exact songs. I think I remember singing along to I Just Want to Make Love to You while at the bar. And I think the band did a pretty excellent rendition of Think. And I'm reliably informed that Son of a Preacher Man was also played.
No one was ready for them to finish when they did and we bayed for an encore, which we were duly given.
It was exactly what me and my friends had all wanted from the night - 60s music that we knew, loved and could shake our asses to!
So, despite the slow start, I had an excellent time and would definitely go again, though I might go somewhere cheaper for drinks first!