The Temperance Cafe,Leamington Spa.
I am a big fan of Andy Kershaw. Firstly for his musical taste but also for his love of travel in off the beaten track destinations which I find intriguing. I would love to see North Korea for example but doubt very much I would want to do more than one trip whilst Andy has visited 3 times. His love of Haiti is well documented in his autobiography No off switch as his marriage breakup which caused much opprobrium to be thrown his way mostly by people who had little or any knowledge of the situation he and is familty found themselves in. I find it telling that after the dust settled his children chose to spend more time with him, his son permanently and his daughter with regular visits. Still all of that is in the past and he is now doing the DJ circuit and so it is we found ourselves at the splendid Temperance Cafe in Leamington on a friday night to listen to his splendid playlist of World music the vast majority of which was completely new to me. It started of with a lively African section – 4 tracks in there was a really lively track with some wild synthesiser – I managed to ask Andy what it was and it was Congolese artist Tchico – he told me he had acquired it over 25 years ago and it was hard to come by. Later that night I managed to locate it on Discogs which was a bonus. Africa was followed by the Caribbean, some Latin
and them some quite eclectic stuff. There was a track that sampled a Jim Morrison quote ‘out here on the perimeter there are no Stars’ which I have not yet been able to source. The set was exciting, most were dancing and everyone was happy.
I got to speak to Andy before the set and he was as interesting as I thought he would be – a night with him in a pub chatting would be sure to throw up some great tales and perhaps even some challenging views.
Capacity was 50 and I would say there were 30 in the main room and 12 in the adjoining lounge area.
The room is a cellar with little air circulation so it was hot and sweaty which suited the music perfectly.
It made me think..
This was very much a niche event but that didn’t detract from the level of enjoyment. I doubt that he would make a fortune from a night like this but he is getting paid to do something he clearly loves very much – how many of us can say that?