There are some pubs that, although not overtly are they music venues, they just happen to embody that role. The Old Neptune in Whitstable is that. Maybe by virtue of having bands on a Friday and Saturday (and now Sunday) for the past 100 years! Maybe also to do with a musically smart clientele which develops over the years - they get a bit picky, a bit spoilt and often quite hard to please.
The Old Neptune is certainly not a jazz venue (heaven forbid) so I did have a degree of trepedation ahead of our Sunday tea-time gig. I've always believed that GLASSHOUSE don't rely on a jazz-literate audience and that an exuberant set with dynamics and narrative will entertain even the most anti-jazz types. We didn't encounter any of that but we did have a bit of a 'shit, no cymbals' moment just 15 minutes ahead of our start time. That particular episode caused me to drive at inadvisable speeds across Kent and return, cool and unruffled to the tight performance area as if nothing like that had really occurred.
From then on it was a 'duck to water', appropriate music and an appropriate occasion. My impression at the Neptune is that the punters like to move. Not always crazy dancing (always a few) and of course, they like a good song! That's why we have our 'secret weapon' Kevin Richards and although he was hidden from view to many, he never disappoints - everyone seems to know him there! I was actually as sick as a parrot and drinking beer-like quantities of Lemsip but the magic prevailed.
As the weather warms, the Neptune spreads its wings, spills out onto the beach and always enjoys the best sunsets in Kent. I hope they'll invite us back for a bit of that - Cuban, beach, cocktail, beer...