Thanks, Stroppy, from me … and Red McKenzie

May 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm (blogosphere, good people, jazz, Jim D, The blues)

Thanks to ex-blogger Yvonne, aka “Stroppy Bird”, for a fabulous party on her 50th:

Stroppy Bird looking beautiful and happy at her birthday party. Good fun.

 I had a great time and was hugely entertained by Rosie Kane’s stand-up act. I also met Comrade Coatesy, in person, for the first time (and it’s not true that we had a ‘punch-up’: in fact, we got on very well).

Madame Stroppy’s partner, the ex-blogger Dave Osler, and I, performed (and I sang and played comb-and-paper on) a 12-bar blues:

Photo: Fine time at Stroppy Bird's birthday bash, not least Dave "blind lemon" Osler playing the blues

Rosie, and others, asked me about the comb-and-paper, and I freely admitted that my inspiration on this ‘instrument’ comes from the 1920’s comb-and-paper master, Red McKenzie:

So I hope, Madame Stroppy, that the spirit of Red McKenzie contributed to a great evening in your honour!


  1. Thanks, Stroppy, from me … and Red McKenzie | OzHouse said,

    […] May 11 2014 by admin […]

  2. Howard Fuller said,

    Another attempt at revolutionary unity??? Comrade Coatsey was equally enthused!

    Actually its’ quite nice to see what bloggers look like, so many are always not faceless exactly, but sort of anonymous!

    • Mike Killingworth said,

      Indeed it is.

      And:- what is that guy next to Red M playing?

      • Jim Denham said,

        It’s a suitcase, with Josh Billings using ‘whisk-brooms’ to create a drum-like rhythmic effect.
        It looks to me as though Billings put some paper or other covering around the suitcase to make the ‘whisk-brooms’ sound stronger. And it appears that he may have put a smaller case on top of the big suitcase that he seems to kick with his foot, as though it was a bass drum.

  3. Robert Calder said,

    You should make plain that your approval of Red McKenzie is strictly musical and that there is nothing political in his name?
    Probably not, but since you were talking parties (not of the political organisation sort) there might be room for a joke.
    I was wondering whether there were any communists beyond Frankie Newton, the least ownhornblowing most lyrical trumpeter, whose name smartened up to Francis Newton EJ Hobsbawm adopted when writing on jazz.
    Needless to say you will not feature at celebrations the song, “Oh, Red, wish you were dead..!” as sung by Speckled Red.

  4. Rosie said,

    I saw that picture of you and the Tendance Coatesy on Facebook. Who will be the first to be airbrushed out?

  5. Jim Denham said,

    Airbrushing surely went out with ice-picks …didn’t it?

  6. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    I was struck by the appropriate similarity between such ‘music’ and the sound a drone makes as it passes over before killing some ‘Islamists’.

    Sadly, Canning Town does not look as though it had been attacked when I passed though yesterday but if North London type and their cafes make a further advance east of the River Lea, that’s the route we may have to go down.

    • dagmar said,

      Were you not invited?

      • Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

        Oddly not, but then I’m not a LP type from North London.

        People who went tell me it was good – maybe that’s because the cafe in Canning Town where it took place is run by a former Newham councillor who split to the Left. Or maybe not.

  7. Jim Denham said,

    Photographic evidence of the goodwill that now exists between myself and Comrade Coatesy:

    Coatesy’s caption:

    “Liquidationists Unite.

    “Leading Cadres, Andrew Coates and Jim Denham of the international workers’ movement, in unity conference.”

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