Before I left the house, I went through my record collection to see what I would bring as an Opening gift for them to play. I knew they were going to have decks, and that was all I needed to know. Would it be Eric B and Rakim; Paid in Full, would it be Stevie’s version of Light my Fire (the best ever version)? Would it be Funkin’ for Jamaica or Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers? I thought about the potential audience. Gil Scott Heron won, hands down. They may all be 20 something but surely they’ll have heard of ‘The Bottle’ and if they haven’t, I’ll be introducing them to something special, I thought.
We got there at about 8.45pm and they had run out of drink. This wasn’t a problem for an exuberant friendly bunch of people high on the success of their first coffee bar. Before we knew where we were bottles of vodka and rum appeared and the party ebbed and flowed. Downstairs there were free haircuts to be had and some exquisite drawings to view.
Upstairs, Pinky and me got talking to the owner’s Dad. Thank goodness for friendly souls, who although of a certain age, don’t bow to the pressure that says you really oughtn’t to be doing this at your stage in life; having fun, going with the flow, seeing life as an adventure. Open.
Paul, the dj was thrilled with Gil. He was beside himself with excitement, and I experienced that sublime connection that you have when someone else shares your passion for the same music.
As Pinky continued to discuss anything and everything from Irish musicians to wooden floor boards with cafe owner’s Dad, I listened as the opening notes of The Bottle played, and felt an almost spiritual sense of being at home.