Blackberry Way

By bridgeman

Old gig tickets - Champion Doug Veitch

So. I think it was 34 years ago round about now I saw Champion Doug Veitch, the Undisputed King of Caledonian Cajun Swing, at the Donmar Warehouse. Supported by Rory Bremner, yes, that Rory Bremner. There is no date on the ticket and I simply can't remember the exact date. And the event seems to have left no trace on th'internet. So I'm left with guessing. I know it was a winter event and I went with Sarah from college, so that would make it late 1984, I think, just maybe early 1985. The gig was a late start, 11.15 on the ticket but I don't think it started on time, so that would make it a Friday or Saturday. Sarah, any idea? Maybe Doug or Rory will see this and fill the gap?

The gig itself was stupendous. Bremner had been a year above Sarah and I at Kings College so would have just been building his career, this gig was in our last year. But he was slick, inventive, a thoroughly different impressionist, certainly not daunted by opening for a Cajun Swing band, albeit a Caledonian one. You could tell right then he was going to make it.

Champion Doug certainly deserved to make it just as big. His performance and band were packed with energy and brimful with glorious tunes. Definitely one that got away, a truly incomparable performer, still doing the occasional gig and well worth catching if you ever get the chance. Time for a Caledonian Cajun Swing revival, methinks.

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