It’s getting to that time of year when going out anywhere has little appeal but, with only stoic determination and a powerful thirst, a man could persuade himself that a trek to the sticky floors of King Tuts was justified. After all, Haight-Ashbury, Old Bohemia and Anton & The Colts were already there.
Two up and not going down without a fight were Old Bohemia and, with more than a touch of theatricality helping them along, this acoustic duo demonstrated that an acoustic guitar and a precisely presented voice were all you need to draw the velvet curtains of cabaret aside and let the sun shine in.
Being three quarters country and one quarter rock gave Anton & The Colts something to sing about for, with an honesty no doubt gained be paying their dues gigging in unforgiving pubs, they proved to be a band that had found their tempo in life. No surprise therefore that they steered a straight course through their set.
Metronomic consistency also came to the aid of Haight-Ashbury and neatly counterpointed their ever appealing female harmonies and, whilst they might sound like the grandchildren, or even great grandchildren, of the free love generation, lyrically they were far sharper, to the point of being downright laconic, than any product of herbal grooviness could ever be. Even a casual cover of “Christmas Wrapping” could not disguise the feeling that Haight-Ashbury were using sugar coating to disguise their darker motivations.
Outside a leaflet for something called “Club Noir” is forced into my hand. On inspection, said “Club Noir” turns out to be a place altogether more innocent than a gentleman’s club. Now neatly folded, the flyer is duly placed in the bin. Looks like it is going to be a cold night after all.