Sunday, August 21, 2011

'Swimming Pool Q's' at The Jinx...

This past Saturday night (August 20th) I did something I haven't done in several years.  Something that required having my hand stamped.  I ventured into downtown Savannah to see a band play.

Located in a string of small clubs that line Congress Street, Club Jinx is not easy to spot.  Glenn had never been there, and I certainly hadn't since I don't go into downtown but rarely.  As we wandered down the somewhat crowded sidewalk of the narrow street, there were a number of well lit establishments...the Jinx wasn't one of them.  It was kind of like turning into a dark alley and discovering the 'Leaky Cauldron' (Harry Potter reference for the uninitiated...).  The front facade was black and if there hadn't been a couple of rough around the edges types standing there, I never would have given it a glance.  One of the men, a short Asian guy, announced quickly to us that we were at the Jinx and the Swimming Pool Q's were playing...he then stamped our hands with a big black stamp and directed us inside to the cashier.

The interior of the club was rather small, and about two-thirds full of people who were chatting, drinking, and laughing.  An interesting collection of posters and artwork were haphazardly placed across walls, and the lighting was dim.  The usual for a small club.  At least the ones I have been in over the years.  When we get inside to pay the cashier, we find out it's a woman with a nice smile sitting at a TV tray with a box on it.  We pay her, and a tall thin man standing to her right stamps our hands with a small red rubber stamp.  Scanning around, I discover much to my chagrin that the tables and stools about the room are all occupied.  Although I had predicted it well before we got there, I was not thrilled at the realization that I would indeed have to stand for the duration of the show.  Making our way to the area in front of the stage, we picked a place at the end of the bar by the cigarette machine.  Not only would we get a clear, up close and personal type of look at the band, we had easy access to the bathrooms.  Pulling my camera from my purse, I started to get some flash-less shots of the club interior...which explains the fuzziness of the shots.  (I think it gives them an artful look.)

For those unfamiliar with the 'Swimming Pool Q's' they are an Atlanta, Georgia band formed in 1978.  They were part of the group of Georgia based New Wave Bands of that time (B-52's, REM, The Brains, Pylon).  They are really great.  Very original.  In the early '80's, I remember seeing them in a concert with 'The Producer's' (also a Georgia band).  As I remember, it was in a record store.  I did know of them at the time of that show, but really got to know their music when I attended college and became a DJ at the college station.  As we stood there people watching and checking out the small stage, I knew I was about to take a trip down memory lane.

(Jeff Calder and Anne Richmond Boston)

When I first noticed Jeff Calder (songwriter for the group and male vocalist), I was stunned.  It was cool seeing him in person like that, but my first thought was, "That can't be Jeff Calder...he looks like a high school  science teacher!"  I know other people age just as I do, at the same rate that I do.  For whatever reason, I had a 'wow' moment when I saw that old guy over there.  Calder is probably around 60 do make one feel old.  Not long after I finally convinced myself that the man I saw was indeed Jeff Calder, I saw Anne Richmond Boston, the bands female vocalist.  Close to my height, she was walking around with a perpetual smile on her face and chatting with a group of 20-somethings, one of which we were to learn was her daughter.  I am sure that she is nearer to Jeff's age, I said before.  It is moments like that when you know a long time has passed.

When it was time for the show to get underway, the club manager (I assume that's who he was) grabbed the microphone to announce them.  We learned that we were about to hear all of the songs from their first album released in 1981, 'The Deep End'.  Right on!  Then Jeff and Anne took their positions along with the other band members, and the music began.

It was great to hear all of those songs played live, and after all those years.  Hard to believe that I was standing there grooving on songs I listened to around 30 years ago.  Geez Louise!  I especially loved when they played the Calder sung 'Rat Bait', and the Richmond Boston sung 'Little Misfit' (probably the one song most known from them).  They sounded great.  To tell the truth, I had kind of had a crabby day and didn't feel like going anywhere much less a bar full of people and noise.  I am so glad I went because I ended up having a blast.  Crabbiness cured.

They had played for awhile, when they announced that they would be taking a break.  At one point, Anne was standing about six feet away from me, talking to someone by the stage.  I took the opportunity to say hello and tell her how much I dig their music.  I mentioned that I used to play the 'Q's' on the air when I was a college DJ, and proceeded to date both of us.  We both laughed at that.  *grin*  Anne was very cool, and had a great energy about her.  (She kind of reminded me of a dear old friend I have known since high school, Sandy.)  The break ended, and they started up again.  A few songs into the second half, my dogs were barking and I started doing the old sleeve tugging much as I wanted to stay for the whole thing, my feet were telling me it was time to go.  As we are both decrepit in our own ways (*grin*), Glenn said his knees were bothering him, so we decided to bid the band adieu.  Walking out the door of the club, ears ringing from the volume level, we walked to the truck, and headed home.

Going to clubs to see bands play has always been something that I have done.  Up until about ten years ago, that is.  I have seen a couple of shows in that time, but that's it.  Seeing the 'Pool Q's' perform brought home just how much I miss doing that.  I definitely plan on keeping a better eye on who comes through Savannah in the future.