The day of the concert was also London Pride. We had watched the procession make its way up Regent Street as we walked along Oxford Street from Oxford Circus. It was great as we could walk down the middle of Oxford Street as all the traffic had been stopped!
Nellie Dean on Dean Street
There was a queue of over 30 people to get into the Tesco Metro. This was an indication of what we’d find further down the street once past the CrossRail building site.
Dean Street was mobbed and Nellie Dean’s was no better. The queue at the bar was 5 deep but at least everyone was jovial and having a great time. Drinks were only served in plastic glasses and there were no bottle sales. We managed to find seats by the door to drink our beers. We then could watch the ebb and flow of the crowd in the pub until it was time to leave.
Pizza Express Jazz Club
The restaurant had a doorman who was doing his best to only allow in customers when there was a table available. A whole bunch of jazz club audience were joined in the queue. This didn’t make his job any easier either. It was all good natured until a guy, a friend of the ‘band’, decided he should be allowed in immediately. It seems that only in London had he ever been refused entry to a gig and we all learnt this news several times over!
The band were still doing sound checks so entry was delayed. It was after 6.15 pm that we were allowed in. The jazz club is in the basement of the restaurant. After checking our name off the guest list we were shown to a table that was at the side of the stage and thankfully away from the drums this visit.
The performance was scheduled to start at 7.30 pm and immediately we’d sat down we had menus and had ordered wine and carafe of water. The ‘friend of the band’ (it turns out he knew the drummer) tried to sit at one of the front row tables and was quickly relocated by the restaurant staff!
Our starter and then our pizzas were all delivered after 7 and we still had a few slices left as the performance started. Coffees came about halfway through the performance.
We knew of Vonda through her connection to the Ally McBeal TV show. Her records of the music from the show had even won her a Billboard award for selling the most TV soundtrack albums in history.
The evening’s performances were to be the last of her latest tour. I think the band, like us, hadn’t expected the crowds. Plus they had had to hand carry their gear to the club as all the roads were closed.
The two guitarists in the band, James and Jim, were very experienced musicians too. One had played with Tina Turner for 22 years and the other had played with Bruce Springsteen.
This was our view from our table.
I did stand up and take views looking across the stage.
I did manage to catch some reflections…
… and sneak way down to the other side of the restaurant to get this shot of Vonda Shepard at the piano.
Vonda was joined on stage by two friends who joined in with the next song…
…then Vonda came out from behind the piano and we all had a great time standing, dancing and joining in!