A Damn Fine Chap, Wot

Sabrina's latest CD

A major majorette: Sabrina’s latest CD

Bein’ the reactions, doncha know, pip pip, of an unbuttoned Englishman to an act of brass and class.

Don’t usually do gig reviews on here, but here we go. I popped down to my local music and booze emporium last night for a dose of cabaret. Was at a loose end, and inevitably found myself setting up the stage and the sound. Well, no skin off my nose – I was there and I know how to do it properly.

Sadly the house was woefully flaccid, but that was to my benefit because I had a chance to get to know one of the guest artistes – one Sabrina Chap, pictured here banging her own drum, which is fine by me, because frankly she has one hell of a drum to bang. She plays a mean earring solo too…

Sabrina is a wonderfully talented singer-songwriter-pianist, based in Brooklyn NY (but she tours vigorously), with savagely witty material, great chops, a lovely natural irreverent line in stage patter and, as she herself acknowledges, a décolletage seemingly fashioned by nature for the burlesque stage. “If you like the music, fine; if you just wanna look at my tits, fine too…”

Live in Baltimore: this is Sabrina’s piss-take of Sarah Palin on the soon to be released song Democracy (Photo by Cheryl Fair)

She’s also my kind of company. In a sense, it’s not really an “act”, since she’s much the same offstage. Fine sense of humour, which she is happy to turn on herself, a nicely poised balance between robust pragmatism and artistic sensibility, and a refreshing “cut the crap” attitude to life. While never being unkind, natch. May not be your cup of tea, but she certainly chimed with my somewhat Rabelaisian way of looking at the world.

I SAY, STEADY ON, OLD CHAP…

Since her material and presentation often range beyond the lewd into the downright filthy, her natural platform seems to be the burlesque circuit (very big in the UK at the moment, along with steampunk – can someone please explain to me what steampunk actually is?) This is fine, but I hope she finds a wider appeal, because I think she deserves it.

The filth stuff of course, always um, goes down really well. But it’s intelligent, funny filth (c’mon, admit it – you all think it, you just don’t say it) and honestly, if that’s all you think she’s about, you haven’t really been paying attention…

Anyway, check Sabrina out here: http://www.sabrinachap.com
Two CDs for sale, a third one on the way, and some interesting literary and cultural projects. As I said, she tours like a trouper, so watch out for her and I look forward to seeing her back in the UK next year.

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Wednesday Gig/Jam


We play every Wednesday night, 9 to 12.30, at Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington, South London. It starts as a gig then becomes a jam. We welcome and accommodate all, but please do have a squizz at Thoughts from the Piano Chair of a Jam Session.
Illustration by Sue Harding

June guest soloists
7 Sara Dowling voc
14 Ed Riches gtr
21 Duncan Eagles tenor
28 Tom Ridout tenor

More info on guests here


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