Seven guitars

There are seven guitars hanging off the wall in Alistair’s living room and a couple of microphones are lying on the breakfast table – signs of a monastic life dedicated to music and lyrics…..

Born and bred just around the corner and living here ever since, Alistair is my perfect host in Manchester, this archetypal English city in the North, which – after so many years on the island – I am now visiting for the first time.

With its city center, where the wrought iron fenced facades tell of previous riches and of its now uncomfortable colonial history, where modern coffee chains mingle with addresses like Canada or India House. A place which features large deprived areas and yet not one but even two of the World’s most famous (and expensive) football clubs with the eternal rival – Liverpool – just a stone throw away towards the East.

Having for a few days updated myself on the newest ideas in veterinary care at the grand location of the converted Victorian Central Railway Station, my focus is now on checking out the local music club scene and for this I decided Alistair couldn’t be better suited.

Staying for another night and following his advice I am setting out late on Saturday evening, strolling through the densely populated city center towards a small Jazz club in the Northern Quarter.

Walking along the old canal, passing Gay Village, I am approached by the towering figure of a guy in drag with a faux fur coat and on 14 inch stiletto heels, trying to usher me into one of the local bars. I have to smile and decline politely, but while carrying on with my walk, I can’t help feeling like a fly that just had a close encounter with a praying mantis…..

A few minutes later I am entering the already packed Matt & Phredd’s Jazz Club and after finding myself somewhat lost in the crowd, nursing my first Cuba Libre of a few that night, I notice that a chair just next to the stage appears to be still vacant.

Utilizing my German genes, I am seizing it (even without having a towel….) and luckily only a couple of hours later I become aware of a “Reserved” sign on which I have been sitting the whole evening…..

At that point however it didn’t matter anymore…

Shortly after my arrival, Terri Shaltiel and her band are entering the stage and the audience is being treated to a great fusion of soul, blues and R n B. A bit of Amy Winehouse, a bit of Aretha Franklin and of Gladys Knight with some impressive instrumental solos adding to the mix.

In the breaks, while sharing drinks with Bolee, the bass guitarist, I am once again reminded how small the world is, when it turns out that he had served in the British Army in both Hanover and Paderborn, exactly at the same time when I was studying there veterinary medicine and when I started with my first job mainly treating farming animals.

Time for another drink and for more “Sweet Things” by Terri Shaltiel….

Published by The Blue Vet

I am a veterinary surgeon with a German and Norwegian educational background. I have been the founder and for over 20 years I have been the senior veterinarian at the Virginia Water Veterinary Clinic in Surrey, England. When starting this blog I was also the President of FECAVA, the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations. In the summer of 2019 I left my clinic to work as an international locum and clinical advisor. I am interested in all aspects of clinical companion animal medicine, in endurance sports and in traveling and meeting people with and without their pets and especially in sharing my knowledge with colleagues in other parts of Europe and the World.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: