Ronnie Scott's – keeping jazz away from the fans since 2006…

So today I went down to the marvellous Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance in Kilburn, to watch a masterclass by guitarist Mike Stern and bass legend Anthony Jackson. It was a mixture of stories, advice, practice tips and inspirational musings, as well as some amazing playing. Anthony was certainly the most animated I’ve ever seen him (which is not a huge amount, but more than just having seen him in magazines…) and was on rare form with his answers to questions.

All if which made me want to go and check them out at Ronnie Scott’s tonight or tomorrow. However, tickets are £36. For one set. And there’s no longer a reduction for MU members. None at all.

There was a time, not as long ago as you might think when it was – I gather – a pound to get into Ronnie’s with your MU card. That made it the defacto musician’s hang in central london. Given that it goes on a lot later than many other gigs in town, it was the place to go once your gig had finished – catch the second set, hang out with some other musos, get a drink, and give Ronnie’s the air of being THE place to be. It’s what Ronnie himself specifically intended for the club.

That all changed last year when the club changed hands. No more reductions, no more staying all night to watch both sets by an act you really love, and no more sensibly priced tickets. Now, I know Mike Stern is going to charge a pretty penny to come and play – he ain’t cheap, but he’s not sodding Coldplay either! Certainly nothing that forces the club to charge such high dollar ticket prices, or to split the evening so you can only go to half the gig. Add to that the disappearance of the best gig in the country which I’ve blogged about before (click the link), and you’ve got yourself one crappy cabaret night out for rich peoples.

Bollocks to Ronnie’s.

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