MUSIC has always been a big thing to me and a tin ear has never held me back!
I KNEW Jon Harley to be a much-loved and respected English teacher at The Angmering School – he taught my two children and they are all the better for that tutoring.
However, somewhere along the pike he must have lost his way, because last week I bumped into him playing rhythm guitar with a group called Tonight Matthew at the popular Brunswick in Hove.
The place was really throbbing to covers of The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, The Kinks and Elvis among many others. I did manage a quick chat with Jon after the show. It seems he does still teach English at Angmering, but only part-time now and the band is going great guns. What was extra nice about the gig was the fact that several of his ex-students were there – most of them over 6ft tall and looking like they could have him for breakfast! Good job he was a just, wise and kindly teacher.
But you don’t have to go to Hove for good music, as there is plenty around LA these days, from the Arun View to the west, to the Crown in the town centre and out again to the New Inn on the east side of town.
The latter is on my beat. Landlord Nick Best puts on music every Friday and Saturday –– Southern Lights, Mick Koumis, Willie Austin and many other popular groups – plus the Irish Sessions in the late Sunday afternoon. A little more country music would be nice, but that’s just me!
The Inn is a traditional pub, board flooring for a dance or two and populated by an appreciative and friendly crowd. If something more than rock is to your liking there is monthly mid-week jazz and blues from the Joss Peach Trio served with steak or chilli,
I would love to know where the bull fiddle player of that group goes when he closes his eyes and plucks – must be a cool place.
Who pays the ferryman and how much? At long last the ferry across the river is to be reinstated. The ferry, an unattractive, square-shaped craft looking more like a floating platform than a boat, is to be launched tomorrow (Friday).
It will run throughout the summer from April 1, crossing the river and maybe running trips to Arundel. No mention of the cost for the ride as yet, but it surely will not be the few pennies I used to spend when a guy had to row the ferry across.
I guess many locals will still prefer to walk to West Beach, though. It’s great to watch the golfers thrashing away in the bushes, looking for wayward balls, and there is something quite magical about the mud flats, the wrecks, the the rotting skeletons of the old Second World War warriors, the distant memories and the sight of that splendid old coal-driven tug Mary Ann 2 nestling among the reeds.
One store closes, another opens. I see that Dorothy Perkins and the Chinese Medicine Shop are closing down, leaving more gaps in the High Street – ones which, I sincerely hope, will not be filled with yet more food outlets. LA is fast becoming known as “the gateway to the mouth”! In one small town precinct we have meat pies and Cornish pasties, we have fish and chips, burgers, chicken bits and kebabs. We have a Wimpey, a Greggs and Sainsbury’s and Waitrose cafes, we have sandwich bars and pub grub and, shortly, we will have a noodle shop!