Sometimes unexpected things happen - a gig with low potential can turn out to be a barnstormer, a long awaited once in a lifetime opportunity can turn out to be a disaster (O2 - Leonard Cohen, the man with the dreads in seat Q888, Level 4, Block H - you'll know exactly what I mean). Sometimes, though, something that you expect to be brilliant turns out to be something really special, and those at Ian McLagan at the Jazz Cafe last Sunday will have experienced that.
McLagan and the Bump Band (featuring a founder member of Canned Heat, no less) are based in Austin, TX, and as McLagan pointed out, you can see them for free for 2 hours every Thursday night at the Lucky Lounge in town. However, £20 was a fair swap for the intense heat of the London summer, and the refurbished Jazz Cafe was as good as it has ever been. The band played a great set - some of McLagan's solo material from his acclaimed Bump In the Night album, available from www.macspages.com, as well as some timeless Faces and Small Faces classics - Get Yourself Together, You're So Rude, and Cindy, Incidentally. Magic stuff.
But the evening was more than just a concert - it was a gathering of friends and fans for a homecoming. The audience was populated by mods, Mac's friends and family, and the Faces producer who sat in the balcony, and got several cheers from the assembled crowd. Not bad, eh? I thought as I wandered to the gents after a couple of beers. Opening the door, a bloke was gathering up his keys, cash and wallet which he had dropped. I offered to give him a hand, which he politely declined, and as he stood up, it became apparent that the bloke in question was none other than Paul Weller. An unexpected moment of extreme coolness, to see two Modfathers in one evening.