[Dixielandjazz] Firehouse Five ~ False Alarm ~ What there's a Cat in the Tree

richard.flecknell at ntlworld.com richard.flecknell at ntlworld.com
Tue Oct 13 06:08:43 PDT 2009

Jim, should have this to main site as well.
Good post and points, that's what I was hoping for. 
Look I've been there myself but I wasn't as successful as them. I've worn 
stripey shirts, played Hokey Cokey, Gay Gordons and so on. Played Junle Book 
song and all sorts of things. I've even shouted oy "Wakey Wakey" before 
launching into Somebody Stole Gal (uk fans only ref). 
Would all that persuade me to purchase their lps back then probably not. 
I was into Bunk, Lu , Ory, Lewis, Louis, etc the FH5 didn't stand a chance. I 
can hear that they are competant musicians though and the banjoist has certainy 
an infectious grin. 
I like the 2 beat style myself especially Lu Watters Band in trying to "copy" 
the Oliver Band and such he came up w a sound all his own. 
As for the 50s Jim, it's probably my favourite decade. Sinatra, Ory, Pepper, 
Brownie and so on. I'm listening to that ride-out right this moment. 
Their Tiger Rag may be very exciting to you and many others but get to hear say 
Colyer's version on Joy records as well. 
I'm glad you replied, where can I get a siren? 
Look, I'm not convinced , and I know that's not your intention to do so 
(previous posts). 
I noticed that they recorded many songs I played myself. The ones I'll try 
listen out for are Who Walked In When I Walked Out and Love Songs of the Nile. 
I also suspect that this an American thing stretching back to Minstrel, 
Vaudeville and right up to Spike Jones. The records of the FH5 were always 
available in UK. 
Corny, indeed not, Jazz content? Stereotypical? a touch. I prefer my Dixieland a 
tad more imaginative. Their up against the very best so I overlook them. I'll 
bet we have more in common Jim than not. 
I've seen the following happen. A well-known UK jazz guitarist I used to go and 
hear in a small, dark basement (a trio in fact) played wonderful standards and 
played them very well. It would be difficult to hear him above the chattering, 
most wouldn't be listening. Once a night he would play the banjo alone 
(excellently) and bring the house down. Lesson eh! 
Still frightened, I'm not going to turn the lights off just yet. 
Right they've finished I'll say the ride-outs spirited and leave there. 
BTW the siren needs tuning. The sort Dixieland I'm spoilt by would Spaniers 
Great 16. But there's room for all. 
Next time around I'm going try out the Lu Watters line-up, rhythm in front, but 
I'll increase the banjos from 2 to 5. 
If I tried the siren idea the audience would head for The Underground. 

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