...dial RR for damn fine coffee

“Dianne! Dianne! You alright back there?!”

– Georges barked over the fierce growl of the engine and the screech of howling brakes, as, gripping the wheel for dear life, he negotiated yet another hairpin bend in the road at a speed he feared this battered jalopy would not be able to sustain for long. 

“take it easy honey, it’s all under control” 

Georges shot a glance over his dark glasses into the cracked rear view mirror. Dianne was reclining on the back seat casually finishing off a cigarette, one hand resting lightly on the door handle to steady herself against the vehicle's violent shuddering. Her eyes hidden behind large shades, a hint of a wistful smile hovering about her lips she nodded faintly along to the rhythm of a song only she could hear, at odds with the pounding thrum all around her. Now and then she glanced across at the man next to her who was sitting bolt upright and maintaining a grim silence. Wide eyed and unblinking he stared straight ahead right into the back of Georges' neck. An unsociable manner at least partially explained by a recent encounter with the back end of a .45 followed by complications involving an alto saxaphone and a rare brand of horse tranquilliser. It may well have also been the result of psychological issues rooted deep in its bearer’s murky past but this was something Georges wasn’t willing to delve into at this stage. The first explanation was fine for now. 

“I have no idea where this will take us but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange!”

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...Propping up the Mahogany Bar

'Once again Georges found himself settled into that same old situation, he and this particular bar stool seemed all too well acquainted by now. Unsure of what his next step should be he had carved his way into a dead end routine that mostly involved nursing a drink night after night whilst a vast array of players came and went around him. Oh, he pined to lay roots down in a more exotic setting but a light wallet and a price on his head meant that his options were few. No, for the time being he was stuck watching the ash from his cigarette slowly gather in the tray beside him.

The house band sparked up a mournful rendition of ‘Willow weep for me’ which seemed to match Georges’ mood perfectly. He took in his surroundings and thought to himself ‘man this place really must have some history behind it’, his musings didn’t last long though as a voice called out from the other side of the bar disturbing his much sought solitude. It was a rough bark that seemed to chop straight through the room, yet it was tinged with a strange lilt that Georges struggled to place.

‘Hey Yew!…yeah, yew…yew know who ‘am talkin’ too.’

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...Somethin' Else in Camden

"I'll have a dry martini please" 

The cocktail waitress smiled icily and disappeared into the crowd. Morgan suppressed a laugh, and with a faint smile flickering about her lips casually scanned the room, coolly observing the people that surrounded her. This was indeed an excellent party, all the guests belonging to the highest echelon of society and in a setting to match. Negotiating her way across the marble floor, all eyes followed her, yet no one dared to attempt conversation. Occasionally her ironic gaze rested for a moment, singling out an individual who would turn away and laugh nervously, desperately attempting to huddle into the crowd amongst a flurry of anxious whispers.

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...Live! at the Victoria

Needless to say it was not often that Georges let anyone get the drop on him but a life spent living in the shadows does from time to time dredge up the occasional have-a-go scum bag to really mess with your day.


Darting into an all too sombre alleyway Georges was quickly made aware of the fact that he was no longer alone. 'Hey buddy, got a light?' came the rather too predictable ice breaker from behind. Reluctantly Georges decided to play along, fumbling through his jacket pocket his hand eventually came to rest on a rather crumpled book of matches. Pulling it into the open his mind began to wander thanks mostly to the vague whiff of gasoline that still hung around it. He flipped the cover to reveal one last solitary match. 

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...A further Victorian return

Georges slouched deep into the worn leather chair. Feet up on the old desk in front of him, the smoke from his half finished cigarette slowly rising from his fingers, he studied the wall opposite with its rhythmic divisions of light and shade cast by the streetlamp's glow flickering through the half open blinds behind him. A faint breeze toyed with the peeling wallpaper and the hiss of cars below the apartment drifted softly into the room like a distant ocean through the early evening haze. Not his ideal setting, but it would do for now.

Out of the city's nocturnal murmurings suddenly came the sharp sound of footsteps followed by a rapid knock and a pool of light that spilled across the floor from the narrow corridor. Georges adjusted his shades to accommodate the glare and saw the silhouette of a female figure in the doorway. Leaning lightly against the frame, her shadow reached far into room, stopping short at the desk.

'So, are you the one I've been waiting for?'

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...Bouncing back at the Compressed Fest

‘Hey, you there! you ain’t gettin’ in if you don’t know the password’


'‘I’m here to see Mr Pontiac’


‘What’re you crazy?! Marvin’s out. And if I were you I wouldn’t be mentioning that name round here more than necessary’


‘This is Pontiac’s casino right?’


’What does it look like, grapefruit?


‘Looks like Pontiac’s place to me’


‘Okay wiseguy, I told you already, he ain’t in. Now scram before I beat your teeth out and kick you in the stomach for mumbling. ’

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...Candied Nonsense

He found himself in one of those long forgotten places on the edge of the dustbowl slap bang in the centre of the lonesome American night. A ghost town haunted by the shadows of a past age when people marauded west across the plains, plundering the then bountiful earth for its hidden riches. Nothing left for Georges though after a restless night of searching... 


Georges stepped across the threshold of the saloon bar and peered into the gloom. He’d seen this place from across the empty street and it wasn’t just his sore craving for a shot of whiskey to warm his frozen soul that had lured him in. Outside was deserted save for the crows gathering at the cavernous mouth of the abandoned mine shaft, gaping voicelessly up at him from what seemed to be hell’s inner reaches. Something glinted in the darkness; Georges’ hand went straight to his holster; not quick enough though as the bullet had already whistled past his ear knocking his shades to the ground. He heard the faint rumble of an out of tune piano from an adjacent room accompanied by a haunted saxophone, cutting the silence with its sharp distorted song.


“Better beware of those false notes”

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...Underdog's new Trick Bag

Georges knew it was all about timing, that perfect rhythm that not just any drummer could pull off. He looked down at his cards, good...but not good enough, this was going to take a little bit 'creative' action on his part. After all there was luck and there was making your own luck.


He stared out from beneath his dark glasses cooly observing the faces of his fellow players around him, a rag-tag bunch of city lowlifes if ever there was. All eyes were on him and with stakes this high he couldn't afford to slip up. A single bead of sweat wound it's way slowly down his forehead whilst his heart pounded a steady beat that he hoped only he could hear. Any minute now he'd have to make his move.

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...The Man with the Plywood Violin

Georges stood at the side of the road. There was nothing to look at; the abandoned crossroads were deep in the desert stretching for miles in all directions. An odd place for a tip off. He adjusted his shades in the encroaching gloom as the sun shot its final rays across the dying sky. He’d never felt so lonesome as on this sterile promontory overlooking an unknown country, his life like the landscape in its quintessence of dust. If only he could stop running, maybe then he could rest, sleep and maybe even dream. Not the adrenaline fuelled nightmares of his present existence indistinguishable from his waking hours, but the peaceful slumber he now thought would only be possible in death. 


‘Why hello Mr Kaplan’

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...Off Broadway on the double

Wednesday, 17 December 2009 · 20:00 Off Broadway, 63-65 Broadway Market, London

At first the lights dazzled him, however, he soon got used to the glare. Heart pounding and head throbbing, a thousand thoughts now careered around his brain all vying for his attention. If he could just settle himself down and focus then maybe, just maybe he could make sense of it all.

Then through the chaos a distant melody began to call him. A half remembered tune from a distant saloon...a girl...a gun and a whole heap of trouble. As the beat picked up the swirling vortex of notes played right into his memories and all at once he knew this would be the one that would make it count...