Peter Wilson, Rea Curran
Seven days after this gig, Peter Wilson will be leading Duke Special in front of the Ulster Orchestra at the Waterfront, Belfast. But this week he's in the skanky little Rotterdam Bar, playing a secret show to 50 fans and friends and declaring that this particular joint is his favourite in the city.
He's also reunited with Réa Curran, a Duke Special comrade who's increasingly working on his own career. The latter will play piano, floor tom, accordion, tambourine and will even blow ï¿½trumpet' solos through an old gramophone horn. The facilities are basic and the PA system will shudder a few times, but this is still enormous value.
As well as heading copper-bottomed classics like ï¿½Brixton Leaves' and ï¿½Scarlett', there's some fun with covers of ï¿½I'll Be Your Baby Tonight' and ï¿½Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage Mrs Worthington'. Réa delivers the latter with Noel Coward's greatest aplomb, while his Kurt Weill, cabaret dimension is also exercised well. And a Curran original, ï¿½Celestial Feedback' is stunning and proper.
Peter takes this opportunity to play new tracks such as ï¿½This Happiness Is Out Of Control' which repeats the title, mantra-like, until enlightenment arrives. Think of the Elliott Smith tune, ï¿½Everything Reminds Me Of Her' and you're in the right zone. Another new idea, ï¿½This Might Be Healing' is tender and close up, like Leonard Cohen while ï¿½Love Is Connection' resumes the sentimental side of Victoriana.
I exit with the phrase ï¿½Oh My Careless Heart' scribbled on a beermat. It might be the title of a song, or even a state of mind. Whatever, it was another event that felt extremely real and true.