Dom and the Ikos
Hoochie Coochie Bar
30th October 2015
After seeing Dom and the Ikos rock the socks off the Jumping Hot Club stage at SummerTyne in July and then loving their album I was particularly excited to see them play the present Mrs. Magpie’s favourite venue the Hoochie Coochie.
Sadly my heat sank when we entered the venue at 8.15 for the 8.30 start to see only 4 other souls dotted around the bar. The good news was we managed to snag two seats with a great view, in the mainly standing room. It appeared the start time was deferred until more people arrived; and arrive they did; with about 70 or 80 present when the Ikos strolled onto the corner stage followed by a very dapper Dom Pipkin in his pearlescent white suit and big red felt hat.
To get the toes tapping the band kicked off with a slow and seedy Iko-Iko; featuring the first of many exciting sax solos from Tony Rico/Chico (Dom changed his name several times during the show).
The song was greeted by generous applause from the ever growing crowd and a cheer went up behind me when someone recognised the intro to Let The Good Times Roll, which followed.
Knowing the bands background it shouldn’t have been a surprise to know how good they are; but they really are!
Combining Boogie-Woogie, Soul, Ragtime, Jazz and even a hint of Rockabilly Dom and the Ikos are serious musicians but do everything with smiles on their faces; which came across in every note of every song.
I think I was the only one who noticed that the guitarist was MIA but he wasn’t missed as Tony Rico used the sax as a lead instrument; making himself go bug-eyed several times as he tried to blow the reads out.
Dom is no slouch on the keyboard either; showing enough flourishes to prove he is far superior to Jools Holland Esq. These days.
While I didn’t recognise every song that’s not always necessary on a night like this, as enjoyment is much higher up the list; as was proved by the packed dance-floor. I’m no dancer and following a recent operation, it was out of the question anyway; I took great delight in watching a drunk birthday party mingle with a mature couple who could really dance, some youngsters trying their best and some Jazz dancers who looked like they were being given electric shocks!
The hour flew by; including the extra ten minutes of something called The Mardi Gras Anthem; which was exactly what it said on the tin – anthemic and very, very Mardi Gras.
The gig was absolutely fabulous; and Mrs. Magpie concurred; but that may have had something to do with three cocktails; and I have to give credit to owner, Promoter and resident DJ Warren who has been bringing world famous Soul, Funk and Jazz stars to this tiny venue in Newcastle city centre over the last few years; and shoring things up with ‘unknowns’ like Dom and the Ikos for the delectation of his knowledgable regulars.