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Moscow Drug Club

Sunday 14th July 2024 at 7:30pm
The Drill Hall, Chepstow, NP16 5HJ

This Bastille Day, Sunday 14 July, we cordially invite you to enter with us into the darkly comic, jazz-cum-cabaret world of Moscow Drug Club, those “Transcendent Troubadours of Gypsy, Latin & Swing”. And it’s a world that owes a curious debt of thanks to that revolutionary city of light, Paris. 
Early cabarets (from the Norman French for ‘little room’) were simple meeting-and-eating places, widespread across the French capital from the 15th century onwards. By the 18th century they’d been joined by outdoor entertainment venues known as cafés-chantants, which offered food and music. So far, so very wholesome. And then, in 1881, a black cat sauntered into Montmartre… Le Chat Noir took the best features of both cabarets and cafés-chantants and made them into something altogether richer and racier. Now, patrons could sit and drink into the night, while a master of ceremonies told scabrous political jokes in between spicy variety acts. Unsurprisingly, the idea took Europe by storm. 
But the times, they were a-changin’… Just a few decades on and these modern style cabarets, just like the competing British music halls, were looking rather old hat in comparison to the emerging delights of cinema, nightclubs and an enticing American import… Step forward five jazz-mad Paris lycée students who, in 1931, founded the Hot Club de France (the HCF), with the sole and sober aim of spreading this new music far and wide. Copycat clubs soon followed, as did (at the HCF’s urging) the legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France, where Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli came together in what has been called “one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz”. 
So, join us as we weave our way through the cobbled, gas-lit streets of Paris in search of musical enchantment, courtesy of Moscow Drug Club.


For those of you who haven’t heard this critically-praised Bristol-based jazz and cabaret ensemble before, imagine “a curious musical place where certain elements of 1930s Berlin Cabaret, Hot Club de France, Nuevo Tango & Gypsy Campfire meet, have a few to drink and stagger arm in arm into the darkness of an eastern European cobbled street on a mission to find the bar where Django Reinhardt and Tom Waits are having an after-hours jam with the local Tziganes…”
Indeed, you’ll meet pretty much everyone at the Moscow Drug Club…Kurt Weill, Leonard Cohen, Eartha Kitt, Jacques Brel…and sample many different musical styles while you’re there.
“When they play for fun, they go for it full-heartedly,
setting the pulse racing and the toes tapping;
they deflate pomposity with a twinkle of the eye 
and, when life is difficult, they tell the story exactly as it is.”

The Jazzman
So, put on your dancing shoes, let down your hair and join us for an evening of musical intoxication, courtesy of Moscow Drug Club.

Wye Valley Music

Founded 1967
Registered Charity 1092645

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