Mike Blackmore has played at Cheeky Monkey many times over the years. As has Dwayne Cloes. Both have been here as part of bands and played here solo. During the 2017 Record Store Day, they played here for the first time as a duo. We were so impressed, we asked them to come back – so they did – for the July First Friday.
With Mike on guitar, d’jembe (hand drum) and looping machine, and Dwayne playing bass guitar they created a unique musical experience. You could not find two more different people in their history and approach to music, but somehow the combination of their wealth of talent works wonderfully for them.
Armed with a playlist of originals and cover songs such as ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ and my personal favourite Mike has done for years, but never the same way twice, ‘House of the Rising Sun’, they easily entertained the audience for 2 hours. Most of the vocal duties were handled by Mike except for one original song of Dwayne’s called ’15 Years’. When asked, Dwayne explained it is a fairly new song he has not recorded as yet, giving us all something to look forward to.
One thing they do have in common, besides talent, is their sense of humour and whimsy. Several times during the night, Mike had a friend in the audience pick out a record from the bin so he could use the track listings as lyrics in a song they made up in the moment. Proving that finding a good groove to play can be enhanced by any words creating a true toe tapping jam. They are both pretty good at making up names to songs they pulled out of thin air too giving us a giggle or 2. Mike and Dwayne are a couple of fun guys to hear and see play. Sure hope they want to come back to Cheeky Monkey, cuz we’d love to have them back.
For more photos taken by Roland during First Friday evening, CLICK HERE.
Next First Friday is August 4th with Offsite Impact. CLICK HERE for details