Manor Park gets into its swing

The icy January conditions cut short our plans to go wading in the mighty Quaggy from Manor Park with Lee Green Forum on Saturday.

But a glorious winter’s day still had much to offer. In the bracing conditions, we warmed our cockles with a cup of hot chocolate from Fred and Banu, the couple behind the Arts Cafe who have done so much to rejuvenate the park over the past two years.

In the space next door to the cafe, a five-piece swing band called the Pimentos shortly began to play – and what a great interlude to the day.

They were Mike on drums, Greg on guitar, Anthony on alto sax, the band leader Ed on electric bass, and Abby on vocals.

Their set was eclectic – among them traditional numbers, I Wan’na Be like You, mash-ups of Tainted Love and Where Did all the Love Go, Pharell Williams, Pixie Lott and Paloma Faith reprises, and even a George Michael tribute (an up-tempo Careless Whisper), all delightful swing renditions.

It was a cosy space; ever more so as the sun went down and more people arrived, tempted by the warmth and sound emanating from within. The saxophonist, squeezed up close to the entrance, patiently put up with comings and goings – even opening the door for one shopping-laden would-be listener escaping the frost, but never missing a note.

Their next gig is the Lord Northbrook next Saturday (January 28). Catch them if you can.

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Author: lewishamlately

I'm Jolyon and I started Lewisham Lately after fretting about the lack of news coverage for the borough. An avid runner, I also used to be a guide book writer, then worked on the travel desk at the Daily Telegraph for the best part of a decade. I have lived in south-east London more than anywhere else in my adult life, including Lewisham since 2009.

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