What happens when chocolate, wine and beautiful people meet in one room? The answer is simple; together at the best kept exclusive secret on Shaftesbury Avenue, The Century Club, listening to six stripped down acoustic songs by American mega selling rock outfit, Train.
To celebrate the release of their very own wine, a handful of VIP's were invited along to the top floor of the Century Club, easily missed amongst the sights and sounds and the bustling of tourists, those wonderful guys on the bike chariots, enticing you to sit atop their vehicles whilst they stand in traffic for 30 minutes are never more than a few metres from the door.
Never venturing to such a venue before or experiencing a scene like it, I half expected to be asked to leave, being a private members club, I understand it was 'lounge suits and cocktail dresses', I wasn't told this little nugget of information so turned up in my trademark cargo shorts, 'band' t-shirt and walking boots. Luckily for me, i was on the guestlist and maybe the door staff thought I was dressing as if I was heading off to a gig, the staff member's friendly smiles were constantly on display, their professionalism created a warm friendly aura around this small venue.
An audience of around only fifty people were stood sipping wine and munching chocs, how often do you get to do this in an exclusive 'members only' club and have TRAIN, one of the biggest bands in the world play a few of their classic tracks and a new one from their upcoming album 'Bulletproof Picasso', which is out on September 15th.
Normally a band that plays in front of thousands in huge arenas, where they may look like five dots in the distance, here it’s up close and personal. Pat Monohan belts out tunes that the crowd sway to and like many shows these days pull out their phones to film what they’re watching.
'Drops of Jupiter', their final song of the set brings the crowd chanting along to the chorus but only after a little egging on from Pat Monahan. This is a powerful song that’s used in many wedding 'first dances' and has the emotional edge that always brings the memories as to what life was like the moment this song was originally released. Hearing it acoustically and being so close to these five artists was a real treat, whether you were a fan of the band back in the day or not, it was certainly a rare treat for all.
Wednesday evening, in an exclusive 'members only' club on Shaftesbury Avenue listening to Train, stripped down music, at a venue with friendly staff and wine tasting was certainly different to how I normally spend my school nights. I will add that the sound was exactly how it was meant to be, a stand up round of applause was held for the sound engineer who more than assisted in making such a heart warming, memorable occasion.
By Mark Wincott