Bitten by the Django bug

Every musician can remember certain moments in childhood when “the earth moved” and they realised that music held a very particular fascination. For me, one of those moments occurred around the age of 21 (I was a late developer) during the summer holidays after my 2nd year of university. I was listening to a recording of “Limehouse Blues” by the gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and his band The Quintet of the Hot Club de France.

It was 1981, so before I could listen to it, I had to go and buy and “LP” from a place called a “record shop” – but thanks to the wonders of the internet,  you can just click on this YouTube link and have a quick listen (Django’s guitar solo starts after about a minute, but children please just slow down a bit, and listen from the beginning – this is really fantastic music).

I had listened to Django with half an ear before, but for some reason this time the music suddenly grabbed me and held me. There was something so completely unfettered about the way that Django was playing – just pure music coming straight out of him with incredible exuberance. With hindsight, I think that by the time the track finished playing, the damage was done – I was going to end up being a musician somehow or other.