No sooner had the Rye Ukulele Experiment completed their World Tour at The Queens Head in Rye last Tuesday evening than they were called in to be support act for Kanda Bongo Man, coming on stage at Rye Community Centre 20 minutes later. The African master of Soukous music and his band were lost, broken down somewhere on the marsh, out of phone contact. And they should have been on stage 10 minutes beforehand! This was far too rock 'n' roll for the Rye audience. So the plucky midget guitar men and women gamely stepped into the breach, and won over the expectant but restless audience with a 40-minute set of pop standards. Many of the audience were visibly moved to tears!
Finally, Kanda Bongo Man, his band and their van arrived on the back of a breakdown truck and took the stage within 10 minutes of arrival without a sound check and got on with it. The audience, well warmed up by the mighty massed ranks of Rye Ukes, were on their feet almost straight away. And they danced the night away! Fantastic music!
Afterwards the band checked into their accommodation in town but, mysteriously, were already gone the next morning when their hosts got up. And so was their van!
But the Uklear Power that is Rye's Experiment stays. Check them and why not join them every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm in The Queens Head?