At one point during last week's Otis Gibbs gig at the Sheep Walk, we were encouraged to shout "F*** Off, Ramblin' Steve" at our host, which we did with gusto. I wish we hadn't now because it appears he has taken us at a word.
All the "What's Cookin'" regulars were no doubt as stunned as I was to get an e-mail from Steve and Ali yesterday saying that after seven years of running the club they were knackered and, as a result, next Saturday's show will be the last one at the Sheep Walk. It was not entirely clear whether this means it will be the last ever "What's Cookin'" or just the last of the regular nights at the Sheep Walk, but either way it is going to leave a massive hole in the East London music scene. This is the worst thing to happen since Barry left the Borderline.
Unfortunately I can't be there on Saturday as I will be doing some rambling of my own, but I am sure they will go out in style. Steve and Ali, thanks for all the great nights, and come back soon.
"That's What I Call Cookin'" - Carolyn Martin (from "Cookin' With Carolyn", 2010)
"Steve's Last Ramble" - Steve Earle (from "Transcendental Blues", 2000)
Apart from Otis, probably the best gig I saw there was Pete Molinari late last year. Here he is.