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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Shaggies bar, Luperon

Shaggies bar is in the centre of Luperon on a street littered with potholes and many dominican style shops and workshops. The street looks like it has been abandoned many years ago but in actual fact it's part of the thriving heart of Luperon. Halfway down the street is Shaggies bar, it's a yard with a cana roofed affair behind a small wall with a sort of couple of sheds nailed on the back, one of which is the banos, the other the kitchen/bar. The place is packed, that is all 30 odd chairs are filled with Ex pat faces, all yachties we suspect from the bay. I've brought my guitar, but not too sure what the crack is, we find a couple of plastic chairs and order a cerveza. Next thing we've been spotted by Jeff and Lucy from last night at the yacht club and they join us. Jeff has his own bottle of premium rum and looks determined to get drunk. He's had a bad day as he's just discovered that his yacht has been vandalised, all his lines have been cut through whilst he's been away in Las Vegas. He's in no mood to play music and in the mood for getting drunk. We move tables which proves to be a mistake as we're now in the vicinity of the loudest mouth in Luperon. Lana has her four kids here and it's her birthday, which maybe made it worse, but the frequency of this voice behind me is sharp enough to compete with lightning and the tales she's telling sound more than chilling, this a woman not to be crossed. 'You want cake' she screams at the gathering and I shudder as the decibels rattle my eardrums.
We order the special meal, which is meatloaf and mash potato and watch the PA and a drum kit being set up in the yard. Meanwhile Jeff is proving to be an unwelcome dinner guest, but we're too polite to say anything. Ray and Barry arrive and sit with us which relieves the tension but I'm now of the opinion that Jeff is not my kind of friend, he's loud and just a bit obnoxious, due no doubt to the intake of rum.
Once the drums and PA are set up the stage is set, and there's a guy called Bill whose restringing an electric guitar so it looks like this a serious style jam session, how wrong I was.
There's a guy with a saxaphone, a drummer, Bill and me. Bill noodles about on a very out of tune guitar and I decide to plug in and join them. Turns out that Bill is not at all competent but the sax player and drummer are fine and I take the mic and do a rendition of Stormy Monday. This is sounding really promising and even though Bill can't quite follow us, between me the drummer and sax player it's going well, and by the big finish we get an enthusiastic round of applause. We tackle another couple of tunes before Jeff decides to join us on Bills' out of tune guitar. From this point the session goes slowly downhill until I leave the stage for a beer and a cigarette as Jeff has now taken over playing some durgey blues.
When the drummer and sax player get sick of this and leave the stage I jump in to give a rendering of my new song "Seadogs in old Luperon". I remember 95% of it but break a D string just before the end, but it goes down well.
Now Jeff is back up with his wife Lucy on flute playing music to cut your throat to and at this point Barry says he's leaving as he can't stand anymore. Barry goes up 100 points in my estimation and I pay our bill and me and Jackie sneak out about twenty minutes later, although many of the other patrons have also left by now. I get compliments from Shaggies owner and a couple of others who ask if I'll be back even though I only did a few tunes. It seems they're starved of people who have got some semblance of talent, so it would be nice to go back but perhaps without bill and Jeff who muscled in but didn't bring anything to the table except ego.
We get back to the yacht club at about 9.30 to find the place in absolute darkness and not a soul around. We find a light switch by the bar and sit down with a bottle of rum and play a few games of backgammon before turning in for the night.
When we wake at dawn the club is still deserted, and there's no water to shower so we go for a swim in the pool and watch the sunrise. We pack and leave at 8 with still no trace of any staff and go for breakfast at the top deck in Luperon. At 10am we're back at Puerto Blanco waiting for our friends Suzy and Martin who are joining us to sail again today with captain Ray and Barry.