Last night to the Metropolis in Bristol (UK), a beautifully restored former cinema that is home to Jesters Comedy Club. Last night, though, was a special treat for fans of Steely Dan. The performance by their UK-based tribute band Nearly Dan was great, though the sound was nothing like as good as it had been at their previous Bristol venue, the rather scruffier but atmospheric Fleece.

My only other gripe about last night: on a cold night in January, everyone arrived well wrapped up. Those of us who’d arrived early enough to get a seat at the small number of tables were OK; they could drape their jackets, coats etc over the backs of their chairs. For the majority, who had to stand, no such luck. They had to dump their coats on the floor, keep them on, or pile them on one of the few empty chairs.

That prompted a thought; is it only in the UK that we seem to forget that in winter the weather can get cold? Is it only in the UK that venues will welcome punters and the money they’ve paid for admission and will spend over the bar, but provide nowhere for them to put their coats? Theatres generally have a cloakroom but cinemas don’t. As for pubs, I know a few (old-fashioned) pubs where there are jacket-hooks and coat- hooks on walls and under the bar, but they are an exception.

End of moan. It was indeed a great evening. Highpoint, for me and many others, was a superb trumpet solo in an extended version of “Hey Nineteen”. I was keen to find out the name of the player; the band’s website indicates it could have been either Phil Nicholas or Steve Parry. Sadly, due to the imperfections of the venue’s sound quality and / or my hearing, I couldn’t make out the name when he was credited by the leader. Memo to self; must get my hearing checked out again.