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Steve Ruby

The 606 Club - celebrating 25 years at Lots Road

As Spike Milligan might well have said of Steve Rubie "he's either mad or both" to have run a Jazz club for 37 years! 

Steve took over running the original 606 club in 1976 in a cellar the size of a shoebox below Christopher Wray's lighting shop in the Kings Road. It was a quintessential Jazz club, a hub frequented by freaks, dandies, gangsters, artists and of course musicians of all ages. The old place was a health and safety nightmare and the club eventually outgrew its space so Steve moved it to the larger and now legendary current address in Lots Road 25 years ago.

Thanks to the generosity of Mr Rubie it was in this hallowed space of the 606 that I road-tested my first band with Django Bates, jammed with Hugh Masekela and sat in with auntie (Don Weller). 

It was at the 606 that I beheld the first and most camp cabaret pianist (Larry) I have ever seen and learned to stay up all night. 

Once at about 2am I got up to play a duo with John Taylor and I asked him what he wanted to play? "lets start in D and see where we end up" he replied. I woke up in my bedsit in Clapham the following lunchtime to see something I'll never forget - a jazz legend crashed out on my floor!

The scene of so many memorable musical occasions, 'the 6' grew from strength to strength to become the most important, well loved and welcoming club of its kind for musicians and listeners, bar none.

And on Wednesday 29th May I'll be playing with my quartet 'Anorak' as part 12 days of celebrations to mark 25 years at the current address. 

This all-star night presents four fantastic bands on the same bill (also appearing are groups led or co-led by Gwilym Simcock, Kit Downes, Mark Lockheart and John Parricelli). 

It is going to be an unforgettable night - so please come and join us! More details on The 606 website.

Like I said - he's either mad or both!

Thank you to Steve and everyone who works so hard to make The 606 so special.