When I first met Vess I had no idea that under his calm, controlled and suave exterior lay a passionate, spontaneous, gifted and soulful musician (He really does close his eyes when he plays: deep!). However, when he walked out of his office, looking very business-like: pressed shirt (check), a smart coat (check), dress shoes (check), hair perfectly coifed (check); the sunglasses with the bright green and black frame stood out like a flirtatious grin saying “There’s a party waiting to happen…” No matter how often it occurs, it’s always an amazing thing when you realise that there’s more to a person than what meets the eye.
Vess, also known as ‘The Night Saver’, is a Blues, Jazz and Funk guitarist/bassist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of whisky, a penchant for good hip-hop and films, entrepreneurial aspirations and a member/manager of the band Swagger. Coming from a musical family (his dad is also a Blues musician), he’s been strumming chords and plucking notes since childhood, so much so that to him, music isn’t just recreation, it’s necessity: “…like a drug”-Vess.
I had asked him a couple questions before I wrote this piece, but I forgot to ask the one question I had actually written down: Do you have groupies? So, a bit later, I met him at his workplace (he studied Law at Cambridge University, and now works there), knocked on the door and asked, “Do you have groupies?” He laughed, took up a sheet of paper and said jokingly that he could draft up a Groupie Application Form.
It actually would be interesting to see what such a form looks like, and Vess probably would be the perfect person to create it based on his knowledge of law, business and his experience as an entertainer. He might be one of the last people to seriously use it though…except maybe just to poke fun at the idea.
If you’re interested in hearing Swagger(I highly recommend that you do), you can check them out at La Raza on the first Friday of every month, or you can hear Vess and papa Popov at The Emperor Blues Jam every Sunday. Don’t count on hearing any crash or death metal though, “…that’s not really music”- Vess.
For more info on The Emperor Blues Jam, visit www.cambridgebluesjam.com