(YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHERE IT WILL LEAD YOU)

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UNPEELING PEEL FRESCO

It’s really been a labor of love, but even labors of love need to have some financial returns and rewards.

Labors of love can make you go broke- especially when having to live with someone becomes just hard work and even the sex becomes fucking work.

Plus, when trying to run a small, cool venue featuring ‘live’ music and the local gendarmes are always banging on your door ‘cos of a complaint about noise from one neighbour and, through the kindness of their heart, gives you “permission” to stay open until midnight, why bang your head on the wall and why have this labor of love become tortuous? And with no money to show for it?

So, sometime next week, Rob Baker, below, who has worked tirelessly to keep this Jazz Bar open is leaving his labor of love and moving back to something which will see him make some real money: Teaching.

Who’ll take over and what will happen to Peel Fresco which has been such an oasis in the cultural and ‘live’ entertainment desert that is Hong Kong ?

All we know is that Rob’s ex-wife Joyce, will take over and what she does with it is anyone’s guess as she’s owns the premises..

If it’s anything like what she’s done with the whatever it is supposed to be opposite Peel Fresco and called Joyce Isn’t Here, or something like that, it will dissipate into another white elephant.

Fortunately for us, we are at Peel Fresco last weekend with singer Tess Collins and, man, can this girl sing or what???

Backed by Blaine Whittaker on sax and some guys we don’t know, Tess got up and, as someone aptly put it, “Sang her tits off.”

It was just one song, but, like the yard that goes on forever, so did her performance.

It would not have been outta place in a top Jazz club in NY or Sydney or Paris or Copenhagen or London.

This is no chanteuse who vamps some meandering melodies over two or three chords until repetition takes over and one cannot differentiate one song from the next. Uh uh.

She knows her stuff, she knows a good song, and she knows how to shade it, bend it, give it space and make even a simple 12-bar blues sound “worthy”.

A “soul singer?” Nah ‘cos anyone ho sings anything with passion has soul.

A “Jazz singer?” That’s like asking what “Country Music” Is today.

Tess Collins has no labels to pigeon-hole her and, here’s hoping that she finds the right musical and career direction to move outta what we call the “Cocktail circuit” and where one can be a big swinging dick and still be nothing at the same time. Hong Kong is a very small pond and egos get way outta whack out here and names are built up on who you know and hype and scams. Mr and Ms Shuck and Jives abound.

And, oh, yeah, as for Tess Collins, she DOES sing her tits off.

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TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS.BUT WHEN?

Remember that “New Orleans Steak House” we were mentioning? The place that has now been taken over where The Skylark Lounge and which was meant to be a showcase for the ubiquitous Danny Diaz and his blend of Vegas shtick?

Well, like Danny Diaz, it looks like this “New Orleans Steak House” and to be called, Mardi Gras, is wondering, “Where’s The Beef?”

The opening has gone through a series of delays and we are still to know when D-Day will actually happen.

On the subject of steak houses in Hong Kong, remember M1NT Hong Kong where many took a stake in and which started off like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Sure, many who invested in this club based mainly on the joint having a shark tank will shudder at its mention as they were fleeced so, let’s remember what MI1NT became- Republic and run by one of the original partners of- yikes- M1NT- named Andrew Lewis. Let’s try to remember though even that combination gave many the willies.

Well, Republic quickly closed it’s doors and Andrew Lewis made a hasty exit outta Hong Kong.

We understand, however, that he was back in town last month- quietly- to lease the premises where M1NT/Republic once stood to a new group of investors who are opening a- you guessed it- steak house, this one called The Blue Butcher.

Seriously now, don’t we have enough bull in this town without all these tin pot steak houses and restaurants and bars barely breaking even?

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A NEW, IMPROVED CLUB BBOSS? IN 2012???

For those who wept uncontrollably when hearing that the legendary escort Club BBoss- and its hostesses- would be closing their doors next month and the days of leggy “dancers” from Eastern Europe would be gone forever, some good news: A new, improved version of the club is supposed to open up “soon” and right opposite where BBoss still is in Tsimshatsui East.

Nothing we understand, will change- and this includes the prices of “take out” and “take in” and “all night” and “short time.”

It’s good to have some consistency in our lives.

As long as the girls are from Lithuania, we have zero problems.

Most are absolute stunners and don’t hook on the side like their other Eastern European neighbours with the Russians and Ukrainians being the worst at the game of lurve.

Thinking about it, nah, It all had its time and place and is now gone forever.

The photo below kinda sadly says it all.

Mum, Dad, meet me new girlfriend- Catatonia from Lithuania.