1920s Great Gatsby Jazz Band At Concrete Blonde

Sunday July 1: Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters played for Sunday Lunch at Concrete Blonde, Level 2, 33 Bayswater Road, Potts Point. Now, if you haven’t head of Concrete Blonde before, I want to tell you all about it a little later in this blog entry. Just to say now, if you’re in Sydney or visiting, it’s a must visit

But first, the Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters’ show. Here’s a snippet…

Warren Fahey AM, social historian, author, record producer, broadcaster and singer said about yesterday’s  Concrete Blonde show by Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters:

“Yesterday’s Jazz/Funk/Whatever Lunch at Concrete Blonde was another terrific day. Here’s Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters in action Greg sang all the top songs of the 1920s and 30s – many that I have grown up with. There were many happy faces in the audience and Greg’s interpretations, including dancing, swaying, staring and facial gymnastics made the music all the more interesting and amusing. They will be back!”

Concrete Blonde wrote on their Facebook page: “What a fantastic performance yesterday here! Love the bloke in the pinstripes and ……. phew, check out the size of that guy’s tuba”

Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters at Concrete Blonde
Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters at Concrete Blonde

Now a few words about this great restaurant itself…

Concrete Blonde is one of those rare restaurants where the space makes you feel good (expansive, even!) the minute you walk in. It has both an indoor and outdoor area and the connection between these two spaces is remarkably seamless. As a space, its designers have successfully combined a sense of occasion and gathering with intimacy and privacy. Remarkable! (As I’ve just done). Part of the occasion is being able to see your dinner cooked. The kitchen is along one side of the space. There’s also a friendly and extensive bar. And a cellar behind glass in the dining area itself. Car parking is in the building, which makes it easy in busy Kings Cross. But I don’t drive. So there’s the 324 and 325 bus at the front door and the 311 bus and Kings Cross train station just around the corner! Plus there’s live music by name bands in jazz, funk, gypsy, folk and more. Free! Sunday lunch and Wednesday nights. As Symphony Sid used to say in between Charlie Parker/Miles Davis sets on his all-night, all-frantic WMCA bop show from the Royal Roost nightclub, New York – ‘what more could you want?’

I’ll tell you what more – the food and the friendly staff take your experience to a whole new level

And the menu is special

For Sunday lunch, the band chose the Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and the Duck. There was also a vegetarian choice that was very, very tempting. I’ve never had Yorkshire Pudding before, but I will be having it again. And our Mancunian drummer, Bob Gillespie, formerly musical director for Lovelace Watkins and drummer with Maynard Ferguson’s English Orchestra, and whose family makes Yorkshire Puddings at home, was mightily impressed. The beef just melted in my mouth. And despite the servings being generous, with two big serving boats of tasty roast potatoes and broccoli and carrots arriving at our table, nothing was left on anyone’s plate. In short, the chef made a Sunday Roast exciting – and delicious. That’s real skill and passion for food

As for the restaurant space being an event in itself, making you feel good, and making you want to be there, I found this quote which goes some way in explaining why I felt so good the way I did the moment I walked through the doors: “Concrete Blonde is very excited and proud to announce that we have been short-listed (from over 600 entries) for the finals of the International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. This is the only concept of its kind in the world and is dedicated exclusively to hospitality design. The Awards invites and receives entries from the world’s top architects, designers and hospitality operators. The judges recognise and reward entrants from all over the world for design excellence. The winners will be announced at an innovative ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, 66 Portland Place on the 6th September 2012”

So Concrete Blonde is indeed a very special place. It’s warm and friendly. You’ll feel comfortable no matter what your restaurant background – whether you’re local or visiting, whether you’re a gourmand or someone like me on a very low income who only goes to a restaurant on very special occasions.  And if you are someone like me, well you can guess from the tone of this review, that I reckon Concrete Blonde is one exciting place that’ll take your special occasion to a whole new level and you’ll be happy to splash out with the hard-earns

Here’s their YouTube promo…


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