Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Phantom Clarinetist

Went out to Duncan's for the ole 1 yr anniversary the other night. The Lonely Planet guidebook describes Duncan's as "Nothing more than a few plastic tables out on the street, Duncan's is nevertheless a popular drinking spot with locals."

Wow, to me, it is so much more than a few plastic tables... it's the home of the best banku and tilapia around, for one, and is also (supposedly) the home of the best (and only) cat kebabs around. I suppose I should be thanking LP for keeping all the 2-week tourists out with such an underwhelming description.

Anyway, Duncan's attracts a pretty mixed and middle class expat-local crowd. It is right on the sidewalk, so sometimes different people will wander up and try to sell you random trinkets or Chinese dvds. And if you're lucky a pair of Rastas with a guitar and a djembe will come by to serenade you with torturous 10-minute renditions of "Three Little Birds".

No hawkers this time, but the Rastas were much better musicians than usual. The djembe player was tight, the guitar player knew more than two chords, and they actually harmonized! After a couple of rounds through "Three Little Birds" they started in on Lucky Dube's "Nobody Can Stop Reggae"... and a random obruni popped up from the table next to us with clarinet-in-mouth, busted out a baddass 15 minute clarinet solo and sat back down to his banku and tilapia.

Most unexpected yet awesome musical performance ever.


  1. Cat Kebobs? Don't bother bringing that recipe home! The impromptu jam sounds like a blast... pics ? Little video ? What's banku ?

  2. Check out the "best banku and tilapia" link for a picture. Banku is a ball of fermented corn mush.