The eve of Christmas Eve. The word on the street was that Rufus Miller and his sister Misty Miller were due to perform together at The Windmill in Brixton. I checked on this with Rufus and it was all good to go. This brother and sister duo are individual artists in their own right, so to join together this Christmas time for a gig is both fun and rare.
As some of you will already know Rufus is a very highly regarded singer / songwriter. He is also the guitarist for Sting‘s band.
His father Dominic Miller is also in that same band. A pretty incredible way of life for a Father and son to share such musical achievements together. Respected, loved, motivated, driven and successful. Their world tour with Shaggy has been the talk of the town.
Back to Brixton.
Misty began on stage initially. She may look like a petite and delicate girl in her appearance, but then you look a little closer and see she is covered in tattoos, all different styles and scribbles. Then she opens her mouth and wow this girl can sing. A force to be reckoned with and fearless. She knows it too, which I like.
After a couple of songs Misty calls out “Rufus!” and beckons her brother to invite him to join her on stage. The vibe from the crowd of love and respect for these two beings was very loud in it’s presence within the room. They sang a track together that Misty reckons they wrote when she was just 9 years old.
Rufus on guitar and vocals, they complimented each other so perfectly. From evocative spaces to rhythmic depth and strength, we all loved it. The communications and natural flow between them both, the ease of togetherness in their singing, it was good. “We are the Miller’s!” Exclaimed Misty, bringing a warm glow of smiles and unity to the room. It is Christmas after all.
Misty then scampered off the stage giving her brother some time to perform his own works.
Guitar in hand the range in which this guy can give is none other than perfection.
Such raw emotion, humour, intricacy and professionalism. You never really know what Rufus is going to do next, but you know that when you want him to really go for it, he will deliver everything and more. Just one guy and a guitar, that’s all.
The Windmill hosted a few names on this particular night. “Beady Man” who did spoken word, being one of them and “Meatraffle” who had all sorts going on from trumpets to dub punk vibes. I’d not seen him before, but we all loved it.
“So, there’s a jam on tonight”, Rufus steadily mentioned.
“Is it far?” I asked.
“Not really. Wanna come?” Said Rufus.
“Sure. Ready when you are, I can drive us.” I said.
With hilarious Christmas classics bouncing on the radio, it is December after all, guitars squeezed into the car we all jumped in and headed to the next venue. I had no idea where we were going, but we were off, singing all the way, of course.
The Old Dispensary
We walked into a lovely cosy bar greeted by a beautiful festive atmosphere. There on the sofas a small group of musicians with a few guitars all looked up, delighted as they saw who walked in. Misty and Rufus jumping over the sofas like they were finally home, more joining the group and within seconds everyone just started to sing. The jam was on.
As I looked up one of the first people I saw and recognised was Hank aka Andy Allen. “Merry Christmas! Fancy seeing you here!” I said.
“Well, it’s my night actually” Hank explained. “I organise jam nights here…”
I then realised the wonderful synchronicity of how the evening had unravelled. Hank has been hosting these jam nights for some time now I’ve just not managed to get to one and hadn’t realised where he did them. Well, thanks to “The Miller’s” I finally made it!
As more musicians walked through the door, more guitars, another grabbed an amp and plugged in, more vocals, Misty with a tamborine and sometimes on guitar too, it was good.
Hank while singing at one point jumped in the middle of the crowd and stood up on the table. Everyone joining in. “Take a load off Annie”… (The Weight), with all the harmonies one could wish for with this eclectic and genius gathering. It was mesmerising. Christmas just vibing its way into each and every one of us in that room. “Horse with no name”, we had all sorts in all different ways and styles, but man was it good.
Karz Gordox, Rufus Miller, Hank, Misty Miller, Beady Man, the guys we met from the band “Pleasure Barge”, to Danny Paradise you amazing being for introducing me to “The Miller’s” in the first place, to Rufus’s lovely Mother:
and to anyone who has taken the time to read this blog, may you all have a truly wonderful Christmas.
Whether you are spending it quietly, caring for someone, or with family, it doesn’t matter, just enjoy each moment of this time, of this life, this space. Let gratitude fill your heart, let music lift your spirit, allow the beauty of this time to nurture the soul. Be thankful for the joy of friendship, and always remember to honour the respect you deserve for yourself and others through all of your days.