As luck would have it, Karma found themslves back on stage in front of a decent sized live audience at the Coyote Saloon and Bowling, Mijas Costa on 7th August 2020.
This turned out to be the second of two live gigs played a few days apart, the first being a private party in Alhaurin el Grande. It also marked the final live outing with the band for Pete, our guitarist, vocalist and the band's founding member, although we didn't know it at the time.
That bombshell was dropped later at the following rehearsal and it left us all feeling sad.
I've been playing in that band with Pete, one of my best mates, for ten years. It's a long time to be doing that so it came as a bit of a shock. But it's done and I and the rest of the guys respect his decision to quit live gigging.
The gig itself was a strange one. It was laid on as a double birthday party for our drummer, Edward and the singer and harp player Paul Stylianou with the Blue Stompers.
The two bands took turns to play a two sets each, with Karma playing the final set. There was a good crowd in the bar and both bands were greatly appreciated and well received by everyone.
Each band plays a very different style of music, with the Blue Stompers playing, well, blues covers and Karma playing their own brand of original self-penned songs with several rock covers mixed into the sets.
The final song of Karma's last set was a stonking cover of Golden earring's "Radar Love" with a second drummer invited onto the stage to take up a specially set-up kit of percussion and drums. During the mid-section of the song the drummers took over things with a powerful drums-only duet that wowed the audience with its electrifying, power rhythms to lead back into the instrumental section and final verse and chorus of the song.
Karma were asked back for an encore, which was the ever popular "Brown Sugar" and it was clear that the audience were left wanting more!
Following Pete's departure from the band, the rest of the guys decided to keep Karma going as a four-piece and not try to replace Pete with another rhythm guitarist.
We have since been in rehearsals to re-adjust the songs for a single guitar and now only two-part harmonies. Vocals come from Geoff and myself as we each take the lead vocal in different songs.
We have found that pretty much the whole set is still absolutely doable for us and many of the songs have taken on a slightly more raw edge.
It's a bit more work for me on guitar. That's because in the old line-up with Pete playing rhythm, I tended to not play during the vocal parts of our songs.
There was really no need for two guitars blasting out the rhythm. Now there's no rhythm guitar safety-net as I'm playing both rhythm and lead.
It's no problem really, as this way of playing suits me down to the ground. I like the extra space it creates, while I can drop into a loud, screaming lead break then back to quieter rhythm as needed by the song without overdoing things.
Geoff and Edward do a brilliant job of maintaining a strong, dynamic rhythm section and Jaap just keeps getting better with his amazing improvised sax solos and backing toots to compliment the vocal perfectly.
We'll be back at the Coyote soon, probably sometime in October 2020. Check the front page for dates and times!
Written and published on 21 September, 2020 by Terry