Pembroke: Back to double basics with a different tune

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The Independent Online
THERE is life after receivership for Peter Ind, the virtuoso jazz player with the flowing grey hair and Grizzly Adams beard. Just months after his Bass Clef jazz club was sold to new owners by the receivers, the colourful double bassist is plotting a return. A partner already has a site in Islington, north London and the pair are now seeking finance. 'I will be keeping out of that side of things,' says the amiable jazz man. 'After what happened last time there is no way I will sign any personal guarantees.'

Though unhappy about his treatment at the hands of receivers Ernst & Young, he is busy writing a book chronicling the club's 10-year history. 'It's going to be called Goodbye Bass Clef,' he says with regret.

PRIVATE EYE, the fortnightly magazine that knocks the lofty off their collective perch, has accumulated a rather impresssive cash pile. According to the most recent accounts of holding company Pressdram, filed last month, the group has a cash mountain of pounds 1.7m, the kind of sum the magazine's bete noire Sir Jimmy Goldsmith might be proud of. The sum is more than double Pressdram's cash two years ago. Where has it all come from? Faster payment by creditors is cited as one reason. 'But off the top of my head, I can't remember,' says managing direcor David Cash.

However, news in the accounts is not all good. The company made impressive profits of pounds 530,525 on sales of pounds 2.7m. But the bottom line would have looked rosier if not for liabilities of pounds 626,000, chiefly for libel actions.

'Some have been settled but there are others outstanding,' says Mr Cash. 'There is one in particular that might be coming up by the end of the year.' Not the dreaded Sir Jams, is it? 'No. We haven't heard from him for a long time.'

A NEWCASTLE investment fund has just made a move which, on the face of it, looks barmy. It has turned down a dollars 10m interest- free loan from currency speculator George Soros. Shared Interest is a Newcastle-based sociey which lends its members' pounds 5m savings to third world enterprises run by disadvantaged people. It was offered the loan late last year, to assist one of its sister funds which invests in Eastern Europe. But after six months of deliberation it has decided to snub the financier's offer. 'We're not condemning George Soros but we feel we cannot profit from speculators,' says Shared Interest's Mark Hayes.

'Nobody suffers by our decision,' Mr Hayes adds. 'If Mr Soros wants to help eastern Europe, he will.'

AN AUDIO books company has adopted a Page 3 approach to the launch of its erotic literary classics. The invitation from Prelude Audio Books features a woman naked except for a pair of over-the-thigh high- heeled leather boots. Not very politically correct. But what do you expect of a company issuing audio versions of the Karma Sutra and Emmanuelle narrated by people like Ian 'Lovejoy' McShane?

Why not a naked man, or a couple? 'Er, we'll do that next time,' said a spokesman. Guests should RSVP to . . . Duff Publicity.

A COUPLE of youthful analyst appointments over at brokers Hoare Govett. Building analyst Francis Condon, 31, joins from Prudential Portfolio Managers. And Julie Bower, 29, hops over from Credit Lyonnais Laing to join the team poring over breweries & spirits, wine and ciders, which should prove interesting. She doesn't drink.

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