Frog & Henry Brass & String – 26 January: What a treat to get another band composed of younger musicians. The big draw was Dave Neigh, who plays the world’s only foot operated tuba whilst playing a 6-string banjo but he had fierce competition from FG Henry on guitar, Ewan Bleach on Reeds and piano, Kenmare Anker on violin and Laurin Habert on reeds. Surprisingly for a band of only five they come from four nations: Canada, Germany, UK and USA. The harmonies were good and it was nostalgia at its best. The opening number was “Cushion Boot Stomp” and other numbers included “In My Little Red Book”, “Imagination”, “I Ain’t Got No Body”, “Sweet Sue”, “Just Another Memory” “Dance Hall Shuffle” to name some and ending with “Bouncing Around”. There was a dreamlike quality about the concert that took many back to a different time. I am sure we shall see them again.
Jake Leg Jug Band – 19 January: In addition to the five members of the band Mike Pemberton joined them with his trombone. Duncan Wilcox (leader) was on double bass, Liam Ward on harmonica and jug, Toby Wilson on Banjo, Neil Hulse on guitar and Bryony Rose on Washboard and vocals. They opened with “I Don’t Dance I’ve Got Ants in my Pants”. Other numbers included “Champagne Charlie”, “She’s on the Road Again”, “Little Black Train”, “Your Feet’s too Big”, “My Handiman”, “I’ve got Nuts for Sale”, “Sugar in my Bowl”, “He’s in the Jailhouse Now” and “My Pencil Won’t Write No More”. There was plenty of good humour and all of the musicians give vocal. They were well received and I think the band enjoyed it as much as the audience.
New Orleans Hotshots – 12 January: It was some 14 years since SJS had a visit from the New Orleans Hotshot. Today, with only one remaining from the original band – Dave Harmer – this reformed band made another visit. New members of the band are: Ivan Huke (cornet), Kelvin Smith (clarinet), Al Harris (bass and vocals), Keith Chaplin (drums) and Joe Nutman (piano). Some of the tunes in this appearance were: ‘Working Man Blues’, ‘Yes Sir that’s my Baby’, ‘Bad Loser Strut’, a really lovely spiritual ‘Hush, Hush, Somebody is Calling my Name’, ‘Magnetic Rag’, ‘Petit Fleur’ and ‘Clarinet Marmalade’. I am sure the White Eagle Club will echo to their talented music making again in the near future.
Chris Pearce’s & Andy Leggett’s Sopranos – 5 January 2020: Members of the band consisted of Chris Pearce and Andy Leggett on reeds, Dave Deakin on trombone, Rachel Hayward on banjo and guitar, Tony Sharp on bass and Dave Andrews on drums. They started with ‘There’s a Blue Ridge Round my Heart’ and included ‘Cake Walking Babies from Home’, ‘The World is Waiting for the Sunrise’, ‘Creole Love Call’, ‘The Buddy Bolden Stomp’ and ‘Texas Moaner’ to name but a few. As always the music was lovely and I noted many jigging feet and nodding heads. Their swinging jazz is always welcomed and their sense of humour appreciated. Come back soon.