November 2023 Concerts

Bob Dwyer’s Bix & Pieces – 26 November 2023:   This well known band is always welcome by SJS.  Leader, Bob Dwyer, plays trombone and sings, Paula Jackman is on reeds, Mike “Magic” Henry is on trumpet, Hugh Crozier on piano and vocals, Marc Easener on sousaphone and Dennis Smith on drums makes up a very enjoyable six-piece band who play a mix of the traditional styles of jazz influenced, as the name suggests, by the legendary Bix Beiderbecke.  They opened with ‘I want a Big Butter & Egg Man’ and went on to play ‘Ain’t She Pretty’, a lovely clarinet solo ‘Into Freedom’, ‘That Da Da Strain’, ‘Davenport Blues’, ‘100 Years from Today’, ‘Good Morning Blues’, ‘At the Jazz Band Ball’, ‘Savoy Blues’, a piano solo with ‘Jellyroll Blues’, ‘Body and Soul’, ‘You were Meant For Me’, ‘Caldonia’ and finishing with ‘So Do I’.  What a lovely way to spend a Sunday lunchtime.  We are looking forward to seeing this group again in the coming year.

Richard Hughes’ Fugue and Groove Trio with Jeremy Huggett – 19 November 2023:  Well this was something completely new.   This exciting new combo and Jeremy combining both jazz and classical elements which meant there was something for everyone.  Leader, Richard Hughes was on keyboard, Steve Street on drums, Simon Smith on bass and Jeremy Huggett on various saxophones, flute and clarinet, opened with ‘Softly as in a Morning Sunrise’.  This was followed by a Gershwin medley – The Man I Love, Fascinating Rhythm and I Got Rhythm, and, in no particular order the following:  ‘Salut d’Amor’ (English equivalent of love letter), ‘Caravan’, ‘Down by The Riverside’, ‘Meditation’, ‘Jesu Joy’, ‘Honeysuckle Rose’, ‘The Falling Leaves’ and ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’.  The programme also included a Turkish march, ‘Air on a G String’, music by Beethoven and Elgar, you name it all was included.  The music was a hypnotic mix and I would encourage you all to go see this new kid on the block.  You will not be disappointed.

Golden Eagle Jazz Band – 12 November 2023:  This was a new band for me although I knew some faces.  With Kevin Scott as leader on tenor banjo and guitar, Alan Cresswell on clarinet, Roy Bowden on drums, Richard Church on trumpet, Brian Butler on trombone and Chris ‘Thumper’ Thompson on double bass this group went down very well.   They opened with ‘It Ain’t No Use to Cry’ and went on with ‘Roses of Piccardy’, ‘Moose March’, ‘Give Me That Old Time Religion’, ‘The Streets of the City’ (probably better known as Red River Valley), ‘My Memphis Baby’, ‘After You’ve Gone’, ‘Highways are Happy Ways’, ‘In The Good Ol’ Summer Time’, ‘Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again’, ‘Bogalusa Strut’, ‘In The Shade of the Old Apple Tree’ and ‘My Gal Sal’ and ‘Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler’ (in English Let the Good Times Roll) to name some of the numbers we enjoyed.  The  drummers kit came from New Orleans where it was originally owned by a lady called Abbie Williams.   This band’s mission is to play New Orleans jazz in the way it was meant to be played, with a powerful melodic front line and a hard driving rhythm section.  Job done!  Smashing.

5 November 2023 – No Concert

October 2023 Concerts

Savannah Jazzband – 29 October:  What a cracker of a performance today by this great band.  Brian “Sam” Ellis on trombone and keyboard is the leader and is joined by Graham Smith on drums, Tony Pollitt on Bass, Chris Marney on banjo, Richard Church on trumpet (and not any old trumpet but one which had belonged to Ken Collier) and vocals and Roger Bird on reeds and vocals.  The house was packed with not a spare seat in sight and boy were they not disappointed.  Some of the numbers included:  ‘Martha’, ‘When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver’, ‘Canal Street Blues’, ‘Whilst We Dance At The Mardi Gras’, ‘You Are My Sunshine’, ‘Honky Tonk Town’, ‘Maryland’, ‘Hello Central Give Me Dr Jazz’, ‘Way Down in Mississippi’, ‘Louisiana’, and probably the best rendition I have heard which had us all laughing was the slightly corrupted ‘St James Infirmary’ with a major chunk being devoted to Sam being eaten by the lion all in his best clothes which vexed his mum.  Smashing, super and many other words to describe the enjoyment, musicianship and fun we have had today.  We look forward to their return.

Bateman Brothers’ Jazz Band – 22 October 2023:  These musicians, who all played in their time with one of the famous bands such as Ball, Barber or Bilk, have come together to present ‘A Tribute to Louis Armstrong and his All Stars’.  Ian Bateman is on trombone, Alan Bateman on trumpet and vocals, Trevor Whiting on clarinet, Craig Milverton on piano, Tom Clarke-Hill on bass and Nick Millward on drums.  As the concert was in celebration of SJS 43rd anniversary there was also a brolly parade.  Some of the numbers included:  ‘It’s Sleepy Time Down South’, ‘Now You Has Jazz’, ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, ‘The Gypsy’, ‘Time After Time’, ‘Pretty Little Missy’, ‘Mack the Knife’, ‘My Bucket’s Got A Hole in It’, ‘C’est Si Bon’, ‘Lonesome Blues’, ‘Twelve Street Rag’, ‘Life Is a Cabaret’ and ‘Hello Dolly’.  We look forward to a return visit at some time in the near future.

Swing 23 – 15 October 2023:  This is the first time we have had a visit from this gypsy jazz and swing band but I am sure it will not be the last.  This concert was reminiscent of Parisian cafes, with rhythm, sensuousness and a delight to listen to.  The band comprises Julian Gregory on the violin, Matthew Compton on accordion, Peter Robinson on bass, Roger Keys on drums and Paul Hartley on guitar.   Many of the numbers were new to me so I had to take a sneak picture of their playlist.  I will not detail them all but will give you a flavour of their music:  ‘Bossa Dorado’, ‘Lady Be Good’, ‘Swing 39’, ‘Manoir de Mes Reves’ (Castle of My Dreams), ‘Padam Padam’, ‘Summertime’, ‘Minor Swing’, ‘Daphne’, ‘Undecided’, ‘Dark Eyes’, ‘Nuages’ and ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ to name but a few of the numbers they played.  I was in seventh heaven with two of my favourite but often missing instruments – the violin and the accordion.  I think I was not alone.

Baby Jools’ Jazzaholics – 8 October 2023:  This amazing band was welcomed back to the White Eagle Club where they are firm favourites.  Leader, ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge, on drums, Warren ‘Lonnie’ James on banjo/guitar and vocals, Karl Hird on reeds, Mike ‘Magic’ Henry on trumpet/cornet, Mike Owen on trombone and vocals were joined on this occasion by Harold Worthington on double bass.  Some of their numbers included:  ‘Louisiana and Me’, ‘Having Fun on the Bayou’, ‘Since I Laid My Burden Down’, ‘When it’s Sleepy Time Down South’, ‘Some of these Days’, ‘Down by the Riverside’, ‘Jesus on the Mainline’, ‘Ain’t That A Shame’, ‘Down the Mississippi to New Orleans’, ‘All the Girls Go Crazy by the Way I Walk’ and ‘Those Were The Days’.   It was all there, jazz, rock’n’roll, country, spiritual, you name it.  A wonderful concert that everyone enjoyed.  See you soon Jazzaholics.

Dart Valley Stompers – 1 October 2023:   This band’s mission statement is “taking traditional jazz by storm” and they certainly live up to it.  The band consists of leader Jeremy Huggett on reeds and vocals, Kevin Grenfell on trombone and vocals, Howard Williams on guitar/banjo, Keith Tolley on double bass and Steve Street on drums.  Additionally we also had Will Robinson on trumpet to replace Graham Trevarton who is poorly.  They opened with ‘Exactly Like You’ and went on to play numbers like ‘Do I Love You – Oh My ‘Deed I Do’, ‘If Somebody Thinks Your Wonderful’, ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter’, ‘I’m Confessing that I Love You’, ‘I’ve Found a New Baby’, ‘Isle of Capri’, ‘Hello Central Give Me Dr Jazz’, ‘Bei Mir Bistu Schoen (My Dear Mr Shane)’, ‘Maryland My Maryland’, ‘Way Down Upon the Swannee River’ and ‘Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone’.   A better bunch of musicians you’d be hard pressed to find and we would be delighted to see them again.

September 2023 Concerts

Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Band – 24 September 2023:  How lovely to see Sarah back with her Transatlantic Band.  There was an addition to the usual suspects this time (Mike Owen on trombone, Mike “Magic” Henry on trumpet, “Lord” Jim Swinnerton on string bass, Hugh Crozier on piano and Graham Smith on drums) with Jesper Capion Larsen on clarinet.  The session kicked off with ‘Beautiful Ohio’ and continued with some of the following numbers:  ‘Bogalusa Strut’, ‘Mecca Flat’, ‘Jelly Roll Blues’ – a lovely solo piano rag, ‘Breeze’, ‘Keep the Red Rag Flying’, ‘Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle’, ‘Hit it Up’, ‘Pagoda Street Blues’, ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart’, ‘Give Me A Kiss to Build A Dream On’ and ‘Papa’s Got The Jim Jams’.  The audience sprang to their feet at the conclusion of the second half – a good indication that it all went down well with them.   Look forward to seeing you back again soon.

Jeff Barnhart’s Swing Sophisticates – 17 September 2023:   Two delicious hours of good music and good humour – it just doesn’t get any better.  This fabulous foursome played their socks off.  The band consisted of Jeff Barnhart on piano, Anne Barnhart on flute, Wil Robinson on trumpet and flugelhorn and Nick Ward on percussion.  Vocals were shared amongst them.  Some of their numbers included:  ‘Avalon’, ‘Somebody Stole My Gal’, ‘Blue Turning Grey Over You’, ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, ‘Swing Baby Swing’, ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘Louisiana Fairytale’, ‘Shine’, and ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Aint Got that Swing’.  However my new favourites were two I had not heard before – ‘Ashokan Farewell’ and ‘Back Water Blues’, both so beautiful that I could feel tears in my eyes.   We look forward to seeing them again.

Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazzband – 20 September 2023:   First concert of the season – and we’re off!!  A good attendance saw this traditional New Orleans/Dixieland jazz band with Rae Owens (leader) on banjo and guitar, Brian Singleton on drums, Dean Revera on Bass, Andrew Mackenzie on trombone and vocals, John Padfield on reeds and Jim Lucas on trumpet.  Some of the numbers included:  ‘When You’re Smiling’, ‘Up A Lazy River’, ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’, ‘Georgia’, ‘Some of These Days’, ‘S’wonderful’, and an unbelievable Rae Owens doing George Formby and Rae Owens doing George Formby in the style of Johnny Cash – hilarious!   Good music, good humour, can there be a better combination … and what a lovely way to start a new season.

No Concert on 3 September 2023 (darts)

May 2023 Concerts

Pedigree Jazzband “Salute to Trad Jazz” – 28 May 2023:  Well this is it people – the last concert of the 22-23 season.  But what a way to exit!  The Pedigree Jazzband gave it their all, as always, and there could not have been a happier bunch of people on 28 May anywhere.   The Band – Chris Walker (leader) on clarinet, Tony Mann on trombone, Alan Bateman (on trumpet), John Noddings on banjo/guitar, Sy Gorelick on drums and Mike Bennett on double bass – gave us some lovely memories to go home with at the end of the day.  Their opening number was ‘The Bourbon Street Parade’ and this was followed by ‘Livery Stable Blues’, ‘Georgia on My Mind’, ‘It’s Time Like That’, ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’, ‘Buona Sera’, ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘All I Do is Dream of You the Whole Night Through’, ‘You Gotta See Your Baby Tonight (or You Won’t See Baby at all)’, ‘Green Leaves of Summer’, ‘Teddybears Picnic’, ‘Blueberry Hill’, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’, ‘Shout em Aunt Tillie’ – a new one on me and one I liked very much, ‘You are My Sunshine’ and finally ‘Waiting for the Sunrise’.  A cracking programme played with pizzazz and the music got every foot in the place tapping.   We always look forward to seeing the Pedigree Band so, until September our season is over. 

Thanks as always went to Julie & Martin behind the counter of the Sunset Café for all their goodies, the staff of the White Eagle Club and Nick Balmforth and the whole committee for their work throughout the season.

Jeff & Anne Barnhart’s (USA) Sweet & Hot – 14 May 2023:  It is unbelievable that we have gone since 2018 since hearing this great quartet (4 years all lost due to covid).  Playing alongside Jeff on keyboard and vocals was wife Anne on flute and vocals, with Thomas ‘Spats’ Langham on banjo, guitar and vocals and Graham Smith – the surprise of the concert – not just on drums but also the washboard – who knew!  They opened with ‘Everybody Loves My Baby’, and went on with ‘What Can It Be If It Ain’t Love, ‘Baby, Baby You’re My Sweetheart’, ‘Mr Woo What Shall I do’ (played by Spats on an actual George Formby banjo owned by Jon Baddeley who kindly loaned it for this number, ‘Bernie’s Tune’, ‘C C Rider’, ‘The High Society Rag’, ‘100 Years from Today’, ‘New Orleans Shuffle’, ‘The Swinging Shepherd Blues’, ‘Running Wild’, ‘Poor Papa’, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, ‘Some of These Days’ and finishing up with ‘Cake Walking Babies from Home’.   Four supremely talented jazz musicians playing a wide range of musical styles with aplomb and great enthusiasm.  Hope we see them again in 2023/4.

Jane Williams’ Jazz Quintet featuring Andy Leggett – 7 May 2023:  This was a new band to SJS although we recognised some of the faces.  Jane Williams (leader) on the ukulele and vocals, Pete Mathison on guitar and vocals, Dave Deakin on string bass and trombone, Greg Evans on drums and Andy Leggett on saxophone opened with ‘Blue Skies’.   They went on to play, in no particular order, ‘After You’ve Gone’, ‘Black Coffee’ (which I just loved and had not heard before), ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘The Man I Love’, ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t my Baby’, ‘Everything but the Blues’, ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’, ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing’, ‘The Man I love’, ‘Am I Blue’ and along with a few numbers not elaborated on they finished with ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’.  What a lovely voice Jane has and you can see why she was a backing vocalist for the iconic recording star Van Morrison.  Coming from the Land of Song it was good to know she will hopefully bring her band back to visit us in the coming year.

April 2023 Concerts

Mike Owen’s Scarlette’s Serenaders – 30 April 2023:  The band consists of Mike Owen (leader) on trombone and vocals, Zoltan Sagi on reeds, Ian Wynne on piano, Jim “Lord” Swinnerton on bass and ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge on drums.  They opened with ‘Some Day Sweetheart’ and went on to give us ‘Why Don’t You All Go Down to New Orleans’, ‘One Step Two Step Cha Cha Waltz’, ‘All That I ask Is Love’, ‘Just Give me a June Night, the Moonlight and You’ , ‘Louisiana’, and finishing with ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams.  There was a piano solo when Ian played and sang ‘Tipitina’.  A great show enjoyed by all and we look forward to hearing them again.

Warren James’ “The Lonnie Donegan Story” – 23 April 2023:  With leader Warren James on guitar and banjo and vocals the rest of the band consists of Jim “Lord” Swinnerton on bass, ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge on drums, Mike Owen on trombone and Howard Gregory on guitar.  They opened with ‘The Wabash Cannonball’ and went on to give us a terrific take on the Lonnie Donegan story, charting his rise from playing washboard in a skiffle group to international star.  Music over the concert included ‘On The Road Again’, ‘Won’t You Give Me a Bit of Water Sylvie’, ‘Oh My Grandfather’s Clock’ (where almost the whole room joined in), ‘Rock Island Line, ‘Take My Hand Precious Lord’, ‘I Hate to See the Evening Sun Go Down’, a song from the Film Jack of Diamonds ’65 Special’, ‘Going Home’, ‘Cumberland Gap’, ‘Tom Dooley’, ‘Midnight Special’, ‘Pick A Bale of Cotton’ (again the whole room joining in), ‘Putting on the Style’ and of course it had to have ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight’.  Lonnie was a big collector of folk music and was blown away by hearing Beryl Brown singing at one of the first jazz venues.  He was called up for the Army and whilst stationed in Vienna he heard country music for the first time and loved it.   The whole room was electrified.  The performance given by Warren was simply magic.  We look forward to seeing him again in the near future.

NO CONCERT – 16 April 2023

Chicago Teddybears Society Jazzband – 9 April 2023:  Yes – they are back with us, four times winner of the SJS Band of the Year Award.  Leader, Rae Owens on banjo/guitar and vocals (and jokes & reminiscences), Brian Singleton on drums, John Padfield on reeds, Jim Lucas on trumpet, Andrew McKenzie on trombone and vocals and Deano Revera on bass.  They played their socks off with numbers like ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’, ‘Red River Valley’, ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’, ‘Just a Little While’, ‘Exactly Like You’, ‘Shout ‘em’, ‘Thief of Baghdad’, ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘Canal Street Blues’ and ‘Swing Low Sweet Charity’ when everyone in the room joined in.   Smashing concert.   We look forward to their return.

Slide by Slide – 2 April 2023:  Welcome back to Slide by Slide, with leader Kevin Grenfell on trombone, trumpet and vocals (and cheeky humour), Richard Leach also on trombone, Simon Smith on string bass, Richard Hughes on keyboard and Jack Cotterill on drums.   They opened with ‘Strike Up The Band’ and went on to give us the following renditions:

‘Give Me a Kiss to Build on Dream on’, ‘Going to New Orleans’, ‘Cry When Your Heart is Breaking’, ‘It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie’, ‘Blue Spanish Eyes’, ‘Georgie Girl’, ‘China Town’, ‘Tea for Two’, ‘Avalon’, ‘Mood Indigo’, ‘I’m Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter’, ‘Sway’, ‘Watermelon Man’ and finished, as always with ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’.  A lovely mixture of old and new and well received by the audience who gave them a standing ovation.  See you soon fellas.

March 2023 Concerts

Fret & Fiddle – 26 March 2023:  Good to see this group back again.  Sally Minchin leads on the jazz violin + vocals and in addition there is Andy Bole on guitar, Richard Hughes on piano, Simon Smith on string bass and Steve Street on drums.  As a special treat during a number called ‘Suzuki Blues’ composed by Sally she was joined on stage by her two sons Ben (10) and Freddie (8).   Their opening number was ‘Stomping at the Decca’ and numbers following included ‘After You’re Gone’, Tiger Rag’, ‘ Misirlou (a fabulous folk song from the Eastern Mediterranean region – performed by Andy Bole)’, ‘It Had to Be You’, ‘That’s Why I’m Riding the Rails’, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’, ‘J’Attendrai’, ‘Tiger Rag’ ‘Has Anybody Seen My Gal’, ‘Chocolate Jesus’ and ‘I’m Ready (a Spanish piece – marvellous)’.  This is not the full programme.  If you want to see/hear this group don’t wait until the next time they come to the White Eagle Club find a venue near you where they are playing!

Paul Harrison’s “Over ‘Ere UK Tour” Band – 19 March 2023:  Well, was it worth waiting for?   You bet!  The band consisted of Kevin Grenfell (leader) on trombone and trumpet, Paul Harrison on clarinet and sax, Soren Stausbol on piano and vocals, Simon Smith on double bass and ‘Baby’ Jools Holland on drums.  They opened with ‘The King’ and went on to play, in no particular order:  ‘Rondo (by Mozart in D major)’, ‘Lips from New Orleans’, ‘Mr Sandman’, ‘Blue Drag (first time I have heard this and I just loved it)’, ‘How Can You Leave Me Now’, ‘Swing 42 (which I also loved)’, ‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schon – or My Dear Mr Shane’, ‘Once in a While’ and ‘Mr Sandman’.  They finished with ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’.   The audience leapt to their feet to give a well-deserved acknowledgement and express their enjoyment of hearing a virtuoso international performer with his all-star touring band.  I really do hope we see these again.

Wabash Jazzmen featuring Nick Ward – 12 March 2023:   One of SJS’s favourite bands they play traditional New Orleans style flair in the style of Ken Colyer and early Chris Barber.   The band consists of Mark Challinor (leader) on banjo, guitar and ukulele, Richard Leach on trombone, Tony Pipkin on cornet, Richard Vernon on string bass,n Mike Hayler on reeds and Nick Ward on percussion.   They opened with ‘At a Georgia Camp Meeting’ and went on to play, in no particular order, ‘Wolverine Blues’, ‘Put on Your High Heel Sneakers’, ‘One Sweet Night’, ‘I Never Knew (that Roses Grew)’, ‘I’m In Love’, ‘Weary Blues, ‘Louisiana’, ‘There’s Yes Yes In Your Eyes’ and ‘Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones’.   They received a standing ovation and happy people spilled out to the car park to drive home.  I am sure it won’t be long before we see them again.

February 2023 Concerts

Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Band – 26 February 2023:   Sadly I was missing for this concert so cannot report fully on the range of music.  However I do know the band, lead by Sarah Spencer on saxophone, played with Mike Owen on trombone, Mike “Magic” Henry on trumpet, “Lord” Jim Swinnerton on string bass, Hugh Crozier on piano and “Baby” Jools Aldridge on drums.  They are always a class act and well liked by all who come to hear them play.

Jake Leg Jug Band – 19 February 2023:  So nice to see this band back again, and with a new young member, Cohen Wilcox, on the washboard (yes, son of Duncan).   Duncan Wilcox, leader, on double bass, Neil Hulse on guitar, warren “Lonnie” James on banjo, Liam Ward on jug, harmonica and musical saw, and Mike Pembroke on trombone presented a fabulous concert of music from the 20s and 30s.  They opened with ‘I Can’t Dance I’ve Got Ants in My Pants’, and went on with some of the following numbers:  ‘On the Road Again’, ‘Some Day You’ll Be Sorry’, ‘Making Whoopee’, ‘You’re Feets Too Big’, ‘Let the Midnight Special Shine a Light on Me’, ‘Champagne Charlie is my Name’, ‘Get ‘em from the Peanut Man’ and ‘St James’ Infirmary’.   Vocals from most of the band gave this concert a very nostalgic sound of early 20th century America.   Already looking forward to seeing the band again soon. 

Matt Palmer’s Gatsby Go-Getters – 12 February 2023:   This was the first time this new combo has played to a live audience.   With Matt Palmer leading on reeds and vocals, Dave Leithead on trumpet and vocals, Joe Nutman on ragtime piano, Al Harris on bass and vocals and Nick Ward on percussion they opened with ‘Lover Come Back to Me’.  Music from the 20s and 30s was brought to life by the stylish outfits and the music was chosen with care.  Amongst other numbers were:  ‘Yes Sir That’s My Baby’, ‘The Man I Love’, ‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’, ‘Fair and Square in Love’, Jazz Me Blues’, ‘Nagasaki Blues’ and Joe giving us ‘Shreveport Stomp’ that completed the first half.  There followed ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’, ‘St Louis Blues’, ‘Everybody Loves My Baby’, ‘The Ragtime Dance’, ‘Cheek to Cheek’, ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’, ‘The Charleston’ led to their finishing number ‘ Goodnight Sweetheart’ and then people were up on their feet.  What a lovely concert and so very evocative of those early years of jazz.  I am sure we cannot wait to hear them again.

January 2023 Concerts

Baby Jools’ Jazzaholics – 29 January 2023:  We were thrilled to see the return of this well liked band with leader and on the drums, ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge himself, playing alongside Jim ‘Lord’ Swinnerton on string bass, Warren ‘Lonnie’ James on banjo, guitar & vocals, Karl Hird on reeds, Mike ‘Magic’ Henry on trumpet and Kevin Grenfell on trombone, vocals and jokes!!  This popular band has a wide repertoire of traditional jazz music and their opening number was ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’.   This was followed, in no particular order, by ‘When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing Along’, ‘Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream on’, ‘One of These Days’, ‘Sentimental Journey’, ‘The Way I Walk’ and two lovely numbers by Warren and Jim only – ‘Cotton Fields Back Home’ and ‘Midnight Special’.  This just whets my appetite for when Warren comes with the Lonnie Donegan Story in April.  They rounded up the concert with ‘Going Home’.   They received a standing ovation at the conclusion of this number.

New Orleans Hotshots – 22 January 2023:  What a treat to have the New Orleans Hotshots with us on 22nd.  Leader, Dave Harmer on the trombone and vocals, Dave Leithead on trumpet and vocals, Dave Wood on the clarinet and saxophone, Al Harris on double bass and vocals, Keith Chaplin on drums and Joe Nutman on piano keyboard all gave us a great show of traditionally New-Orleans style jazz.   They opened with ‘Muskrat Ramble’ and in no particular order some of the numbers were ‘ What a Wonderful World’, ‘Up A Lazy River’, ‘Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone’, ‘Kitten on the Keys’, ‘You Belong To Me’, ‘Old Rocking Chair’, ‘Marching to Georgia’, ‘Yes Sir That’s My Baby’ and ‘Home in Pasadena’.   They finished with ‘Hello Central Give Me Doctor Jazz’.   This is the first time we have had a band whose front row are all called Dave – so it’s a first for SJS.  Good music, good programme, good presentation – what more to say except please can we have them back soon.

Robin Mason’s Apex Jazz & Swing Band – 15 January 2023:  It was good to see Robin Mason’s band again.  This consists of Robin (leader) on reeds, Jon Stone on trumpet and vocals, Ron Hills on trombone and vocals, Rod Kelly on keyboard and vocals, Bob Boucher on bass and Jim Harney on drums.   They opened with ‘Swinging the Blues’ and went on with ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘ I’ve Found a New Baby’, ‘Mood indigo’, ‘Because I’ve got a Crush My Baby on You’, ‘Rent Party Blues’, ‘You’re Nobody’s Sweetheart Now’, ‘The Sunny Side of the Street’, as great rock number ‘Route 66’, ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’, ‘Skylark’ and finished with ‘Stevedore Stomp’.   This band will soon be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Matt Palmer’s Eagle Jazzband – 8 January 2023:   What a way to start 2023.   This band was something to hear and behold.  Leader, Matt Palmer, was on trombone and clarinet, Pete Brown on trumpet and cornet, Richard Slater was on trombone, Brian Mellor was on banjo and guitar, David Deakin on double bass and sousaphone and Jack Amblin on drums (and washboard and … tap dancing!).  They opened with ‘When We Were Young Maggie’ and went on to include – in no particular order – ‘The coffee Grinder’, ‘Dinah’, ‘South’, ‘Quincy Street Blues (renamed Blame it on the Blues by Sidney Beshet)’, ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’, ‘There’s a Rainbow Round My Shoulder’ and ‘Homeward Bound’.   It finished with ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ which they did, for sure.  Along the journey we had Richard Slater, complete with hat and tube with funnel on the end, give us a Boys Brigade band rendition of Everyone Likes Ice Cream but with his own words, and Jack Amblin was great on the washboard and also, much to our surprise, on tap dancing.  What an amazing variety of things to listen to and see.  People went out with big smiles on their faces and thoughts of Sunday Night at the London Palladium.  Thank you for setting a good standard for this year’s gigs.   At the interval Matt Palmer, who was the first to call our little tuck shop the Sunset Café, was happy to formally hang the sign on the official nail(!) and for good measure we also had Dave Rochelle who designed the sign for us.  

1 January – No Concert

December 2022 Concerts

Kevin Grenfell’s Jazz Giants: 18 December 2022:  The band consists of leader, Kevin Grenfell, on trombone, trumpet, vocals and jokes, Jeremy Huggett on reeds, Richard Hughes on piano, Simon Smith on double bass and ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge on drums and percussion.   They opened with ‘Running Wild’.  In no particular order some of the following numbers were played: ‘Girl of My Dreams’, ‘Moon Glow’, ‘Nobody Here But Us Chickens’, ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’, ‘Singing the Blues’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Spanish Eyes’ and ‘It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie’.  With just a week to go before Christmas it was very appropriate that they ended up with ‘I’d Dreaming of a White Christmas’.   The room was packed and everyone enjoyed the concert, the free mince pies and coffee and that lovely feeling of belonging to something rather special.  Altogether it was a lovely pre-Christmas concert.

Jake Leg Jug Band: 4 December 2022:  Duncan Wilcox leads on double bass and vocals, Bryony Rose on washboard and vocals, Neil Hulse on guitar, Liam Ward on harmonia, jub, miniature French horn and the saw along with vocals, Warren James on banjo and Alex Clarke on clarinet and saxophone.  This amazing group just gets better and better.   Their opening number ‘I Can’t Dance I’ve Got Ants In My Pants’ (don’t you just love that title!) and to give you a flavour of the gig numbers included ‘I Love Me’, ‘Some of These Days’, ‘Midnight Special’, ‘Some Day You’ll be Sorry’, ‘Making Whooppee’ ‘Your Feets Too Big’,

‘Can’t Do Without My Kitchen Man’, ‘I Hate a Man Like You’, ‘Nuts, Nuts, Get ‘Em From the Peanut man’, ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’, ‘Alabama Blues’, ‘Jesus is Dying There Naked’ and ‘I Need a Little Love’.  Now for the sad news.  Bryony Rose is now going to retire … now I understand why Alex Clarke had a bit of a go in one number.  Bryony Rose had it all, washboard rhythm and a lovely voice – we will surely miss her but wish her well for her plans for the future.