December 2023 Concerts

Mike Owen’s Christmas Cracker Band – 17 December 23:  The band had Mike Owens on trombone and vocals (leader), Sarah Spencer on reeds and vocals, Ian Wynne on piano, Richard Vernon on double bass and Graham Smith on drums.   They opened with ‘Tie Me To Your April Strings Again’ and went on in no particular order with ‘What A Friend We Have in Jesus’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, ‘You’ve Got to Give Me Some’, ‘Turkey Ain’t Nothing But A Bird’, ‘When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver’, ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas’, ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire’, ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ and a solo by Ian Wynne with ‘Dorothy’.  There are others I missed but this gives you a very festive flavour of today’s concert.  Lovely band, good musicians, mince pies and free hot drinks … what more can one ask.

Debonaires Little Big Band – 10 December 23:  This band, consisting of Max Debon (leader) on trumpet and vocals, Sarah Eastwood on clarinet and vocals, Rick Halliwell on alto sax, Anne Holder on tenor sax, Austin Ralphson on trombone, Peter Wilson on piano, Jon Burr on bass and Rob Turner on drums played a mixture of jump jive, swing and jazz from the early jazz and swing era.  They opened with ‘Sing Sing Sing’, and went on with ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘You Gotta See Mama every Night or You Won’t See Mama at All’, ‘Blues in the Night’, ‘Route 66’, ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill’, ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’, ‘Fever’, ‘Come To The Cabaret’, ‘Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps’, ‘It’s Too Darn Hot’, ‘Apple Honey’, ‘Don’t Get Around Much Any More’, ‘Bandstand Boogie’, ‘Tiger Rag’, ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’, ‘Mack the Knife’, ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Mambo Italiano’.  If I have left anything out forgive me but you get the picture – something for everyone all played by some great musicians and sung by a little lady with a big voice.   We look forward to seeing them again perhaps next year.

Wabash Jazzmen featuring Nick Ward – 3 December 23:   We welcomed back this traditional New Orleans jazz rooted band in all the snow and misery of the start of winter proper.  However the music certainly cheered us up.  The band was made up of leader Mark Challinor on banjo, guitar and ukulele with vocals, Mike Hayler on reeds, Richard Leach on trombone, Tony Pipkin on cornet, trumpet and occasional vocals, Richard Vernon on string bass and the redoubtable Nick Ward on vintage percussion.   They opened with ‘Bobalusa Strut’ and finished up with ‘Weary Blues’ and in between some of the numbers were: ‘China Boy’, ‘There’s a Rainbow Round My Shoulders’, ‘Bell Chimes’, ‘Maori’, ‘Muskrat Rebel’, ‘Route 66’ (always a favourite of mine since I did Route 66 in an open top hire car way back), ‘I Never Knew That Roses Grew’, ‘Davenport Blues’, ‘Come Back Sweet Papa’, ‘The Blue Blood’ and ‘From Monday On’ to name some of them.  They were well received by the few hardy  people who made it to the concert and this fabulous concert was their reward.  See you again Wabash.