25 September 2022 – Baby Jools’ Jazzaholics: Now this was the one everybody was waiting for – a particular favourite of the man who runs the White Eagle Club (Andrew). Baby Jools on drums, ‘Magic’ Mike Henry on trumpet, Karl ‘Tarzan’ Hird on reeds, Jim ‘Lord’ Swinnerton on bass, Warren ‘Lonnie’ James on banjo and guitar and Ian ‘Professor’ Bateman on trombone produced the most amazing sounds, including taking us back to the days of Lonnie Donnegan. They opened with ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’ and went on to give us ‘Dinah’, ‘Lost John’, ‘Down by the Riverside’, ‘Basin Street Blues’, ‘Putting on the Style’, ‘Dr Jazz’ and ‘Tiger Rag’. The room was awash with memories and faces wreathed in smiles – this was certainly a concert worth waiting for. A little bird tells me that they are due to return in January 2023 … can’t wait!
18 September 2022 – Wabash Jazzmen featuring Nick Ward: How lovely to see this band back with us again. Lead by Mark Challinor on banjo and guitar (and occasionally his ukulele), there is also Mike Hayler on reeds, Richard Leach on trombone, Tony Pipkin on cornet, Richard Vernon on string bass and Nick Ward on percussion. Music at its best included ‘At a Georgia Camp Meeting’, ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘The Gospel Train’, ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’, ‘The Bobalusa Stroll’ and ‘The Algiers Strut’ to name but a few but the title that really caught my imagination was ‘Take Off your Suit and Dance in Your Bones’. Looking around the room one could see heads bobbing in time to the music, feet tapping and a general atmosphere of admiration for this band.
11 September 2022 – Tame Valley Stompers: This band has come year after year. Today, after a one minute silence in respect for the Queen’s passing, Terry Brunt played the National Anthem on his trombone. There was sad news that Norman Pennington had passed away recently. A warm welcome was given to the new drummer – Rod Macmanara. Other members of the band included Terry Brunt on trombone, Paul Broomhead on reeds, Roger Wimpeny on trumpet (and mirth!), Peter Smith on bass guitar and John Gordon on banjo and guitar. Some of the numbers they played were as follows: ‘Roll Out the Barrel’, ‘Just a Little While’, ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing’, ‘As We Danced at the Mardi Gras’, ‘Lady be Good’, ‘Basin Street Blues and Downtown Strutters Ball’ to name a few. See you again fellas.
4 September 2022 – Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Jazz Band: As first gigs go this one went down to hugh applause after each number. The band consisted of Sarah Spencer on saxophone, Mike “Magic” Henry on Trumpet, Mike Owen on trombone, Hugh Crozier on piano, “Lord” Jim Swinnerton on string bass and “Baby” Jools Aldridge on drums. Their programme included ‘First Choice’, ‘Blue Monday’ (which was my favourite of the afternoon), ‘If It Don’t Fit Don’t Force It’, ‘It feels So Good’, ‘All that I Ask is Love’, ‘Send Me Some Loving’, ‘Get Out of Here and Go Home’, ‘Going Down by the Levee’, ‘Eh! La Bas’ (which means Hey, Over There), ‘Without You for an Inspiration’, ‘Kansas City Stomp’ and Papa’s Got No Jim Jams’ to name some. There were smiling faces and tapping feet – no doubt that these fine musicians were well received. We look forward to hearing from them again in the near future.