As the Covid-19 virus appears to be dissipating, let’s hope it won’t be too long before we can look forward to some semblance of normality in our lives. This means, of course The Jazz Club and , more importantly, THE NAFFLE!
Someone sent me a video of the Temperance Seven from 1988 and it brought back memories of former band mates who are no longer with us.Just Google The Temperance Seven Red Nose Day 1988. Dean Robert Mickleborough, the trombonist, had great success with his own bands in the Sixties before his involvement with The Temps. I’ll forever remember Bobby strolling into the Band’s apartment on a wet Oslo Night. The talk was about eccentrics and as Bobby swept through he muttered “Eccentricity – not my scene” He was wearing a tight plastic bag over his head, as tall as a chef’s hat and carrying a big lump of lead under his arm. I found out later that Bob, being a very shrewd fellow, used to paint seascapes on the lead and display them in his antique shops in Bath. ‘The Americans can’t get enough of them’ he said.
I am pleased to announce that the alto player in the clip is Count Geoffrey Simpkins who, after sixteen years, has taken over the chair in the band vacated by the previous tenant. Next to him on Baritone is Malcolm Willoughby Everson, known affectionally as Mogs. These two were great together bouncing their wit off each other and generally keeping the standard of music very high.
I remember sitting in an hotel bar in North Walsey after the gig heavily in our cups. Geoff asking Mogs what he was doing that weekend. Mogs replied that he had to fit a cat flap. Quick as a flash Geoff said “Everson Fitacatflap” Much mirth as you can imagine ensued.
Well, we should have had Rico at the club on Tuesday but I’m pleased to inform you that you can still see him this week courtesy of Facebook at 7pm Friday and Saturday. Rico will be accompanied by the great Keith Nichols on piano.
Here we are in the umpteenth week (that’s what it feels like) of isolation. Although, for some of us who are blessed with space around us it can be quite stimulating. Personally, for me this means focusing on my next ukulele recording project without any distractions. For a committed procrastinator like me the time is proving invaluable. As for Helen, she is beavering away making face masks for the local care homes as well as , of course, Grayshott Bags which are still popular with those who can still shop.
For the June session we have special guest Ron Drake. Ron is a seasoned clarinetist who has played with them all – Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and even the Temperance Seven, I remember Ron depping with us at a Festival in North Wales some time ago. I think the only band Ron hasn’t been associated with, to my knowledge, is Chris Barber – but I’m prepared to stand corrected on this point.
Here is a mouth watering track of what to expect at some time in the future…
Under s. 8(1) of our rules the Grayshott Social Club Annual General Meeting must be held by the 30th April each year but, due to the announcement that the current ‘lockdown’ has been extended until at least the 7th May 2020, the AGM has been postponed until further notice. A new date will be fixed once the current restrictions are lifted and it is safe to proceed.
The normal rules with regard to publishing of the accounts, elections to Committee and lodging of agenda items will be followed in advance of the revised date. The sitting Committee will continue in post until the AGM.
Regards and stay safe, I’ll see you at the reopening party,
Club Secretary and Treasurer
16th April 2020
Tonight we would’ve been meeting at the Social Club for the monthly Jazz session. We will instead look forward to the April session. A month at a time is all we can hope for at the moment.
However, if you’re feeling at a loose end tonight I’d like you all to imagine we were all there at the Grayshott Virtual Jazz Club!
The line-up would be Bill on banjo, Dave on bass, Graham on drums, Andy Woon on trumpet and Tim Asson on clarinet.
There would be about 50-60 of us creating a great vibe for the musicians to deliver their hot stomping jazz! The band kicked off with ‘Sweetheart’s on Parade” (substitute your own favourite here and throughout the night) Bill would be singing, Andy would be singing, Dave would get up and sing one of his moody Western Swing songs. Bill would break a string! Talking of which, many years ago, I used to give my banjo a fearful pounding on gigs with the result that I used to break a lot of strings. Denny Illett used to say he would take the first solo. When asked why this was he replied that he wanted to get his solo in before “Deighan breaks a string”
Anyway we’re now on to the Virtual Naffle. What prizes? A tin of Ambrosia Creamed Rice perhaps. A pair of second-hand sandals? A set of napkins (sorry about the gravy stains) – I’m sure you could all have fun making them up.
I hope you enjoyed the evening and HOPE to see you next month.
Keep safe all you Jazz lovers.
I have received a message from Mike Deighan that the Jazz Club night on 31st March featuring Binkies Dixie Demons has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. This means the next scheduled Jazz Club evening is Tuesday 28th April, I will let you know nearer the time as to whether this gig will be going ahead or not.
Jazz Club concerts rang the changes slightly on Tuesday night presenting The Stringbusters, a Western swing outfit organised by our own Dave Doel. The music itself was a fusion of Boogie-Woogie, Cowboy, Hillbilly, Folk, Jazz and Blues that had it’s origins in the Western and Southern States of America in the 1920’s. All of this mixture was well in abundance with Dave playing some glorious and versatile guitar accompaniment to his and Lynette Morgan’s vocals. Her voice suited this genre without parallel.
Dave’s solos were a mixture of traditional Country figures as well as his own remarkable and original improvisations. With Chris Haigh’s fiddle, Gary Boller’s double bass and 11 year old Farron Doel on drums the evening took off like a train with ‘Long John Blues’. Chris Haigh is one of the finest fiddle plays I’ve heard and his feature on ‘Turkey in the Straw’ was outstanding.
I have to mention the rhythm section here. The four beat laid down was one of the tightest I’ve heard in this club. Farron steadfastly underpinned the beat alongside Gary’s bass and the icing on the cake for me, was Lynette’s choppy four-to-the-bar on her old Gibson L48 Guitar.
Guest Dave Madgewick was called up to sing a few and charmed everyone with his charismatic version of ‘San Antonia Rose’ which suited his tenor voice and Chris Haigh’s magical fiddle. When I was called up to do a couple of numbers on my trusty (rusty) five string banjo it occurred to me that there was 66 years between the oldest and youngest on stage. I was 12 for my first gig – let’s hope Farron has as much fun as I have had!
Jazz Club this month (31st March) welcomes back Graham on drums, Tim on clarinet and Andy Woon on trumpet – another great night of traditional jazz in prospect.
Dates for the diary Tuesday 31st March – Binky with Graham, Tim and Andy Woon 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 28th April – Binky with Graham, Tim and Andy Woon 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 5th May – FB Pocket Orchestra – New Album 8 – 11 – £10 Tuesday 26 May – Binky with special guest Enrico Tomasso Tuesday 30th June – Binky with special guest ex Kenny Ball’s clarinetist Ron Drake
Winter drawers on but thankfully no snow in our area (yet!).
The Jazz in Grayshott continues to thrive and at last month’s Jazz Club 60 hardy souls turned out to experience a great night of traditional jazz. Bill, who was in great form, and bassist Dave welcomed Andy Woon, Tim Asson and Graham Collicott back and were able to provide a night of swing, hot Jazz and humour. This month’s Jazz line-up features again your overseas correspondent Richard White and cornet crony Andy Norman. I will be in attendance to ensure Queensbury rules.
Our next concert is on 10th March and stars the Stringbusters. A trio featuring our very own Dave Doel, country singer Lynette Morgan and bassist Gary Boller. It promises to be a great night of Western swing with various guests.
I know it is not strictly Jazz but I believe Grayshotters have very eclectic tastes when it comes to music. I include Grayshott Concerts and the Folk Club as well as our own Jazz Club. I’ve had many requests for Dave to come with his band, popular on both sides of the pond, to entertain us and for us to have the chance to see the other side of Dave.
Self promotion corner –
My album Ukulele Gershwin is now available to the general public.
Details on www.crosswayspatch.co.uk.
Dates for the diary – Tuesday 25th February – Jazz Club Binky’s Dixie Demons 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 10th March – An evening of Western Swing 8 – 11 Tuesday 31st March– Jazz Club Binky’s Dixie Demons 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 28th April – Jazz Club Binky’s Dixie Demons 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 5th May – FB Pocket Orchestra – New Album 8 – 11
A good night in prospect at next week’s Jazz Club (28th January) when we welcome back Andy Woon, Tim Asson and Graham Collicott to augment Bill’s Dixie Demons. Hang on – with only Bill and Dave regular Demons, who is augmenting who?
Anyway, Andy is the regular trumpet player with the Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra and Tim a clarinet regular with Papa Joes All Stars. Those of you with long memories will recall that Graham once graced the chair in the Temperance Seven percussion department.
I’m looking forward to the night.
Dates for the diary Tuesday 28th January – Jazz Club – Binky with returning guests Tim Asson clarinet, Andy Woon trumpet and Graham Collicott drums; 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 25th February – Jazz Club – Binky’s Dixie Demons; 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 10th March – An evening of Western Swing; 8 – 11 Tuesday 31st March – Jazz Club – Binky’s Dixie Demons; 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 28th April – Jazz Club – Binky’s Dixie Demons; 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 5th May – FB Pocket Orchestra – New Album; 8 – 11
The Jazz Club will continue to operate on the last Tuesday of the month, Concerts will be interspersed and are usually held on a Tuesday. We kick off the new decade with our (now regular) Post Christmas Blues Concert on Tuesday 7th January with Cat Skellington featuring our very own Richard White. Cat Skellington recreate the music of Django Reinhardt and the Quintette of The Hot Club of France with guitar supremo Hugo Boswell taking the role of the great man himself. Tickets are available at the Social Club. Please note that this concert begins at 7.30pm.
Enjoy the evening
Dates for the diary Tuesday 7th January 2020 Post Christmas Blues Concert with Cat Skellington – evoking the spirit of Django Reinhardt and The Hot Club of Paris 7.30 – 10.30 Tuesday 28th January Jazz Club – Binky with returning guests Tim Asson clarinet, Andy Woon trumpet and Graham Collicot drums 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 25th February Jazz Club – Binky’s Dixie Demons 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 10th March – An evening of Western Swing 8 – 11 Tuesday 31st MarchJazz Club – Binky’s Dixie Demons 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 28th AprilJazz Club – Binky’s Dixie Demons 8 – 10.30 Tuesday 5th May – FB Pocket Orchestra – New Album 8 – 11