Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Monday 2 March 2020 - The Dixie Beats at Eagley Jazz Club

John Percival's band, previously noted with a slightly different line up , were on great form - consolidating their position as the leading Dixie Jazz band in Bolton with solid performances from all the band members, who tonight were John Percival(Trumpet/vocalist), Richard Slater (Trombone), Michael Grant (Reeds), Scot Johnson (Guitar/Banjo), Karen Johnson (Percussion), and Steve Allen (Bass).
A very enjoyable evening, and a suitably excellent turnout to appreciate the band's efforts.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Monday 20 January 2020 - The Wabash Jazzmen at Eagley Jazz Club

We've seen this band , but today the clarinet was in the hands of Eric Newton, who we last saw giving a presentation about his interesting life to .

Pictured on the left in the picture, Eric tells us he is still available to give talks about his life and times.

Another excellent Monday evening jazz night, with the added bonus of a winning raffle ticket for the second time running!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Monday 6 January 2020 - Deco Delight Jazz Band at Eagley Jazz Club

Another excellent night at the Jazz Club, with an entertaining performance from this band of accomplished musicians, details of whom can be found .
Music from the 1920's was the theme of the evening, and very good it was as well. They only seem to come once a year, and we missed them last year.
And just when we didn't need it, being just after Christmas, Sue and I won a large box of chocolates in the raffle!

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Thursday 12 December 2019 - An Evening at the Cinnamon Club

It was with great pleasure that Sue and I accepted Paul and Jeanette's invitation to join them for a visit to the in Bowdon. We last visited this venue many years ago, so it was great to be back. The event was well attended - we discovered that it had been planned for the smaller 'upstairs' venue, but that had been double booked, so lots of free tickets had been issued in a (successful) effort to fill the large downstairs venue.
The , pictured above, got proceedings off to a jolly start, then performed with his guitar. He's a class act, having performed with many leading musicians.
After Victor had moved to the piano to sign off his stint, the headline act, pianist , came on, with his 'Sounds of New Orleans'. He's a wonderful pianist, performing pieces from several different genres, and bemoaning the reluctance of performers in different genres (eg jazz/blues) to get together in the UK, whereas in New Orleans they all fall in to a big melting pot of music.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening, and thanks to P&J for inviting us. We must go to the Cinnamon Club again soon.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Monday 9 December 2019 - The Tame Valley Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club

We know that Christmas is imminent when we pop up to Bolton for the Jazz Club's annual bash. The Tame Valley Stompers always brighten the occasion, and tonight was no exception, with some classic trad jazz, with a Christmas slant, in front of a full house of diners, well fed by Percivals, the usual caterers.
I've written about the band before, notably . Tonight I couldn't help noticing that Paul Broomhead's Christmas hat made it look, from the angle I was seated, as if he was sporting a lavish blonde wig.
Here they are at work.
And later, posing for the 'family album'.
It was good to see Reg at this event - his first outing since major surgery, and thanks go to all those who put such an effort into making this an enjoyable evening for everyone.

Monday, 18 November 2019

The Harmony Hounds at Eagley Jazz Club, in Autumn...

Happy Days are here again. 

Julia came to stay on this 'blue sky' day, for a stroll along the Bridgewater Canal towpath, then Trad Jazz in Bolton.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

A Quiet Weekend in Timperley

Friday night at Sale Waterside with R + J. Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri. Kiki Dee gained fame many years ago - tonight she played two excellent sets, including the number that got her into Top of the Pops in 1974. She was famed for a while as someone who played a lot with Elton John.
More recently she has enjoyed a lower profile, making music with Carmelo, an accomplished guitarist, for over 25 years.
We really enjoyed the concert, after which everyone*, including Kiki and Carmelo, adjourned to the bar. A really enjoyable evening; thanks Jenny for organising it.
* Well, not quite all the several hundred people who attended!
Saturday morning started, as usual when we are at home, with a parkrun. Today, our 'home' run got the vote, so we joined the 250 participants and 20 volunteers on a fine morning, though soggy under foot. Slow going through the grass. Tris did a fine job as Run Director and everything went smoothly. There was even cake.
Results are .
It was good to see Mark Hunter, who has been battling a serious illness, going slightly faster every week at the moment, though he has a long way to go to get back to last year's times. At least he is running, and it was great to see him looking positive.
Today - - a bit of good exercise before a lazy 'house admin' day...

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Monday 7 October 2019 - The Savannah Jazz Band at Eagley Jazz Club

Another night of great trad jazz at , featuring from L to R - Bill Smith (Cornet), Sam Ellis (Trombone and Keyboard), Tony Pollitt (Bass), Roger Myerscough (Clarinet and Sax), John Meehan (Leader and Drums), Chris Marney (Banjo), and in the foreground - guest singer Alesha Harris.
Alesha (I think that is her name), a student in Manchester, hadn't played with the band before and did very well with the St James' Infirmary Blues and another song, before retreating to the background and winning the raffle.
In a week that saw the demise of 80 year old Ginger Baker, who I remember seeing on several occasions when he drummed with Cream, John's enthusiasm with his drum solo (see below) had some of us worrying about his own health...

Well done, everyone, that was most enjoyable, after the long drive back from Newtonmore in the rain, on our escape from the bed bugs of the Balavil Hotel - don't use room 26 if you stay there! We just hope that they haven't hitched a lift back to Timperley with us.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Monday 5 August 2019 - John Hallam and the Tom Kincaid Trio at Eagley Jazz Club

Sue and I enjoyed another excellent Monday evening at , with these four talented musicians playing to an almost full house.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

High Society!

provided another evening of entertainment, this time from the , who are based in North Lancashire and had not played at the club before.

With a number of familiar classics and a pint of White Witch, I found this evening most enjoyable, as did Sue, and we were also pleased to discover that Reg and Saro had an enjoyable holiday in Kandersteg.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

A Bike Ride, some Jazz, and a Game of Cricket

Monday morning bike rides aren't the same without Paul and Jeanette! This Monday I made my way in light rain to the allotted 8.45am rendezvous at Timperley Bridge, and waited with the familiar view shown above.
I was on my own, together with lots of fast, damp commuters. Never mind, I'd planned a shorter route than usual because of other perceived commitments. It was the same route as Richard and I took on .
By the time I'd reached Old Trafford, either it was very misty, or the 'phone camera didn't like being retrieved from my pocket into the muggy atmosphere.

I paused for a short rest near the bridge at Barton upon Irwell, near the Trafford Centre.

The vegetation on and around the Trans Pennine Trail in Carrington is nothing if not lush just now.

The 37 km route took me rather less than two and a quarter hours to pedal gently around. It's a good, mainly off-road, route for a bit of exercise.

Monday night found me at , with the Tame Valley Stompers on stage. I wrote a bit about them . Sadly Terry Brunt and his trombone were not present tonight as he had to attend the funeral of his long term partner earlier in the day. Whilst his substitute was excellent, the band isn't the same without extrovert Terry.
It was great to bump into Bernard (an East Lancs LDWA Plodder) and to spend the evening with him and his brother John.
Tuesday was a bad day for Richard's friend Simon - a roofer who couldn't pass over a chance to catch up on his work on a rare fine day. That made it a good day for me, as I could step in at the last minute and enjoy the one day match between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford with Richard. Thanks for the 'call up', Richard. I had considered getting a ticket, but I'd fallen heavily at the hurdles of the application procedure.
So I walked down to M&S in Sale to acquire tasty provisions in the true tradition of my visits to the cricket ground, most of which pre date this journal. On the way I noticed that after many months of inaction, the path to a canal footpath at Brooklands is at last (or so it appears) having its wonky step repaired. What was probably an hour's job for a lone workman seems to have been escalated into a much bigger project! [Only the steps were closed, the footpath being easily accessed from the Metrolink station platform.]

We gave ourselves plenty of time as Richard was concerned about the time it would take to get through security. Just a few seconds, as it turned out.
With an hour before the start, the English players were engaged in a game of five a side football, whilst the Afghans preferred the non contact sport of frisbee throwing. Interviews were being broadcast, with numerous different broadcasters situated all around the in-field.

We were pleased when England won the toss and elected to bat. I optimistically suggested a total of 400 runs from the 50 overs, but soon discounted this when the English made a slow start, giving respect to the skill of the Afghan spinners.
Then captain Eoin Morgan came along and scored 148 runs from 71 balls, including 17 sixes, a record for a one-day international innings. We witnessed history (albeit in a relatively small way) being made, with England reaching 397 for 6 wickets in their 50 overs. Brilliant!

After meeting up with Keith and Carol during the break between innings, we enjoyed a rather sedate run chase which culminated with the Afghans needing to score about 150 runs off the final over.

Needless to say, they didn't manage that, and the game finished at about 6.15, having started at 10.30. It was well attended, with just a few gaps in the more expensive seats. The huge temporary stand in which Keith and Carol had £40 seats was full. Sadly I didn't take a picture of it - it's high to the left of the following image.

Here's a panoramic shot taken from our seats.

Thanks go to Richard for thinking of me when 'Poor Simon' dropped out at the last minute - it was a great day out.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Monday 6 May 2019 – A Bike Ride to Bury, and the Dixie Beats at Eagley Jazz Club

I’ve described this 70 km bike ride before. . Well, that was nearly six months ago. Doesn’t time just fly past at a terrifying velocity?

I was surprised to get a group of six of us on a Bank Holiday when I thought people would have other commitments. Some did have other commitments, hence Sue, Jeanette and Alastair turned round after the above photo was taken on the outskirts of Castlefield, leaving Richard, Paul and me to brave the predicted deluge.

The route passes as excitingly as it can muster through Salford, where this fine church is one of the landmarks along the way.

I got into a bit of a navigational muddle in the Irwell’s oxbows, but the gents seemed happy enough.

Before reaching the fleshpots of Bury (namely the excellent Dynamite Raw Café), we arrived at the now defunct Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, where a couple (not this couple) were trying to de-choke the weedy waterway.

The ride then continued as planned, with a few short bursts of light rain, but nothing that enticed us to don waterproofs. There was an amusing incident at Gigg, where the bridge over the River Roch has been declared unsafe. It may be unsafe for heavy vehicles, but it was easy enough to lift our bikes over the barrier whilst a group of women debated whether or not it was wise to cross, possibly continuing that debate until long after we had gone.

The Rochdale Canal and the Bridgewater Canal have a thriving population of Canada geese. That population is expanding by the day. This chap looked as if he had just escaped from his shell. We saw several plump looking herons today, perhaps benefiting from this ready supply of food, whilst cormorants skimmed low over the canal in search of the fish that the herons would normally go for.

Meanwhile, we await the swifts that make their home under our eaves. They should arrive tomorrow.

Later, Bolton’s leading jazz band (Bolton’s only jazz band?), the Dixie Beats, gave a great performance at Eagley Jazz Club. They really were on top form in front of a record attendance of 83.

As usual, click on the pictures for better images.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Monday 15 April 2019 – The Harlem Hot Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club

Bill Smith, second from right, drove all the way from Cornwall so that he could perform at this gig. He loves it. He’s nearly 80.

Today the band was joined by comparatively youthful John Spall, on clarinet. He performed a masterful version of Acker Bilk’s ‘Stranger on the Shore’. I think it’s that piece that first attracted me to jazz music, when I was 12 and we lived at Meads Cottage, Ryton. I don’t think my parents had the record, but the tune was played incessantly on the radio at that time. It has stood the test of time, like many jazz numbers.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen this band…

Monday 19 June 2017 – The Harlem Hot Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club

Monday 16 October 2017 – The Harlem Hot Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club

… two name but twice. Other reporting has been scant or non existent.

Where were you, Paul and Julie?

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Monday 18 March 2019 – The Aire Valley Jazz Band at Eagley Jazz Club

Another entertaining evening at Eagley Jazz Club, where we were pleased to be joined by Paul and Julie after mentioning this to them on Saturday.The Aire Valley Jazz Band is one that failed to appear in January, thanks to a malfunction of the M62 motorway, but I have seen them before.
One of the highlights of the band’s performances is Rod McNamara’s exploits with his drums. He recalls… 
"I began playing some sort of drums - knitting needles as sticks and tin cans as drums at age 7. I swapped this interesting collection for a drum kit when I was thirteen and got to deputise at a local Working Mens Club. There was no recycling then so the needles and cans went on the local tip.”
Here he is with one of his drum solos.
Click on image for better resolution and slideshow
Great fun – can’t wait to see the Savannah Jazz Band here on 1 April.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Monday Nights at Eagley Jazz Club

This is The Spirit of New Orleans jazz band, last Monday’s performers at Eagley.

There was a good turnout, including one of Sue’s colleagues, Rob. And Reg was in good form, despite having had to curtail his Sri Lankan holiday due to dentistry and other issues.

At £6 for members and £8 for non-members, with cheap beer into the bargain, these performances do make for an excellent night out. The current ‘flier’ is below, and the up to date programme (which is currently as below) is here.



New start and end times 8.00pm to 10.30pm


Monday 4th March
Spirit of New Orleans

Monday 18th March
Aire Valley Jazz Band

Monday 1st April
The Savannah Jazz Band

Monday 15th April
The Harlem Hot Stompers

Monday 6th May
The Dixie Beats

Monday 20th May
The Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band

Monday 3rd June

Monday 17th June
The Tame Valley Stompers


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Monday 19 November 2018 – The Chicago Teddybears Society Jazz Band at Eagley Jazz Club


Last night we had the pleasure of being entertained by this wonderful jazz band, featuring some of the best jazz musicians in the country. All for £5 a head at Eagley Jazz Club.


The band’s website is here. They have been going for some time – here’s their potted history:

The Chicago Teddybears Society Jazz Band originated in Manchester in the 1970s and the name came from a short-lived American television sitcom set in Prohibition-era Chicago. Fortunately, the band has proved more durable than the TV series and has entertained audiences across the UK and Europe for nearly fifty years now. Over that period, inevitable changes in personnel have expanded the band’s repertoire to encompass many styles of jazz – from Dixieland through New Orleans to mainstream and on to swing and jump-jive. Always lively and exuberant, the band’s versatility sees them playing at weddings, corporate events and garden parties as well as more traditional jazz clubs and festivals.

For a profile of the current band see the players page.


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Two Bits of Jazz, some National Trust, and a Book


Busy busy. We enjoyed The Harlem Hot Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club on Monday evening, and even managed to get home before they closed the M60 motorway!

On Tuesday Sue demanded a shopping trip for some boots that she apparently needs for work. Can you identify the venue?


Later, we attended a family gathering that took a stroll from a National Trust property, Packwood House. The pace was brisk, albeit Sue’s mum turned up in what we thought were her pyjamas. “No”, she explained, “they were curtains!”


The family (some of them, anyway) are religious, so I took them through a pleasant churchyard. Nice stained glass windows. Apparently 800 years old.


Here’s the 5 km route, easily extended to the east to the towpath of the Grand Union Canal.


I noticed a copy of a book lying around – self published by one of Sue’s cousins. A tricky subject on which Jonathan is passionate. Well done to him for putting this together and self-publishing. It’s a huge task. We will get a copy (from here).


Sadly our motorway luck ran out on the way home, the M6 being closed at junction 18, which made us a bit late (and extremely cross with a juggernaut that was tailgating us as we proceeded through country lanes in a long line of traffic).

On Wednesday the short motorway journey to and from Hazel Grove Civic Centre was thankfully free from the road closures which appear to have become the norm for late evening travellers around Manchester. That journey to the weekly SWOG presentation was most worthwhile. The speaker, a 78 year old musician who plays in numerous jazz bands and also on his own as a busker, was Eric Newton from Stoke-on-Trent. He spliced his life story with a few familiar tunes on his clarinet. It was a wonderful tale. We came away with a CD, and we will keep an eye out for him as he busks in places like Stone and Nantwich as well as other parts of the Potteries. Dot may have encountered him, or have heard of him. He has run 38 marathons, all whilst playing his clarinet, raising over £60,000 for charity and setting a record of 648 plays of ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ during the course of one marathon run.