This month, as well as our regular Thursday gigs at Maghull, Didsbury, Eastham and Grappenhall, we were back by popular demand for our second gig at Burscough Wharf Arts Centre.
John Hallam featured three times for us on reeds – at Eastham on the 20th, Burscough on the 22nd and Grappenhall on the 26th; while John Padfield played at Maghull on the 12th and Didsbury on the 19th.
Fifty-six different numbers featured in our setlists this month, mostly, as is usual, from the much-loved traditional repertoire. Most favoured vocals were Someday Sweetheart and Keeping Out Of Mischief Now; while among the instrumentals, South, That Da Da Strain, Ain’t She Sweet, Oh Lady Be Good and At The Jazz Band Ball featured regularly. Mention must also be made of Wabash Blues, not one we play very often but it featured at three gigs this month. A few “revived” tunes also featured: at Didsbury, Ed sang Buddy Bolden’s Blues, Jelly Roll Morton’s depiction of the sweaty and smelly atmosphere often encountered at his gigs; and, on request, Rae sang Alexander’s Ragtime Band. Also at Didsbury, John Padfield gave a suitably melodic soprano sax rendition of Autumn Leaves, played with a mix of rumba and swing rhythms. Perhaps the most poignant revival was at Grappenhall where, for the first time since Ken Doran retired, we opened the evening with the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. John Hallam’s much-applauded features this month were The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise (at Grappenhall and Burscough); and Puttin’ On The Ritz (at Eastham). Special mention this month goes to the gig at Burscough, were a packed and enthusiastic audience gave us a great night and scooped this month’s award for best singing of Swing Low – but only just, as Eastham and Grappenhall weren’t far behind.