We had six gigs in total this month, the two “extras” over and above our four residencies (Maghull, Didsbury, Eastham and Grappenhall) being at Rochdale and Burscough.
On reeds, John Hallam (Rochdale, Burscough and Grappenhall) and John Padfield (Maghull, Didsbury and Eastham) each played three gigs; and, at Grappenhall, Deano Ravera was on string bass while Rae was away at a Django Reinhardt festival in France.
We played seventy-four different numbers across our gigs this month, of which two were new additions to the repertoire: I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town – a blues written by slide-guitarist Casey Bill Weldon in 1936 and a hit for both Louis Jordan and Joe Williams (with Count Basie) in the 1940s; and Your Feet’s Too Big – synonymous with Fats Waller and even recorded by The Beatles (who added an entirely unnecessary four-letter word to the title!). Most popular instrumentals this month were Honeysuckle Rose, Avalon, Struttin’ With Some Barbecue, Rosetta, Oh Lady Be Good, Undecided, Wabash Blues and Sweet Georgia Brown; and most performed vocals were Sunday (Andrew), New Orleans (Ed) and Bourbon Street Parade (Rae). Among the features were Jimmy Lucas‘s rendition of Humphrey Lyttleton’s Bad Penny Blues, John Hallam‘s playing of the George Lewis signature piece, Burgundy Street Blues and the lovely Rose Room; and John Padfield‘s soprano sax renditions of Autumn Leaves, Black Orpheus and Deep Purple. In addition, at Grappenhall, Andrew MacKenzie solo-performed Tangerine just with the rhythm section – singing and playing, although not at the same time! And finally – “drum roll” – the best singing of Swing Low this month was by the seventy people packed into the Arts Centre at Burscough Wharf. Well done!