What a fabulous party we had on Friday, 20th December 2013 here at our Farnborough Jazz Club, with the DART VALLEY STOMPERS providing the entertainment. The Sports Club Committee had worked hard and managed to have the new floor installed during the week, working right up to the day before! Yes, a tight squeeze (especially as they also had a booking on that Thursday evening too), so thanks guys for all your hard work – & girls for the Xmas décor as well.
It was our last gig of the year – our Xmas Party and as predicted, we certainly did ‘live it up’ with a ‘full house’. So, first of all, Keith and I wish to thank everyone for pre-booking, needed for food ordering. Only a handful of you had to cancel on the day. However, a few more of you took ‘pot luck’ and just turned up anyway! One of our regulars said there were faces he didn’t know. I told him Keith and I knew everyone (bar two new faces) some from way back in ‘Badgers Mount’ days and as having said on previous occasions, thank goodness clubs do have a nucleus of visitors. Now to tell you about the evening. The food was produced by our friend Peter (a London pro chef) and his young protégé, Dan. I think all who participated, would agree, the spread was splendid, so thanks you two.
Now what about the band. As mentioned last week, they hail from Devon, but are extremely popular throughout the Country. Their first visit to us was back in December 2011. JEREMY HUGGETT, their founder/leader (clarinet, Saxes & vocals) was joined by GRAHAM TREVARTON (cornet, trumpet & vocals), RON MILFORD (trombone & vocals), EDDIE EDWARDS (banjo), LUKAS DRINKWATER (bass) and CHRIS STOCKINGS (drums). I said last week, I had to sleuth for Eddie on the internet to check what he played, saying he just might be ‘Eddie the Eagle’. What was so spooky is I had prepared last week’s message during the morning, but wanted to update the previous Friday’s news before publishing it. What’s spooky, you say? Well, if any of you had watched ‘Egg Heads’, you would have known Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards was a Challenger in that afternoon’s programme! Yes, I know it’s a coincidence, but I mean to say, wow! Anyway, to continue…. I was so busy, it was very hard to make my notes of the evening, but what an overall feel I was soaking in – what a band. There was so much dancing going on. Their first number began with a drum start to ‘Willie the Weeper’, a lovely ‘trad’ jazz favourite. I’d like to mention ‘Jambalaya’, just great to dance to aye. Then there was ‘Birth of the Blues’, sung by Ron and lots of us in the audience too. Graham also sang, his number being ‘I Would Do Anything for you’. Of course the food was served during the first break, so I’m not sure what number followed, but I know ‘Hello Dolly’ was sung by Ron and ‘Streets of the City’ was a brilliant tune that changed key a couple of times – brilliant. There were few requests, which the band kindly agreed to play, those being ‘Sweet Lorraine’, ‘Down in Honky Tonk Town’ and ‘Blueberry Hill’. I can’t remember when we did our line-dance. However, Steve (a regular), having been to New Orleans, had asked some weeks ago, for a Brolly Parade. Keith hadn’t heard me mention anything on the mike the week before, plus hadn’t notice any brollies being brought in, so it was a complete surprise to him (I think there were about 30 of them). Obviously ‘Bourbon Street Parade’ was the number and was sung by both Jeremy and Ron. Keith said it was the highlight of the evening – what a parade. It has been four or five years since we last had one, so was great fun (thanks Steve for suggesting it). Several photos were taken, so please may I ask you for copies to put here on this website, ta. Just one extra point, the band didn’t leave till gone 12.30am and would not have got home till at least 6.00am!
Now before closing, we would also like to thank Ian (Sports Club’s President) who rushes home after work (in central London) every week, to unlock the club house early for us, plus to get the bar ready and on occasions run it too. Also to thank our bar staff, Val and Harry, Barb and Cath, for their hard work (including helping to clear up afterwards) and not leaving until at least 1.00am and all with cheery smiling faces.
Yes, also a thanks to everyone, you did make it one of our most memorable Christmas parties to end 2013 out in style. We surely did ‘keep on dancing’ and yes, we did have the correct music!
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who have managed to support us throughout 2013, including all the wonderful jazz bands who have appeared here. Of course we wish everyone a very Healthy and Happy New Year in 2014. This includes all our jazz media friends (Just Jazz Magazine, Jazz Guide and Kent Jazz News etc.)
Don’t forget, our next gig will be 10th January 2014 (8.30pm-11.30pm), with PHOENIX DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND to celebrate my 17th birthday (now then, stop laughing!!!!!).
Diane and Keith
(Phew, I know, I do go on, don’t I – sorry!)