‘NEW ORLEANS HEAT’ were here as part of their tour, entertaining us at Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 18th July 2014. This highly popular 7-piece New Orleans jazz band, is led by BARRY GRUMMETT on piano with musicians GWYN LEWIS on long cornet, MIKE TAYLOR on trombone, JOHN SCANTLEBURY on reeds, TONY PEATMAN on banjo, COLIN BUSHALL on drums and HARRY SLATER on double bass. As you will see in the note at the bottom, they fare from differing parts of the UK. They had all set out from their homes early lunch time. First, four of them arrived and we began with a quintet, being Barry on piano, Mike on trombone, Harry on double bass and Tony of banjo. Trumpeter JOHN LONGLEY was in our audience and stepped up to help make it a quintet (thanks John). Their first number was ‘When You and I Were Young, Maggie’ with John Longley singing. Such a super start and showed their professionalism. Then about 9.00pm, Gwyn, Colin and John (S) arrived. They had been trapped in a traffic jam nearby on M25 for a couple of hours, but still went straight on to play for us without a break! Musicians are a very special breed, aren’t they? Colin was super special, when you think he had to somehow to set up his drums with the band still playing. Thanks boys. The band then played ‘Seems Like Old Times’, with Gwyn singing – still in his shorts from travelling. He has great legs, beautifully set off with his short black socks :0), shame he changed at the break! Wild Bill Davison became a friend of both Keith’s and David Capstick’s, when they were running the Steering Wheel Club (Wild Bill was in UK playing with the Alex Welsh band). Keith and I both thought Gwyn sounded just like Wild Bill, absolutely fantastic whilst playing ‘Sleepy Time Down South’. Then came ‘Rebecca, Rebecca, Get Your Big Legs Off of Me’, againsang by Gwyn and in which they all played their socks off (Gwyn’s too, ha) – of course frightening off the violent storm we had just witnessed outside (just like Glen Miller scared off a doodlebug in the film, hmmm)! Trombonist Mike was featured next with that beautiful Cole Porter number ‘I Love Paris’. He used mutes and was marvelous. My next number to write about was ‘Burgundy Street Blues’. It was John’s turn to be featured on clarinet. Yes, you’ve guessed, another superb piece of musicianship. Our line dancers (moi included) enjoyed dancing to ‘Angry’ (Louis Armstrong’s signature tune). John sang this one – great. ‘Goodnight Irene’ obviously was sang by all of us and their last number was a wonderful bit of boogie playing by Barry with ‘Kansas City’. We suggest this band should not to be missed, so if they ever come your way, go see them (they are presently on tour in Sweden). They were to have returned in December, but it was decided it would be wiser for them to return sometime next year in warmer weather (especially with Gwyn, on occasions, travelling from Sweden).
Please note John Longley’s own band The Halstead Hotshots, play every 2nd Tuesday each month at The Cock Inn (Halstead, Kent, TN14 7DD). You can spend a very pleasant afternoon enjoying a pint or three with possibly a meal, listening to the jazz from 2:00-4:00pm (jug collection only). They played in the garden last time, with it being a warm, sunny afternoon. (I recall Keith played there on many occasions in the 80’s with ‘Manhatton Jazz’).
Keep on enjoying your jazz.
Diane and Keith
N.B. Barry travels from Loughborough, Glyn from Swansea, Mike from Sheffield, John from Cardiff, Tony from Lincoln, Colin from Gloucestershire and Harry from Long Eaton in Derbyshire and then play for us.