Sunday, December 10, 2006


At lunchtime today we played in Croydon in the centre with our stage neatly set up in front of the christmas tree. A few dancers came down and attracted a large crowd - special thanks to John Vassallo, the man in the hat, and Jean Claude ze famous french danseurr.
Now we are on the way to London where we are playing tonight for the SODS - society of distinguished songwriters.

The "mobile office" is a-buzz and wildly promoting our new/old christmas single "White Hot Christmas" which is being released as a download on monday (11th Dec) moving us firmly into the 21st century.
You may remember that we released it in 2003 as a single CD and unbeknownst to us it was almost in the charts, this time it is only on download for 79p (cheaper than anything in the "99p Shop"!).
You can also watch our extremely high budget "music video" - see our home page for details. Its a great song and has called the best christmas song for years (at least since Bing's "White Christmas"). When originally released it was local BBC's record of the week and is soon to join the ranks of those classic christmas songs, like Slade's etc, that are played every year ad infinitum. Its a rock and rollin, swingin' jive xmas hit!!!! (Modest it ain't, but I like it...).


Tonight we were back in the Pigalle, the very nice posh supper club owned by Vince Power. Tonight it was a "Kitch Lounge Riot" night packed full of diners and Christmas-celebraters. Its always a nice gig and everyone was soon up and dancing and the food is luvly by the way...


Tonight deserves mention, back at the 100 Club with Simon Selmon and as well as a good gig there was the Stomping King and Queen competition. Our very own Ken was one of the judges representing the UK and old friend Peter Flahiff was there for the US. It was a very good night and a stomping good time!


Ah, what a great party, the Swing Dance Company sure knows how to throw 'em - semi pun intended. It was a sell out with a waiting list as long as your arm. We played a couple of sets to some great dancers and there was caberet including Ryan and Jenny Francois and Gary and Sara Boon, plus an unmentionable surprise cabaret from the Swing Dance Company's own teachers - those who were there know what I mean...


Tonight we were the Landmarc in Bournemouth for the first time. It is a converted church which is very nicely set out as a supper club, posh night club restauranty place.

Ok, ok... so we have been too busy to keep the blog properly up dated, a back log blog! The excuse is that we have been so unbelievably busy we haven't had time to get it all down in writing to you lovely people, sorry. When I was a kid I used to write a diary - it didn't have much in it except "went to school...", then when I started to do loads of interesting things I was too busy to sit down and write in the diary - I'd like to use this as a precedent and put it forward as our defence in this case. Anyway, apologies to the lovely fans and friends who may feel left out by not being mentioned and where there are huge gaps in the blog the gigs and adventures will have to be left to the imagination and creative exageration they really deserve...


BBC Children in Need at Duxford - we played, you danced, much money was raised and we were on BBC TV three times! Cheers to all who came and contributed!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


A late breakfast (we persuaded the girls at the Liffy Valley hotel to make a special late musician breakfast) then the ferry and driving home, through wales and down. So a short tour of Ireland but we have driven over 1460 miles since leaving home! Next time we'll make a longer tour and stick more gigs/towns in between.


Today we drove like madmen from Kinsale down to Dublin where we played at the ARC Cafe. This is another of Declan's many establishments and amoung the revellers were friends from the music biz and Brenda with some of the local swing dancers. Our last gig on this short but long (in miles) Irish tour and it was another wild one and the swingers found some space to dance and became quite an attraction. Sax player Dereck O'Conner was there with most of his family and very friendly they were too - nice to meet you all!


The next leg of our triangular tour of Ireland was an eight hour drive from Derry down to Kinsale, near Cork. A very nice drive though, small roads and through the beautiful green countryside - I guess the Romans never got this far so there are few big long straight roads.

We arrived in Kinsale about 8.00pm for the Gourmet festival to find people had been walking around the town eating and drinking since about 11.00 this morning so we hoped they'd all still be going at 11.30pm when our first set was to commence. Of course always up for the craic they were dancing till late and the show went great after an intro from Billy Crosbie who organized the whole thing (after a jam with Vince, the professor, on the piano in the bar - Billy plays piano too as well as being the king of Kinsale).


The first gig on our 3 day extenisve tour of Ireland is a return to Derry where we play every May for the jazz festival. This is our first return in between festivals and the show was sold out the day the tickets went on sale, a good sign. The gigs in Derry are always great and this was no exception with many of our freinds showing up - Derry is still one of the friendliest we have ever been! And speaking of friends, good mate and local sax hero Gay McIntire popped in and stole part of the show getting up and playing on "All of Me" and "Summertime" and returning for a jam on the second encore. We know some people couldn't get in to see us as it was a full house so next time we'll have to play two nights. See you all at the jazz festival!


Today is the Riverfront Jazz Festival in Greenwich and we played on a boat sailing down the Thames. George and the Roaring Forties band members were again amoung our auspicious guests. The Essex girls were there and loud as usual (plus a girl who is "definitely" from Kent and "definitely" not from essex at all). Loads of people were packed onto the boat and away we went. Unfortunately I saw a couple who ran onto the dock waving tickets and the boat crew couldn't turn around and go and get them - if you are reading this send us an e mail and we'll get you into another gig to make up for the awful loss and emotional distress.

The gig went well with everyone who couldn't jive already getting a quick lesson from Ceroc Greenwich Dan.

On the way home we popped to Black Heath Village where festival organizer Dave Silk was gigging with female vocalist Emma (who strangely enough was also from Essex!) and John, Pete and Vince got up for an immortal and legendary jam session.


Brighton Jive tonight and its the R and B Revue with ourselves playing and Oo Bop Sh'Bam opening the night. We had the great Laura Blake sing a wee set with us including "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean". A very nice night put on by Colin and Janeka, very professionally organized (and, most importantly, loads of tea, coffee and biscuits in the dressing rooms). The Teenybopper also gave a great performance to kick the night off.

Earlier in the day we met Stinky from the Cockney Rejects in Hastings, they're still touring and he just wrote a book, for those of you who remember the early days of punk. We wre doing an anti drug event there and he is anti drug himself - I guess many mucisians see the sad endings of friends and realize the harm drugs do.


We flew to Cork in Ireland for a one night only gig at a new posh venue called Soho. They fed us extremely well with beautiful steaks etc (the way to a musician's heart is usually through the stomache - take note event organizers and bookers - you feel good afterwards and you are sort of obliged to give a good performance in exchange for scrumptious grub!!).

Anyway, as we always try to give great performance this had to be special. And it was, although not exactly by plan. The stage in Soho is about 15 feet in the air so for the 600 or so punters stuffed just into the downstairs area it looks like the band are on a TV screen and for the band it is a bit far away to communicate with the audience. So I jumped down onto the bar to sing "Oh Marie" to an Irish gal, as usual, and just stayed on the bar. Got JOhn and Al (sax and bone) to jump up on the bar too and we did the whole two hours show bar-walking the length of the club with barmaids serving drinks between our legs. Luckily the Irish being always up for some fun, the gig ended up wild and woolly and very memorable.

The Roaring Forties chaps were there for the craic and of course this has all been added to anuls of history by noted writer "Pure Cork Boy" and "Donal" on thier blogs and Flikr sites - the former who like most historians of note, wasn't actually there.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


A rare Friday night when we didn't have an official gig so we heard it was Joseph's (of Joseph and Trisha) birthday so we called up Trisha and organized a surprize performance for him. Before he arrived we set up the gear and serenaded him as he walked in the door with a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday". Later on we had to give him the obligatory birthday dance and did a nice long version of the St. Louis Blues so all the ladies got a chance to dance with him. Happy Birthday Joseph and congrats on being 21 again!


Second day in a row in the nations capital, this time at our most regular jaunt, the 100 Club. Glad to see so many peple turn up despite the heat! Guests included Laura Blake from Essex (who will be appearing with us at the upcoming Rhythm 'n' Blues Revue in Worthing) and Mark Feld from the Brick Lane Boogie Boys who jumped up for a number on bass. Joining us on stage for a spot of dancing was Warren and Maxine from the Jiving Lindy Hoppers too! We'll be back at the 100 Club on October 23rd and you never know who will show up for a guest spot!

Monday, August 21, 2006


It was our first appearance at the Capital Age Festival. Joining us were our good friends the Jiving Lindy Hoppers. The crowd gathered next to the Thames (for any americans reading this it's pronounced "Tems", don't ask why, it just is ok!). There were a ton of dancers too which was great. Hope to see you all at the 100 Club tomorrow!

After the afternoon show we jumped in the van and headed off to Romford for Lucky and Goo's wedding party. Goo has been a good friend of the band for many years and we've also known Lucky for several years (he a fantastic chef by the way so if you ever get a chance to try his schnitzel...) since we first played the the Hepcat Club in Augsburg, germany. He used to run the club with Hans and was one of Germany's only venues dedicated to good rockin' and swingin' music. A big congrats from all the Jive Aces to you both! We turned up and everything was in full swing already with Terry Elliott DJing and all food but the chocolate fountain reduced to crumbs.

Since we had a van full of instruments, we piled them in to the marquee in the garden and did a little set for the guests which seemed to include as much essex humour as it did music!


This morning we took part on the last Radio Big L roadshow of the year, this time in Caister at the Haven Holiday Camp. The weather even behaved itself. In a strange twist of fate, one of the paramedics with the roadshow was none other than Rock 'n' Roll DJ Galaxy Bob. We even dedicated "White Cliffs of Dover" to him live on air as it's his favourite track of ours.

We then pegged it over to Milton Keynes where we made a return appeance at the Talk of the Town Live. This is a beautiful supper club with some great live entertainment and the food is really good too. It's a fairly new place but it's really beginning to make a name for itself as a venue so if you are anywhere near the area then check it out. We are back there in November.


No gig today, just an appearance on BBC Three Counties to plug tomorrow's gig in Milton Keynes. Luckily we only had to drive 10 minutes down the road to BBC Radio Kent as they are all linked up. We had a great chat with DJ Luke Ashmead who does the early afternoon weekday shows so if any of you are in the area then write in and request our songs at


Today we took part in the Radio Big L roadshow in Clacton. Big L is a new station currently available on Sky 0190 and on the internet at In a couple of weeks time they go live on AM on 1395. Today was josted by legendary radio DJ and Top of the Pops presenter Mike Reed ("fabulous, pop pickers!"). Other guests included the Drifters and Jimmy Cricket ("there's more, there's more").

Some of you may have read about Smiley Miley getting choked by a snake in the national newspaper. This was a complete set up by Mike Reead and Smiley and they couldn't even get the snake to stay round his neck, it kept falling off. ?but as usual, the media give their spin on it. Makes you wonder how true more important issues you read in the paper are...

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Well Ok I lied, it wasn't four performances today... It was five!

First we started out with the New Orleans Parade where all the musicians in the festival take part. Imagine 150 horn players streched in a line down the road all trying to play "Bourbon Street Parade" together!

Next it was an afternoon set at the harbour stage along the river front. The weather was great too.

After that we had our main dance concert in the Maratim Hall. All the swing dancers came from Bergen and Stavanger and further. The dance floor was nice and full too, even with non-dancers. What do you call non-dancers who dance, anyway?

After that we headed off to see the Jazzin' Babies, Norways hottest and youngest New Orleans style jazz band. They invited us to sit in with them for a jam session so we did.

After that it was off to the Hovloriet (I think that's how you spell it anyway, it's the old fish market) for the official jam session and our last bowl of fish soup.

Phew, that's it for another year. It's half past three in the morning as I'm Blogging this to you readers and we leave for the airport in 3 hours for home.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This afternoon we started out with an interview with one of the UK's busiest traditional jazz band leaders, Phil Mason. He's been playing his trumpet for many years now and runs his own jazz festival on the Isle of Bute every year. We asked him about his inspiration, influences and life on the road. The interview will be published as part of a series for Just Jazz magazine and other interviews we have conducted recently include jazz legends, Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball.

Our last night at the Byscenen was suitably full. over 600 people crammed into the venue with an even bigger group of dancers there tonight. Then, you've guessed it, we were off to the jam session for another bowl of fish soup. Well, got to get some sleep now because tomorrow we have four (that's right, count 'em, 1, 2, 3, 4). I'll tell you all about them tomorrow!

Friday, August 11, 2006


Ooh, for all you Blog readers, I've just figured out how to add photos to the Blog so there'll be some accompanying the entries. Keep your peepers peeled!


Second day in Haugesund and after last night's late finish, we get to sleep in.... NOT. It's up bright and early for a live radio in a cafe on the riverfront. We played 4 songs and Richard from the Nairobi Trio (who, incidentally, afre not from Nairobi and are actually a quartet) joined us on his fiddle. Check out thier site at

After that it was a spot of lunch in the Egon accompanied by George, lead singer from the Roaring Forties and his fiance, Orla. Great swing band based in Cork, check out thier site at

Another great night at Byscene and even more packed than last!

Then it was back to the jam session for another bowl of fish soup. Bed at 4am...

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Just finished the first day at Sildajazz in Haugesund, Norway. The flight over was packed with musicians with everybody from Harry Conolly's Jazz Friends, Johnny Boston, The Brasshoppers, T. J. Johnson's band and many others.

We played at our regular spot over here, the Byscenen and had a really good crowd. They kept telling us that everybody had been waiting for "the yellow men" to come back to Haugesund.

After the show it was off to the fish market for our bowl of fish soup and a set from Norway's youngest (and one of the best that we've heard) dixieland bands. the Jazzin' Babies.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


This afternoon we did a "Say No To Drugs" event in Bexley Heath town centre. This was no ordinary event (not that the others are ordinary when we play) as we had about 30 dancers form Ceroc Kent come down. They all grabbed people out of the crowd to join in and Virginia even gave a lesson to innocent bystanders. Thanks guys!

Tonight we returned to the Harlow Playhouse for our second performance there. This time we had a sell out crowd and it was really good fun. DJ Paul Rose even became impromptu MC and brought us back on for our fourth encore!


It's Monday and the week hasn't finished yet! This afternoon we opened the Volunteer Minster tent in Harlow market. The Volunteer Minister program was started by the Church of Scientology in order to train people to help in any situation from friends and family to major international disaster relief. You can find out more at


Fifth and final day at War and Peace. Thanks to Terry Elliott for the organization. We'll se you all...and your tanks, bullets, shells, mortars, rocket launchers, uniforms, jeeps etc next year!


Fourth Day at the War and Peace show and the marquee was jammed today. This show has more military vehicles than some counties armies! John Miller even turned up to say hello. John, who is the nephew of Big band legend Glenn Miller, leads his own band and was playing at the show tonight.

As if the past few days weren't enough, we drove to Cambridge for an appearance at Wimpole Hall for their annual "Jazz in the Stables" concert. A sell out crowd et again and it even stopped raining 2 minutes before the doors opened to the public (it being a stables it was kind of indoors but with no roof sort of thing).

We also found out that Russell from the Jiving Lindy Hoppers broke the world record. In fact, break is an understatement, he smashed it by doing 33 flips in a minute, nearly doubling the previous record! Well done mate! Check out for more info.


After a late night back from Reading we arrived back at the Hop Farm for our third day of War and Peace. Another hot performance and then we thought we had a few hours to relax as we didn't have far to get to the next gig. In fact, we had no distance to cover at all as the next gig was in the same place for the evening dance at the War and Peace show. Only thing is, the BBC called us yesterday and asked us to come and do a promo TV spot to promote the Big Dance event in Trafalgar Square tomorrow. Being good sports and all round good eggs we did a bit of what felt like the logistical equivalent of the game "Twister" we managed to pull it off and get back to Paddock Wood in time for the next show and this is how it played out:

We finished the lunchtime show at the War and Peace show, threw all the instruments and PA equipment in the car. We then drove at great (yet obeying the limits) speed to Tonbridge station, parked up and threw all the instruments onto the train. We then got off at Charing Cross and chucked the stuff in a taxi with a couple of people. The rest of us darted onto the tube and met the taxi goers at Marylebone High Street at the BBC London building. We dragged the gear up to the fifth floor and onto the roof. The Jiving Lindy Hoppers turned up and we ran through what we were doing on the show. We played while the dancers danced and Russel from the Jiving Lindy Hoppers was interviewed about the event and even taught the presenter a couple of steps. He also talked about the world record he was going to attempt to break tomorrow at the event which is the most number of flips done in a minute. The previous record was 17 and Russell is going for 24. All in all we appeared in three segments on the BBC London news. as soon as the cameras stopped rolling we threw the stuff back in the taxi, jumped back on the tube and got back to Charing Cross. We then high tailed it down to Tonbridge and pegged it back to the Hop Farm just in time to throw the suits back on and jump on stage for the show. PHEW!!


Second afternoon at the War and Peace show (actually it's more of a war show with a bit of peace (namely, us!). Not quite as hot but stilla shirt drenchder. Thanks to Darren and Claire from First mOve Dance for lending us their fans which we out to good use on the stage.

After a superfast instrument pack down we burned rubber all the way to Reading for the Real Ale And Jazz Festival. Supporting us were the Swing Fever. The festival even had record attndance for a Thursday night!


Our first day (of many) at this years' War and Peace show in Paddock Wood, Kent. The Hop Farm where it is held is only 25 minutes drive from where we live and yet last year was the first time we played the event but after the past two years success, I'm sure we'll be a regular fixture. Today, incidentally, was the hottest day on record in the country and we felt it. I mean we really felt it. We were not only baking in the marquee for the lunchtime concert but we also had a full set of stage lights on!


This evening we played at the Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin. "Mick The Burger Man" (TM) is to thank for our performance here as he out us in touch with the organizers after seeing us play in the Harlow market so many times and drinking his tea. He's been providing sausages and burgers at the festival for several years now. Anyway, 2500 people were on hand to have a jolly good time.


Oundle is a quaint little town that hosts what is mainly a classical festival but tonight was the yearly fireworks celebration. The fabulous Jiving Lindy Hoppers Joined us for this show and together we put on quite a show for the 4000 strong crowd before the firworks wchich were in themselves quite spectacular.


Tonight we weren't quite sure what to expect as it was our first time playing for a Ballroom Dance crowd. I'm glad to say that it was really friendly. The night was hosted by Strictly Come Dancing judge and former ballroom dance champ, Len Goodman. It was a capacity crowd at Pontins Pakefield and they've already asked us back.


Second night at the Henley festival, this time opening for rock legends, Status Quo. It was rather amusing watching 4000 people jumping up and down to "Rocking All Over The World" in black tie. We even had a chat to Rick Parfitt Jr (son of Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt in case you couldn't work it out from the name) who makes regular appearances at the Kitsch Lounge Riot at the Cafe de Paris in London.


Today we returned to the Henley Festival after a two year break. This has to be the poshest festival in the country replete with art galleries, performance artists, open air bars and  restaurants and everyone dressed to the nines in tuxes and evening dresses. We played the late shift in the "Dome Marquee" which was a marquee shaped like a dome... Appropriately named then! It was packed full and the security guards were getting worried about all the people they had to not let in.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Well here we are again in the studio in LA, just a little jet lagged and finishing off our next album. Its going very well. And guess what? Today is the actual (finally) factual proper release of our hit single to be "Singing in the Rain"!! And we are in studio so its all up you guys now... thanks for your help and support! We did do 12 BBC Radio appearances just last week playing and promoting the single plus we played in 11 cities in just 7 days  (some lunchtime gigs etc) so I hope everybody knows about it. If not, then tell them please!


Back in LA. Wow, talk about whirlwind tour, we've been constantly on the move for a few weeks now! Hence the large gaps in the entries to this blog - a lot happened but it will have to be left to the imagination! We got through baggage and customs at LAX airport by about 4.30pm and arrived in Pasadena at around 5.30. Had a quick "In and Out Burger" (which, contrary to the belief of many Americans is NOT as good as Fatburger by a long shot!) and a Starbucks and on stage for the first of three sets at the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association where Tammy and Erin Stevens have been holding their swing events for years. The place was packed with nearly 500 dancers, record attendance for them, including the famous Frankie Manning who is still going strong at 92 years of age! He danced with 90 girls at his 90th birthday dance and says he'll dance with 100 girls when he makes 100 years old! That proves it, swing dancing keeps you young. It was good to be back and a lot of good friends came out to see us - a wonderful night.


We drove down from Leeds and played on the BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) Radio then headed to London to the Cafe De Paris. An interesting array of guests and performers this night - from the frequent Rick Parfit Jnr to the sax player from Spandau Ballet and Shelley from Bucks Fizz. A mate of old (yet still looking young) Ryan Francois and Jenny came down to see us, haven't seen him for years. We have passed each other in the US especially when he was there doing the Broadway musical "Swing" and "Dancing with the Stars", the US version of "Strictly Come Dancing".


After a lunchtime interview at BBC Leicester with Martin Ballard and an afternoon interview at BBC Leeds where we also bumped into up and coming Universal Jazz/swing singer and jolly nice fellow, Peter Grant, we returned to the lovely Bibis in Leeds. It is a beautiful art deco bar, Italian restaurant and live music venue and it was sold out and packed full. A wild night which ended up with a group photo with all the Italians singing "O Sole Mio". Great food and capuccino!

25/05/06 - 28/05/06

We drove to Holland for the Breda Jazz festival, 4 days of wild gigs on 18 stages in the streets of Breda with loads of cheerfully loud Dutch people and a few English chaps who came over see us - some from Kent and some of the Mid Sussex Hockey team from just around the corner. We played 12 sets in the time we were there and the girl who was "Marie" (who got serenaded with "Oh Marie" - as most of you should know a poor innocent shy girl is usually picked on for the song during the show, if you don't know that you need to come to more of our gigs)...anyway, this girl was a good sport and came back everyday to be Marie and brought friends and family with her, including, I believe, her grandmother who jumped from her wheelchair to dance. Danke vell Marie, Anuk.


We were invited back to Budapest at short notice and appeared on two national TV shows. Pretty good for a days promotion! Airports are the new taxi ranks... or something.


A good and packed night at the 100 Club in Oxford street and the BBC brought the contestants from Strictly Dance Fever down to dance ot us. We all had a lot of fun and I got to dance with one of them and they filmed most of the night.


Wow! A swing gig in Budapest, Hungary! We played for the Oktagon Tanc Centrum to over 250 great swing and boogie dancers. It was a great night, very friendly and the dancing was so good. It felt like we were in the US in DC - when we played Sing, Sing, Sing they had a jam up showing off the best dancers. Local rock and roll vocal hero, Cactus, joined us to sing Jump, Jive and Wail. Looking forward to our return.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

27/4/06 to 30/4/06

We were in Derry, Northern Ireland for the fourth consecutive year at the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band festival organised by the City Council. Itís a great festival and has a real community spirit and everyone is really friendly.

The Mayor of Derry presented us with the City of Derry Jazz Festival International Music Award (the same award given to Van Morrison last year). It was presented to us by the Mayor in the honourable company of jazz greats Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk and local hero Gay McIntyre.

We played 6 shows in 4 days all over the city and every show was sold out. All the posters, programmes and brochures of the festival had a large silhouette of yours truly playing the trumpet as the main image of the festival.

So, a happy and busy time ñ for example just on the Thursday we played live and were interviewed on BBC Foyle in the morning and I was interviewed again for the lunchtime news on the same channel. Then we went to the river to have photos taken for the news papers and filmed by the local BBC TV which aired at lunchtime and then again in the evening. We then drove to Belfast where we played live and were interviewed on the George Jones show on BBC Ulster.

Then we returned to Derry where we had to attend the opening celebration at the Guildhall.

The gigs started with the opening night double bill at DaVinciís Hotel with famous British jazz greats Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk.

On Friday night the band was at Rafters, just on the edge of the city, which was absolutely jammed with people.

On Saturday afternoon the band was at the Strand Bar and being an afternoon many people used this as an opportunity to bring their kids along to see the Jive Aces show which was really fun for us too.

The Saturday evening at Gweedore had queues going down the street for the whole evening and to say it was jammed would be an understatement!

Sunday afternoon the band went a couple of miles down the road and over the border to Harryís Restaurant for a benefit concert for the Red Cross.

Opening the show for us was local singer/songwriter Claire Sproule, who has just released an album on Parlophone and is becoming a big name on the Irish music scene, with 2 recent singles in the Irish airplay top 20. Claire also joined us in our set with an impromptu performance of "Ainít Misbehaving".

Sunday night was the festival finale at DaVinciís, and the host was BBC Radio Foyle DJ Mark Patterson.

Thanks to everyone we met, played for and a big well done to the very hard working organisers!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Driving up North again on the way to Nantwich. Meanwhile lots of work in the van, we are releasing the "Singin' in the Rain" single and it should be available on the HMV website by now so you chaps can pre-order it. Amazing, this is a song that we love but nearly didn't get recorded and now seems to be a favourite everywhere we play and even where we don't. If we don't play it at a gig people shout for it and apparently in Munich it's a dance hit. G.I. Jive, DJ Ian Hartley told us that at one gig he had practically packed his gear away at the end of the night when someone asked him to play Singing in the Rain. He said he wouldn't if it was any other song but as this was his favourite too he set his equipment back up and played the last song for the dancing. We'll being seeing Ian again tonight - more later...   


Today we were at the Skegness R n R weekend (Skeggy) and were welcomed by a friendly crowd of R n R fans and families and a very nice atmosphere. The evening started with the Sky Rockers, then the famous Jets and we finished off the night and the jiving carried on. There was a jive/rock and roll competition and so we got our soundman/road manager, Brice, and our sales girl, "Fifi" (Myriam) to enter and they won first prize! Well done! Jive Aces style jive... maybe we should start a franchise.


Tonight we performed for the Conservative Party Spring forum in Manchester at the very nice Midlands Hotel. We played at the party after dinner and the attendees were up and dancing pretty soon it was no longer a "conservative party" (see what I did there?! - Ian).


Just back from the US and straight into action. We played a lunchtime "Say No To Drugs" event in Southampton where the weather was nice and there was a good crowd, then onto Hayling Island for the "Boogaloo" jive weekend. Seems like it was a great weekend overall and by the time we played for the finale. After a good set from Wes Weston, everyone was jumping! We got a great reception from a warm crowd then got a chance to dance. Being jet lagged we stayed up dancing until nearly everyone had gone to bed, (except Lin-d-hop, Ian and Sheilagh and of course Rob, Julie and their Essex mates!). Then up early for a nice English breakfast. All the food was good, a nice weekend and Monica's a great hostess! Oh, and Mel and Alison had great T-Shirts on! 


"Flying Home" from the US. A very long journey made bearable by Virgin Atlantic's good service and all the 53 films available on the in-flight entertainment. Happy though, with some good gig memories and some fun and creative recording in the can.


Back by popular demand to the West Coast Queen of tap and swing, Rusty's Rhythm Club in Playa Del Rey (on the coast not far from LA airport and those beach huts look just like the ones out of Baywatch!). As usual a great night and, but this time we were the targets of Rusty and Maxwell DeMille's sense of humour. The Jive Aces are known for our love of Fat Burger, the tastiest, biggest, freshest cooked burgers in town - they have been "Converting vegetarians since '52" as their slogan says.

In fact we have it in our contract with Rusty that we get a Fat Burger when we play there.  
This is a thing of much amusement to the natives of LA who seem to have a thing for In and Out Burger and no more than this very evening when, half way through our set, a bunch of girls jumped on the stage and proceeded to blindfold the band. Then Maxwell took the mike and announced a test, a burger test. The girls went round the band with three different burgers, one of which was a Fat Burger and we had to guess which on was the Fat. The result: 5 out of 6 Jive Aces could tell the difference. Goodbye In and Out, hello Fat! (Although I did have trouble with one that had onions on as I don't eat onions - Ian). 


Tonight we played once more at the famous Derby on Loz Feliz in LA. This was one of, and is the last remaining, famous Hollywood Brown Derbys originally owned by Cecil. B. DeMille. Unfortunately someone has bought the land and they want to knock the Derby down and build some big ugly shopping centre or something on the site. 
Thanks to Rebecca and loads of swing fans and Derby regulars' support it has been voted to be a historical landmark and thus seems to be saved for the moment, although it has to go to a higher council still.

Tonight's show was in celebration of this win for the save the Derby project and was very well attended at short notice, lots of dancing and a quick briefing about the history of the Derby from Rebecca Goodman who is at the front line fighting for this landmark's fate. This is where Royal Crown Revue played regularly and influenced many a swing band and dancer, where Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were filmed with Vince Vaughn in the hit independent flick "Swingers" and many celebrities hang out (we have met Brian Setzer, Bob Hope, Whoopi Goldberg, Morrisey and Robert Plant and Jimmy Page there to name-drop a few). Check out for more info.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Today we are in Hollywood, LA in the Mad Hatter recording studio working on our next album. It’s a beautiful studio that used to belong to Chick Corea and is now owned by Golden Era Productions. We have been writing new material to go on the album along side some of the favourite and most requested old songs – so a fine mix of originals and covers…we have written a London song and also one called “The Few” to commemorate the Battle of Britain and the inspiration of “our finest hour” and those who fought. Also there is an interesting song about the possibility of a strong love carrying on beyond this life…meeting again. Oh, and that reminds me also our own version of “We’ll Meet Again” and some nice bluesy tracks for slow jiving. We are having a lot of fun creating a new masterpiece anyway…time for a cappuccino…


We flew in to the US and performed at a large event to around 10,000 people in LA. This was a celebration for the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard and included a presentation about his life showing his start as an early aviator, his time as a “pulp fiction” adventure story author and Hollywood screenwriter during the ‘30’s (working with Clark Gable etc), his naval career in WWII and into his more well known humanitarian and philosophical work including interviews with people who knew him at the time.
We played at the opening and at the after party where our good friend Gina and her fiancé came to see us and dance – we know her from long ago from Savoy South swing dance in Florida so great to see her again.


This was our first time at the Swansea Grand theatre in Wales and it was a good night and quite a few people who have seen us before at various festivals in and around Wales. Hope to be back soon.


This was the last night of Ceroc Storm, their first weekender at Camber Sands. We played just over an hour to a great audience who danced throughout and gave us two encores – on the famous choice “danceable or ridiculous” they opted for the latter, a wild show number which went down very well but we followed it with the danceable “Well All right, OK, You Win”.
It was quite an early set and the night goes late so we got a chance to dance ourselves afterwards and meet a lot of people which was great.


Tonight was the Swing Cat’s Ball, the annual event in Stockport with GI Jive and this night with the best UK western swing band the Swing Commanders who started off the evening with a great set. Later at the end of our set we brought three of our friends from the commanders back up and played some “western jive” with fiddle and steel guitar, which we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and so did Ian Hartley, who made it all happen (as well as the audience).