Friday, December 07, 2007


Our second Jive-Ola went down a storm. Thanks to all the help we got, especially from Della, our DJs Rob and Jeff and our special guests Laura B, Henri Herbert and surprise guest Jackson Sloane from Oo Bop Sh'Bam.


Our second Jive-Ola went down a storm. A HUGE thanks to everybody who helped us put it on in cluding Della from Rock-Ola, our DJs Rob and Jeff and our special guests Laura B and Henri Herbert and also our special surprise guest, Jackson Sloane from Oo Bop Sh'Bam.

John's birthday dance!Check out the date for all our other Big Jive gig at

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Another sellout night at Bibi's Italianissimo in Leeds! Whata fabulous venue and they do a mean tiramisu! It's like walking on to the set of a Fred Astaire movie, with live music and great food added in. Can't wait to go back in October. Here you can see the boys liked the food so much that they couldn't keep out of the kitchen, even during the set!

17/08/07 - 20/08/07

Over the Irish Sea and a date in Bangor with the Commitments in Castle Park. That afternoon we also appeared on our old friend, Geroge Jones', show on U Radio.

Next day we drove to Derry for the grand opening of Harry's in Bridgend but not before a spot on BBC Foyle.

Then we hotfooted it down to Bangor for our mate Steve's birthday party where we were joined by some Irish celebrities including the guy who was on Big Brother.

Next we winged it down to Dublin for a huge "Say No To Drugs" event in Grafton Street before a return appearance at the Cafe En Seine.

Then the ferry home...

13/08/07 - 15/08/07

Back in the van and up to Edinburgh for three days of madness with the Jiving Lindy Hoppers, Craig McMurdo and Lenny Love. We even got a great review in the Glasgow Herald.

Jojo and Isla (AKA the Bee's Knees) were there too performing at Lost Vagueness and joined us in the street at our "Say No To Drugs, Say Yes To Life" event.


An early morning flight from Haugesund to Stansted and then a drive straight across country to Wales. Our first appearance at the Brecon Jazz Festival was a blast. We shared the stage with old mates such as Mike Sanchez and the boys from Oceans Seven, Ben Waters with Chris Jagger and Ray Gelato was playing down the road. It was a jive fans dream!

07/07/08 - 11/08/07

One of our favourite festivals of the year had come round again. This time we took things a step further and went for an extra day. The initial gig was opening for the legendary rock band TOTO. Check out us with the guys.

It was great to see all the lindy hoppers down from Bergen and Stavanger and good to catch up with old friends such as Harry Conolly, George Hassan and Gay Macintyre, the Fallen Heroes and we also got to see who we have officially titled "The Worlds' Greatest Jazz Band" (TM), the Jazzin' Babies. If you want to see, hear and feel exciting, hot, traditional jazz that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, check these guys out. They are from Oslo though but do travel occasionally.

We also did local TV, radio and a few outdoor shows too, they make us earn our fish soup at the jam session every night!


Another day another country! We flew to Germany today to the Jazzival in Gladbeck. Not having done this festival before we were not sure what to expect but the sight of 2000 jazz fans cheering you is very welcoming. Acker Bilk and Rod Mason were also on the bill.

The Floogees (Holland's greatest Lindy Hop troupe!) drove all the way from Amsterdam and dazzled the crowd!


An early start after a late night and a drive to the centre of London for Joanne Goode's breakfast show. Also on air was George Webley who provided this action shot.


Our first ever line dance gig at the "South Will Rise Again" Festival in Bournemouth and it was great. Apart from the several songs they already knew that had dances choreographed to them, we had a helping hand from Alan and Fiona Hayward who listed out the dances for everyone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Thought we could take it easy after yesterday's madness? Think again!

The last set of the year at the War and Peace show and the Victory Marquee was jam packed!

We then hot footed it off to Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill) and played after the spectacular air show for the Fly to the Past airshow. Our good friend John Miller had been entertaining the crowds in the afternoon between displays too.

Check out the pics, on stage, with the dancers from the Oxford Swing Dance Society and Helen and her brand new Harry Potter book which she bought and read ont he first day of release during the airshow!


Now I'll start off by saying that today's logistics are impossible... But that doesn't mean it can't be done!

We started off the day with the usual lunchtime set at the War and Peace show, threw the gear int he van and headed to Victoria Park in Hackney for the Lovebox Festival where we played om the "Insect Circus Stage". We played and had just enough rain to make Singin' in the Rain look good.

We then jumped onto the golf buggy to take us across back to the car park, jumped into the van and bolted up to Royston, Herts for the Jazz in the Stables concert for a 7:30pm start.



Today we spent the entire day at the War and Peace show. We started of the lunchtime set as usual and then played to a sell-out crowd for the evening dance. Thanks to Terry Elliott for not only playing a great set of tunes but he also organizes all the entertainment for the war and Peace Show every year!


Another lunchtime set at the War and Peace show and then off to Reading for another year at the Reading Real Ale and Jazz Festival. Last Year we broke the Thursday attendance record and this year was no different and we topped it yet again! Thanks to Richard Leach's seven Stars of Jazz for a great set of New Orleans and Swing tunes.

Hope to See you all next year!


Today is the first day of the War and Peace show at the Hop Farm in Paddock, Kent.

We had a great crowd in for the afternoon set including the ever smiling Belgian!

See you all and more tomorrow at the same time!


This is the start of a long week!

Today we made a presentation of the work we do on the "Say No To Drugs, Say Yes To Life" campaign at Saint Hill which was attended by Mayors, deputy Mayors, town councilors, town centre managers, drug workers and other dignitaries.

It started off with us playing a few numbers to set the tone (as it is "Say Yes To Life" as well as the "No To Drugs" bit!)

We also had a presentation form the campaign coordinator from the Church of Scientology who sponsor and organize the campaign, a demonstration of the Narconon drug education lecture form Noel Nile and a couple of graduates speaking from the Narconon drug rehabilitation program in Hastings who are now 100% drug free.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


If you are feeling worn out reading the last lot of Blogs then wait for this...

Got up early after the Americana, drove all the way to Erith in Kent for a "bright" and early performance for the Tour De France starting around 11:00am.

Chucked the stuff in the van and headed over to Tenterden for another Tour De France festival in the park with loads of other acts and bands. Well done to the Homewood 9th years who had worked out some great jive routines for our set!

Chucked the stuff in the van again and headed to Hayes near Bromley for a gig at the Warren with none other than our good mate John Miller and his orchestra. It was great to catch up with John and if you missed the show we'll be playing twice more i nthe near future with him, at the Fly To The Past event at Blenheim Palace and also at the Glenn Miller Festival at Twinwood near Bedford. All details on the gig guide at

Monday, July 09, 2007


Up to Notts to the Americana festival. We played in between Johnny and the Jailbirds and the Hamsters on the Rock 'n' Roll stage then went over to the Country stage to watch the Swing Commanders and their new lineup including the Laverne (hope that's spelled correctly!) Sisters. Really nice sound, especially when they get the three fiddles going at once. Good luck guys and see ya'll soon.


Touched down at Gatwick at 9:30am, went to bed for a couple of hours and then straight out the door down to Hastings for the Hotshots dance (bit of a battle it was... Get it?!). Thanks to Mike and the crew, had a great time.


It's the fourth of July and an English band is playing for the Americans in Florida. The other band same stage is made up of French, English and Australian musicians too. Well we thought we would leave the rain behind for a few days and bask in the sun in Clearwater but no, it actually bucketed down and again stopped just in time for the gig. We had a great show in the sweltering heat and ended off the night with a jam session on "All Right, OK, You Win" with the Freewinds band, Gayle Moran Corea and Elena Roggero.


Got up horribly early and flew to Florida. Standing in the queue at Gatwick we looked across to see some familiar faces holding musical instruments. It turned out to be Bill Haley's' Original Comets who were flying home from their performance at the Wildest Cats in Town weekender. Check out the picture of us and Joey D'Ambrosia, Marshall Lyttle and Dick Richards.

We arrived at Tampa airport 5:00pm local time. Arrived at 6:00pm at concert. On stage by 6:25pm!


Summertime Swing. By all accounts the most successful year so far. With over 850 people attending and a slew of special guests it was a day to remember.

As it was raining all morning we had the great hall set up in case but true to style, 15 minutes before the doors were scheduled to officially open, the clouds broke and the sun shone gloriously for the rest of the day with not a singly drop of rain!

Thanks to all our guests including the Jivettes, Wee Willy Harris, Toni Elizabeth Prima and Mr. Acker Bilk. Thanks also to our wonderful DJ and MC Terry Elliott and the dancers the Jiving Lindy Hoppers and the London Swing Cats who supplied some great dance cabarets spots and a surprise jam up together on Flying Home.

For those of you who stayed till the very end you will have seen the quite spectacular fireworks display supplied by Frontier Fireworks. Thanks also to all the Saint Hill Manor staff who helped us organize and host the event.

A special and big thanks to Buster, Martin, Grant, Slick Nick, Gillian and Mike and Nick for helping to sell tickets for us.

Looks like we raised a couple of grand for charity, full details and a slide show will be on the website soon.


A whole day of setting up for Summertime Swing before dashing off to London.

Before arriving at the Pigalle Club once again for a second night of suave and sophistication we popped into the Barbican where our friend and modern jazz legend Chick Corea was performing. Unfortunately we didn't have time to stay for the gig but we did manage to get a quick snap in and wish him good luck. Chick is a featured guest on our new album on two songs including a haunting version of Summertime.


A phone call from our mate Russell from the Jiving Lindy Hoppers and we had an extra gig to fit in to our mad schedule today. After a quick "Say No To Drugs" in Watford (with Bob and his great T-shirt!) we headed on over to the Royal Festival Hall where they have restarted their "Commuter Jazz" series. Great to see so many dancers turn out at short notice and they have a much better dance floor in the foyer (they call it "The Ballroom") and they are interested in doing it more regularly too.

A night at the beautiful Pigalle Club in Picadilly where the food is great and the decor is straight out of a 1940's detective movie. If you haven't been down here you should check it out... Especially when we are playing!


A Say no To Drugs event today in Croydon and the Sun was shining. Who else should we bump into than British Rock 'n' Roll legend Wee Willy Harris doing his shopping. Being a true showman he got up and jammed a few R'n'R standards including a rousing version of Bill Haley's' Rip it Up.


Back after a Blog break,now you cancatch up with the latest again... and there is lots of it too!

Our regular London haunt and the longest running swing dance club in London, the 100 Club was jumping tonight. We also had a surprise visit from actress Rosamund Pike and her friends who came down after their performance in "Gaslight" down the road.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

03/05/07 - 07/05/07

Ah...the first day in the City of Derry, Northern Ireland, for our fifth year at the Derry City Jazz and Big Band Festival. This is a great festival - the people are so friendly and the gigs are wild - seven gigs in four days!
Our input must be affecting the choice in bands as this year there were many jive and R 'n' R bands; King Pleasure, the Extraordinaires and Greggi G and the Roaring 40's to name but four...

We awoke and went almost straight to BBC Radio Foyle to play live on Mark Patterson's radio show - you can see this on line on the BBC site at
Then the opening festival gig at DaVinci's. The Extraodinaires started off the evening getting the crowd warmed up then we hit the stage with all the pent up energy of an unleashed pit bull - it has been a whole year since we played for this great crowd. Everyone here is always up for the craic and ready to dance.

Ian and Sheilagh Hartley, better known as GI Jive, are here as part of the show to dance with us and they cut a rug to our Big John's sax feature "Flying Home" and really get the crowd jumping.

It's Friday and our first gig of the day is at the Foyleside shopping centre. Hundreds of shoppers join the regular jazz fans to watch and dance and the kids are very cute.

The evening takes us to Rafters restaurant where this year we play upstairs due to the large amount of people unable to get in last year and more space to dance.

Before our first gig today we went to the City of Derry museum which has been renovated since we were last here. Its very nice and learnt a lot about the history of the fine city - definitely worth a trip if you're in town.
Then a cappucino at Louis cafe where local hero Gay McIntyre is playing and a chat with singer Zoe Gilby, who has beautiful true Irish red hair... but comes from Newcastle.

Then to the Strand bar where we always play the Saturday afternoon and many families come along with the kids who dance and jump about at the front. This is a quite restrictive stage with a bar in front of us so we spend a lot of time singing and playing on the bar top and running about in the audience. We were followed by the Mind Benders (thanks for the loan of the P.A. guys!).

In the evening its a night at the famous Gweedore which once again was ram packed to the beams with locals and a long queue outside - next year we'll have top play upstairs in the bigger room. It was wild as usual and a great audience who insisted we ended up dueling horns on the bar, and who are we to let them down?

We were in the local Derry newspapers today too, lots of photos of the yellow suits and even a great review of our Life is a Game album.

After another very late night we jumped (dragged ourselves) out of bed to head for Harry's on the road to Donegal where always play a fundraiser gig for the Red Cross. One of the best bits is that on arrival they feed us with a wonderful meal with desserts that make you want to do the show sitting in rocking chairs after a few helpings. Of course we don't sit for long and the meal is soon converted to ergs of energy on the stage after local rising star Claire Sproule finished her set. She also got up and jammed with us singing "Ain't Misbehaving" during the afternoon. It ended with an auction which Alex and I helped with. When we ran out of items to sell I proposed an auction of Alex juggling bread rolls while a member of the audience sang "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" and restaurant manager Donall joined in juggling - it sold well.

We popped to the City Hotel to see George of the Roaring Forties band who had just driven in from Cork. We had a chat and then back to sound check.

As is traditional we ended off the night at the grand finale at DaVinci's. The place was packed and sold out weeks before. Our old mates from Brum, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, started off the night and then we came on to give our all in the last gig of the festival. I had the lights turned up so as to see the Derry people's smiling faces as the night became full out party time in what I hope is true the tradition of the showbands of old Ireland - "send 'em home sweating". By the time MC Mark Patterson from BBC Foyle called for an encore the place was heaving. We called KP and the Boys back on stage for a full out jam session on a stonking R & B "Allright, OK, You Win"! It being after 12.00am and my birthday being the 7th Mark announced it and the Hartleys and Lin-D-Hop (of Maggies Blue Suede news fame) gave me my present - genuine Irish shamrock boxer shorts!

Sad to leave but an event awaits in Dublin. We drove through the beautiful countryside to Dublin to do an outside gig in Grafton Street, one of the busiest streets in the isles, for the "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life" campaign. A good place to spend my birthday (21st of course!) and a lovely place to play. The Dublin Swing Dance Society came and danced the afternoon away and a huge crowd gathered. At the end, tired but very happy we went to Eddie Rockets American burger bar before heading to the ferry. We also bumped into Joanne who's fiance, Mark, had driven her all the way from Belfast to Dublin just to have an Oreo Cookie Milkshake in Eddie Rockets for her birthday so Ian had to get a picture with her just for sharing the same birthday!

Monday, April 30, 2007


It's back to the Jive Aces home county of glorious Essex! We played at the Bewick Suite at the Swan Hotel and it was packed. We even had a couple of Essex guests, Laura Blake singing and Henry Herbert on piano. They have just started a band together called Laura B and the Moonlighters. Check out thier Myspace page at or thier soon to be up website at
We also have a couple of vids of the evening on our Youtube page at


A return the the very plush Pigalle Club in Picadilly, London tonight and it was jammed. We had a visit from lindyhop champs Ryan and Jenny Francois (who you may have seen teaching the Big Apple recently on the Paul O'Grady show) whoc we coaxed into space defying display on the dancefloor!


What a mad day! First we get up at the crack of dawn and head to our very sunny capitol to perform at the Saint Georges Day Festival in Covent Garden. It was great and thousands of people turned out. We also had the fabulous Jiving Lindy Hoppers perform with us ( Also, Alan Hayward came down with a team of linedancers to film a performance of the "Jive Aces" line dance. Check it out on our dedicated linedance page at

Check out the slideshow.

Then we quite literally threw the instruments in the van and bolted up to Rochdale Town Hall for the Bully's Big Beat Ball. What a fantastic building the town hall was. Big Boy Bloater opened the show for us with Ian Hartley spinning the wax. Well done to Terry and his gang for a great night!

And a big thank you to everyone who helped us with the mad logistics to make both performances possible.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


After a very sunny "Say No To Drugs" event in Stevenage, Mark Feld invited us back to his Rockin' pad for some pasta where we reminisced while perusing his vinyl collection (including Red Hot and blue's album with John playing a guest solo on a few tracks - very rare!). Check out his bass collection.

What we at first thought was a first time appearance at the Town Hall in High Wycombe turned out on closer inspection to be, in fact, the second. Several years ago the band played at a town festival which was drenched in rain and so said performance was moved indoors to this very venue where we ended playing with NYJO.

Tonights gig went very well with dancers and non from all over. Thanks to Simon Selmon Selmon for providing the interim swinging tunes. If you are in London check out hisclubs (most notably the 100 Club, Oxford Street) at