Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Today we flew to Los Angeles to complete work on our new album at the Mad Hatter Studios with Grammy Award Winning producer Emanuele Ruffinengo. On the same plane was none other than actor Jack Davenport and I was soooo tempted to say "but you have heard of me" (any pirates of the Caribbean fans will know who it is!).

We arrived and went almost straight to the studio to go through the songs, go over the arrangements and see who we were going to invite to participate as guests on the new album.


Ah, Monday and we are driving back down from Manchester after our wee Northern tour. A great weekend with sell out and very fun gigs. Friday was the Rolls-Royce club in Derby which is a very nice place and holds around 400 people. Nigel Fat Pants was there and a Falconer who was very interesting and told us all about his job - taking people hunting with Falcons, Hawks and Golden Eagles.

Saturday was the famous Lin-D- Hop's own place in Quorn Village Hall, near Leicester - again a sell out with waiting list (and apologies to those who couldn't get in). It was a wild and woolly night and a great atmosphere and much tea and coffee in the kitchen, cheers Lin!

Finishing the weekend was the Royal British Legion club in Poynton, near Manchester. A packed and fun night with GI Jive, Ian Hartley spinning the discs and Steve Garner cracking the jokes as MC. The audience was both dancers and spectators so we had to play a mix of material to make both happy as did Mr Hartley.

Of course Ian and Sheilagh came for the whole weekend gracing all with their lindy prowess and joy and the tour wasn't officially finished until we left their retro-residence after a hearty breakfast, a few tunes on the juke box, some tap dance video clips and a barrel of Mrs Hartley's coffee. The "home for happy hepcats" - never has so much been eaten by so few for so little! Cheers! Tally Ho! TTFN!

And so back dan saaff to make ready for our flight to LA on Tuesday..."California Here I Come!" (And yes the Hartley's are flying out to se us there too!).


Tonight we played a special guest appearance at "52nd Street Jump" s new venue to help give it a kick start and help get swing really going in South London. Caron and Steve have a very nice venue there and a lot of new faces there for the lesson and some old friends just to dance the night away. Nice one!


Yay! Our return to Essex (or the London Borough of Havering - we don't know if we are Londoners or Essex Boys anymore) to the Queens Theatre Hornchurch, near Romford. Our first time here and it was totally sold out with extra chairs put in for some guest! The Mayor of Havering came along and invited loads of local mayors and councillors. Lots of old friends also came to see us back in our old manor. We took a photo of the audience from on stage so you can see it on the home page.


In the afternoon we played in Churchill Square in Brighton for the "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life" campaign. Despite rain and wind and a wet stage it was a great afternoon with Brighton Jive dancing and helping to attract a crowd - even holding an umbrella over me as I sang - thanks guys! By coincidence Ceroc Brighton were set up nearby too and even Mike and Linda Ellard were there so it was dancers galore and really "Singing in the Rain" - great fun! It was covered by local press and video'd to go on Youtube as well.

In the evening we played at the Pigalle club in Piccadilly, London. It is a lovely supper club and tonight was the best night so far. It was packed with dancers and diners and a great atmosphere. By the end of our third set the whole place was wild! Both Bryony and Jo Wilkins were there and got up for a song. Friends from London to Brighton joined us and Jo Jo spun some great swing disks between our shows. Can't wait until the next one (which is Friday 23rd and Sat 24th MArch in case you were wondering!)


Tonight we were at the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield and it was Sold out! Apologies to those who couldn't get in. There were a lot of friends there and DJ Moggie was on top form!

Monday, January 01, 2007


Yes, the jivin' fools are working on Christmas Day! BBC Radio London invited us to play live for breakfast and who are we to say no, eh? And so it was that the very morning that the "hardest working man in showbizness" departed this earth, the "hardest working band" - playing day and night for all December - hit the road at 6.00am and drove through no traffic whatsoever into the centre of London and to the BBC London building where we did a live set in the studio from 8.30am. Being Christmas morning the atmosphere was great, the mince pies flowed and we even got responses for a competition proving that other people were also up and awake at that time! Merry Christmas!!!
(Please note it will be quiet the next couple of days, we'll be having a well earned rest, eating and merrymaking!)


December is flashing by at such a rate that a few (few?) gigs have missed a mention but tonight was worthy if only for meeting so many dancers from the ceroc forum and having a dance with some of them - I'm afraid "Cruella" got trod on a few times though - the dance floor was a bit full but a good time was had by all and we kept to an appreciated slower dance tempo with some of our new numbers and obligitory xmas songs.


Tonight was our "Wintertime Swing" at St Hill. This is where we do our now famous "Summertime Swing" but obviously its in the winter and inside the hall rather than on the manor terrace due to being freezing cold. Although we tried to limit the attendance as it was inside the hall was packed as were the two dance floors provided, hot chocolate and mince pies were consumed and before and after our show Terry Elliot spun the disks (mainly small silver ones).
There was a lovely atmosphere due to the Christmas spirit and many old friends and familiar faces but also some newies experiencing the hospitality of the St Hill grounds for the first time. Cheers!


Oh what a night! Ladies night for the SODS; Society of Distinguished Songwriters, at the Langham Hotel in London. We did this last year and were booked again by second year running king of the sods Tony Hatch.
This is a great gig and one of the few private functions we do - but its so fun!
It is obviously a society for song writers and many of them are well known by name but all of them have a legacy of very famous songs; Delilah, She, Downtown, most of the Bond themes etc etc. I won't go into details because it is a private gig but they all do a cabaret spot from Bruce Welch of Shadows fame ("Bachelor Boy") to Tony Hatch himself. I will mention that Mr Hatch, who wrote the huge hit "Downtown", got Petula Clark up to sing her hit with him. It was a beautiful moment that can only really be appreciated if you are there but public started congregating outside the door, drawn by the 74 year young singer who still has the same voice and it seemed quite magical when they heard that voice, recognized it and realized it was live.
The highlight for Vince, the professor, was when Rolf Harris jumped up after our performance to jam a little boogie with us on the piano (see photo in gallery). He is still a wild man and very nice too, as were they all.