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STAINES LAMMAS BRASS BAND — Springtime Spectacular

This Sunday the STAINES LAMMAS BRASS BAND hosted a superb “Springtime Spectacular” concert of popular songs at the ancient St Mary’s Church in Staines.

We went along to see the show.

Our favourite was probably Ramin Djawadi’s theme from the HBO’s television series “Game of Thrones…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an excellent introduction — “The March of the Peers” [ by Arthur Sullivan, from Iolanthe] with skilfully interpreted passages and perfectly controlled rhythms, the band was presented by the experienced musical director conductor / garrulous musical director Lee Woodward who was appointed MD of the Staines Lammas band in 2014.

Lee introduced us next to an overture by Austrian composer Franz von Suppé, “Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna.” The piece incorporated a pensive solo that overflowed with emotion.

After that, we enjoyed another eloquent solo, this time featuring Steve Burgess [ the principal cornet player.] Steve also plays with Alder Valley brass and the Freedom Brass Quintet. The poignant number was Dvořák’sRusalka’s Song to the Moon.”

This is about a water nymph who falls in love with a prince …” Lee told us before the start. “But, of course this is an opera. So, as you can imagine, it doesn’t end well …

Modern numbers in the entertaining programme included “Baggy Trousers”

Modern numbers in the entertaining programme included “Baggy Trousers” by Madness [arr Alan Fernie.]

And Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Our favourite, though, was probably Ramin Djawadi’s theme from the HBO tv series “Game of Thrones.”

The band managed to perfectly convey the expectations of the show, all those dead-reckonings and impressive crownings.

Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury [arr. Darrol Barry] was magnificent and perhaps we don’t entirely realize what an incredible achievement this piece of music this is until it’s heard performed this way.

And just before the interval we enjoyed a little game of “guessing the melody” when the band played “The Lone A-ranger” by Philip R. Buttall.

Many thanks to Staines Lammas Band for offering us a very pleasant afternoon of masterful music. And also thanks to the Reverend and staff at the Church of St Mary’s for making us feel welcome.

The next Staines Lammas Brass Band concert is on Sunday 25th June 11.00 at the Staines Upon Thames Day, Thames Street.

Also see them perform on July 9 at the Staines Lammas Park, at 2 pm.

Words & Pictures: @neilmach 2017 ©
Link: http://www.staineslammasband.co.uk/

The SkaSouls live at the Riverside Club, Staines

Knees up, trumpets down, shades on – let’s skavoovie!

After their phenomenal success, playing the hottest gig of the year, at The Hobgoblin, Staines last week – the SkaSouls went on to sell out the Staines Riverside Club on 17th Feb as well ( A charity performance in aid of the Joshua Deller Appeal).  We went along to find out what all the fuss was about.

On the glittery stage were six venerable musicians who all share a wide ranging musical ability, and each possesses the kind of musical experience and prowess that other bands merely fantasize about. Playing in various bands on the local and National scene before embarking on this Ska-shaped project back in the Summer of last year, these boys have since enjoyed a growing popularity as this town’s favourite 2-tone party band. And they already possess an enviable reputation for playing those authentically sweet Jamaican-style grooves and sweaty urban ska standards that you and I loved in the 80s – with covers of all your favourite songs from bands like  ‘The Specials’,  ‘Bad Manners’ and ‘Madness’.

After a raucous start at this Riverside venue, the band thundered and roared into their set like a Louisiana rainstorm – stopping for nothing – as they pelted out hit after hit. A large space was kept free to dance, and by the second song the audience was already up and dancing to the vibes. This band is wild. Those skutter-bus salt-chip shavings of sound soon start to set your world on fire.

Early numbers included ‘My Girl Lollipop’ (attributed to ‘Bad Manners’) but originally a doo-wop number for The Cadillacs’s before becoming a phenomenal hit for ‘Millie Small’ back in 1964 (as My Boy Lollipop). This song came alive with groovy flares of trumpet from Nick and thumping bass from Huw. But during the set we were also delectably teased with some delightful surprises like Chuck Berry’s  “You Never Can Tell”  or  Dexys Midnight Runners tribute to ram-jam Soul-Man Geno Washington “Geno”, upon which lead vocalist Lee sounds like vintage David Essex (in a good way, I must emphasise.)

But it is on the big tribal classix like “Gangsters” that this band really thrives and the audience becomes visibly alive.

This is two-tone heaven as the twin horns ( Nick on Trumpet and Allan on Trombone) flame and rip into your soul, the chuttering guitars frizzle your senses, the walkabout bass-lines juggle your brain and the ka-ching percussion rattles your emotions. And even creepy sound effects for songs like “Ghost Town” sound as genuinely disturbing, gritty and as ghoulish as you would expect.

Then we shoed-off for a skank doing the “Pressure Drop” (The Trojan-shaped hit from  Toots and the Maytals). This song and others in the SkaSouls repertoire feature those great wallowing Belushi-sized vocals from Lee and some impressive backing vocals from the other band members. Plus lumbering great chunks of trumpet and trombone and golden nuggets of pound-for-pound bass. Then we enjoyed “The Guns of Navarone” which was originally performed by ‘The Skatalites’ and later covered by ‘The Specials’. This tune was a thumping great success from beginning to end. And the amazing lead guitar from Ben shines out on this and other songs.

After an interval, to catch our breaths, the band raced into those endearing and catchy ska-pop standards we all loved – “Baggy Trousers” (Madnesss) and Lee Thompson’s tribute to Prince Buster “The Prince” – from which “Madness” took their name. And the incredibly structured “Night Boat to Cairo” (this song used to be a bit of an anthem for Lee’s much-loved old party band – FoulPlay.)

And in the final flourish we also enjoyed a thriving “Shame & Scandal” that started life as a hit for Lance Percival (of all people) before becoming an early ska-hit for Peter Tosh with the Skatalites – before being ‘re-born’ by ‘Madness’ during the new wave of British ska. And, of-course, we had the classic and superbly syncopated song “Israelites” (1969 Desmond Dekker.)

It was just a case of getting your knees up, trumpets down, shades on and skiffling and skadoodling the night away. Sheer bliss!

This is Lee Ridley’s dream outfit of a band, the vision he had wanted to create for years, but who would have thought that it could ever percolate into something as refreshing and uplifting as this?  Welcome to the chapel of living rhythm and holy beat ‘cos these madcap skasters are here to jump-start your weekend.  Do not take your eyes off this band …. and catch ‘em live as soon as you possibly can.

© Neil_Mach
February 2011

This concert was a charity show for the Joshua Deller Appeal – the event raised over £1200 for little Joshclick here to donate too

Band Link:

http://www.skasouls.com/

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Best UK unsigned band – Live in Staines

Loaded Dice at Staines

Loaded Dice
Apr 05 2009
Hobgoblin
Staines

The last time AD PONTES saw this young band at The Hob, Staines we described the sound as ” Refreshingly effervescent cherry-pop fizz for a (spring) day…”

This band got to the UK final of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a few years back. Currently, the lads are teetering on the very edge of ‘stadium’ success having won the title of the “Best UK live and unsigned band”. We wish them well. They are BIG local talents and you should get up to the HOB and support them…

Read the full ADPONTES-STAINES review of Shepperton’s LOADED DICE here

Link:


www.myspace.com/theloadeddice

Buckle Up Staines


http://www.buckleuppromotions.com

2.

Melodramatic Popular song…  Live at Windsor

To Arms Etc - Windsor Firestation

To Arms Etc
Apr 03 2009
Firestation
Windsor


To Arms Etc is a psychedelic keyboards based pop band with a huge following and great expectations. The ‘Don Henley’ drummer/singer Richard Perman takes the audience into melodramatic songs, emotional adventures and rock overtures.

If you enjoy sophisticated rock sounds then you should try this.

http://www.myspace.com/toarmsetc


3.

Exciting Alt/PowerPop- Live in Staines

Danny Roulette at Staines


Danny Roulette
Apr 02 2009
Hobgoblin
Staines

If you like your pop/rock supersized and powerful the try Danny Roulette…

Sounding like Biffy Clyro / Mars Volta / Weezer this band is sure to please!

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/dannyrouletteband

Buckle Up Staines


http://www.buckleuppromotions.com

DEMURE

Danny Roulette will be playing with the ever popular DEMURE. See this band now- they have just released their EP and are starting to grow is stature and success. The band plays Alt- Rock in the conventional sense but with overtures towards noise rock, especially in the way that the percussion and the bass are given the freedom to spread out their wings and have dissonant aural adventures of their own, but framed within the main architecture of each song.

The last time ADPONTES saw DEMURE we said that they reminded us of ‘Sonic Youth’ or ‘Butthole Surfers’. To check out the full ADPONTES review click here

4.

6-Piece Soul/Funk Covers – Live Ascot

Soul Selecta at Ascot

Soul Selecta
Apr 04 2009
Jagz
Ascot

Soul Selecta is a tight 6-piece Soul/Funk covers band, made up of members from Bucks, Herts and London. The band have been together since 2003, although each individual member is a true professional in their field with several years of experience with other bands. Having played many a bar/club/wedding/corporate event and private party, they are masters of their game, providing solid entertainment and style!!

Soul Selecta predominantly cover classic and modern R’n’B, Funk and Soul; from James Brown to Beyonce, but for occasions such as weddings, are adaptable and versatile to cater for all across the genres and decades.

Their performance is fuelled by their love for the music, and filtered through the bands own soul.  Whilst being faithful to the originals, they also bring their own edge involving the audience in a new moment, which demands you to dance!

They have a natural vibe and the ability to capture the mood and generate the groove!

Saturday, 4th April
Show will start at 8.45
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/soulselecta




5.

Classic Rock Superband –  Live in Staines

Frayed Knot at Jolly Farmers - Staines

Frayed Knot
Apr 04 2009
Jolly Farmer
Staines

Last time we saw this Staines Superband we said:

“These boys play the songs that make the crowd yelp with joy, but served up with a sabre-sharp ice-cool quality that would make lesser bands look on enviously”

See what we mean at Jolly Farmer STAINES (Egham Hythe) Apr 4th

Check here for the full ADPONTES review

Links:

http://www.frayedknotmusic.co.uk/

Def try to catch them at this safe & friendly pub this weekend !

Other dates (if you miss ’em) :

18/04/09    The Red Lion, Egham
29/05/09    The Carpenter’s Arms, Hayes
27/06/09    The Fox Inn, Bisley
04/09/09    The Carpenter’s Arms, Hayes
10/10/09    Ye Olde Swan, Burnham

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts


Frayed Knot

Jolly Farmer Hythe Staines
Saturday 7th February 2009

feb07_frayedknot

Frayed Knot

“There’ll be no more –aaaaaahhhhh!”

Frayed Knot is one of the first of the Staines superbands to go public (expect some more in the coming months.) I am not really suggesting that these knotty boys are the new ‘Velvet Revolver’ or anything like that (to be honest) all I am saying is that this band is a superband as defined: It is an ensemble of competent musicians playing together as part of a separate yet meaningful project. Most musicians tend to do this kind of thing all the time anyway…it helps to oil the works and it also harmonises concepts and musical approaches…but the ‘side projects’ either gradually fade away or they become ‘main projects’ before too long. It will be interesting to see how the boys from Frayed Knot develop this initiative.

The problem with the local ‘covers band’ scene is that loyal live music punters end up hearing the same-old lame-old songs played in much the same way each week… week-in-week-out. This is because, as a ‘covers artist’, you are ‘expected’ to achieve a faithful representation of the original article. It is almost as if you are obligated to create a genuine ‘photocopy’ of the song – and it must be portrayed exactly as it is fondly remembered. And there are only ‘so-many’ songs that are straight forward enough to cover and also easy enough to recognise.

This approach to covering songs reminds me of the 80’s TV Show “Copy Cats” (starring comedians like our very own Staines hometown hero Bobby Davro) who would, supposedly, do amazing impersonations of our fave celebs each week. So,inevitably, you ended up getting a pile of Eastenders and Dallas impressions and the highpoint of the show was Andrew O’Connor doing a ‘hiarious’ Rik Mayall or Hilary O’Neil doing a marvellous Sybil Fawlty… in the end you were crying out for one of the stars to ‘do’ something ‘new’.

But if, as a covers musician, you dare to tamper with a sacred song- for example you might be tempted to add a bit of a fringe to the bottom of “Whole Lotta Love” or a tiny bit of lace to the collar of “Be-Bop-A-Lula” or you might even wish to embroider the pockets of “Baggy Trousers” with a couple of extra chords – then the audience will look at you in that special way that the vicar does when you let out an almighty fart in church. You will know, deep deep down, that you have committed a terrible sin in the eyes of the Lord and of the congregation, and you will realise- soon enough- that you deserve to be dunked, like a witch, into a vat of boiling urine as penance for such a terrible and unspeakable outrage.

Each week Simon Cowell implores contestants on the “America’s Got The X-factor Pop Idol” show to ‘interpret the song’ or to ‘re-imagine’ the song and he often tells the performers to ‘be themselves’. But this sensible advice doesn’t seem to go down too well in the whole pub ‘covers’ band industry. (Incidentally, this ‘industry’ is starting to become a big money affair with quite a few very accomplished and worthy musicians earning tidy sums of money in various tribute bands up and down the country.)

So it was a great treat to watch a band who were not scared to try some new covers, put a bit of a twist onto some familiar tunes and to add their own flavour and seasoning to some of the more traditional songs. So we enjoyed some ‘Snow Patrol’, ‘Oasis’,‘Killers’, ‘The Fratellis’ and ‘The Automatic’ but we also had some grand old  ‘Eddie Cochran’ and a thick slice of ‘Black Sabbath’.

John Hulme is the larger-than-lifesize Andrew Strong type lead singer. He is a very powerful man with a huge set of battle-cruiser lungs and he could crush and squeeze every last drop of juice from the songs in the Frayed Knot song-book. I especially liked his rasping, teasing, wheezing approach to AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ which was superbly accompanied by Mark Hamilton on lead guitar and Lee Ridley on rhythm.

It is my long-held tradition – whenever I see a band attempting to cover an AC/DC number- to loudly demand that the lead guitarist gets up onto the back of the lead singer for a ‘walkabout’ into the crowd. On this occasion though, I reluctantly decided against the notion- mainly because the Health & Safety Executive would put me on their Most Wanted list… John is approx 6’13 and Mark looks to be well over 5’10, but the ceiling at the tiny Jolly Farmer public house provides only about 7 foot clearance!

The boys went on to cover “Morning Glory” (Oasis) with a fine performance by John and some nifty percussion by drummer David Bateman and also went on to give a delightful cover of “Every Rose Has Its Thorns”. Without a doubt my favourite tune was a remarkable rendition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers staple “Give It Away” with an enormous chunky base by Garry Pierrepont and finely cut slices of lead guitar from Mark…and the very tricky vocals were spot on. To be fair, the boys are not as good-looking or as energetic as Anthony and Flea – but I am sure that they must be very gifted in other departments (nudge-nudge wink-wink).

This band tends to concentrate on the catchy anthemic confectionery of recent years so, when you see ‘em (and I very much recommend that you do) you can expect some sing-along modern-day hymns. The indie tunes that they cover do not come across as stale or unnecessarily slick or formulaic. There is definitely an authentic and sincere heart beating away deep inside the creature that is Frayed Knot. Yes, their music is pop-infused and can, at times, be a bit sugary and feel-goody (in a cotton-candy party-time kinda way) but this approach is just right for the Staines pub scene. So the boys play the songs that make the crowd yelp with joy, but served up with a sabre-sharp ice-cool quality that would make lesser bands look on enviously.

One of the ‘finale’ songs of Frayed Knot was the Gilmour tune “Comfortably Numb” originally by either ‘Pink Floyd’ or ‘The Scissor Sisters’ depending on your point of view. In the best traditions of a typical pub on a Saturday night in Blighty, the exact pedigree of this song managed to cause a kerfuffle in the crowd with a few strong words and rude gestures slung about and things looked pretty ugly for a few moments when half the crowd started to bellow “It is a f*** floyd song” to be shouted down by the other half who screamed “No, everyone knows its by the f*** Scissors Sisters” (sic)

So we got to the end of the last set (via a whole pile of indie hits and even a rendition of the “Theme Tune from Horrid Henry” ) to the happily bouncing chug-a-chugging piping-hot version of the two-tone Madness ska hit “Night Boat to Cairo” (I am sure that Foulplay also finish on that one) and the boys took their well-earned bow and a heartfelt ovation from a slightly over-excited crowd. A fine tribute to a great sounding tribute band.

Keep the covers coming boys, by all means, but please be sure to keep a little of yourselves in each of the interpretations.
Good work.

© Neil_Mach
Jan 2009