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Back To 1917 in Leigh Church

Although we've played before in Leigh Village Hall, this was our first visit to the lovely 15th Century church of St. Andrew. Given its relatively small size - seating about 120 - it seemed a good opportunity to resurrect our '1917' programme from Worcester's Three Choirs Festival last Summer and perform as a five-piece band, using an identical line-up to the Original Dixieland Jass Band, famed in jazz history for making the first-ever jazz recording in 1917 and for visiting these shores in 1919 for a concert at the London Palladium.

Somewhere along the line, we learned that the last witch to be burned in England was reputed to have been arrested at a conference here in the 17th century and later executed in Dorchester, but we hoped that our performance would not cause a similarly negative reaction from our audience! On the contrary, we were most cordially received and very well looked after, with a splendid bar and a table spread with 'nibbles' catering for both audience and band in the interval. One advantage of a smaller audience is that we get to chat with more of you in the interval and after the session, and it really was most gratifying to receive so many compliments and lots of interested questions from you all.

The band members tend to rib their Supreme Leader somewhat on the subject of his professorial 'lecture-recital' anecdotes, but he always strives to keep us on our toes by tossing a few new, hitherto unheard (and mightily obscure) facts in our direction on every session, like crumbs from the rich man's table, and of course we always endeavour to remember these in the interests of our personal betterment. It does after all save reading up the whole of WikiJazz before bedtime ...

Thanks so much to the good folk of Leigh for inviting us and for being such a splendid audience - we hope that you enjoyed listening as much as we enjoyed playing for you, and that we may see you all again at some future session ...


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