The formidable publicity machine at Ilminster Arts Centre being what it is, we should not have been surprised to find ourselves facing a packed house! It it is, of course, always gratifying to face such a nice, big audience, and the Arts Centre duly did us proud - and provided us with a splendid pre-concert supper for good measure, which was a greatly appreciated bonus!
It was good to welcome Keith Hall officially on board to take over the banjo/guitar chair, though he has of course helped us out on several gigs during the late Eddie Edwards' prolonged illness ... big shoes to follow, indeed, but Keith has done a great job thus far, and we're sure Eddie would have given his successor a resounding stamp of approval!
Given such a large, knowledgeable and sophisticated audience - and one containing BOTH our fans! - it seemed a good opportunity to dig out some of our more obscure repertoire, rarely played by other bands. We duly honoured one hundred years of recorded jazz history by including the ODJB 'hit' Soudan (played as a five-piece, of course), paid tribute to the unique sound of The Red Hot Peppers with Smokehouse Blues and The Chant, recollected the great days of the Duke at the Cotton Club with Rockin' In Rhythm, and even played a composition from 2019 - Trevor Whiting's The Blues Really. However, once again, it was the grizzled, avuncular figure of our blues legend Hamish Maxwell, with that impish twinkle in his eye, who wowed the audience (and, we think, especially the ladies!) and stole the show.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope the fine audience had an equally good time. Thanks so much for the invitation ... and the excellent supper!