Sussex Jazz Kings

Basingstoke Lions Variety for Charity

Queen Mary’s Hall, QMC

THIS band made a lot of people very happy by playing the blues – The Tin Roof Blues, The Burgundy Street Blues, St James Infirmary Blues and a host of others.

In true trad tradition there wasn’t a sheet of music in sight and not a bum note played. They’ve obviously been around and together since Methuselah was in nappies.

But their joy in performing is as fresh and evident as if they’d just started and their instrumental skill is absolutely incredible.

As someone who finds it difficult to remember if he’s upstairs or downstairs, the way they played for two and a half hours without reference to a programme and took requests between times just left me wondering “how do they do that”?

And when they broke into the lighter side jazz with tunes like Muskrat Ramble, Creole Love Song and When You wore a Tulip, some couples got up to strut their stuff while the rest of looked on and envied them their sprightly energy.

But, it didn’t matter. Most of us got a day’s worth of exercise just applauding. It was a truly memorable performance.

And then, they rounded the evening off by telling us that, in view of the support we offer to other charities and the wider community, they were giving us a special charity rate for the performance which pushed the Lions’ profit for the evening up to £1230.

So, not only are they top class musicians but top class people too – thank you so much, Sussex Jazz Kings.

Philip Wilson