The Crooked Billet

Music Nights

The way our music nights work is that you book a table in the restaurant & pay for whatever you eat & drink. There is no obligation to have a full 3 course meal, however guests are expected to eat. 100% of the music cover charge goes directly to the artist, after Philip Hammond has had his thieving hands on 20% of the artists wages.

If our music nights aren’t your cup of tea we offer music free dining in the cosier first two smaller rooms of the pub (log fire rooms) & no music cover charge!

Tina May & Laurie Holloway

Tuesday, 25th of July 2017

Tina May has been a prominent part of the jazz scene since 1981 and won the BT British Jazz Award 1998 for Best Vocalist. A dusty soprano with a three octave range, she is a flexible, imaginative interpreter of both traditional and contemporary songs. Tina has performed with such legends as Kenny Clarke and Roger Guerin. Tina May has an unerring instinct for how to treat a song , and is that great rarity, a singer who enhances a song. Tina's musical heart may well be rooted in the music of Waller, Ellington, Gershwin, and Monk, and the jazz tradition. However, she is not a performer, who remains musically static, as she is a thoroughly modern twenty-first century artiste. .

Laurie Holloway MBE joins Tina May for what will be an incredible evening of music. The pianist & composer is perhaps best known as the Musical Director for Michael Parkinson's chat show. He was also the Musical Director for the first three series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Holloway has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic & the Boston Pops Orchestra as both conductor & lead pianist. His TV work has included being the composer of several well-known TV theme tunes such as Blind Date & Beadle's About. He has been awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by The British Academy of Composers & Songwriters & has appeared as the subject of This Is Your Life. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for his services to music.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Henley Jazz Workshop ‘MASTERCLASS’

Monday, 31st of July 2017

Benny Carter, Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins & Dizzy Gillespie

Featuring Karen Sharp(sax), Jonny Bruce (trumpet),Denny Ilett Jnr(guitar) & Andy Crowdy(bass), four of the top musicians on the European jazz scene, coming together to play jazz, swing & latin. Top-drawer quality music & a good few laughs along the way!

As well as well-known swing & jazz standards, the evening will feature music played & written by Benny Carter, who played with Duke Ellington, Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt, Dizzy Gillespie & Miles Davis.

After graduating in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Karen Sharp's career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton's band with whom she toured the UK & Europe for four years. A busy & popular musician with an accessible yet distinctive style, Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions. An absolute joy to listen to her speaking the language of jazz!

Jonny Bruce is a throwback to the pre-Miles of playing. In other words, he's not cool, he's hot! He draws from all the trumpeters from Louis Armstrong to Roy Eldridge and Clark Terry. Trained classically by Paul Mayes and Andy Everton, and receiving further tuition in jazz from Steve Waterman, his command over the instrument has made him a very versatile and therefore very busy musician. He emerged onto the UK jazz scene as a member of the Dave Stapleton Quintet (Edition Records). It was through recording and touring with this band that Jonny gained his early professional musical experiences.

Denny Ilett travels the world performing a mix of classic jazz, blues, gospel, funk, soul & R&B. He works as regular guitarist for saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown), Adrian Utley (Portishead), Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) & Charles Hazelwood (BBC concert orchestra). You may have been lucky enough to catch him before at the Billet with Lillian Boutte, Moscow Drug Club or the legendary Led Zep tribute! (He speaks English very well!)

For anyone who might not have been to one of our music nights before, Andy Crowdy practically lives here! Another globe-trotting muso, he is never happier than when playing at the Billet with Moscow Drug Club, or John Etheridge’s Sweet Chorus, or Lillian Boutte, or the Led Zep project, or Gary Potter, or Alan Barnes, or Art Themen, or…….you get the idea! (He speaks occasionally!)

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Mike D’Abo

Monday, 7th of August 2017

Mike D'Abo

Legendary Manfred’s Composer & Singer

Mike D’Abo composed the massive hit single “Handbags & Gladrags,” when he performs it at the Crooked Billet I get goose bumps. This unassuming, down to earth man has made a phenomenal contribution to modern popular music. As front man & writer of Manfred Mann, his hits include “Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James”, “Just Like a Woman”, “Ragamuffin Man”, “Ha Ha Said the Clown”, “My Name is Jack”, “Mighty Quinn”, “Handbags & Gladrags” – also a hit for the Stereophonics, Chris Farlowe & Rod Stewart, subsequently became the theme music to BBC’s “The Office.”

Mike talks candidly about his career & will play all the hits. Handbags & Gladrags – feel the hairs on your neck prickle! Forgot to say – he also wrote “Build Me Up Buttercup” for The Foundations!

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Budapest Cafe Orchestra

Tuesday, 22nd of August 2017

Utterly Amazing Upbeat Gypsy Jazz          

The Budapest Café Orchestra play powerful folk-based music from Eastern Europe inspired by the music of European gypsies. The richness & dynamism of Balkan music is on display here in all its untameable glory in a wide-ranging programme of impassioned Hungarian Czardas, tender Russian folk melodies, rollicking dances from Romania & Moldavia, bitter sweet Jewish laments, one or two electrifying compositions of their own making plus a few surprises along the way. The music evokes vivid images of Tzigane fiddle maestros, Budapest café life & gypsy campfires – good enough to make you want to book a holiday along the Danube!

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Slim Chance

Wednesday, 30th of August 2017

Reformed but Unrepentant! Slim Chance are alive and well in memory of the Legendary Ronnie Lane.  Performing songs from all the Slim Chance albums including the hits                

Slim Chance are a tight band of good friends, which has evolved around three original members of Ronnie's band- STEVE BINGHAM, CHARLIE HART and STEVE SIMPSON. They are now regularly joined by BRENDAN O'NEILL, BILLY NICHOLLS and GERAINT WATKINS. And together they deliver a unique and entertaining show, both joyous and of high musical calibre.

STEVE SIMPSON- Vocals, guitar, mandolin and fiddle, has worked with Frankie Miller, Eric Bibb, Roger Chapman, and played on Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance, One for the Road and See Me

CHARLIE HART- Vocals, fiddle, accordion and keys, has played with Pete Brown, Ian Dury, Eric Clapton and worked on Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance One for the Road, Rough Mix, See Me, Rockpalast.

STEVE BINGHAM- Vocals and bass, played with Geno Washington, the Foundations, Colin Blunstone, worked on Anymore, played Bass on The Poacher and toured with the Passing Show

GERAINT WATKINS- Vocals and keys, has played with Carl Perkins, Nick Lowe, Van Morrison, released his own albums and joined Slim Chance for the 2004 Ronnie Lane  Albert Hall concert

BRENDAN O'NEILL- Drums, has worked with Rory Gallagher, Nine Below Zero, Glen Tillbrook to mention a few. Brendan knew Steve Mariott and is highly respected for his all round musicianship.

BILLY NICHOLLS- Vocals, mandolin and acoustic guitar, knew Ronnie well as he and the Small Faces played on each other's records back in the Sixties. Since that time Billy has been a prolific and successful songwriter and singer and has also worked extensively with The Who.

Performing the songs they helped to create along with some great Ronnie Lane Classics

 

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Purdy (Rebecca Poole)

Tuesday, 5th of September 2017

Purdy Album Cover

"A smouldering English rose, Britain’s Norah Jones" The Independent

“So slinky, it shouldn’t be allowed” - Craig Charles BBC 6 Music

Formerley known as Rebecca Poole, this outstanding singer oozes charisma, which combined with her sultry style & sure-footed vocal delivery makes for a masterful evening. Undeniably jazz, but utterly accessible with pop overtones. Think Nancy Sinatra, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Amy Winehouse & add the faintest hint of Sade. Her vocal prowess is stunning & her live performances demonstrate a strong connection with any audience lucky enough to see her live. She has impressed at a number of major events including a 90,000 strong crowd at Wembley Stadium, International Formula 1, Andrew Lloyd Webber & Guests, The London Lifestyle Awards & the Henley Festival. Perhaps you caught her recent performance on “Later…” with Jools Holland. Rebecca recently played the Royal Albert Hall with Jools & has just finished supporting him on tour. Her music is a mix of originals with some covers, with double bass & guitar accompaniment. Purdy sings on the lower clef, delicious on the ear, dreamy & seductive. We can’t wait to welcome her back to the Crooked Billet.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Andre Krengel & Roland Krause

Monday, 16th of October 2017

Andre Krengel, from Germany, is one of the leading guitarists in Europe. His first international gigs were in Spain & the south of France. He then went to the USA & toured with Leon Wilkinson & the new Lynnard Skynnard & jammed with musicians from the Miami Latin & Cuban music-scenes. He has toured the compass around Europe. In 2005 he co-founded the prize winning band Sina Nossa ("Our Destiny"), a Portuguese fado & world-music fusion band (winners, World Creole Music Festival). The German press call Andre "traveller between cultures" & "the guitar wizard with magic hands" since he can switch between styles & cultures without loosing his identity & unique style, such is his virtuosity & versatility, together with his sense of musical dynamics & soft sounds.

The Krengel & Krause guitar duo combines a rousing mixture of different musical genres - From the worlds of Jazz, Swing, Flamenco, Blues, Pop & Funk and Latin America their compositions blend into harmonious whole. They perform original compositions and surprising adaptations of many well-known pieces with a boisterous energy & passion.

Andre & Roland met first in 1997 when they travelled through Europe and USA performing in festivals, jazz clubs, art centres and galleries, both becoming two of the most sought after guitarists. Join them on their musical travels and allow yourself to fall under their spell.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Lila Ammons & the Tom Waters Quartet

Tuesday, 24th of October 2017

Lila Ammons is one of Jools Holland's favourite singers. Lila is coming  to the UK and building a tour to celebrate her family which include Gene ' jug' Ammons and incredible boogie woogie piano player Albert Ammons. Lila made her first Carnegie Hall appearance in 1988 exactly 50 years after her grandfather had played that stage for the first time. Lila Ammons is one of the most celebrated singers from Chicago and has worked with some of the biggest jazz and blues names including Sonny Leyland, Judy Carmichael and Charlie watts. Lila has also performed with Crooked Billet regulars Chris Jagger & Ben Waters.

Lila will be joined by the Tom Waters quartet which is formed from some of the finest young musicians in the country to play the music correctly. The band are held in great respect and very much in demand amongst the music world having a collective of over 50+ albums to the bands name. the band consist of Anmol Mohara - drummer, who has recently won best young drummer in the UK and is a member of the royal academy of music. Rodney Teague - bass, who has worked with many of England's  finest musicians and now is head of Weymouth college. Rob Palmer - guitar, who is one of the most sought after guitarists in England's jazz scene. Tom waters - saxophone, recently appeared on Ronnie Woods album 'I want you to hear this', he has worked with numerous of other artists and sessions with incredibly talented players. "Tom's the tops" - Jools Holland. This band is one of the most exciting line ups to come out of England.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Richard Digance

Monday, 6th of November 2017

Richard Digance

Legendary Guitarist & Singer Songwriter

Many people sing, play guitar and tell stories but not many have supported Steve Martin, Robin Williams or played a guitar duet with Brian May of Queen, Richard Digance has.

Richard Digance is a rare performer in that he's respected by comedians for his original material and by musicians for being an accomplished performer/guitarist. His loyal following confirms his wide appeal, from the younger generation attracted by both his guitar playing and the fact he has inspired many modern-day performers, to the super-loyal who have followed Richard since the time he had his own ITV series and even further when he started out in folk clubs. His evergreen career has been acknowledged through numerous awards within both the music and entertainment industries, from a BAFTA Nomination as a TV entertainer to a Gold Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. He is included in The Virgin Anthology of Songwriters for his important contribution to British comedy songwriting.

Richard Digance is also a world-acclaimed poet, an author and an artist. His poetry is published around the world, from The University of British Columbia, Canadian syllabus for English; Fearndon Teaching Aids, Illinois, USA, The Oxford University Anthology of Poetry, The West Indies Schools syllabus and more recently in Australia and in Cape Town South Africa as part of English First Additional Language Grade 8 Reader.

He has survived all trends with his two and a half hour one-man show, his summer festival appearances in the UK, the United States, Canada and Dubai, his cruise work and television appearances. He is both an accomplished musician, rated by many as one of Britain's greatest acoustic guitarists, inspired by his good friend Ralph McTell, and an entertainer who many younger comedians, including Ross Noble, claim as one of their major influences. On his own ITV Saturday-night show Richard has played guitar with Queen's Brian May, The Moody Blues, Status Quo, Chris deBurgh, Juan Martin, Marc Cohn and Elkie Brooks.

However, Richard Digance does not rest on his immense reputation. In the last two years he has broadened his appeal, firstly by proving to be one of Britain’s most sought after cruise entertainers and secondly by returning to his musical roots through major music festival appearances.

Really looking forward to this one.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Nine Below Zero

Wednesday, 29th of November 2017

Nine Below Zero

Simply Brilliant. Bluesy.

Nine Below Zero’s founding members, Dennis Greaves & Mark Feltham are going back to their blues roots to perform at the Crooked Billet for an intimate, acoustic concert as a duo.

This will be the first ‘old style’ blues shows the pair will perform in the 35 years they have been working together.

Covering songs by blues legends such as Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo & Leadbelly.  They will also play unplugged versions of well known Nine Below Zero material.

Dennis said “we will continue to play the bigger venues with the whole band, but Mark & I are looking forward to getting up close with audiences who, like us, are fans of the blues.  As well as playing the songs, it will also be nice to talk about the artists who inspired so many of the great British Blues Bands of the 1960s, who in turn went on to inspire us”.

The love of the blues began at an early age for both of them.  Two of Dennis’ uncles were big fans, & both had big collections of the blues albums.  It was listening to these records that encouraged NBZ’s frontman to first pick up the guitar.  While Mark had an uncle in the Merchant Navy, who used to bring him back harmonicas from his travels overseas.  The pair first met in the late 1970s, during punk, when Dennis decided to form a blues band & harmonica player Mark was recommended to him.  By an amazing coincidence, it turned out they were not only living on the same estate in South London, but also just 14 houses apart.

Nine Below Zero were formed & went on to have great success in the early 1980s.  Still performing & recording new material, Dennis & Mark decided now was the right time to go out & perform the music that had inspired them at an early age.

Dennis said “the rehearsals have been brilliant, some of the best ever.  We are looking forward to playing this music live.  To see Mark perform in this environment is truly a masterclass & it’s a little daunting for me, to be playing acoustic guitar.  No hiding behind the Marshall amp!"

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Pete Lincoln

Sunday, 10th of December 2017 - Monday, 11th of December 2017

Pete Lincoln

Covers from the human jukebox                

Delighted to welcome Mr Lincoln back to the Crooked Billet (since Pete joined seventies glam rockers Sweet, he’s been very busy). One of Britain’s finest ‘recording session’ musicians and in-demand live performers – currently touring with Sweet, Pete also tours with Sailor and Cliff Richard. Pete will play anything you request, he’ll take you on a trip through modern popular music – Beatles, Kinks, Stones, Oasis, Simon & Garfunkel. His Steely Dan cover ‘Reelin in the Years’ is legendary, his ‘Hey Jude’ an absolute belter, his version of ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’ has you in stitches. A fabulous feel-good evening.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

George Harrison at The Crooked Billet Sun Newspaper Article