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.

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!

Ding Dong Daddios

Monday, 4th of July 2016

Ding Dong Daddios

Have you grinning like monkeys!


The Ding Dong Daddios bring you the most toe-tapping tunes from the heydays of the 40’s & 50’s. Take a Choochoo Ch’boogie Runaway Train with Five Guys Named Mo all the way to Mac the Knife, passing through Istanbul (not Constantinople) on the way. Their rendition of ‘Top Cat’ is legendary. This jumpin’ & jivin’ 5-piece swing band jive suitably suited & booted 1940’s style. Double bass, guitar, percussion & trombone. Up-tempo & highly entertaining. They’re brilliant.

Bring a jumper, if it's a really warm evening we'll host this music evening in the Secret Garden; candle lit al fresco dining. Magical.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Chris Jagger & Friends

Wednesday, 13th of July 2016

Chris Jagger

Rootsy Bluesy Acoustic Foot Stomper
Chris & his utterly delicious 3-piece rootsy, bluesy, rocking, acoustic band. Classic Jagger vocals, sweet & sour harmonies, guitar, fiddle & double bass. Always one of our most popular music evenings.
A rock & roll English Ceilidh band, makes you want to drink scrumpy & stomp. On a scale of 1 to 10 the Crooked Billet scores them 11. Chris has collaborated with an eclectic selection of artists including Al Stewart, Ian Dury, Cat Stevens & the Rolling Stones; indeed his brother provided vocals on Chris’s latest album “Concertina Jack”. Speak to Chris nicely & you might get a back stage pass for the next Rolling Stones gig!

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Pete Lincoln

Monday, 18th of July 2016 - Tuesday, 19th of July 2016

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.

WORLD JAZZ ROYALTY QUARTET

Monday, 25th of July 2016

Quartet

Benny Carter, Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins & Dizzy Gillespie

Featuring Karen Sharp(sax), Thomas l'Etienne(sax & clarinet), 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!

Thomas l‘Etienne was born in Hamburg into a family of Russian, French & German origin. While his clarinet style shows the influence of the great Creole masters Barney Bigard, Albert Nicholas & Jimmie Noone, his saxophone playing is influenced by Ben Webster, Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons & “Lockjaw“ Davies. As well as playing in concerts & festivals all over Europe, Thomas spends much of his time in Brazil, where he indulges his love of the traditional choro music & speaking Portugese (he also speaks German, English, Russian & Danish!).

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. £12.50 music cover charge.

Mambo Jambo

Wednesday, 27th of July 2016

Mambo Jambo

Wild Cuban Sizzling Salsa, 50’s Boogie Swing 

One of 2013 Billet music night revelations was MAMBO JAMBO – their first performance at the pub was incredibly well received, went down a storm. They've played every summer since. The all-time “must see” band. They set the dance floor ablaze at the Henley Festival. Stomping Cuban/Brazilian jazz, bossa & New Orleans boogie blues. Guaranteed to leave you grinning from ear to ear; good enough to make you want to book a holiday in Old Havana.

Weather permitting I’ll barbecue some Cuban/Brazilian barbecue specials – beer butt peri pepper chicken, lots of steaks, prawns big enough to ride.. If it’s a hot evening we’ll do music & al fresco dining outside. Bring a jumper for later; snuggle blankets & space heaters provided. This show is guaranteed to put rhythm in your bones, have you grinning like monkeys & leave your soul euphoric!

Full regular menu. £10 music cover charge.

Micky Moody & Papa George

Tuesday, 2nd of August 2016

Micky Moody & Papa George

Blues Guitarists

Needing absolutely no introduction, I’m delighted to welcome two of Britain’s finest purveyors of slide, blue grass, blues, acoustic & electric early rock ‘n’ roll guitar.

The acclaimed duo, who opened last year’s Henley Blues & Jazz Festival to rave reviews, return to the Crooked Billet for an evening of slide, bluegrass, blues, acoustic & electric early rock ‘n’ roll guitar.

Micky Moody was best known for his time with Whitesnake & also enjoyed hits with Juicy Lucy, Frankie Miller, Roger Chapman & Chris Farlowe. He recently appeared in the BBC television documentary “Great British Rock Guitarists” along with Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore & Tony Iommi.

Papa George has long been established as one of Britain’s finest blues vocalists & guitarists. He has recorded & toured with many respected artists including Gary Moore, Alexis Korner & Peter Green. Muddy Waters described Papa George as ‘spectacular’.

Considering Whitesnake perform large stadium concerts, it promises to be a special treat to enjoy these excellent musicians in the intimacy of the Crooked Billet.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Mollie Marriott & Friends

Wednesday, 10th of August 2016

Mollie Marriott

Stunning contemporary blues & soul vocalist

We have enjoyed superb previous Mollie Marriott shows, with her old band “Union Chain.” On 10th August Mollie returns on solo lead vocal with exquisite singers & musicians.

Daughter of Steve Marriott, Mollie followed on in the family tradition by going on stage early. Her first record deal was as a member of girl band D2M at the age of 12. Proving she can rock like her father, Mollie at the tender age of 15 recorded vocals with Oasis on their album Heathen Chemistry. She has also recorded & toured with Paul Weller, Ronnie Wood, Joe Brown, Mark Knopfler & Beyonce.

Mollie Marriott has a voice that gives you goosebumps – a simply world class performer, rock ‘n roll royalty in her DNA, as intoxicating as a vintage dessert wine. Expect R&B, soul, some exceptional self-penned numbers & a little rock ‘n roll.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

JACKIE OATES & MEGAN HENWOOD TRIO

Wednesday, 17th of August 2016

Megan Henwood & Jackie Oates

Forefront of the New English Folk Revival

Multi award-winning contemporary folk stars Jackie Oates & Megan Henwood meld together their love of storytelling, song writing & melody with their voices & acoustic instruments, resulting in a fresh sound that combines both reworked traditional folk song & original material. Their individual musical backgrounds are very different yet their voices blend effortlessly, sensitively backed by viola, guitar & accomplished double bass player Pete Thomas.

The three met at Nettlebed Folk Club, in 2015 working with top producer Pete Brown recorded their first album together “Wings”. Having a relaxed & engaging connection on stage – two very different singers combine their voices sinuously, telling stories in song, gracefully blending their instruments to promote a mellifluous & often melancholic sound.

Jackie Oates as a solo artist, winner of BBC Folk Awards, singer, fine fiddle player, her haunting singing style has established her at the front of the New English Folk revival. Founder member of Northumbrian group The Winterset, Jackie is also a permanent member of the folk super group The Imagined Village. All 5 of her critically acclaimed albums have reached top of the folk charts. Megan’s powerful, poignant & witty lyrics are woven around wonderful timeless pop melodies & demonstrate a depth of maturity far beyond her young years. Radio presenter & folk legend Mike Harding is a huge enthusiast & supporter of Megan. Megan grew up in Henley-on-Thames, exposed to music at an early age, watching her mother sing at the famous Nettlebed Folk Club.

Megan’s profile has exploded since winning her award, with appearances at Warwick Folk Festival, Sidmouth Folk Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival & Cropredy. Megan's music isn’t finger in the ear, drab, moaning folk. It's vibrant, melodic, fresh, energetic & bloody good.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

The Budapest Café Orchestra

Wednesday, 24th of August 2016

Budapest Cafe Orchestra (2)

The Budapest Café Orchestra play powerful & driving 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 the group’s 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!

Comprising four fabulous players of violins, guitar, accordion, double bass, saz & balalaika, the BCO boasts some of the country’s most revered international stars: Eddie Hession has accompanied Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras & Chris Rea & is a supreme accordion champion of Great Britain; Chris Garrick is one of Europe’s most celebrated jazz violinists & has performed with Dane Cleo Laine & Sir John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Nigel Kennedy & Duffy. The band boasts one of Russia’s most valuable exports in the shape of Adrian Zolotuhin, a master of strummed strings & buff recording engineer besides. Veteran bass-man Kelly Cantlon has been in the business of laying down low-notes for many many moons. He is an original founding band member of BCO & remains its back bone & grounding force.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Mike D’Abo

Wednesday, 31st of August 2016

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.”

On Wednesday 31st, Mike & his piano are accompanied by Dik Cadbury on bass, Steve Degutis on guitar – three wonderful harmonies & light hearted chat. 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.

Ragged Union Bluegrass

Tuesday, 18th of October 2016

ragged union bluegrass

Ragged Union is a powerful new group that has all the essential elements of a great band – top-notch musicians, original material, tight harmonies and blistering instrumentals!

Ragged Union’s hard-driving bluegrass, with a tinge of the traditional and a healthy dose of the blues, has become a favourite for quite a few music lovers since their inception a few years ago. Not many folks have said it better than Ron Thomason of Dry Branch Fire Squad who said, “This IS your grandfather’s bluegrass music but NOT his lyrics or subject matter. These tunes are ‘traditional’ in their approach and in presentation, but the subject matter of the lyrics is wholly modern; that is, they deal with modern angst, problems, even fixations in both a literal and metaphorical way. And this is the crux: that’s entirely different than how bluegrass music has been ‘updated’ to date. It is beyond appropriate; it is fresh and innovative while preserving through their instruments the things one likes about bluegrass music.”

Some pretty powerful words for a band who is just now releasing their first album. The music coming from this six-piece Colorado based ensemble, lead by husband and wife Geoff and Christina Union, is memorable and provides a platform for players performing original tunes and off-the-beaten path standards, winning fans in the process. There is an intimacy and tightness surrounding the vocals, with award-winning instrumental work, a powerful rhythmic drive, and up tempo arrangements giving way to the edgy, outsider songwriting that has become an earmark of their style.

The band have performed at several major festivals in the US including Bluegrass on the Arkansas (Salida), The Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville, Texas), Mid Winter Bluegrass Festival, the Groove Music and Arts Festival (Georgetown, Colorado), John Hartford Memorial Festival (Bean Blossom, IN), and High Mountain Hay Fever Festival (Westcliffe, CO). They are now ready to take their music to larger audiences and are keen to take the UK by storm! We can't wait to have them play at the Crooked Billet.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Glenn Tilbrook

Monday, 24th of October 2016

Glenn Tillbrook

From Squeeze

We're delighted to welcome back Glenn Tilbrook, one of Britain’s most cherished singers, guitarists and songwriters, for a special solo show. There is no denying Glenn has been pretty busy over the last couple of years - such is the continuing work ethic of a fellow who’s never been far from the action since Squeeze made their recording bow with the Packet Of Three EP in 1977.

Following the release of his solo album ‘Happy Ending’ in 2014, Glenn embarked on the critically acclaimed ‘At Odds Couple’ UK and US acoustic tours with long-time collaborator Chris Difford - we've been lucky enough to host two of these shows at the Crooked Billet. In 2015 Glenn and his Squeeze bandmates wrote, recorded and released their first album of new material in eighteen years - which was written for the BBC drama of the same name, inspired by the memoirs of friend Danny Baker. It was a glorious musical return, ‘Cradle To The Grave’ was met with rave reviews and entered the UK Official Album Chart at number 12. The band embarked on a sold–out tour across the UK, including a packed out date at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall.

As 2015 drew to a close – without stopping to catch their breath- Glenn and Chris headed to the US for an extensive acoustic tour. 2016 has kicked off no differently – Squeeze were a viral sensation in January after a castigating performance on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr show.

Anyone who has witnessed Glenn on the live stage can attest to the properness of his doings, as it were. Armed with ready wit, raucous vibes and a shed load of grin-inducing great songs, there are few musicians able to connect with their audience on such an immediate and warm level. The ever burgeoning festival circuit is frequently enriched by Tilbrook the troubadour, whether he be leafing through his own plentiful back pages or dashing off impromptu audience requests ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Tony Orlando & Dawn, and all points in-between.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Catfish Keith

Monday, 31st of October 2016

Catfish Keith

Foot-Stomping, Deep Delta Blues

Cutting-edge blues singer, songwriter & bottleneck slide guitarist, Catfish established himself as the most exciting country blues performers of our time. Innovative style of foot-stomping, deep delta blues & American roots music has spellbound audiences the world over. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2008, has twelve NUMBER ONE independent radio chart-topping albums & packs houses all over the world with his dynamic stage show.

Toured the globe to wide acclaim, headlined major music festivals & appeared with legends John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal & many more. “One of the finest acoustic bluesmen in America. Every fan of acoustic blues should have all of his discs in their collection. This man is flat-out spectacular.”

Full regular menu. £10 music cover charge.

Dave Pegg & Anthony John Clarke

Wednesday, 23rd of November 2016

mirth-and-music

Mirth & Music

Featuring Dave Pegg, Fairport Convention, Anthony John Clarke, Irish stand up and song smith supremo.

Two legendary musicians and consummate entertainers unite for an evening of outstanding song and music, with plenty of humour.

Belfast born Anthony John is recognised as one of the top songwriters on the acoustic/ folk scene, 12 albums and 3 singles including the beautiful “Seven in Ireland” and “Irish Eyes”. Anthony John enjoys an enormous following in UK, Europe, Australasia and USA.

Legendary Fairport Convention multi-instrumentalist Dave Pegg joins Anthony John. The friends draw from a wealth of hits and much loved songs for an evening of exquisite, outstanding music and a lot of humour.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Mick Wilson

Tuesday, 6th of December 2016

Mick Wilson

From 10CC. Playing all the Hits.

Mick's love for music started when his parents bought him a guitar for Christmas in 1969 and, far from being the 5-minute wonder that was anticipated, it started a life-long passion for pop music that is just as strong today as it was then. In fact Mick still owns his first guitar, which can be seen at the back of the CD booklet on his new album, “So The Story Goes”

Turning to the Bass Guitar (yes, he still has that one too!) and teaming up with his elder brother Dave, they formed a band called Flame that played locally around their home town of Barking in Essex. This eventually led to a meeting with Alan Blakely from The Tremeloes, who was looking for a band to produce. Mick’s first taste of a real studio was at the age of 14 when he recorded the lead vocals to the band’s first single – a cover of Frankie Lyman’s “Teenager In Love”.

For the next few years, the band released more Blakely-produced material, appearing live and on TV shows both in the UK and Europe, culminating in a record deal with EMI (recording the single at the famous Abbey Road Studio 2) and supporting stable-mates, The Rubettes on a European stadium tour in the late 70’s.

The 80’s saw Mick learning his craft and playing in various bands in and around London, but eventually put down the bass and started performing and recording just as a vocalist. Since then, Mick has performed and recorded with artists such as: Lionel Ritchie, Alice Cooper, Kylie Minogue, Alison Moyet, Chris Rea, Donny Osmond, Robin Gibb, Westlife, Cliff Richard, Cher, Lulu and the K.L.F. He is also a regular member of The SAS Band which play all over the world with guest artistes including: Brian May, Roger Taylor, Roger Daltrey, Paul Young, Kiki Dee and Tony Hadley.

He also is the lead vocalist for Three Friends, playing the music of Gentle Giant and featuring two members of the original line-up - Gary Green and Malcolm Mortimore.

Alongside live performances, Mick has had his own recording and production facility for over 20 years, which has been the base for a varied career as a producer and songwriter, as well as composing music for T.V. and live events for companies such as: Sky, BBC, ITV, Marks & Spencer, McDonalds, B.T., Levi’s, Toyota, Mercedes, Ford, Reebok and Mitsubishi.

Since joining Graham Gouldman for an acoustic set at the Green Room in London’s Café Royal over 10 years ago, Mick has become a regular in the latest incarnation of 10cc, taking on Lead Vocal duties & playing percussion, guitar & keyboards. Mick & Graham have also performed acoustic sets at numerous charity events including the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Mick continues to be a much in demand session vocalist not just in & around London, where he is based, but also abroad in Holland, Belgium & Germany. Mick featured as one of the guest vocalists on a series of concerts across Spain with a 40 –piece symphony orchestra & rock band, playing the music of Queen.

This is certainly one not to miss!

Full regular menu. £17.50 music cover charge.

George Harrison at The Crooked Billet Sun Newspaper Article