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!

JEAN DE TALHOUET & KAMAO

Tuesday, 23rd of October 2018

Blistering Sensual Gypsy Jazz

Oh my gods. You’re going to love this. There are dozens of Django Reinhardt style gypsy jazz bands, but nothing compares with KAMAO. Smouldering sexy soulful bebop & hot club blistering gypsy jazz. Fronted by the equally sexy soulful Jean de Talhouet. Jean’s the real deal. Genuine Romani Manouche gypsy his father, grandfather & great grandfather all gypsy guitar wizards who played with Boulou Ferre, Mito Loeffler, Vivi Limberger scores of gypsy greats. Bakib Reinhardt discovered Jean de Talhouet performing at the famous Samois Sur Seine jazz festival, as mentor & friend he introduced Jean to an international audience. Jean featured in the channel 4 documentary "Django Legacy". He appeared on Melvin Braggs South Bank Show & recently performed at the Royal Albert Hall. 23rd October a repertoire from bebop, hot swing, & traditional Romani songs. Unusually for a gypsy guitarist Jean also sings, imagine if Django Reinhardt also chatted & sung! Double Bass, Saxophone, Clarinet, Rhythm guitar accompaniment, haunting lyrical harmonies. The stuff of Goosebumps. You will leave mesmerized. A rare chance to witness real gypsy music with contemporary 2018 soulful sexy twist. KAMAO - the Romani word for LOVE

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Dave Kelly

Tuesday, 6th of November 2018

The Blues Band Guitarist & Founder Member

A very Special evening from Dave Kelly. guitarist & founder member of the Blues Band performing an intimate solo show. When The Blues Band started back in 1979 Dave was already a seasoned blues artist with a reputation across the world. In the early sixties he started performing acoustic, mostly Mississippi style blues, in folk clubs. His first performance was a floor spot at The Half Moon Putney in 1964- a session run by Gerry Lockran, Cliff Aungier & Royd Rivers. In 1966 he went to the USA and played at Gerde's Folk City in New York. On returning from the States he joined The John Dummer Blues Band as lead vocalist and guitarist. It was with The Dummer Band that he made two UK tours backing John Lee Hooker and one with Howlin Wolf. After leaving the JDBB late in '69 he went back to solo performing and toured and recorded with the legendary Eddie 'Son' House.
Since then he has recorded a TV show with, and backed in concert, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells as well as continuing to tour with The Blues Band.
In late 2012 Dave released, on Hypertension Records, a new album entitled: Dave Kelly - Family and Friends. Featuring tracks with various family and friends recorded over the past 45 years. Guest include: Jo-Anne Kelly, Eric Bibb, Long John Baldry, Maggie Bell, Chris Barber, Jona Lewie, Christine Collister, Chuck Leavell, Paul Jones, Howlin Wolf amongst others.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Aurora Chanson Trio – Parisian Songbird

Wednesday, 14th of November 2018

Aurora Chanson

Smoochy Sexy Seductive Parisian Jazz

Take a lovers stroll through Paris, from the cobbled streets of Montmartre to the Parisian cafés along the Seine, old fashioned charm & elegance. Beautiful Aurora & her French jazz quartet. Extensive repertoire of famous French songs from Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves) to La Mer (Beyond the Sea). Imagine a Notre Dame back street café where Stéphane Grappelli, Édith Piaf, Jacques Brel & Django Reinhardt share a glass & share their music. Enjoy a complimentary glass of Beaujolais Nouveau.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

TIM KAY BAND

Wednesday, 21st of November 2018

An Astonishing Rising Star

Quite a few of the Crooked Billet team have gone on to work in the entertainment industry: along with their colleagues from our sister restaurant London Street Brasserie in Reading. Kerrie became Simon Cowell's PA, Alice works for Paul McCartney. Yasmina won Alan Sugar's 'Apprentice' TV show & opened Caversham's Myalacarte with her brother Matt- Matt one of the Brasserie team. Rebecca Poole 'Purdy' one of our waiting team.

Tim Kay is one of our front of house stars at London Street Brasserie. His other job- a particularly spot on vocalist, guitarist, singer, songwriter. If he's not running the restaurant - you'll catch him as one of the Jersey Boys in the Frankie Valli touring show, Tim plays Tommy DeVito. You might have caught Tim on TV- one of the judges on BBC1's "All Together Now". They're currently filming the second series. You'll have heard Tim singing and playing on Jamie Olivers TV series "Jamie at Home" Jamie chose Tim's single "My World" as the TV series theme tune.

You'll still catch Tim at London Street Brasserie though. He's currently promoting his new album "Known But Not Wanted" available on iTunes/ Apple music.

Catch Tim and his band at the Crooked Billet playing soulful original rock ballads plus number 1 hits from across the ages. You'll love Tim and his band. Guaranteed or your money back!

Full regular menu. £10 music cover charge.

Chris Jagger with special guests Kit Morgan & Ellie Mackrell

Wednesday, 28th of November 2018

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.

CHRIS DIFFORD

Monday, 3rd of December 2018

Chris Difford is a rare breed. A a member of one of London's best loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up the Junction, labelled with Love, Hourglass and tempted. Despite the fact that Chris has helped soundtrack so many fans lives since his first release in 1977, the passion for innovation and love of playing still drives him to carry in writing rather than sit back and admire his handiwork.

October sees Chris resuming his "Some Fantastic Acoustic Book Tour", Chris will regale the audience about some of the key events in his life in music from his autobiography Some Fantastic Place and perform some of his biggest hits acoustically.

Over the course of a 13 album career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Chris Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. His Kitchen sink drama style has drawn plaudits from fans on both sides of the Atlantic, while his influence is keenly felt today. The likes of Lily Allen, Mark Ronson, Kasabian and The Feeling have all recognised the debt they owe to Squeeze's music and to Difford's way with words, while journalists were so moved by his winning combination with Glenn Tilbrook to dub the pair the "The New Lennon & McCartney".

Chris first learned to stand on his own when he wrote the lyrics for the fictional band Strange Fruit in the 1998 British comedy film ‘Still Crazy’, for which he won his first Ivor Novello award. The film soundtrack was also nominated for a Grammy. He also has written with Jools Holland, Paul Carrack and Elton John, Lisa Stansfield & Bryan Ferry.

Chris hosts songwriter workshops and has done so for over 26 years. In 2014 he formed a partnership with ‘The Buddy Holly Foundation’ to run a week of writing at Pennard House Glastonbury. Other writing events include Guardian Master Classes held in London and smaller events held close to his home in East Sussex.

‘Chris To The Mill’ a box set of his 3 studio albums came out in March 2017 on Edsel Records. His forth studio solo album followed shortly after called ‘Fancy Pants’ a play with music, written with Boo Hewerdine whom he toured with earlier this year.

Some Fantastic Place, my life in and out of Squeeze is published by orion books

Full regular menu. £25 music cover charge.

AN EVENING WITH BOB HARRIS OBE

Wednesday, 5th of December 2018

Bob Harris with musical support from  Robbie Cavanagh

Legendary Broadcaster, champion of new music, Old Grey Whistle Test presenter & BBC Radio 2 "Country" presenter in an intimate evening chats candidly about his career to date. Musical punctuation from  the incredible talent that is Robbie Cavanaugh. Robbie performs melodic, haunting yet beautiful music, combining his intricate guitar playing with powerful, emotive lyrics. Following the release of his critically acclaimed debut album, ‘The State Of Maine’ in April 2014, Robbie has made a big impact on the country/Americana scene. Developing a dedicated and loyal following around the UK, Robbie writes poetic and starkly honest songs and performs them with a real passion and sincere honesty that other artists can only attempt to imitate

Our thanks to Bob Harris for this very special one off evening. www.bobharris.org

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

PETE BROWN’S LEAGUE OF CRAFTY UKULELE MASTERS

Thursday, 27th of December 2018

Pete Brown, one of Britain’s most talented musicians, record producer & in demand rock guitarist having performed with Deep Purple, George Harrison, Dave Gilmour and many more. Pete’s a fine vocalist & multi-instrumentalist, Musical Director of his dads band Joe Brown. Pete first enjoyed notoriety in the 80’s performing, producing & recording with sister Sam. Remember their incredible hit ‘Stop’. The League of Crafty Ukulele Masters are a 20+ Ukulele Orchestra their repertoire includes the likes of Stevie Wonders ‘I Wish’ & ‘Superstition’ the Beatles ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’, Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’’ with perhaps a little ELO thrown in too.. Most Ukulele groups involve a dozen or so enthusiasts all strumming the same tune and rhythm. Plonk, Plonk, Plank. Pete Browns Orchestra have sections of his orchestra playing different parts & harmonies with double bass, harmonica & lap steel guitar &vocal accompaniment, making them a big hit at this summer’s outdoor festivals. Once you have heard them once, you will want to hear them again and again

Full regular menu. £12 music cover charge.

Andy Crowdy’s Led Zeppelin Project

Wednesday, 2nd of January 2019 - Thursday, 3rd of January 2019

Andy Crowdy's Led Zeppelin Project

Five outstanding musicians pay tribute to the compositions of Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, celebrating the music of one of the world’s most auspicious bands.

A January tradition for the Crooked Billet. One of my favourite memories of previous years being Jimmy Page’s beautiful mum turning up to watch these guys – 5 hardened jazz musicians absolutely petrified at not doing justice to a senior citizens sons compositions!

Featuring Crooked Billet favourite Andy Crowdy, normally to be found hiding behind his double bass – on this occasion, keyboard & rhythm guitar. Ady Davey, vocals – who has been involved with the Zeppelin project since the 70’s. Daisy Palmer from Goldfrapp, drums. Jerry Soffe, bass – he’s worked with Robert Wyatt, Portishead & John Paul Jones’ daughter. The acclaimed jazz guitarist Denny Ilett on lead guitar – Denny has also worked with Kasabian, Portishead & James Brown’s band. The Zeppelin Project aren’t a ‘tribute’ band – no wigs, no platform boots; just spectacular music. Tremendous fun, tremendous volume & a perfect end to the Christmas holidays.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Ben Waters

Tuesday, 8th of January 2019

Foot-stompin' Boogie Woogie Piano  

We love Ben! Since the release of his  album “Boogie 4 Stu”, a magical collaboration with all members of the Rolling Stones, Ben’s touring schedule has been more hectic than ever, including the brilliant performance with Jools Holland on “Later…”. Ben’s album celebrates the life & music of Stone’s keyboard player Ian Stewart with proceeds going to the British Heart Foundation & the first record in over 2 decades to feature Bill Wyman with Mick, Ronnie, Keith & Charlie.

Ben Waters, exceptional Boogie pianist, is quite simply one of the most talented guys around. If you haven’t experienced him live, I can’t recommend the evening enough – always a foot-stomping resounding triumph, leaving the audience wanting encores. Ben’s reputation is global, a favourite on the festival circuit: Barbados Rhythm & Jazz Festival, Henley Festival, Glastonbury.

Full regular menu. £25 music cover charge.

The Gary Fletcher Band featuring Alan Glen

Wednesday, 16th of January 2019

A Supergroup Staring the CREAM of British Blues Musicians

Goodness. I'm so lucky Gary like my cooking enough to continue bringing his chums here for these supergroup jam nights. Three of the UK’s most respected blues musicians play together: Alan Glen, Gary Fletcher & Nick Ritchie.

Gary Fletcher: Guitar, vocals. Previously recorded & toured with Peter Green & The Blues Band.

Alan Glen: harmonica. Previously recorded & toured with Eric Clapton, The Yardbirds, Gary Moore & Nine Below Zero.

Tom Leary: Violin. Previously recorded and toured with Lindisfarne & Feast of Fiddles

This will obviously be a very special evening.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

BURNS NIGHT – TOP CÉILIDH BAND, KIPPERS & KILTS.

Wednesday, 23rd of January 2019

Burns Night

A full menu featuring the very best of Highland produce, seafood, beef & game. Plenty of Scottish specials including Islay diver scallops, Arbroath Smokies, Macsween haggis, neeps & tatties, cranachan, clapshot, smoked Lochinvar salmon, Finnan haddock, Cullen skink, skirlie, Dundee marmalade pudding & over a dozen Hebridean Malts.

Addressing the haggis. Bag Pipes. Top toe-tapping Celtic band playing traditional music, jigs & reels – guitar, whistle, Celtic pipes & fiddle. Full regular menu with lots of Celtic specials. Free Islay malt to all attired in Scottish costume.

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Mollie Marriott & Friends

Monday, 28th of January 2019

Stunning contemporary blues & soul vocalist
Proving she can Rock like her father, Mollie at the tender age of 15 was asked by Liam Gallagher himself to record some vocals on demos for the Oasis album Heathen Chemistry. Mollie sang at the Astoria London tribute to her late father Steve performing with Paul Weller, Zak Starkey & Deborah Bonham and at The Royal Albert Hall with Dean Rees Steve Ellis and legendary Ronnie Wood as part of the Ronnie lane Memorial Concert. Mollie has also worked live with Joe Brown and his band before having been involved with a week run at the Theatre Royal Windsor whilst previewing the songs for the Musical Skiffle which Joe and Roger Cook have written.  She has just sung backing vocals for Joe, Dennis Locorriere(Dr Hook), Mark Knopfler and Chas and Dave for Joe Browns 50 years in show business gig at The Royal Albert Hall.   As well as having a rock side, She has been known to prove her soul and R'n'B side by working with her Fathers well known Backing Singer and Ikette  P.P Arnold. Proving Mollie to be a versatile vocal talent! Mollie has been known for her session work for the likes of ITV and the BBC and many advert and film work Over the past year, Mollie has shared the stage with The Who, Mick Huckall, Jeff Beck and providing Backing Vocals for The Faces reunion in 2015. She also shared the stage with Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler and Imelda May to celebrate Bill Wymans 80th Birthday. She has also been the Vocal Coach and Creative Consultant for the hit show "All or Nothing", a musical based on the Small Faces. With her debut album 'Truth Is A Wolf' set for release in 2017, its safe to say Mollie will be taking the Industry by storm.

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.

MICHAEL MESSER’S MITRA

Tuesday, 12th of February 2019

A unique fusion of blues slide guitar, Hindustani classical slide guitar and tabla rhythms

Mitra is a unique musical trio and a true musical friendship. Mitra is a trio comprising British blues innovator and slide guitarist, Michael Messer, Hindustani slide guitar maestro from Mumbai India, Manish Pingle, and London-based tabla master, Gurdain Singh Rayatt. This is more than another meeting of musicians from different cultures, this is a band with a successful album and its own unique sound; an exhilarating and highly accessible fusion of blues and Hindustani classical music. With vocals, slide guitars and tabla, these three musicians from opposite sides of the globe create a fascinating musical journey, running from the banks of the Mississippi, via London to Mumbai and the Ganges delta.

The album, Call Of The Blues, was released in February 2016 and was immediately picked up by the blues and world music media, getting worldwide radio airplay and press coverage in more than 40 countries, and hitting #1 in the iTunes Blues Chart. 2016 also saw Michael Messer's Mitra with two successful UK tours, including shows at the Bush Hall in London and Musicport Festival.

Michael Messer - Vocals, Slide & Lap Steel Guitar
Manish Pingle - Indian Slide Guitar (Mohan Veena)
Gurdain Rayatt - Tabla

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Richard Digance

Monday, 11th of March 2019

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.

St. Patricks Celebration

Sunday, 17th of March 2019 - Monday, 18th of March 2019

St. Patricks

With Top Irish Fiddle Band

Celebrating Saint Patrick, fine music and Irish fare with the exceptional Irish Band ‘Poteen’. Fiddle, bodhran, pipes, whistles, strings, and Irish harp.  Guaranteed to get toes tapping with their infectious jigs and reels playing traditional Irish folk music, up tempo Guinness drinking stuff and of course, all those great bar room classics – Whisky in the jar, Malt and Whisky Ray, Irish Rover, etc. I’ll cook up a few Irish specials, plenty of Galway Oysters, Soda Bread and Richard Corrigan’s fabulous Irish stew recipe (I’m sure the Irish just nicked Lancashire Hot Pot!) Dublin Lawyer, Champ, Drisheen, Boxty Pancakes, Pork Gubeens and Dublin Bay Prawns. There’s a Guinness stout promotion – an absolute corker of an evening.

Full regular menu with lots of Irish specials.

Sunday 17th –  £25 music cover charge.

Monday 18th £2o music cover charge.

Tcha Limberger & Mozes Rosenberg

Wednesday, 27th of March 2019

Kings of Gypsy Jazz

Five-star international Gypsy jazz line up. As close to Gypsy jazz royalty as you’re likely to get!
Guitar mastery, swinging Reinhardt classics mixed with traditional European Gypsy repertoire. Undeniably the most loved and respected Gypsy musician on the planet, violin superstar Tcha Limberger, recently accorded the title by The Times “Polymath King of Gypsy music” joins forces with the guitar wizard and latest in line from the renowned dynasty of Gypsy guitarists, Mozes Rosenberg.
Limberger, blind since birth, and a spectacular multi-instrumentalist, known as much for enchanting performances with his Budapest Gypsy Orchestra and Kalotaszeg Trio as he is for being the world’s greatest Gypsy jazz violinist, is an unstoppable force in the world of world, folk and jazz music.

Full regular menu. £17 music cover charge.

Gavin Povey

Wednesday, 10th of April 2019

World Class Boogie Pianist, Shakin' Stevens' Ivory Tickleler

I am Delighted to welcome Gavin Povey to the Crooked Billet. He’s played with everyone from Van Morrison to Finbar, from Steve Cropper to Shakin’ Stevens. In Shakin Stevens band, Gavin & fellow musicians were the biggest selling singles group of the 1980's - more than ABBA, Queen, Police more than any other UK artist. Piano players don’t come much more rock’n’roll than GAVIN POVEY. Gavin plays an eclectic style of Rythmn & Blues, including Boogie-Woogie, Swing, Stride, Funk and Rock & Roll. Mixed in with this elixir are hints of Jazz, Country and Blues. Gavin began learning to play the piano at the age of 5 and discovered Rhythm and Blues at the age of 13 when he heard Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson perform Boogie Woogie Man, A lifetime of touring and recording followed. Gavin has recently toured with Albert Lee and Hogan’s Heroes. He has also toured, performed and recorded with such artists as Dave Edmunds, Kirsty MacColl and Van Morrison

Gavin's bringing his fabulously-named New Orleans friends The Fabulous Oke-She-Moke-She-Pops to the Crooked Billet. Simon Farrell:Double Bass & Shane Atlas: Drums

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

JOHN ETHERIDGE SWEET CHORUS

Tuesday, 21st of May 2019

john etheridge

Astonishing World Class Jazz Guitarist

Delighted to welcome back this astonishing jazz guitarist & much loved musician, always one of the most popular artists in our What’s On listings.

Etheridge enjoyed enormous notoriety with legendary jazz-fusion band The Soft Machine. He has recorded & toured with Birelli Lagreme, Nigel Kennedy, Andy Summers & John Williams (you might have seen John Etheridge & John Williams playing together at Henley Festival). John Etheridge was also associated with Stéphane Grappelli for many, many years. He’s had numerous television appearances, recordings, festivals & tours – treating the world to the very finest gypsy jazz & hot club swing.

On Monday 20th May John will be joined by Crooked Billet favourites Chris Garrick, guitar, Andy Crowdy, double bass & Dave Kelbie, rhythm guitar. This will be a magical evening – a rare treat o find such musicians in the intimacy of such a tiny venue.

“I never wanted to be a star, just a highly respected musician like John Etheridge” Sting (The Guardian, 1991).

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

George Harrison at The Crooked Billet Sun Newspaper Article