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!

The Gary Fletcher Band featuring Alan Glen

Monday, 6th of July 2015

The Blues Stars

A Supergroup Staring the CREAM of British Blues Musicians

Four of the UK’s most respected blues musicians play together: Alan Glen, Gary Fletcher, Tom Leary & Hughie Flint.

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: Lap steel slide guitar, violin. Previously recorded & toured with Feast of Fiddles.

Hughie Flint: Percussion. Previously recorded & toured with Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Ronnie Lane, The Blues Band & McGuinnes Flint. Famously recorded on the “Beano” album with Clapton.

This will obviously be a very special evening.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Herbie Flowers, Mike Hatchard & Paul Hart

Monday, 13th of July 2015

Herbie Flowers

Great Music, Jazz & Gentle Humour

An outstanding evening of music & jazz including stories & anecdotes from Herbie’s incredible career. Having recorded with EVERYBODY, from The Beatles (bass on “Long & Winding Road”) to Judy Garland. Writer of numerous hit records, movie scores, TV commercials & theme tunes. Legendary session musician. Collaborator on George Harrison’s final epic album. Original member of classical rock band Sky. Member of Elton John’s Band, original member of T-Rex & one of David Bowie’s Spiders from Mars. Ivor Novello award winner. Herbie recorded that wonderful sliding bass line on Lou Reeds “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”. He also wrote “Grandad”, Clive Dunn’s number 1 hit single.

Mike Hatchard, the acclaimed jazz pianist will accompany, with Paul Hart on violin. Paul performed in the original Sky line-up with Herbie before establishing himself as one of Britain’s top concerto composers; a musical virtuoso, performing at the Royal Albert Hall with John Williams amongst thousands of other notable concerts.

Full regular menu. £12.50 music cover charge.

Mambo Jambo

Wednesday, 22nd of July 2015

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, as did their repeat performance last summer. 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. £9 music cover charge.

British Jazz All Star Quartet

Monday, 27th of July 2015

Jazz All Stars

Starring Alan Barnes, Max Brittain, Thomas L'Etienne & Andy Crowdy. An orgy of sax, clarinets, guitar & wardrobe string bass from four of the world’s most acclaimed jazz musicians.

Alan Barnes, clarinet & saxophone. Originally with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, his talents were quickly recognised; asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band before working freelance with every great musician of the genre, including Stan Tracey, John Dankworth, Pete York & Clark Tracey. Barnes was a member of Laurie Holloway’s orchestra on TV’s Michael Parkinson Show. Over the years he’s won many jazz awards, toured & recorded with contemporary artists including Bjork, Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison & Jamie Cullum.

Max Brittain, guitar. Recorded & toured the world with artists as diverse as Jamie Cullum, Georgie Fame, Cleo Laine, Marion Montgomery & Val Doonican. He is recognised as one of the world’s greatest jazz guitar recording artists. His talents can be enjoyed on albums duetting with American jazz guitar giants Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis & Charlie Bird. In 1990 he was invited to establish the electric guitar faculty at Eton College. His beautiful playing features throughout the film “Mr Bean’s Holiday”, all that lovely Django style work is Max.

Andy Crowdy, Crooked Billet’s favourite upright double bass player & musical director for many of our music evenings. Undoubtedly the most in demand double bass player in Britain, having toured & recorded with the likes of Gary Potter, Diz Disley, Clark Tracey, Tina May, Acker Bilk, Lillian Boutte & Led Zeppelin. Incidentally, Andy’s upright double bass was owned by Duke Ellington.

Thomas L'Etienne, world renowned French/Russian saxophonist & clarinet. Can be heard on numerous recordings alongside such greats as Edward Frank, Lloyd Lambert, Smokey Johnson, Doctor John & Humphrey Lyttelton.

This will be an incredible evening.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Geno Washington & Stuart Dixon

Tuesday, 4th of August 2015

Geno Washington

Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band had two of the biggest selling UK albums of the 1960’s: “Hipsters, Flipsters & Finger Poppin’ Daddies” & “Hand Clappin’ Foot Stompin’ Funky-Butt” (49 weeks on the 1966 album chart, only outsold by Bridge Over Troubled Water).

In 1970 Geno left the UK, returned to the United States, recorded with the Beach Boys, retired from the music industry & studied hypnosis & meditation. He was persuaded to make a comeback in 1980 due to Dexys Midnight Runners hit single immortalizing Geno.

Geno  will be accompanied by Stuart Dixon, an incredibly talented blues guitarist & music producer. Stuart has toured internationally, making his mark on the world's blues scene with a number of successful acts including Never the Bride & Dani Wilde. He is the featured guitar player on a long list of studio releases by artists including Marcus Malone, Kirk Fletcher, Will Wilde, Cinqui & has even shared the stage with soul legend Eddie Floyd. His innovative & soulful performances are exciting, heartfelt & spine-tingling.

Geno is one of the most engaging, charismatic, soulful, hypnotic, high-energy soul & blues singers & we are honoured to welcome Geno & Stuart back to the Crooked Billet.

Full regular menu. £25 music cover charge.

Mike D’Abo

Wednesday, 12th of August 2015

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 goosebumps.

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.” He also wrote “Little Miss Understood” & “So Much To Say” for Rod Stewart. Mike composed & performed the music for the Peter Sellers film “There’s A Girl In My Soup.” He played the part of Herod on the original recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, also the original recording of Evita.

On Wednesday 12th August, Mike will talk candidly about his career & 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.

Purdy (Rebecca Poole)

Wednesday, 19th of August 2015

Rebecca Poole

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

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. 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.

From Lindisfarne

Wednesday, 26th of August 2015

From Lindisfarne

Dave Hull-Denholm, Ian Thomson & Tom Leary

Half of legendary Geordie band Lindisfarne join for a very special unplugged show.

Lindisfarne’s singer-guitarist Dave Hull-Denholm, bass guitarist & vocalist Ian Thomson & fiddler Tom Leary perform Lindisfarne’s classic songs & lesser known Lindisfarne gems composed by the late great Alan Hull whose legacy of songs have stood the test of time. His music inspired a generation of songwriters from Elvis Costello to Noel Gallagher, & continues to influence young writers & musicians today. He has been described as Tyneside’s John Lennon.

His son-in-law, Dave Hull-Denholm, gained a unique insight into the music & mind of Alan while working with him in Lindisfarne (Dave took over much of the vocals in Lindisfarne in the post-Alan line-up). Dave & Ian’s stripped down arrangements of much loved Lindisfarne songs sound fantastic; classics such as “Lady Eleanor”, “Money Game”, “Winter Song”, “Day of the Jackal” & “Clear White Light”, along with lesser known Lindisfarne gems.

Ian & Dave performed to 7,000 Lindisfarne fans at Newcastle City Hall last Christmas along with founder member Ray Jackson & the rest of the band – catch them again this year rayjacksonslindisfarne.com. Alternatively, enjoy the magical songs in the intimacy of the Crooked Billet.

On a personal note – I can’t wait. I’m extremely chuffed to have secured this concert for the Crooked Billet.

"Alan Hull, the Geordie poet, songwriter and musician who led the band Lindisfarne to fame in the early Seventies, was essentially a humanist, whose wryly observant lyrics came from heartfelt concern for the under-privileged and the misunderstood" The Independent.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Ding Dong Daddios

Wednesday, 2nd of September 2015

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 night on the front garden.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

A SUPER GROUP: LINDISFARNE – RAY JACKSON, FAIRPORT CONVENTION – JERRY DONAHUE, MAGNA CARTA – DOUG MORTER

Monday, 7th of September 2015

Super Group

A Super Group

Three genius musicians from the most influential and respected folk rock, acoustic roots bands.

Ray ‘Jacka’ Jackson   

As a kid, my Christmas highlight was Lindisfarne at Newcastle City Hall, who sold out 21 continuous nights – the City Hall record. Ray ‘Jacka’ fronted Lindisfarne with Alan Hull; Jacka on mandolin, harmonica and vocals. Numerous hits included ‘Meet Me On The Corner’, ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘Clear White Light’, ‘Fog On The Tyne’ and ‘Run For Home’ (also a hit in America). Jacka also played mandolin with Rod Stewart, his playing can be heard on Maggie May – which he co-wrote. Lindisfarne are one of my favourite bands. I am beyond ecstatic – Ray, Jerry and Doug are playing at my pub.

Jerry Donahue

From Fairport Convention, a massively respected and influential guitarist, he has recorded and/or toured with Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Robert Plant, Elton John, George Harrison, Cliff Richard, Chris Rea and The Yardbirds. Famous for his finger-picking style and string bending – Fender Guitars produce the Jerry Donahue Stratocaster. Imagine playing guitar with Robert Plant, George Harrison and Roy Orbison! Imagine Fender naming a Stratocaster after you!

Doug Morter

For decades he guitared with David Bowie, Ralph McTell, Richard Thompson and Steeleye Span before partnering up with Richard Digance for literally hundreds of festival, TV appearances and tours. An original member of Magna Carta and the Albion band.

 

This is going to be a fantastic evening. Expect self-penned numbers, some of Doug, Jerry and Ray’s hits and exquisite musical craftsmanship.

Robin Cousins & Anthony England

Wednesday, 23rd of September 2015

Anthony England Robin Cousins

Robin Cousins 'Dancing on Ice' judge, Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater, awarded the MBE & holds two Guinness World Records, singing favourite songs from the musicals and talking candidly about his career.

Crowds flocked to see his trademark back flip for which he entered the Guinness Book of Records with a stunning 18 feet (5.48m) jump. As well as performing, Cousins also started to choreograph various productions including the Wizard of Oz and Starlight Express. His move back stage was in part precipitated by his recurring knee problems which were probably not helped by punishing back flip routine. He has also since acted in the Rocky Horror Show and Cats and in 2008 choreographed the Guinness Book of Records biggest ever skating wheel. In 2006 he became a judge on TV's 'Dancing On Ice'.

On Wednesday 23rd September Robin’s fascinating journey comes to life through anecdotes and music, with songs by Gershwin, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Billy Joel and many more.

Robin’s musical director and accompanist, local boy Anthony England, will accompany. Anthony brings his unique blend of musicianship & comedy to his cabaret show whilst paying tribute to the styles of legendary performers such as Victor Borge, Victoria Wood, Dudley Moore & Les Dawson.

Anthony’s easy going witty style appeals to a wide age range & includes material such as “Elvis in the style of Mozart”, “Hairdresser Blues”, “Musical Sat Nav” & “The Entertainer” in the style of Les Dawson!

Over twenty-five years Anthony has accumulated a wealth of experience as a pianist, arranger, musical director & music producer & has worked alongside many top names in show-business including Cilla Black, Les Dennis, Danny La Rue, Anita Dobson, Roy Barraclough, Brian Conley, Barbara Windsor, Gary Wilmot, John Barrowman, Henry Winkler, Sandi Toksvig, Bonnie Langford & Bruno Tonioli.

For two years Anthony appeared with the 70’s hit band “Sailor” & in 2005 wrote the music & lyrics for “Santa Claus The Musical”.  “The Anthony England Orchestra” was formed in 2001.

Really looking forward to this one!

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Evan Christopher’s Django a la Creole

Tuesday, 13th of October 2015

Evan Christopher

Hot New Orleans Jazz Quartet...from NEW ORLEANS!

European Gypsy swing meets the music and rhythms of "le monde Creole" in this seductive and captivating project led by New Orleans-based clarinetist Evan Christopher. Renowned for his contemporary framing of early jazz masters such as Sidney Bechet, Jimmie Noone, and Barney Bigard, his quartet enlivens the music of the legendary Django Reinhardt as well as swing-era classics with the buoyant rhythms of New Orleans, Cuba, the Caribbean & even Brazil. Dazzling improvisations and colourful stories of the jazz greats he most admires are also hallmarks of Django a la Creole's presentations. Featuring Dave Kelbie, guitar, Mr Big, double bass & Don Vappie the renowned Creole guitar banjo player - a mother on both instruments & groovy like hell.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Nine Below Zero

Monday, 19th of October 2015

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.

Corn Potato String Band

Monday, 26th of October 2015

Corn Potato String Band

The Corn Potato String Band has earned high praise in traditional American music, keeping old time fiddle and banjo music from a one-way trip to the dustbins of history. Theirs is a story of struggle, hard knocks and triumph. Essentially unable to cope with modern life, the members of this band are outcasts of society who survive by playing the lost music of the flatlands where they were raised.

The Corn Potatos have delighted audiences with their driving fiddle tunes and harmonious singing across the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and India. They are all multi-instrumentalists dedicated to continuing the music and dance traditions of the Central and Southern US. In addition to being champion fiddlers they play banjo, guitar, bass and mandolin and deftly handle many different antiquated styles including ballads, “ho-downs,” country “rags” and southern gospel, specializing in twin fiddling and double banjo tunes.

Full regular menu. £10 music cover charge.

Catfish Keith

Monday, 2nd of November 2015

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.

The Budapest Café Orchestra

Monday, 16th of November 2015

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.

Dave Pegg & Anthony John Clarke

Wednesday, 2nd of December 2015

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. £17 music cover charge.

Richard Digance Christmas Show

Sunday, 13th of December 2015

Richard Digance

Winter Tales & Seasonal Song

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.

George Harrison at The Crooked Billet Sun Newspaper Article