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!

TOM LEARY & FRIENDS

Tuesday, 25th of June 2019

Tom Leary, Ric Sanders, Hughie Flint & Vo Fletcher

Tom Leary: Violin. Previously recorded and toured with Lindisfarne & Feast of Fiddles. A humorous and interesting man, there is not much that Tom has not seen or done within the music world. Tom is a beautifully tender player with a great gift for writing melodic tunes. Famous within the band for his laugh amongst other things, his mirth is highly infectious.Ric Saunders: Violin. Ric has been with the British institution Fairport Convention, touring the world and contributing many instrumental compositions and arrangements that have become fixtures in their repertoire. Hughie Flint: Drummer. Hughie has played with Eric Claptons band & John Mayalls Band. After his split with Mayall in 1969, Flint joined Manfred Mann guitarist/singer Tom McGuinness in co-founding McGuinness Flint, which scored a pair of Top Ten U.K. hits with "When I'm Dead and Gone" and "Malt and Barley Blues. Vo Fletcher: vocals. Vo has worked both in the studio and live with artists as diverse as (Nigel) Kennedy, John Etheridge, Andrew Cronshaw, Rik Mayall, Fred T. Baker, and David Lowe. He brings an enormous wealth of musical styles and improvisational skills to the group. This will obviously be a very special evening!

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

DAVID TORKANOWSKY

Wednesday, 3rd of July 2019 - Thursday, 4th of July 2019

New Orleans Pianist

Born and raised in New Orleans David Torkanowsky is widely respected as one of the piano masters fluent in the many musical languages of the crescent city. Whether it’s funky low down blues to sophisticated modern jazz his well deserved reputation is a testament to piano players that came before him like James Booker, Professor Longhair and Ellis Marsalis. His latest recording is due out in the fall, a great set from a solo concert at George Wein’s Newport Jazz festival. In the true spirit of jazz he is joined in the UK by musicians from all over the world. Australian all round entertainer George Washingmachine on the fiddle.
Electric guitarist Dave Blenkhorn from France, a regular on the European and international scene for the past 15 years with John Faddis, James Morrison, Scott Hamilton,Harry Allen, Evan Christopher and Cecile McLorin Salvant
London own’s Dave kelbie on rhythm guitar, accompanist to many big names of the world and Jazz music including Evan Christopher, Tcha Limberger, John Etheridge, Fapy Lafertin and Mozes Rosenberg.

Wednesday 3rd July £15 music cover charge

Thursday 4th July £20 music cover charge

Mike D’Abo

Wednesday, 10th of July 2019

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.

ANDY CROWDY’S JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE

Monday, 15th of July 2019

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED 

We don’t go in for ‘tribute bands at the pub. The Crooked Billet is blessed with a rosta of incredible musicians, world acclaimed artists who express themselves through their own creativity, instrumental brilliance & song writing skills. With chefs if we cook what’s in our heart we produce something honest & delicious. If head office writes the menu, dinner looses a bit of its love & passion.

I keep “What’s on” eclectic: Hindustani classical slide guitar to sultry soul singer Rebecca Poole. Jewish Klezmer to knarled punk rocker Wild Willy Barrett (Did you know Willy turned down guitarring with The Rolling Stones after Brian Jones passed? From Celtic folk to Rock n Roll.

However! Tonight three of Britain’s finest Jazz musicians tackle the genius of Jimi Hendrix. The Same musicians astonished our audiences with their Led Zeppelin project, celebrating the compositions of Robert Plant & Jimmy Page. Even Jimmy’s mum gave them a standing ovation before her passing.

Monday 15th isn’t a tribute band. As Jimi Hendrix said “I feel guilty when people say I’m the greatest guitarist on the scene. What’s good or bad doesn’t matter to me: what does matter is feeling & not feeling. If only people would take more of a true view & think in terms of feelings. Your name doesn’t mean a damn. It’s your talent & feeling that matter. You’ve got to know more than just technical notes; you’ve got to know sounds & what goes between notes”

Listen what happens when 3 jazz suprimos plug in and rock out with Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, Hey Joe, All Along The Watchtower, Crosstown Traffic, Red House, Foxy Lady & more.
Denny Ilett- Jimi Hendrix. Noel Redding- Andy Crowdy. Mitch Mitchel- Sam Wilkinson

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

Ben Waters

Sunday, 21st of July 2019

Legendary Boogie Woogie Pianist

Performing at our ‘Pop Up’ restaurant Trad, see back page of newsletter for more information. Ben an old friend & favourite Crooked Billet artist retires from touring this year. We’re thrilled to host one of Ben’s final shows. Ben’s Boogie journey started in the 80’s as Shaking Stevens pianist. Over the decades Ben has become one of the worlds favourite & in demand Boogie pianist. Ben is a formidable talent & highly entertaining performer solo or with the Ben Waters Band. The ‘Go- to’ boogie pianist on hundreds of recording sessions for hundreds of artists. From Chuck Berry to the Klinks. In recent years Ben has collaborated with the Rolling Stones. Pianist in Charlie Watts Rhythm & Boogie band. Ben, Charlie & Jools Holland performing together on Jool’s TV show “Later” All the Stone’s, Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie & Bill recorded on Bens 2011 album. Bens secret London gigs earlier this year with Ronnie Wood sold out before tickets went on sale

How To Get Tickets For Bens Show
Trad Festival is fun, worth spending the afternoon at- in which case you’ll need a festival admissions ticket £13 (£6 for 13- 17 yr olds) www.tradboatfestival.com/festivaltickets. For a reserved seat & table to see Ben on stage at the Crooked Billet at Trad you’ll need to buy a ticket (£10) in advance from the Crooked Billet. Sorry! You’ll have to call 01491 681048. Trad Fest organisers advises there is no admission fee after 4.30pm on Sunday 21st afternoon. However, consider making a donation, Trads raising funds for Macmillan. Bens Stage Time TBC. I advise be there by 6pm. Various acts on stage throughout the day. Ben’s Headline final act. Paul & the brigade cooking all afternoon & evening- unlike most Crooked Billet music nights you don’t have to eat. Our well stocked bar is open. Enjoy your reserved VIP table for one of Bens final Shows

Full regular menu. £10 music cover charge.

MICHAEL MESSER’S MITRA

Wednesday, 24th of July 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.

Henley Jazz Workshop Sextet

Tuesday, 30th of July 2019

Featuring Karen Sharp(sax), Thomas l'Etienne(sax and clarinet), Jonny Bruce(trumpet), Denny Ilett Jnr(guitar), Pete Billington(piano) and Andy Crowdy(bass), six of the top musicians on the European jazz scene, coming together to play jazz, swing and latin. Top-drawer quality music and a good few laughs along the way!

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 and Europe for four years. A busy and popular musician with an accessible yet distinctive style, Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions.
Thomas l‘Etienne was born in Hamburg into a family of Russian, French and German origin. While his clarinet style shows the influence of the great Creole masters Barney Bigard, Albert Nicholas and Jimmie Noone, his saxophone playing is influenced by Ben Webster, Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons and “Lockjaw“ Davies. As well as playing in concerts and festivals all over Europe, Thomas spends much of his time in Brazil, where he indulges his love of the traditional choro music.
Jonny Bruce is a freelance trumpet player based in Bristol, working as both a soloist and a lead player in a variety of musical contexts, receiving much critical acclaim for his fiery trumpet work. 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 busy musician. Regular music night patrons will know Jonny to be a member of the Billet favourites, Moscow Drug Club.
Denny Ilett Jnr travels the world performing a mix of classic jazz, blues, gospel, funk, soul and R&B. He works as regular guitarist for saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown), Adrian Utley (Portishead), Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) and Charles Hazelwood (BBC concert orchestra). You may have been lucky enough to catch him before at the Billet with Lillian Boutte, or the legendary Jimi Hendrix or Led Zep tributes!
Pete Billington began his musical education learning the piano and viola, later teaching himself to play guitar and double bass. He has played and recorded with many of the UK’s top artists, including Alan Barnes, Jamie Cullum, Peter King, Tina May, Jim Mullen, Mark Nightingale, Clark Tracey, Don Weller, Bobby Wellins and Kenny Wheeler, and in recent years Pete has toured the US, Asia and Europe with veteran rock vocalist Colin Blunstone, and backed a wide range of artists including Rick Astley, Paul Young, Alison Moyet, Michael Ball and Martin Fry's ABC.

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 the Led Zep project, or Gary Potter, or Alan Barnes, or Art Themen, or…….you get the idea!

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Mambo Jambo

Monday, 5th of August 2019

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. £15 music cover charge.

Megan Henwood & Friends

Wednesday, 14th of August 2019

Stunning song-smith. Winner. BBC Folk Awards. 

 

Megan, winner of the BBC folk award, a brilliant song – smith & bloody good guitarist. Powerful poignant, witty lyrics are woven around timeless pop melodies. So not finger in the ear drowning traditional folk music. Melodic, vibrant, fresh energetic stuff. I’m a BIG Megan fan, her recent album Head Heart Hand still plays continuously in my car. It features the track “Love/ Loathe” which enjoys much radio play & is one of my all tyime favourite songs. After winning the BBC award Meg’s career went crazy, regular festival appearances at Warwick folk festival, Sidmouth folk festival, Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival & Cropredy. Megan is beautiful, talented & humble, I am lucky & delighted she joins us Wednesday 14th August, for a sneak peak of her latest album. Megan has promised to bring one or two mates along to accompany her

 

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

TILDON KRAUTZ TRIO

Monday, 19th of August 2019

Highly original acoustic music from New York City, based in Southwest France

Similar in style and presentation to Tim O'Brien, Devon Sproule, Nora Jones, Avett Brothers. Story telling songs, musicianship and sublime wackiness combine to make something grabbily familiar and unique. A dynamic show with guaranteed laughter.

Gregg Weiss (Co-songwriter, guitar, banjo, fiddle, vocal) NYC songwriter and longtime sideman widely travelled.

Gabi Swiatkowska (Co-Songwriter, upright bass, vocal) is also an award winning Author/Illustrator. Published worldwide in many languages.

Barry Nisbet A Shetland Fiddling Songwriter who doubles as a Tall Ships Captain and sings a hearty tune.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

PIXIE & THE GYPSIES

Wednesday, 28th of August 2019

Pixie and The Gypsies perform music from their chart-topping debut album 'Honey Trap', alongside a selection of covers from the worlds of pop and jazz.

"Was enchanted tonight by the special magic of Pixie and The Gypsies… swing, melodic pop, memorable originals" - Paul Pace

2018 has been a busy year following the release of their number 1 debut album in August, with the band playing sold-out shows at venues such as The Spice Of Life and Pizza Express Jazz Club, and Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s.
They’ve also performed at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival ,Rye Jazz & Blues Festival, and 8 gigs at Guinness Cork Jazz Festival this year.

"Pixie and The Gypsies are an ethereally beautiful new face on the scene" - London Jazz News

Pixie and The Gypsies features founding member Taylor Notcutt on vocals and accordion, Connie Chatwin on violin and backing vocals, Twm Dylan on double bass and Matt Wilson on guitar, and when requested guest drummer Ed Harley.

"With Taylor’s breathtakingly sultry, honeyed vocals bolstered by guitar, accordion, violin, double bass and sweet backing vocals, ‘Honey Trap’ is a real treat" - Elisa Bray

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

FLEUR STEVENSON

Wednesday, 4th of September 2019

Brought up on Classical and Ecclesiastical music Fleur Stevenson discovered jazz in her late teens and everything changed! Under the tutelage of one of the queens of British jazz, Claire Martin, Fleur developed a real grasp of the jazz idiom, sparkling presentation, and skill as an improviser. She enjoys collaborations with many wonderful musicians including household names like Gareth Williams, Dave Newton and Brandon Allen, and has performed at numerous high profile venues across the UK, including Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, 606 Club and Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho. A talented singer, Fleur takes classic jazz standards and coats them in honey.

Fleur will perform songs from her debut album 'Follow Me', which will be launched at the prestigious Pizza Express Jazz Club in July. In addition to her fresh take on some well-loved standards, it features some more obscure vintage rock/pop songs arranged in a jazz style, for example a samba arrangement of King Crimson’s “I Talk to the Wind” and a heart wrenching, tender arrangement of Presley's ''Can't Help Falling in Love''. Fleur draws on her influences including Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'day, Shirley Horn, with the playfulness of Peggy Lee.

Joining Fleur on the stand today will be her pianist/MD Pete Billington, local bassist Raph Mizraki and drummer Simon Price. Excellent straight ahead jazz from one of the UK’s finest upcoming jazz singers.

"Fleur Stevenson is a wonderful singer with a great musical ear and natural jazz feel'' Claire Martin OBE

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

MOISHE’S BAGEL

Monday, 9th of September 2019

Thrillingly original cutting-edge klezmer, roots and folk music from some of Scotland's finest musicians. An intoxicating, life-affirming mix of Eastern European dance music, Middle Eastern rhythms and virtuoso performances. Formed in Edinburgh in 2003, Moishe's Bagel combines the energy and passion of world folk music with the excitement and soul of improvisation. Boasting some of the best instrumentalists that Scotland has to offer (Salsa Celtica, Camille O'Sullivan, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Eliza Carthy, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra), they are equally at home jamming in a late night jazz den, grooving at a forest folk festival, or enthralling an upmarket concert hall.

In the 15 years they have been together, pianist Phil Alexander, violinist Greg Lawson, accordion player Pete Garnett, bass player Mario Caribe and percussionist Guy Nicolson have developed an instant musical chemistry that captivates audiences with its highly original, deeply involving sound – rooted in folk traditions of the world.

The result is a thrilling and
evocative sound that can truly
transport a listener. Each Bagels
concert is a journey filled with
joy, excitement and raw
emotion that leaves
every audience member with
a feeling that they have witnessed
something magical and truly
greater than the sum of its parts.

Moishe’s Bagel’s sound is hard to categorise in the best possible way! Each member brings unique sensibilities to the group.
A driving klezmer groove from Phil, rootsy Scottish folk and tango stylings from Pete, classical virtuosity and power from Greg, inspired Latin jazz flavours from Mario…all brilliantly complemented by a richly unique percussion sound that
includes Indian tabla and Middle Eastern darabuka from Guy.

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

CLEARWATER CREEDANCE REVIVAL

Wednesday, 18th of September 2019

It was John Fogerty’s rough and inimitable voice, as well as the delivery of fantastic melodies that caused Creedence Clearwater Revival to instantly become the prominent American single band from the late 60’s and early 70’s. The by CCR on single recorded versions of Dale Hawking’s “Suzy Q” and ‘Screaming’ Jay Hawking’s “I put a Spell on You” were the first big hits of CCR. When their second album “Bayou Country” was released CCR became suddenly the most popular rockband in America.

With the appearance of a single with golden hits on both sides, “Proud Mary” en “Born on the Bayou”, CCR dominated for over 2 years the radio Top 40 without causing disappointments towards the anticommercial rockpublic. CCR’s rough rocksongs often had political and cultural content, this was the reason that the quartet appeared on the Woodstock festival in 1969.

CCR had 7 big hits in 1969 and 1970: “Bad Moon Rising”, “Green River”, “Fortunate Son”, “Down on the Corner”, “Travelin Band”, “Up around the Band” and “Lookin out my Backdoor”.

CCR broke up in 1972. In 1995 two former members of CCR, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, started a tour under the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Former frontman John Fogerty toured once in a while but mainly occupied himself as a studiomusician.

Then in the winter of 1998 Clearwater Creedence Revival was established. The original name was Creedence Clearwater Revived. The band was formed by Peter Barton and Geoff Hammond. In 2018 the band will celebrated its 20th anniversary, while in that same year it is exactly 50 years ago that CCR was established.

The band currently consists of Peter Barton, 15 years singer of The Animals, Geoff Hammond, ex Danny Laine Band (Paul McCartney’s Wings & Moody Blues), Graham Pollock, ex The Hollies (Eric Haydock’s) and Alan Sagar, ex Slack Alice.
The show includes all CCR classics as Have you ever Seen the Rain, Lordi, Proud Mary, Fortunate Son, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Run Thru the Jungle, Suzi Q and many more in a fabulous one and a half hour during performance.

Full regular menu. £25 music cover charge.

Shirt Tail Stompers

Wednesday, 13th of November 2019

The London based swing band have been making waves all across the world, from Thailand, South Korea and now Henley! Playing a mixture of traditional and swing jazz, this entertaining show includes singing, dancing and a lot of fun!

One of the world's leading swing bands and London’s top vintage band, the Shirt Tail Stompers are firmly established at home and internationally playing Harlem swing and the hot jazz of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Featuring music from composers such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman, their goal is to make this early form of pop music popular again.
Highlights include the BBC Culture Show, Royal Albert Hall late night Jazz, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and National Theatre River stage.

'Expect singing, dancing and a whole load of fun!'

'The best vintage band anywhere' White Mink

‘Righteously retro, but youthful, trad jazzers dive back to prohibition¬ era speakeasies for
inspiration, playing clarinet/trumpet/guitar¬led Dixieland hits from Waller, Ellington and Basie’ Time Out London

Full regular menu. £15 music cover charge.

Aurora Chanson Trio – Parisian Songbird

Wednesday, 20th of November 2019

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. £20 music cover charge.

Dave Pegg & Anthony John Clarke

Wednesday, 27th of November 2019

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.

A real treat to enjoy such legendary artists within the intimacy of the Crooked Billet, in comparison to enjoying Peggy & AJ at Cropedy festival performing to 25,000 fans. They perform at the Billet because they like the pub (not to mention copious quantities of red wine after their show)

Truly astonishing musicians, delivering songs that make your spine tingle. You can feel their friendship, as much funny humour, laughs & and smiles as belting songs

Full regular menu. £20 music cover charge.

George Harrison at The Crooked Billet Sun Newspaper Article