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Past Concerts

Info on some of our older concerts - back to when the web site started.

First time we are all playing off the same hymn sheet? Marvellous fun at Hitchin

We were delighted to join the exciting Stevenage Ladies Choir in a combined concert with an American theme on Saturday 5th July 2008 at the beatifuland ancient St. Mary's Church, Hitchin. This concert, part of the Hitchin Initiative Festival, took place in one of the largest venues in Hitchin, but had plenty of folks attending to make it a great evening. Click here to see a publicity poster for the concert. Thanks to MD Ann-Marie for inviting us to join in such a fun concert in a delightful venue.

For Brighton Dome's summer organ spectacular on Sunday 29th June 2008 we joined world renowned theatre organist Simon Gledhill whisking the large audience  back to the 20s and 30s. BBC Radio 2's Nigel Ogden described Simon Gledhill's 'flawless technique, impeccable phrasing and unerring sense of musical good taste'. We provided the foil. The finale had cinema organ and dance band playing together, maybe for the first time in decades - thanks to Simon's fantastic rhythm and control it was tremendously exciting and brought the house down.

Back to Kent and the lovely Bradbourne House on Thursday June 26th 2008, again by kind invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club.

No we haven't changed costumes - here is John listening to the outdoor sound of Nat West Jazz

Titsey Place, Oxted, is one of the largest surviving historic estates in Surrey, yet is just 20 miles from the centre of London. Gates opened at 4pm on Saturday 21st June 2008 for an evening of jazz and swing in this beautiful location.  The cafe was cleared for the indoor music. The versatile Nat West Jazz Band also played outside as we did alternate sets.

The Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead was nearly full of wonderful people supporting our concert in aid of St. Catherine's Hospice on Friday 20th June 2008. Much money was raised by these generous souls.

Special guest Jeanie Barton joined us for 'We'll Meet Again', singing the hits of Vera Lynn and Anne Shelton at the cosy Barn Theatre in Oxted, Surrey (very cosy as it was practically full once more) on Friday 14th March 2008. We included many songs from the home front by great artists such as Glenn Miller and Flanagan and Allen.

'Vera Lynn is the vocalist most remembered from that Jeanie Barton they found a voice with remarkable resemblance (and the glamour to go with it)...It was a wonderful programme'. Derrick Graham, Surrey Mirror. Click here to see the review.

We have been on the magnificent bandstand in Eastbourne a few times. On Febuary 29th 2008 we leapt into the Underground Theatre which provided a great turnout despite the wet conditions.

'Give us a tune boys' said Robbie Coltrane as we prepared to play to passengers boarding the QE2. And the band played on... Having played in the Queen's Room of the QE2 as guests settled on board ready to sail to New York on the first leg of her final world cruise on 6th January 2008 (before becoming a floating hotel in Dubai), we returned to the departure hall to do an extra set for those passengers still working their way through the increased health and security red tape. We had the choice of playing on the QE2 or the new Queen Victoria which was sailing in tandem with QE2 to meet up with Queen Mary 2 in New York. With QE2 retiring in November we thought we would help send her off.


It was Christmas in Hollywood for our 2007 Winter World Tour (of 2 of East Anglia's renovated theatres) starting at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay, Suffolk, on Saturday15th December and proceeding to the charming Headgate Theatre in Colchester on Saturday 22nd December. We think we were competing a bit with Strictly Come Dancing but a good time was had by all.

A tight squeeze through the audience onto the stage once more as we returned to the Comrades of the Great War Club Coulsdon (Surrey) for another jazz night on Thursday 8th November 2007.

We were delighted to be on stage with Company of Friends once more in Anything Goes at the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead, 23rd - 27th October 2007. It made us think of our weekend on the Queen Mary 2 last year (except the celebrities the passengers were desperate for in the musical really were on the Queen Mary 2).

Our fourth lunchtime concert at the well connected Croydon Fairfield Halls on Tuesday 23rd October 2007 seemed almost like a full length concert with a big hall to fill with sound for a large audience, and was more than a warm up for our appearance in the Chequer Mead Theatre that evening.

Another energetic Age Concern afternoon concert at the Nettlefold Hall in West Norwood on Monday October 15th 2007.

Photo by Matt

Over to Maidenhead for an evening concert at the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts on Saturday 6th October 2007. We were delighted that BBC Radio Oxford's Bill and Angela Rennells were again with us with Bill helping to compère. The theatre is excellent: not only just the right size and acoustic but also with a great bunch of people running it. Photo of the band in performance by Matt, superb sound man and ace bulb squeezer.

Another evening at the sublime Bradbourne House on Thursday 5th July 2007, once more by invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club. No sunshine this year, but plenty of warmth inside from the capacity audience.

Into our 2nd decade at the lovely Barn Theatre in Oxted, 7:45pm Friday 23rd March 2007. Nice to see some new faces: maybe they read the double page spread about the band in the March issue of Surrey Life Magazine.

Poster for the Boy Friend - click the poster above for a bigger version

'Oh no, how revolting!' was our favourite line, uttered by Lady Brockhurst as we laid into the sultry Tango. Having provided the music for Company of Friends' lively production of The Boyfriend at the Chequer Mead Theatre in October 2005 the show moved on to the Hawth in Crawley Tuesday 20th February to Saturday 24th February 2007.

We were told our afternoon concert for the 2006 Celebrating Age Festival on Thursday 26th October 2006 at the Nettlefold Hall in West Norwood attracted the biggest audience of the festival. And a celebration it was, plenty of dancing, some of it very energetic, and lusty singing. Great fun.

We had a fun night at the friendly Comrades Club in Coulsdon, Surrey on Thursday 19th October 2006.

The smallest big band in Eastbourne - photo Jon Young

Two slightly windy evenings on Eastbourne Bandstand on 13th July and 31st August 2006. For the 2nd evening the canvas 'walls' had been removed so passers by once again stopped to watch and listen as in our 2005 concert. So Bud Flanagan was right after all in singing the best things in life are free (which you coincidentally will find on our imminent 2006 CD).

Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells, 23rd June 2006

The Rhythm and Ragtime Ball was at the The Spa Hotel, Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells on Friday 23rd June 2006: a Black Tie event in aid of the Hospice in the Weald. Another magnificent setting...

Bradbourne House in the evening sun, 8th June 2006

We took our theme of Rhythm is Our Business for our 7th visit to the stately Bradbourne House on Thursday 8th June 2006 by kind invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club. We celebrated the music of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra (including some surprises). Bradbourne House provides an elegant yet cosy atmosphere for all kinds of music, and with cloudless skies the setting was perfect.

The Grand Lobby of Queen Mary 2, picture by Roxanne (Cunard)

We played at embarkation on the Queen Mary 2 for the Somerfield Charity Ball (21st-23rd April 2006), and had a nautical theme on deck as we headed for a weekend cruise to Guernsey. Click here for a few images from the mini-cruise, including some great names of British Jazz who were entertaining on board.


.Fairfiled stage, picture by Rob

Another good turn out at Croydon's Fairfield Halls for the Tuesday lunchtime concert on 11th April 2006. Its a big hall and a big stage so its great to see so many faces out there. Thanks to sound man Rob not only for his expertise on the amps, but also for a few snaps for the scrap book.

We marked our10th anniversary at the gorgeous Barn Theatre in Oxted, Surrey, with a programme of music celebrating Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. The show on Friday 31st March 2006 was entitled Rhythm is Our Business. We were an orchestra again with Dan on fiddle, and once again the theatre was packed.

Radio's Bill Rennells kindly helped compere
John enlightens the audience
Graham sings
Kenton stage

It was A Christmas in Hollywood in the afternoon of Sunday 4th December 2005 at the Kenton Theatre in Henley-on-Thames. We were delighted that broadcaster Bill Rennells was on hand to help introduce the show. This is the bicentenary of the Kenton and we just love playing in this type of venue.


Tremendous fun was had by all as we provided the music for Company of Friends' The Boyfriend, at the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead 11th-16th October 2005.

On the waterfront: some people pulled up a deckchair and even danced in front of the bandstand at Eastbourne in the evening of Thursday 18th August 2005. Others took the prom position to get a free show on a lovely south coast evening. We were part of the 'Big Band' series - was that referring to the towering presence of pianist/arranger John Ashworth?

Goody goody for you (you had to be there)

We were back in Croydon's excellent Fairfield Halls for the lunchtime concert on Tuesday 19th July 2005. This year we were in the main hall so our audience were not so squashed as last year in the Ashcroft Theatre. The Fairfield sound man, Tom, not only set up the PA just right at the start, he very kindly agreed to take some pics for the web site - and very good they are too, click here to see a larger version of the shot above and half a dozen or so more images of the gig.

We brought music from the Hollywood musicals to Bradbourne House on Thursday 9th June 2005. This was our sixth visit by kind invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club. Here we are (including Drew on drums for the first time) on our best behaviour with previous residents staring sternly from the walls at the beautiful Bradbourne House.

Flags out for VE Day at Polesden Lacey - click for pictures of the line-up

We joined in the VE Day celebrations on 8th May 2005 in the gardens of the fabulous Polesden Lacey, for our hat trick of visits there.

Friday 11th March 2005. Hooray for Hollywood! Our return to the Barn Theatre on Friday 11th March 2005 again saw a practically full house celebrating the Hollywood musicals of the 30s and 40s, remembering Busby Berkeley, Fred and Ginger, Gene Kelly all dancing to the music of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael and Irving Berlin.

With Dan on fiddle we were an orchestra for our annual visit at the Barn Theatre. Click here to find out why it was bone dry before the gig and chucking it down as we left (you'll need QuickTime and broadband).

A large audience again was with us on Sunday 2nd January 2005 in the Main Foyer of the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank for our lunchtime concert. Many people had recovered sufficiently from new year celebrations to take to the dance floor.

We had a Christmas theme for our return to the Chequer Mead theatre in East Grinstead, West Sussex for the evening of Sunday 28th November 2004.

Sunday 18th July 2004, lunchtime/afternoon. The Greville Day - Polesden at War. This year the garden party was set in 1940

Photo: Colleen Young

During the war Mrs. Ronald Greville entertained regularly at Polesden Lacey. A Spitfire was her gift to the war effort, and at lunchtime we had a superb display by an original, flying over the treetops and the magnificent grounds. Click here or on the photo above for more pictures of our afternoon at Polesden, 2004.

Tuesday 22nd June 2004 at 1pm. People were saying this was the biggest audience they had seen for this type of music at a lunchtime concert at Croydon's Fairfield Halls, so it made the Ashcroft Theatre very cosy (the Concert Hall was being prepared for Peter Andre's Insania concert for the evening). For those who couldn't get a copy of our latest CD, as we sold out what we had brought along, please email us (see the home page) - or come along to our next concert. Setting up on the stage of the Ashcroft Theatre
What the paper said...
'It was played in mellifluous tones by the sophisticated Serenaders...'
'...they played with real affection for the music, ever stylistically true.'
'I'd forgotten that Music Maestro Please even had lyrics. They mentioned Mr Leader and theree, in the audience, was the son of Harry Leader.'
'This band is guaranteed to cheer up any gathering...Let's start a campaign for bringing it back next season, for it was a funny hour as well as one of high musical standard.'

Howard Thomas, Croydon Advertiser.


Thursday 10th June 2004. Another beautiful summer's evening at Bradbourne House - once again by invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club.

Bradbourne House 10 June 2004

Bradbourne House pictured in the evening of Thursday 10 June 2004

Friday 12th March 2004 at 7:45pm. Back once more to The Barn Theatre, Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey. This year we included a celebration of the centenary of the legendary Glenn Miller. This year we got a full house - OK so its not as big as the Festival Hall but it has far more charm and its  good to see the theatre packed out.


Pictures Jonathan Young

Sunday 18th January 2004. Following the success of the Jazz Brunch session in January 2003 we moved into the main theatre of the Chequer Mead in East Grinstead for an evening of music. The wonderful Kathleen Willison joined us on vocals. Our thanks to Company of Friends for organising the show.

Click here or the photo for more pictures from the RFH

Sunday 11th January 2004, 12:30-2pm. Again we had a huge audience of all ages listening and dancing in the Royal Festival Hall Main Foyer.

Photo Edwin Cowley

Click here or the picture for more of the band at Polesden Lacey in 2003

Sunday 31 August 2003, 11am-5pm Greville Day at Polesden Lacey, Surrey, featured the great  and the good of 1936 arriving in period Rolls Royce and Lagondas for Mrs Greville's garden party. We played for dancers, spectators and Queen Mary in the magnificent gardens.


Thursday 12th June 2003 at 8pm. We returned again in concert at the lovely Bradbourne House, by invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club, joined by Kelly on vocals.

Sunday 18th May 12:30-2pm. It may have been the free admission to the lunchtime concert in the Main Foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, or the chance to buy a drink at the bar during the performance, but we had a very large audience at this popular venue.

Photo Colleen Young 

        Photo Tony Slaymaker

In the RFH Main Foyer dancers emerged from the audience to enjoy the music to the full.


Friday 14th March 2003 at 7:45pm. Our 2003 concert at the Barn Theatre, Oxted, Surrey, was entitled  Music Maestro Please... We were an orchestra again due to the appearance again of our featured violinist Victoria Evans, and the Ovaltineys extended their repertoire with The Teddy Bear's Picnic.

Sunday 19th January 2003, 1-3pm. Jazz Brunch at the Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead, West Sussex, sponsored by Company of Friends.

The band enjoyed the reception from a well fed and appreciative capacity audience.

Monday 25th November to Saturday 30th November 2002. Some of the The New Foxtrot Serenaders team played regularly with the Wallington Operatic & Dramatic Society in the 80s and 90s, and the team was delighted to provide the music, under the direction of MD John Ashworth, for 'Memories are Made of This' at the usual venue of Wallington Public Hall in Surrey. This brought back fond memories of the fish and chip supper which is a tradition of the November show.

Wednesday 6th November 2002 at the Charles Cryer Studio Theatre, Carshalton, Surrey. Victoria Evans added to the tone of the band by introducing some delightful violin playing, notably taking the solo line in As Time Goes By, and featuring in The Wedding of the Painted Doll.

Ovaltineys warm up - where's Graham?

Barbara Windsor joined Graham with vocals. A special mention must go to our young Ovaltineys leading the singing so well in this number.

This is the poster we used for this concert (PDF with colour artwork so give it time to appear).

Thursday 23rd May 2002. Our second visit by invitation of the East Malling Research Station Music Club, on a fine May evening. Bradbourne House was at its finest basking on the early evening sunshine - click on the name for a photograph.

Friday 8th March 2002 at the Barn Theatre, Oxted, Surrey. Andrea Allen choreographed at one of our favourite venues.