With last Sunday's wonderful 6th birthday bash Mad Ed's hot Five are gently easing into old age in their usual mellifluous fashion.
There's Trad Jazz here every Sunday at the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn at 3:30pm(ish), with the mellow sounds of Mad Ed's Hot Five who bring a great mix of humour with superb musicianship. Don't miss the Hot Five next week as they entertain both us and themselves with such verve and vigour that you'll get withdrawal symptoms if you do!
Mad Ed's hot Five are in full force most weeks with double bassist Mad EdLloyd-Hughes leading a stunning line-up of Roy Django Gregory(Modjango) on guitar & banjo, Stan BananasWilliams (YouTube) on trumpet & flugelhorn, Tom the DocRippeth on trombone & wagnerian horns and Dave Dixon playing clarinet and saxphonica (that's two of them!). You'll see from the pictures that they are ably supported by a range of fantastic subs who give us a lovely and varying mix of sounds.
All are welcome to enjoy the entertainment & our range of cask ales & real ciders and we hope you have fun joining in with Mad Ed's happy band of jazzers. Don't forget to look out for our new Jazz Links pages as they're growing all the time!
Trying to figure out why his Double Bass had started rattling Ed discovered his missing hacks pen which fell out of that famous instrument with the multi-directional scroll. Ed's trusty friend was being used to hoist himself up to the bar from his usual ground-breaking prone position after having imbibed one too many of those renowned Blue Bell Bitters. Suddenly, a fantastic idea came into Eds head, he discarded it immediately and wrote this instead, check it out at Fred Burnetts Jazz North West web site.
Encouraged, sometimes goaded, by a gang of reckless patrons, the Hot Five churn out an un-amplified repertoire that allows the regulars to exchange scathing remarks about the band's dress sense and absurd facial expressions, whilst downing pints of Blue Bell Bitter, an activity encouraged with vigour by the band.
"Our musical style is greatly influenced by the Dewhurst tradition" claims bass player Ed Lloyd-Hughes; "We takes all the well loved traditional jazz tunes and we butchers 'em."
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
" Keep my name out of this rubbish " Stan Williams [ trumpet and flugel ]
" On no account mention my name " Dave Dixson [ clarinet ]
" Is this some kind of joke ? " Roy Gregory [ banjo & guitar ]
" I deny everything including this denial " Tom Rippeth [ trombone and Valkyriehorn ]
" Who ? " [ The rest of the Lloyd-Hughes family ]
" If I hear this lot again I shall retire a broken man " [ Humphrey Lyttelton.]
" A bunch of demented cacophoniacs, slightly better than rap music..... maybe. " [ KERRANG magazine ]
" Do they ever bother to tune their instruments ? " [ A musician ]
" On the spot fines will stop this kind of thing " [ North Wales Police ]
" How do they drink so much and still stay upright ? " [ Dialysis monthly ]
" Bloody great ! " [ John Prescott ]
Roy Gregory needs little introduction to North Western jazz fans as a ferociously driving one man rhythm section playing Djangoesque guitar and searing banjo, he often sets fire to the rafters......this man is seriously hot. Did I mention his limitless song repertoire?
He knows 'em all.
Stan Williams has earned himself a reputation as a fine trumpet player and is much in demand. Fortunately he lives 3 miles away from the Blue Bell so we can get him cheap most weeks. He has a blue trumpet, we have no idea why.
Stan can sing too, but quite frankly, and strictly between ourselves, he never seems to know the words, keeps doing that skibbly skoobly oobly dah wah wah stuff. Man's a fool.
Dr Tom Rippeth, a native of Royton but now resident but a cycle ride away from the Blue Bell is a talented Tynesider playing trombone, Wagnerian horn, bass and piano and is mostly a sensible influence within the band. His proper job is calculating how hot and horrible global warming is going to get. What a little ray of sunshine he is.
Carole Horne, our splendid clarinetist has revealed herself as a dashed fine singer, delivering songs with enough passion and tenderness to bring forth a flood of tears from a glass eye. Carol lives on Anglesey, works reluctantly and produces honey with verve and joy. Make your own jokes about that one.
Last, and quite properly so, is Ed Lloyd-Hughes an alleged bass player. First played in a trad band when he was young lissome and lovely. Time has clearly taken a horrible toll on the feller. He was recently turfed out of a gurning competition for going too far, remarks about an Orang-utan's buttocks were heard. He has the loudest voice in Wales, but not the sweetest .........
Other people daft enough to guest with the Hot 5 include...
Glamour shirtist & trumpeter Tom Jones has made many welcome appearances, he has now retired - some say it was too many meetings with Mad Ed that did it,
All the best things come in small packages and pocket trumpeteer John Redman is no disappointment and pedals in with tremendous flair,
The surprisingly lovely Al Tunstall on piano finds it impossible to stop playing those glorious sounds,
Dave Dixon is a regular on Sax & Clarinet (not usually at the same time), he sings the blues with such verve & vigour he has no time to think about the words and they come dashing out all at once!
The wonderful Harold Troughton has guested on Clarionettte with Sax although we try and keep that last bit quiet.
Buxton Sam on trombone occasionally emerges with hard hat from some deep hole under the mountain and out into the limelight to dep for Dr Rippeth when he has to tussle with extra hard sums,
Billy Edwards (we think Stan's his love child) stuns us all on trumpet and harmonica (we've yet to hear him on piano), Billy is growing old disgracefully - thank goodness!
We don't see enough of Andrew McKenzie who delivers superb sounds on trombone,
Captain sensible Paul Roberts is Ed's dep on bass! Paul said he hopes to make a down payment soon to buy the rest of the bass as he could only afford a single bass on the money Ed pays!
Neil Yates (trumpet & percussion) finished that line with a full on jazz bodhrán roll, double pike and twist! .
The marvellous Di Majors, songstress extraordinaire keeps the boys in order and graces us occasionally to skilfully weave her way around some wonderful songs ably backed by Ed's smoothest sounds.
The wonderful Malcolm (piano) & Isobelle (bass - no the plucky one, she's not a singer) Hogarth made a splendid addition to the sounds that can be heard at the Blue.
Gracing us with his wonderful vocals and on occasion at the keys Tony Weatherall is always a welcome player of note(s)!
Derek Harrison tickled the ivories and everyone here too with his wit and wonderful playing and we've also been blessed with Prof. Geoff Parker on Clarinet (FRS don't you know and great expert on bug life so he'll be get on well with the Hot Five).
There are others but they declined the offer of a mention here to protect their careers.
Is it a bird?
Is it a Plane?
It's Mad Ed the Elf - training!
See Ed the Elf (without his Double Bass) as one of Santas helpers on the Welsh Highland Railwaynext Christmas.