The Charlston Chasers
8th October 2013
"A Night to Remember with
the Sensational Charleston Chasers"
Chipping Sodbury Music Society let its hair down at the inaugural concert of the 2013/14 season. The Charleston Chasers, a very special ten piece band, treated the audience to two hours of nonstop foot tapping hot vintage music.
Led by percussionist and lead vocalist Debbie Arthurs, who was a founder member of the band 25 years ago, (hard to believe!) the Charleston Chasers played no fewer than twenty four numbers to a jam-packed audience. Debbie has a lovely, clear voice and it was a joy to hear her singing songs that transported us back to the Art Deco era. The soloists all attracted spontaneous applause, a testament to their consummate musicianship; amongst them Andy Flaxman for his trombone solo “Lazy Bones” and Ruth Ross on trumpet and vocals.
Martin Wheatley joined the band in 1997 and is now their regular banjoist/guitarist and also stepped up to the microphone several times; although hidden away at the back of the stage for much of the programme, his playing captivated the audience.
The Saxophone solo “Oodles of Noodles”, a Jimmy Dorsey number played by Nick White, has to be commended. It must surely be one of the most difficult pieces in the saxophone repertoire and was performed with great skill.
As the Music Society had bid a fond farewell to its Steinway grand piano over the summer, pianist Colin Good literally took to the floor of the auditorium to play the Town Hall piano, providing superb accompaniment throughout the evening as well as playing several solos himself.
The second half began with a surprise for the audience – a small marching band entered from the back of the hall and joined their colleagues on stage playing “When the Saints”. The evening flew by and after the final number the audience demanded an encore and were rewarded with “The Clouds Will Soon Roll By”.
Thank you to Tony Hodges for creating the subtle lighting effects which provided just the right atmosphere throughout the evening, and to Rich McD who took a stunning set of photographs of the band. We are also extremely grateful to all the local businesses who generously donated prizes for our very successful raffle.
This was undoubtedly one of the most memorable concerts in recent times and was enjoyed by all.
Gerry Philp 12 October 2013