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The Jive Aces at the Royal Victoria Hall Theatre, Southborough

By This is Kent  |  Posted: November 28, 2008

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The Jive Aces

Royal Victoria Hall Theatre


With over 300 shows a year, The Jive Aces are one of the country's hardest working bands.

The six-piece from East Grinstead have been recreating the glory days of jazz and swing from the late '40s and early '50s since 1989, developing a colourful and spectacular stage show which clocks up more miles than almost anyone else on the circuit.

They have performed their brand of high energy Jump Jive music – an exciting and danceable blend of swing, R&B, rock 'n' roll, boogie and jump blues at thousands of major festivals, theatres and clubs across Europe, receiving special award from the Variety Club of Great Britain for their charity work and the prestigious City of Derry International Music Award in 2006.

Trombonist Alex Douglas told Go! what the audience at Southborough's Royal Victoria Hall Theatre can expect when they play there tonight.

"This is a sit down show – there isn't a dancefloor as such – but, because of the nature of the music, a lot of people find it hard to sit still sometimes. We do get people up dancing in the aisles and we quite often get in amongst the crowd ourselves."

Comprising Alex plus Ian Clarkson (lead vocals and trumpet), Ken Smith (double bass), John Fordham (sax and clarinet), Peter Howell (drums) and Vince Hurley (piano), the band play a combination of their own original tunes in true swing style as well as fresh arrangements of songs from the swing era.

"We play a mixture which is halfway between swing and rock 'n' roll," says Alex. "It's got the style of jazz and swing but with the coolness of Frank Sinatra and the energy of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. It's very exciting and it's lively and fun music. We have people come to our gigs who are absolutely any age and they all enjoy it."

They like to play classics made famous by such greats as Louis Jordan (Five Guys Named Moe), Cab Calloway (Minnie The Moocher), Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong. With such a repertoire to choose from, what songs are going to come up this evening?

"Our setlist changes every gig," says Alex, "but we always do a bit of Louis Prima stuff – Jump Jive An' Wail, Just A Gigolo, that kind of stuff. Then we do a few Bobby Darin tunes like Beyond The Sea and Mack The Knife. Then we also do some more boogie woogie, rhythm and blues kind of stuff. It's quite a mixture."

Friday November 28 at 7.30pm

Tickets £12, concessions £10 from 01342 300075

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