Barrie Hammett’s Band Shifts Caldicot


Our social nights get better and better! On Saturday night, the choir hall saw and heard ten talented musicians and four superb vocalists, led by the multi talented Andrew Harding, of Barrie Hammett’s Swingshift Band play a fantastic range of music.  The live mix of the trumpet, horn, trombone, saxophone, keyboard and drums of  a big band sound in our accoustically designed choir hall soon had us captivated and enthralled by the fabulous mix of music and dance.  Those who weren’t there missed a truly enjoyable blend of not just the swing sounds of Benny Goodman but a mixture of superbly played iconic classics from the worlds of rock, jazz, pop that soon had us mesmerized.


The chatter stopped and the drinks were put down as the band opened with ‘Mac the Knife’, ‘Just haven’t met you yet’, ‘Miss Jones and I’, ‘Music to Watch Girls By’ followed immaculately by the memory stirrring Georgie Fame classic ‘Yeah,  Yeah’.  On came incredible female vocalist Stephanie in her ‘Tiffany gloves from Aldi’s and precariously  balanced on her 6 inch high heels to sing ‘Crazy little thing called love’ and ‘I just wanna make love to you’ to every man in the audience.  Dream on!


After time for a few drinks and more chat while listening to music from the sixties (remember them, lads), the band reappeared to a mind blowing re-enactment of the New York Blues Brothers.  Faithful to the sights and sounds of “Joliet” Jake and  Elwood Blues the band gave a rivetting mix of soul blended with rock and jazz in true Blues Brothers styles of ‘Everybody needs somebody to Love” ‘Gimme Some o’ lovin’, ‘Hold On’, ‘Minnie  the Moocher’ ‘Sweet Soul Music’, ‘Soul Man’ and ‘Papa gotta brand new bag’ among others. Unforgettably awesome!


The final part of their performance got most onto their feet (all those who were able) with iconic classics from the sixties, seventies and eightees.  From ‘ Burn, baby burn’, A little bit of Monica’ (requested for Denise Stocker), the Bee-Gees ‘You should be Dancing’, to the invitaton from Tom Jones to ‘Leave Your Hat On (fortunately nobody took it up), Elvis and ‘Burning Love’, ‘Play that Funky Music’ from Wild Cherry, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, ‘Dancing in the Street’, ‘Let’s stick together’, Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ with everyone on their feet and finally to loud shouts of ‘More, More’ the band finished with ‘Mustang Sally’.  Not all recorded here, the band played well over thirty hits from all modern eras and styles.



Barrie Hammett’s Swingshift Band has been booked for our New Year celebrations and when the word goes around Caldicot of Saturday’s performance, this will be a sell-out.

During the evening we celebrated organiser Mark Stocker’s Mum’s Birthday and the fund raising raffle run by Kath MacArthur and Denise Stocker was enthusiastically presented by Mark.   Many thanks to those who donated prizes.  Once again, many thanks to Dai, Wyn and Roger at the bar and to the choristers who collected glasses, set out the hall and cleared up afterwards.


For our next major Social Night on Saturday 22nd September, the Choir Hall will host ‘The World’s Leading Tom Jones Tribute Artist’ and all funds raised will help support the choir during its 50 year anniversary programme next year.




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