The Slammers Maximum
Jive Band began in October 2004;
Slammers Neale (Bass) and Claire (Piano) had met up with drummer Gary and
guitarist Scott of the Jive Cats, and were advertising for Saxophone Players to
complete a new band.
Baritone Sax and Harmonica) came across the advert whilst searching for a
second-hand fridge! Top Alto and Tenor Sax-Man Big Scott also answered the ad,
and the resultant audition was a blast! This original line-up gelled
immediately, rehearsing eagerly. Jamesí
vocal talents were soon to the fore, and the year ended with a storming debut
performance at Chelmsford Southern Jiversí Club.
2005 began with
the release of a 3-track demo CD and the first appearance of the Bandís dapper
stage outfits. New tenor saxophonist Andyís stunning Sam Butera-inspired solos
lifted the bandís live shows to new highs at a series of successful
performances, including Londonís 100 Club, Brighton Jive and Shoreham RnR
Club. The excitement, enjoyment and passion within the band was infectious,
capturing attention, repeat bookings and a growing following.
A busy schedule
of gigs at the end of 2005 brought a change in the Band's line-up, with Scottís
increasing outside commitments leading to him eventually standing down.
Guitarist Smokiní Bob stepped in seamlessly, bringing new quality to the
backing vocal harmonies.
2006 the Band spent 4 days in the recording studio, laying down material for
their first CD, planned for release on Pollytone Records later in the year. The
Band enjoyed further touring, including Londonís Swamp Rock, the BAWA Club in
Bristol and heady nights at the 100 Club with guest trumpeter Toby, but were sad
to lose Big Scott, who is now taking a sabbatical from sax playing.
series of bookings in a new wave of happening London clubs took the band to a
more diverse audience.
The highlight of the
year came in October; the "gigathon" at the Kinsale Jazz Festival in
Ireland. This amazing weekend sees the town buzzing with live jazz and blues,
with everyone out for a great time, revelling in the music, wallowing in the
warmly intoxicating atmosphere. The Slammers' six gigs raised the roof,
the band had the time of their lives, the rapturous reception thrilling beyond words.
With the end of 2006
came yet another gigging highlight - a whirlwind weekend in Greece, playing at
the newly opened Planet Music venue in Athens. Two outstanding nights, not to
mention stunning daytime sightseeing!
2007 - A new year, new
faces; the band welcomed new members Sharon (trumpet) and Mike (trombone) to the
ever more powerful line-up. Festival appearances got the summer off to a cracking
start, with top performances at Warrington BluesFest and the Midsummer Music
Jazz Festival in Essex prompting instant re-bookings...check out the live
recordings and photos here on the website.
After a frustrating series of delays culminating in a
change of record label, the long awaited CD "Jive Time" was released on
El Toro Records in October. Immediately selling well, it listed in the HMV
top ten of pre-ordered RnR new releases, and can be found on itunes and most
internet cd retailers.
A huge crowd enjoyed
the band's high-energy show at the Thames
Festival on the Southbank...a helter skelter ride indeed! (see the clips
Another warm welcome awaited in Ireland - the band
to return to the Kinsale Jazz Festival to headline a superb line-up at the
Year end, and an early
morning call saw the band crowding into the BBC Radio London studio, playing
live on the breakfast show! A busy month of gigging climaxed with the 2007 New Year's Eve Party - a fabulous "Back to the Future" themed
night at Blackheath Halls featuring the Slammers in the 1950's styled ballroom,
and some startling pyrotechnics!
Reading Real Ale and
Jazz Festival was one of 2008's summer highlights, a packed dancefloor and
noisily appreciative crowd. A second CD was released in August at Bude Jazz
Festival, where the band rocked the "Dance Tent" and featured live on
the BBC Radio Cornwall airwaves. The CD "Hey There You!" is a live
Warrington Blues Festival, capturing all the energy, excitement and fun of the
Slammer Show on disc.
September marked the end of an era as singer and baritone sax player James
last appearances as the band's frontman. A key player from the
start, James will be hugely missed. While his enthusiasm for the band remains undimmed,
he has decided to bow out of touring to make more time for his farm and family. With
Bob also moving on, it was time for some serious auditioning...
After an extensive
search, an exciting new line-up emerged; Duncan Moris became the band's new
frontman; an amazing new talent, fresh from an European "Rat Pack"
tour, Duncan made his debut at London's Pigalle and 100 Clubs, his boundless
energy and enthusiasm fitting the band's style perfectly.
The guitarist spot went to Tom Benzon, and the new look band saw out the year in style at
A busy start to 2009
saw the Slammer Show travelling widely - from Ireland to Disneyland in France,
back to England, then an eagerly anticipated first visit to Spain, playing at
the Palace de Expositions in Santander. Northern Ireland and Denmark were next;
hugely enthusiastic audience receptions at both Derry and Aarhus Jazz Festivals
compelled the events' organisers to hastily rebook the band for the following
Summer saw a
welcome return to London for some top dates, including the stunning Rivoli
Ballroom and the Thames Festival on the Southbank. In October the band returned
to Ireland to headline the Guinness Festival Club, closing the show to a packed
house on three consecutive nights, as part of the Cork International Jazz Festival.
2010 saw the
horn section expand to a 4-piece with the welcome addition of Albert Garza on
Alto and Baritone Saxes. The band worked on developing some exciting new
material before returning to Derry for another great Jazz Festival weekend.
Touring continued with further visits to Denmark, taking in Randers, Rosenholm,
and the amazing Riverboat International Jazz Festival, where the band headlined
the Town Square Finale.
A busy end to
the year saw the band returning to Cork Jazz Festival, again headlining a packed
house at the Metropole Hotel, then some wintery journeys to UK dates including a
final appearance at London's 100 Club and a spectacular Vegas themed Charity
Ball in Gloucester. December saw the band heading over to Greece for a great
weekend with the Athens Swing Cats, playing two nights at the Bacaro Jazz Cafe
to a warmly enthusiastic reception. The year was seen out in spectacular style
at the "Viva Las Vegas" New Year's Eve celebrations at Blackheath
2011 saw the
band return to Derry Jazz Festival in May, a packed
schedule included a headline appearance at the sell-out Pink Ladies' Charity Ball,
and the town centre outdoor stage, attracting a massive crowd and some
amazing jivers! Sim Murray replaced Albert on Baritone Sax, and the
band said a fond farewell to trumpet player Sharon and husband Mike as they left to start a
from Ray Davis of the Kinks to perform at the Meltdown Festival at the Royal
Festival Hall was one of the high spots of the summer, an amazing night at a
world famous venue. Other notable appearances included Callander Jazz Festival
in Scotland, Battersea Park Festival, and return visits to the magnificent
Rivoli Ballroom and the lovely Gloster Swing Jive Club, with session players
completing the four-piece horn section.
As the calendar
rolled into 2012, both Claire and then Duncan decided that it was time to move
on to other projects, and after a final March tour of Athens, the Slammer Story
came to an end.
of the Festival.....guaranteed to get you moving."
Kinsale Jazz Festival Magazine 2007
page the band
gig guide audio
& video pictures