History on the Hoof: May 2022
April 8th, Grayshott Social Club
April 9th, Regent Theatre Christchurch
After a sabbatical of two and a half years, the orchestra prepared to do battle with the southern hordes from Hampshire. The ravages of age, health and Covid have severely depleted the ranks somewhat of this fine old bunch of musical miscreants. Still, the gigs have to be done and having called up three volunteers from the Territorials, whom acquitted themselves, I must say, extremely admirably, the evenings were a great success. Captain Buckley donned the White Jacket for the evening (the Colonel being absent due to being measured up for a new hip) and crooned and joked his way throughout to the great delight of the audience!
Unfortunately, after the gig, the evening was to take a dramatic turn. Walking back from the club, trombonist Wordsworth was suddenly taken sober and missed his footing outside the charity shop in Crossways Road. With a trombone case in one hand and a bag in the other, his head had nowhere to go but gravitationally. Resultant injuries were a broken nose and severe bruising of lips. I've heard of blue plaques for famous people but if you want to see the spot where Wordsworth fell, the pool of blood is still there, complete with a half-smoked fag still sticking out of it! I'm pleased to say Wordsworth is recovering very well and should be back playing in a couple of weeks.
As the only sober member of the band that night, they voted that I should be the designated driver to take Wordsworth to the Royal Surrey hospital. I got home at 5 am with just enough time for a couple of hours sleep, after which it was time to get down to the club to sort out the chairs and take back the ones that we had hired from the Village Hall. On completion of this, our next problem was that we were an extra man short for the concert that night at the Regency Theatre Christchurch.
In my kitchen, hanging upside down from the fireplace, I have an old, rusty, valve trombone, blackened with age, and at the moment being used as a vase for sunflowers. Captain Buckley gave me a stern look and asked for Brasso and the unguents to free up the rusty valves. Lo and behold, 10 minutes' later, he was playing the damn thing! That evening, Captain Buckley not only depped for the Colonel's chat and vocals but for Wordsworth on trombone. Not for nothing is his middle name "Intrepid." Enjoy the Jazz.
Back from hibernation...
Once again, we open the 1924 Five-Leaf Clover Spotters Gazette, whose blank pages serve as the diary to record the comeback, without having been anywhere, of the timid emergence after two and a half years of hibernation of this truly unique orchestral jass outfit. The intrepid Captain Buckley amasses his faithful troubadours around him to wassail the citizens of the world with blistering, white-hot jass music. As a new epoch approaches, with a certain amount of trepidation, the denizens advance towards, and on opening the dusty carapaces, with 'Itís me again,' take out time-worn paraphernalia, and with much head-scratching, see if they can remember which end to blow. Then, re-spatted, truss-ready, and teeth in place (scrubbed with Postlethwaites Plate Powder, the Orchestra's erstwhile sponsor), a new dawn awaits in the brave new world.
Grimsargh goes Gershwin - click for more...