June 2018 has proven to be the busiest month yet for The Tom Belbin Trio. With a four week residency at the prestigious Mr Fogg’s residence, and 6 private functions, its been a really great month of playing. Additionally to the performance opportunities we have had this month, we have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. Thanks to everyone who has supported us recently, especially our dep musicians who have stepped in when either Rich, Tom or Ian cannot make an event, we could not have done it without you!
1st June – West Dean Gardens
We started with a long day of playing, four 45 minute sets for West Dean College’s annual art show. Every year West Dean College opens its gardens to the general public, and we were hired to provide some jazz accompaniment throughout they day to add atmosphere to an already fantastic day. The scenery at West Dean College is spectacular to say the least, and the audience was a lot of fun, with a range of ages, and a number of people getting up and dancing.
2nd June – Private Function
We were hired to perform for a joint mother daughter 60th and 30th on the 2nd June at Boxgrove Village Hall. A really lovely family, we had a lot of fun performing for this great occasion. There was even a singer in the family, who got up between our sets and sung a wonderful rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. Unfortunately Rich was away performing with his originals band Core of IO, competing in a battle of the bands, so we were lucky to have the fantastic Rob Jane step in on drums.
3rd, 10th and 17th June – Mr Fogg’s Residence
Sunday saw our first residence at Mr Fogg’s Residence, a beautiful bar located in the backstreets of Mayfair. Upon arrival we were a little alarmed to see another jazz band at Mr Fogg’s Residence setting up, we had been double booked! Thankfully this was just a break down in communication, and the general manager Max managed to fix the situation. He sent us to another bar he managed called Barts, in Chelsea. Barts was an amazing speakeasy hidden away in a hotel in Chelsea. We knocked and waited to be let in, and was surprised to find such a cool quirky place. We started playing, and we were soon joined by some very friendly Canadians who got the party started and were up dancing to some swinging jazz. All in all we had a very fun evening, though a series of very un-expected events.
The following week we found ourselves back at Mr Fogg’s. This time there was no confusion, and we ended up performing to a great crowd. We were initially booked in as a duo for all four slots at Mr Fogg’s Residence, however the manager Max asked if we could bring our drummer along. Unfortunately at such late notice, Rich was busy, away performing at a wedding on the South Coast. We took the opportunity to ask Chris Hough to join us, a great drummer who we had always wanted to perform with. Chris did a great job, and really got people going with his dance style.
The following week we returned to Mr Fogg’s Residence, this time with Rob Jane on drums. We arrived early as Tom had just finished another gig in London, so we took the opportunity to meet him and take a look around Mayfair. Our short walk to find a pub for some food and drink turned into quite the car exhibition!
23 June – Dauntsey’s School
Every year Dauntsey’s school holds a fantastic charity fundraiser to help students raise money for their students, so they can travel to Romania to learn about Romanian culture. We had performed for Dauntsey’s school the year prior, so we new what to expect. Unfortunately Dauntsey’s had to cancel last minute though, as they had not raised enough numbers to make the evening a success. They re-arranged for the following week, which would have been fine with us, but Tom could not make it! Thankfully Andy Blee was able to stand in, and the evening was a great success, with the school raising all the funds they needed to make the trip happen. The evening was in a James Bond theme, and everyone was suited and booted. We played a wide range of jazz classics, which really helped set the atmosphere for the evening. The night ended with a really beautiful sunset which looked glorious in the grounds of the school. Thankfully, our free time on the 16th didn’t go to waste either, as we managed to get some much needed snooker practice in!
24th June – Dokke and Mr Fogg’s Residence
We had already performed at Dokke, for a private function in May. The owners asked us to come back in June to perform for their jazz brunch, which we really liked the idea of. We had already tasted some of Neils delicious cooking in May, and the setting was perfect for some jazz, so we new what a success it would be. We performed two 45 minute sets, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. We even had a lot of passer by’s stop and listen! After we finished our performance, and finished the amazing breakfast prepared for us by Neil, we headed out to find a pub to watch the England Panama game, as we had a 3 hour break until Mr Fogg’s Residence. We found a really cool looking pub called The Dickens Inn, which Tom had performed in around Christmas time.
After watching the game, we headed over to Mr Fogg’s Residence. Unfortunately Tom had prior arrangements with family, so we had Andy Blee step in on saxophone. He once again did a great job, and we had a great afternoon performing for a really fun crowd, including a large party on their Hen Do.
29th and 30th June – Herefordshire and Havant
Our last weekend of gigging in June saw two very different gigs. On Friday we travelled the furthest we have ever travelled for a gig, to the Welsh border in Herefordshire. We performed at a beautiful house for an annual get together for some of the local community, which was also attended by the local MP Jesse Norman. Jesse is a trumpet player, and he was very kind in his words about our playing. We had a great time performing, and was blown away by the stunning views we had from our seats.
Saturday was another private function, this time for a wedding anniversary. It was our only gig near our home town of Chichester throughout the whole of June! We was in the Ship Hotel in Havant, a beautiful pub right out on the water front. We performed to a very appreciative crowd, who enjoyed pop covers. We performed a range of covers they had requested, including George Michaels ‘Carless Whisper’. Tom was in London on this evening, so Andy kindly played for us again.