28th December is our anniversary date
3 years to the day that Kal’s Kats started and just over two years ago for Kalamazoo and blimey what a rollercoaster journey it has been. I have played in and led a few bands over the last 25 years, but not until I started my own journey of running my own bands did i realise the potential and huge fun and friendships we would develop.
We have travelled the length and breadth of the country -Playing at numerous events from Retrofestival, Sausage and Cider festivals and Boogaloo in Torquay and Bournemouth as well as Peaky Blinders headline band at Black Country Living Museum and then Pat Kats Hollywood Boogie at Croydon – Royston Ballroom to name just a few
and then of course 40’s events with The Kalamazoo Dance Band (as well as Kal's Kats) at Brooklands motor museum, Pickering, Whitby, Wicksteed at War, Great Central railway, Gloucester railway, Evesham war in the vale, Saddleworth Yanks, Crowle and Ealand, Thorne, and then Haworth - simply too many to mention here.
We rehearse pretty much every Wednesday night at this venue
We have donated £2400 to charities over the last year including cancer research and Royal British Legion – we don’t really advertise this fact, we simply donate either time or money.
We have made a huge number of friends over the years and just naming a few here would be Red&Ginger, Chico and Jacqui with Dance with me Henry, Jazz Jive swing, Paul Neary Swing express, Sarah and Rob Farley with their Jive group, Mike and Mel with Swingsters apologies if I've missed any group off, but the most prolific and absolutely superb group who literally follow us everywhere like a rash – but it’s a rash I'd have any time of the day goes to the guys and gals of Strictly jitterbug – huge thankyou to you from us.
You’ll see we’ve made numerous videos and posted them up of the various trips and events we've played at and with that in mind, one couple in particular - I know they're here this evening, but this couple who follow the band around just set the place alight when we were playing outside at Pickering – I could see the crowd gathering as we got ourselves set up and then we started playing and suddenly all of Pickering descended outside of Café Frog and then Jenni and Carl started to dance to Ain't nobody here but us chickens and Pete Rollins video’d them and within a week that video had over 10k hits and continues to grow now.
Earlier this year we were approached by an agency asking if we were interested in some work – we were asked to record Auld Lang Syne and post the video to them. We were booked and in April we all headed to Blackpool to star in a major film which has just been released in the US called Phantom Thread starring Sir Daniel Day Lewis and these guys standing right behind me are the band playing in the New Years eve scene. (the soundtrack is showing on youtube where we are labelled in at track 11)
We consistently achieve in the region of 60 + events per year and next year sees the launch of our third band – The Regency Dance Orchestra which is already booked to play at Riviera Swing in Torquay next November with the aim being to play 20’s and 30’s style ballroom music - so we will be designing new stand
fronts very soon.
We are further delighted to announce our partnership with the fantastic Bonito Sisters who are a simply first class three-part harmony Andrews’ sisters group and will be joining us on more events next year and furthermore they will also perform individually with us as in this evening with Jules and Louise singing for you tonight. This is a great strengthening to the band when Laura is not available.
Last but not least a great big thankyou goes to Syl who has worked tirelessly to get the music pads in order and undertake various admin tasks that just ‘happen’ in the background.
A thankyou to all the wives partners and the staff of Kirk Hallam Social Club who support the band in more ways than one and allow us to continue bringing you mucho fun and enjoyment.
Biggest round of applause goes to yourselves for being such great folks and making every bit of this journey so worthwhile – we thank you sincerely and with that, I hand you across to the super drummer that is Brian Luke. …..