October 1st, 2017 by Steve Morl

Artiste – Visiting us 23rd October 2017 Rod Pooley


Rod Pooley was born in Welling, Kent, in 1966.  He began playing electronic organ at the age of seven. At the time he received early tuition from John Norris (Then the Principal of the Southern Music Training Centre Bromley). Rod added the piano to his playing skills from the age of ten. His then tutor was London jazz pianist, James Fagg, maybe the reason why Rod is now a fluent jazz player.

Rod attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. The school at that time had one of the largest school music departments in the UK. Whilst there Rod can claim that he performed a solo during a concert in front of former prime minister Sir Edward Heath the then Mp for Bexley.

At the Grammar School Rod formed its first jazz band. During and after leaving full time education, Rod won many titles in the organ world. These included:

1981 at 14 years of age Young Theatre Organist of the Year

1985 and 1986 at 18 and 19 years of age National Organist of the year

1988 at 21 years of age Yamaha Electone Festival Winner

Rod has Grade VIII on Piano and Organ and achieved a performance diploma in electronic organ playing at just 17.

Rod was the Church organist at St Michaels and All Angels Eastbourne for two years. His professional career was established by the time he left school, performing at many organ societies. He has performed in many forms of entertainment as both soloist and a member playing in big bands. Rod has worked with the Joe Loss Orchestra, the Ken Mackintosh Big Band, Mike Reid and Jimmy Tarbuck.

Rod organised and ran a successful organ and keyboard school; he now combines his busy performing and demonstrating career with a directorship of The Drawtones his Funky Organ Classics band.

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July 25th, 2017 by Steve Morl


Concert review – Matthew Bason 24th July 2017


Our concert of the 24th July 2017 was the first with the new start time of 7.45pm, at least that was the intention. There had been an accident on the nearby A12 with the road effectively blocked all the way to Chelmsford, diverted traffic was then passing outside the hall. The audience was arriving for the night’s performance yet there was no Matthew Bason! To the relief of all though he did appear after an extensive diversion and the concert started only five minutes later than intended.

Multi talented Matthew gave us a taste of his “One-Man Musical Variety Show”. During the evening he not only played the Roland atelier AT350 punctuated with his own brand of humour, but a Yamaha piano, the accordion and we listened to his excellent singing voice. Matthews rendition of bring him home brought part of the audience to their feet. Mathew introduced differing stiles into his music; we heard music played on his Roland emulating a Hammond, a selection of gospel music, Classical, orchestral, and film music, to mention a few.

Matthew introduced us to Helga whom he produced form a suitcase, Helga the Piano accordion. On Helga he played for us his Brexit medley collection each piece relating to an EU country. The medley included, Tulips from Amsterdam, O soli Mio, amongst others.

Amongst just some of the music played by Matthew were. Blue tango, blue waltz, blue bossa, Misty, Amazing Grace, I’m all shook up, lets twist again like we did last summer, Brahms lullaby, 12th street rag,  A selection from Abba including, Dancing queen, Mama Mia, tragedy, and thank you for the music. Other pieces included, the Rudetzky March. Hebrew slaves, Duke Ellington’s Caravan, River Kwai march,  Bring him home, A homage to Dean Martin  (who would have been 100 this year) included among others, Every body needs somebody, and sway. We also heard, somewhere over the rainbow, all the things you are, and Circus Renz.

Matthew’s “One-Man Musical Variety show” certainly fulfilled its promise of variety and was well applauded.

Matthew’s Roland Atelier AT350 and Yamaha Piano

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June 1st, 2017 by Steve Morl

Visiting us on 26th June 2017 is   Elizabeth Harrison

Elizabeth Harrison (also known as Liz) born 1st December 1976 just outside Preston, Lancashire, has established herself on the concert circuit not only as a musician but also as an entertainer. Her varied musical repertoire along with her cheerful Lancashire humour has made her one of the country’s favourite performers.

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June 1st, 2017 by Steve Morl

Nicholas Martin B.E.M

Monday 22nd May 2017, the lighter evenings were with us, and no need for heating. Our Artiste for the evening, Nicholas Martin, had travelled down from Leicester together with his father and son, both of whom helped Nicholas stage the evenings performance. We were first introduced to a sense of humour that carried on throughout the evening, ‘A lorry’, said Nicholas, ‘shed its load of onions on the motorway, police advised motorists to use the hard shoulder, to cry on’ we were reminded that it was ten years since he had last performed for us, with a wry smile, he suggested some were still sat in the same seats, his good humoured jokes brought ‘groans of laughter’ throughout the evening, and so to his music.

The performance opened to Hey Look Me Over, Nicholas’s signature tune. His music varied in styles, such as ‘The Blackpool Style’ and the way it was performed, including ‘cascading or water falling keyboards’, which to my uneducated eye was full of impressive movement. There were many other formats. Music performed included classical, hymns, jazz, film, waltzes, and Susa marches and of naturally Blackpool tower music. With his instrument he emulated single organs to full orchestras. In places the music was delicate and silky smooth, elsewhere full on and commanding. An accomplished performance with music to suit everyone. The variety of the performance attracted much applause and Nicholas was recalled for an encore.


Very kindly Nicholas provided me with a list detailing many of pieces that he played during the evening.

1st Half:

Sig Tune: Hey Look Me Over

Marches: Vienna Forever / Stars & Stripes Forever / The Thunderer

Classical Waltzes: Love theme from Romeo & Juliet / The Ashokan Farewell / Oh Mia Babbino Cara

Contrasts: Skaters Waltz / Eleanora / Intermezzo from: Cavalleria Rusticana

 “Les Miserables” Medley: Master of the House / Bring Him Home / Do You Hear the People Sing? / I Dreamed a Dream

Music from Nick’s Latest CD: Take Me Home, Country Roads / Music, Music, Music / Zip a Dee-Doo-Dah / No Matter What / Peanut Polka / I Vow to Thee My Country / Bluebell Polka / Clarinet Polka / 12th St. Rag

 2nd Half:

Latin American Medley: Brazil / Cumana / Enjoy Yourself / Maria Elena / Till / Jealousy / Sway / The Girl from Ipanema / Tico-Tico

You Raise Me Up / Amazing Grace

Showtime Medley: Mamma Mia / Shall We Dance? / March of the Siamese Children/ I Won’t Send Roses / Gigi / Get Me to the Kirk on Time / I Could Have Danced All Night / All I Ask of You / Willkomen / Cabaret / This Nearly Was Mine / Happy Talk / Hello Dolly / Music of the Night / Be A Clown / No Business Like Showbusiness

 Frank Sinatra Remembered: New York, New York / All the Way / Fly Me To the Moon / My Way

 Decades of Melody: A Walk in the Black Forest / Lady of Spain / Mack the Knife / It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie / Always / All My Loving / Can’t Buy Me Love / Yesterday / Around the World / Fascination / For All We Know / Lullaby of Birdland / Georgia / Muskrat Ramble / Rosalie / Anything Goes / Getting Sentimental Over You / Sunny Side of the Street / When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful / Opus One / Pennsylvania 65000 / Little Brown Jug / In the Mood.

 Tiger Rag / Widor’s Toccata



Some wondered why Nicholas had been awarded the BEM by the queen. The honour was in recognition for work done by Nicholas in forming the children’s autism charity, ‘Miracles to believe in’.  The charity has a website at the following address. http://www.miraclestobelievein.moonfruit.com/  At the end of the concert provision was made to accept donations to it. I received the following written comment from Nicholas,I was delighted we raised £55.12 for our “Miracles to believe in” charity at the close of the concert. Please put a thank you in your newsletter for me regarding that.”


Nicholas instrument, a Technics GA3 organ, With believed a Roland Fantom XR module for the Theatre Organ sounds

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