Concert Review 23rd October 2017 – Rod Pooley
The evenings were drawing in, how fast the year is passing. Our guest for the evening was Rod Pooley. He opened with a sense of humour that continued throughout. “It was good to be back in Essex after such a long time… and the only way is??” Of course many replied “ESSEX…” He was, he thought a young man when last he performed for us, there was a bit of friendly banter between him and our booking secretary about how he came to be overlooked for so long and then the concert began with, ‘windmills of your mind’. Followed by “Charlie Chan”. Between each piece thereafter Rod continued with his humour which never failed to raise a laugh, he was himself the brunt of much of it. We listened to the realistic sound of ‘the big band’, ‘orchestras’ film music and much more. Some titles from the evening were, ‘O Mio Bambino Caro’, ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ ‘All I ask of you’ and ‘Home’ by Michael Bublé. The evening was very well received by all with much applause. Rod commented that he hoped he wouldn’t need to wait another 14 years to be asked back again.
I am informed that, for those who like to know these things…
The instrument that Rod was using was the TRX Organ system based on Yamaha Tyros 5 with Hammond pedals.
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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.