OO-BOP-SH’BAM have been recognised for some time, as one of the best UK and European, 1950′s Style Rhythm and Blues, Jump Blues, boogie and Rock and Roll bands . They are based in London but have performed all over Europe at festivals as well as regular appearances in well known clubs such as the famous 100 club and at private parties.
OO-BOP-SH’BAM took their name from that great jazz classic by Dizzy Gillespie. We have all been influenced by those great 1950’s RnB and Swing bands, that featured rocking rhythm sections, and honking saxophones, like Wynonnie Harris, King Curtis, Roy Brown, Rosco Gordon, Fats Domino, Fats Waller and many others . We have also been influenced by the great blues artists of those times like BB King, T Bone Walker, Johnny Guitar Watson, Jimmy McCraklin and Big Jay MacNeeley and in the Rock and Roll department, Elvis Presely, Bill Hayley and the Comets, Little Richard, and many more.
HISTORY OF THE BAND.
OO-BOP-SH’BAM formed in 2005 when singer Jackson Sloan decided to return to the music scene after a 25 year absence . He called me, Alan Savage, to see if I would like to join the band and help him pick the right musicians. I didn’t hesitate as I had worked with Jackson before in a band called Rent Party and sax player John Willmott was also that band. We had been very popular in the 1980′s and had recorded as well appearing on television.
As I had been playing continually through the past 25 years after Jackson and Rent Party had finished, I knew lots of great musicians who would be ideal for the band. However, we still had to advertise on Planet Jive for a piano player, as there were not many good boogie woogie players around. We were very lucky when James Lunn answered the advertisement. Within 10 minutes of first hearing him play, we knew he was the perfect choice and is now the only original member along with myself.
The first line up who played on the first album consisted of James Lunn on piano, Paul Garner on Lead Guitar, Dave Lagnado on Double Bass, Andy Dummett on Tenor and Baritone Sax and Julian Webster Greaves (ex Shakin Stevens & Glibert O’Sullivan) also on Tenor Sax. Ray Gelato played on 2 tracks as a special guest. The album was recorded at Porcupine Studios in Mottingham, South East London by Nick Taylor and produced by me. The album got great reviews and still sells well on CD Baby today.
The band began to pick up lots of work and played a lot on the Jive circuit, where they have become firm favourites, as they play at just the right tempos for all kinds of Jivers to take to the floor. We began to travel the length and breadth of the UK to play at the various Jive events. We were soon asked to play at some of the great festivals such as Twinwood, Derry Jazz Festival, Northern Ireland, Silda Jazz Festival in Norway, Cognac Blues Festival in France, The Guiness Jazz Festival in Cork Southern Ireland, TanJazz, Tanjier, Morocco, Goodwood Revival and Glorious Goodwood and many more and we are continually asked back. We also have played and still play at some of the best clubs in London such as The 100 Club, The Hideaway, Boisdale,The Rivoli Ballroom, to name a few.
It is while playing at these festivals we have met and become friends with many of the other top bands such as The Jive Aces, Laura B and the Moonlighters, The Cadillac Kings, Si Cranston, James Hunter, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys,Big Boy Bloater and Imelda May to name a few.
Over the past years we have had a few musicians leave and new ones join but the standard of the band never changes, it is always 100% top quality and has kept the band sounding fresh. OO-BOP-SH’BAM have never been about any one individual, but about the overall sound of the band. Some of the musicians that have played with us over the years are Phil Veacock, Tenor Sax (from the Jools Holland Band). He is also on our double live album and the NEW album. Dave Swift, Double Bass (also from the Jools Holland Band) . Henri Herbert Piano, Oliver Darling Guitar, and Nick Lunt Baritone Sax (also from the Jools Holland Band).
However, the current line up, and the one that has been steady for the past few years consists of James Lunn on piano, Peter Pritchard on both double and electric bass , Mal Barclay on guitar, Alby Green on tenor sax, who has been with us for nearly all of the bands existence as well as John Willmott, also on Tenor Sax. He is a mate from many years back who was a long term memberof The James Taylor Quartet, and I was delighted when agreed to join us.
In September 2012 after a very successful week at the Tanjazz Festival in Morocco, Jackson turned up at my front door and told me that he was leaving the band there and then. This came as a big shock to me, as I had no idea this was going to happen. It turned out that he had formed another band and had recorded an album under his own name. He had really been spending the past 3 years working on this project rather than OO-BOP-SH’BAM. it was a sad way for the past 7 years to come to and end, but I and the rest of the band wish him well for the future with his new project.
Luckily for me I had been working with Robert Wray and I asked him if he would like to join OO-BOP- SH’BAM and I was delighted when he said yes. He is an excellent s singer and has received much praise in the short period that he has been with us, with many people saying he is the best new singer on the circuit since Si Cranston. You can hear him on our brand new album called “We’re Gonna Ball Tonight” which can be bought from this website.
Here are some reviews of the band from the past including people talking about the first couple of CD’s from the earlier days of the band
Original Studio album reviews:
Drummer Alan Savage has assembled a cooking little combo including boogieing pianist James Lunn, a flexible double bassist in Dave Lagnado, ace guitarist Paul Garner who has those Tiny Grimes/T-Bone Walker stylings off to a ‘t’ (listen to the ringing tones of “Just Love Me Baby”), plus the fat horns of Andy Dummett (tenor and baritone saxes) and Jules Webster Greaves on tenor. Oh, and Ray Gelato contributes the sleeve notes and fine tenor on two tracks.
Now these guys know what it’s all about – which is perhaps no great surprise as their collective experience includes the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and Freddie Mercury right through to Solomon Burke, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Grand and Paul Lamb. OO-BOP-SH’BAM is a name to watch – and a group to hear. O’vouty? Rating: 9
Norman Darwen, Blues In Britain magazine, Issue 57.
At first listen, the impression was of just another jump outfit going through their paces, regurgitating a bunch of jump r&b classics, which often works well onstage, but not to often on record. However after a few plays, I realised that we have here some seriously good musicians who have studied the idiom and, seemingly effortlessly, can replicate – or even surpass – the original versions.
Particularly impressive is the tenor playing of Julian Webber Greaves and Andy Dummett, both of whom have respectful track records in various bands.
Newcomer James Lunn plays fine boogie-based piano and another veteran musician Dave Lagnado rounds out the band on bass.
If they come your way, be sure to catch them and pick up a copy of this CD at the same time.
Tony Watson, Blues & Rhythm Magazine.
Produced by Alan Savage and Nick Taylor, this 14 piece offering is slick smooth and enjoyable from sleeve through to track 14.
The content of the album appears to be offered to certain tempo jivers and r’n’b listeners who like their covers done in an inoffensive style, I found the album to be a toe tapper.
All tacks are executed well by good musicians, with the added bonus of an appearance by the one and only Ray Gelato on tracks 10 & 12.
This is and will be a hit with jive clubs across the lands for sure as the tempos are well suited for the dance market, which is demonstrated by the number of gigs they are getting within this domain.
On the other hand, if you want to listen to some good time r’n'b you’d do no wrong by slipping this onto the Hi Fi.
Mad Rat Magazine.
“Thanks for the cd.
I was very impressed with the quality all the way thru’, no let down on great rockin’ R&B, Lilie Mae should make a good club jiver.”
Bob Thomas, Bim Bam Records.
“I got the CD album thank you and enjoyed it very much. The production is very good and so is the material. I’m a Smiley Lewis fan and it is always good to hear “Big Mamou” and “Lillie Mae”. I particulary enjoyed Tiny Bradshaw’s “Breaking Up The House” (brilliant boogie woogie piano!), Roscoe Gordon’s “Just Love Me Baby” and “Let ‘Em Roll… For Big Joe” is a nice touch and I will be playing the latter two tracks at The Jive Ball in Letchworth on Saturday night. “Kidney Stew” is a track on the demo CD you sent me which I have already played in public two or three times. I’m looking forward to hearing Alan’s “I Like To Bop” at our live show in September and of course meeting you and the boys then if not before.
Good luck and best wishes to all associated with the Oo-bop-sh’bam project.
‘Strollin’ Steve Ashdown, Allways Music, www.strollinsteve.co.uk
That’s is one gas of a CD you have sent me.
Who would have thought that a British band could sound like this?
Excellent stuff with the all-important vocals even better.
Good enough for Atlantic mid 50s in my opinion.”
Paul Barrett, Top Promoter.
Guinness Jazz festival Barry’s Bar “You were great the best band we have had here for over 5 years, we are definitely having you back next year.”
Guiness Jazz Festival Committe “The name OO-BOP-SH’BAM is on everyones lips, we have had nothing but great reports about the band ”
Ben Mouling of Radio Modern promotions Belgium ” I have run 21 of these shows and this is the best band I have had by far, they are great, what a fantastic night we all had, I will bring them back very soon.”
Bernd, Promoter of The Blue Shell Gig, Cologne Germany “You guys were great, fantastic, it was a brilliant night and you have made lots of friends and fans here, we will get you back very soon”
Derry Jazz Festival John manager of Quay West ” You guys were fantastic, I want you back here again next year.
Manager of the Metro Bar, Derry” You guys are fantastic you don’t just come and play music, you play with passion and energy, we have never had anything like you here before, Brilliant.