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The Hot Club of Cambridge

Venue: The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth
Timeline: 12 noon; Sunday 23 January 2011

John Wheatcroft - lead guitar  
Andy Aitchinson - violin and vocals
Chris Marriott & Will Ballard - rhythm guitars  
Olly Dowlen - bass

Fans of The Hot Club of France, with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, will not be surprised to see the line-up of this band from Cambridge. They may, however, be surprised to read a review which rates these ‘locals’ just as highly.

These musicians are an exceptionally fine combo. Chris Marriott, Will Ballard and Olly Dowlen provide as firm and swinging a rhythm section as one could hope for - if not necessarily expect. John Wheatcroft is a fine guitarist, with impeccable technique and a wonderfully inventive musicality; a real master of the instrument.

Andy Aitchinson is also a delight to hear. It was a real surprise to learn he had never met the other members of the band before the gig; and hard to believe when hearing his exciting interplay with John Wheatcroft. He was standing-in for the regular violinist.

The Ellington Room at The Walnut Tree Inn is an excellent jazz venue, accommodating about 80 in comfort and offering a properly-lit area for the band. There is a wide range of real ales, lagers, wines and spirits as well as a variety of reasonably-priced food.

What an absolute treat; this is a group not to miss!

Review by
John Shaw of The Gayton Jazz Appreciation Society