News & Blog
VIOLA SMITH - Groundbreaking swing era drummer dies at 107
Viola Smith was an amazing drummer and pioneer of women in the fiercely male preserve of swing band music in the 30's and 40's.
A fabulous story that you can read in full here:
Watch the video !
BATTLE OF BRITAIN 80 YEARS !
Seems like yesterday I was blogging about BOB 75 !
At least then we were out dancing and partying as you would expect the Deb's to be doing.
How different this year. This year was the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the 80th of BOB. But everything has just had to be cancelled. Our lovely friends at the Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow were absolutely going to go ahead until the very latest announcement from government last week. So that's it; nothing until the new year and nothing since March.
Now please don't think I'm whinging, I'm just telling. I completely support whatever it takes to contain this unseen enemy and I feel perfectly qualified to recommend that wartime/blitz spirit to get us through. This time the only thing being rationed is our absolute freedom for the time being.
So let us the "many" remember the courage of those wonderfully heroic "few" of 80 years ago and 'do our bit'.
Kindest regards, Max.
AUF WIEDERSEHEN SWEETHEART !
Hello Debs Fans, what a sad day.
Dame Vera Lynn has died today aged 103.
You know I have never given deference to people just because they are in the public eye, viz all the pointless celebrities vacuously filling magazines and the internet.
But: (I won't do her justice here )
Here was a lady who's whole life was an amazing story of courage and giving. A beautiful voice with heart wrenching delivery, the courage to go to Burma when no other E.N.S.A. performers would, and then the rest of her long life, dedicated to her charity work.
The Charity work is what Dame Vera said she would rather be remembered for and who am I to disrespect her wishes. Vera over the course of 75 years since the war ended, (in addition to making even more hit records and television shows) founded and campaigned for a charity for children with cerebral palsy.
She has given us so many things to remember her by.
Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart ! xx
VE75 - HAVE A GREAT GARDEN/HOUSE PARTY TODAY !
Looking forward to toasting the heroes of WW11 at 15:00hrs today.
Weird to be (as a Debonaire) sitting on my hands when this weekend was so full with bookings commemorating the end of war in Europe. Still our disappointment pales into insignificance considering the fear and uncertainty of the war years, and for some today who are going through their own dark days.
Most uplifting for the Debonaires today is the release of a fab dance tutorial video by the Imperial War Museums. It features our lovely colleagues Jitterbug Jive Dance Troupe and they have chosen to dance to music from the Debonaires, recorded live at the Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow that we did together.
Bravo Linda and Den, and many thanks to Olivia and her team at IWM for making it happen.
Link is above or you can see it on our Videos Page.
Have a great party Folks !
DEBONAIRES BOOKINGS UPDATE
Its very tempting to start drawing analogies with the war, what with a bit of rationing going on, shortages of equipment and restrictions on peoples movements etc, I suppose that would make a perfect Max blog especially if we include the lovely community sprit that is now drawing breath throughout the country.
But this enemy is very different and the current emergency appears ridiculous in that heroic key workers are working all hours and the rest of us are on sofa duty. All for good reason of course !
The live music industry has been decimated and for the Debs, the very busy VE75 May dates have all been cancelled including the Duxford Airshow. Who knows when we will be out swinging again, but we will keep our spirits up with all the messages of support from our lovely fans.
Keep well and keep away !
INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY AT STAFFORD JAZZ SOCIETY
We had a fabulous lunchtime session at Stafford Jazz Society on Sunday, which just happened to be International Womens Day. So here is a lovely picture of our International Women of note from the band. Even better, on our next major performance we will have a guest Lead sax, who is also (shock!) a woman. So we will have a completely female reed section. Nice.
The members and organisers of Stafford Jazz Society were as lovely and as appreciative as ever. Extra chairs had to be summoned and we gave the audience a mixture of vintage 20's, Dixieland, Big Band Swing, we tried out a new Nina Simone number and even (by request) provided some entertainment reminiscent of Eddie Calvert with a version of Zambezi.
We were very flattered to receive a standing ovation at the end. Thank you SJS !
BLACKPOOL WINTERGARDENS - LOVE AWARDS
So nice to be back at the Winter Gardens Blackpool, this time in the Spanish Hall, for a brilliantly organised and very enjoyable Corporate Event. Here is a picture of the room from the stage before the guests entered the room to a surprise live 1920's Band !
Click on our Galleries page to see more pictures !
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR FRIENDS , FANS, CUSTOMERS AND NETWORK OF FABULOUS PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS WHO PERFORM FOR US THROUGHOUT THE YEAR !
Well what a great way to see in the new decade. A brilliant, authentic, decadent evening reliving the 1920's at the Lowther Pavillion Theatre, Lytham St Annes.
The Friends of the Pavilion dressed the Theatre spectacularly (see our Gallery page) and did a brilliant job at pulling all the elements together, to create a wonderful evening for music, dining and dancing.
As Bandleader I was determined to make the musical offering as engaging as possible, and spent weeks scoring 20 new orchestrations for the band to play. We had the Varsity Drag, some Al Jolson, Don't Bring Lulu, You're Driving Me Crazy, Home in Pasadena as performed by the Temperance Seven, and later on some 20's classics with a more modern beat recalling Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (Yes Sir That's My Baby) and Tom Jones courtesy of the Morecambe & Wise Show (Exactly Like You). Our finale even saw the Debonaires perform their first ever Ska number ! To a 20's tune of course.
Best wishes everyone for the New Year !
Kind regards, Max.
BATTLE OF BRITAIN BALL - MOD
Another fabulous authentic evening of live music at the Sergeants Mess annual Battle of Britain Ball. These folks know how to party, and wow for those wonderful bright red dress uniforms. I really need a set of those for the band !
Knew it was going to be a fab evening as soon as we saw the magnificent back drop to the stage (photo), it was a shame to set up in front of it.
Bravo to project manager Kevin and thanks for the kind words:
Thank you and the band for an excellent set it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone this morning as we are packing away has not stopped talking about the band.
Thank you again and see you next year I hope."
Flight Sergeant KW - MOD.
A sell out August so far for the Debs !
A fabulous August so far as we played our 1st two 40's events of the season. And what contrasting events they were !
Morecambe 1940's Revival on the 3rd was our debut at what was only their 2nd annual event. And hot. Almost faintingly hot in the Memorial Hall but we kept calm and carried on and had a fab evening making new friends. I am told ticket sales for next year's Ball started the following day !
Yanks on the 10th, was a return for us and we had a fab traditional 40's knees up with the winner of the spot prize being a popular decision. So sad about the weather again, this time a bit of a wash out for the outdoor events on the Saturday. But again what a fabulous set of people who run this seminal event commemorating the Yanks being stationed in Saddleworth. These events have one thing in common however, both dances were sold out !
New Album - Debonaires Live at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show !
Very excited here at Debonaires HQ. As I type, copies of our new album are dropping off the press. It was recorded at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show in September 2018 and contains lots of that new American 40's swing music and some older stuff for the Mums and Dads. The album features some fabulous renditions from Debonaires favourite, the adorable Sarah Eastwood on vocals.
Obviously look out for the CD at our engagements but also happy to post out to our fans. Just drop me an Email. Cost £10 +p&p.
All the swinging best, Max.
Congratulations Amanda and Philip !
Congratulations Amanda and Philip, it looked like you had a brilliant day all round and the 'Debs' were delighted to have been part of it. So nice to have been appreciated in such a big way by you and your lovely quests. I hope you are enjoying Rome !
You choose a fabulous venue at Lumley Castle (even thought the resident spooks were messing with our equipment) and credit to Events Manager David Oliver and his team for looking after us and making our job so much easier.
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT STAFFORD JAZZ SOCIETY FOR THE DEBONAIRES !
A fabulous swinging lunchtime jazz session was had by all at Stafford Jazz Society yesterday. A lovely warm reception from this record breaking crowd of vintage jazz lovers. Thanks to Nick Balmforth and his excellent team for making such events happen. So rewarding for us to be received so positively.
HAPPY NEW YEAR !
Yes a very happy new year to all our clients, fans, supporters and musicians.
I was very touched to be presented with the (above) canvas by a lovely Client at the end of one of our festive performances. This was most unexpected and I was very taken aback, thank you again Alan.
2018 has proved to be our best year yet and we have made lots of new friends including the fabulous Swing Commanders who helped us kick off the year, our debut at the famous Yanks Festival and culminating in a great night of dancing at the Lowther Pavilion Theatre Lytham St Annes on New Year's Eve. Thanks to everyone.
Next year look out for us back at Yanks and for the first time at the Morecambe 1940's Weekend to mention just two, but keep your eyes on our Public Events column on this site. See you all soon !
Congratulations Scarlett & Ricky !
We were so pleased to be able to perform for this lovely couple in December. Scarlett wanted as much swinging Xmas music as we could muster. In the end I managed to produce 10 new band arrangements in time for the big day. Sarah's Santa Baby was sublime !.
Lots of other lovely romantic music from the swing era by the Debonaires also.
"Thank you SO much to you all for playing the reception music at our wedding on Saturday. You were absolutely fantastic! You created the most warm, festive atmosphere to accompany the mulled wine and went completely out of your way to include Christmas songs we'd asked for. It was exactly what we wanted! Thank you, Scarlett xxx"
Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018
We were very 'chuffed' to be asked to perform at the Duxford Battle Of Britain Airshow again this year, especially for the 100th anniversary of the RAF.
The SHOW was in the air but we 'did our bit' to keep the spirit of the Battle of Britain going in the Nightlife Hub aided beautifully by our friends from Jitterbug Jive. As you can see from the photo they were a blur as they performed spectacular dance demonstrations dancing to the Debs'. Of great significance to us all was the fact that we were blowing and dancing on the very spot in the hangar where the Spitfire usually stands. A bit of mopping up of oil before the dancing could take place ! Also sharing the stage were 3 of the D-Day Darlings with their impressive well drilled choreographed actions that I think the RAF itself would be impressed with.
What a brilliant weekend for flying and musical entertainment.
Bravo to Phil, Olivia, Ella and the rest of the Duxford Team.
Well what can I say? Am I a really lucky chap? Not only do I get to front the best swinging band in the land, but I also get treated to a flight over the White Cliffs of Dover in a Spitfire! This was an absolutely amazing, exhilarating, scary and actually very emotional experience that I will never forget especially looking down on that iconic wingshape with the cliffs below. A few victory rolls thrown in for good measure by my excellent and 'bang-on' pilot Parky Parkinson from Aero Legends. What a pilot, what a plane, still the most exciting machine ever made, and boy was it made for the skies.
Pleased to have fared somewhat better than poor old Glenn Miller, as I actually did return back to base ready for the Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow the following weekend where I got so see Spitfire 'Elizabeth' once again along with 17 others all flying in formation. Stand by for my update on the Duxford 100 years of the RAF Air Show including the exploits of the Debonaires to follow soon. Max.
Armed Forces Day - RAF Cosford
Great to be back at RAF Cosford for Armed Forces Day, excellent exhibits, excellent music, fantastic fly-by of a Lancaster â€¦â€¦.. Ah well 2 out of 3 not bad. A technical hitch meant the old girl was grounded in Liverpool and didn't make an appearance.
If you have never been to Cosford RAF Museum it really is a great place for a day out.
Max in Romania
Just retuned from fabulous Romania. Bears in Transylvania and wonderful birdlife accessed from a floating hotel in the Danube Delta.
But it wasn't all wildlife. Ace Nature Guide Alex Ifrim (a Romanian Bagpipe player) was intrigued by my need to go off and practice the trumpet even on holiday, and so the musical exchange was started. Great fun !
Happy New Year
Happy New Year to all our Followers and Clients. Thank you for a swinging 2017.
2017 was once again our best year ever and 2018 is shaping up quite nicely. 2 new significant events for us that we are very excited about are our 1st collaboration with the terrific Swing Commanders in Prestwich in February and our first Yanks weekend in Saddleworth in August.
Two major centenaries coming up this year; 100 years of the Royal Air Force and of course 100 years since the Armistice that ended the Great War. I wonder if anyone will ask us to dust off our Edwardian/Great War Show that we put together for the 1914 centenary?
Looking forward to seeing you all soon,
Max, Sarah and the Band.
New Debonaires promotional video
Finally it's happened. I have removed the 'apology' from the title of our Music Clips page.
Very pleased to have a new and our 1st proper promotional video from our last performance at the Phoenix Jazz Club.
Good work band and some great vocals from Sarah.
Even on a whole website its very hard to say what kind of music we play, it is so varied and will vary depending on the client and the occasion. This new video solves this problem, in 3.5mins you get some Glenn Miller, Gastby, Fred & Ginger, Ellington/Ella swing, some Latin, Nina Simone, Marilyn Monroe, some 50's Basie groove and some Dixie Jazz.
All thanks to Mark Leigh of Undiscovered Brass who asked if he could record his Tommy Dorsey tribute with the Debs.
See our new video on our Music Clips Page and hear Mark's exquisite performance of Tommy's I'm Getting Sentimental over You
All I can say is I hope you enjoy the videos and look out for the live album !
Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow
Wow what a weekend !
Lets start appropriately with the flying. What a fantastic excuse for some superb pilots to go thrashing about the place in some iconic yes, but still breath-taking 70 year old aircraft. A squadron of 14 Spitfires in the air together, Hurricanes doing amazing aerobatics, plus a glorious Lancaster. There were some marvellous US planes too, Thunderbolts, Mustangs and Dakotas. Dakotas always make me think of From Here To Eternity.
Appropriately we had 3 members of the band flying in to the gig. Ok 2 were on commercial aircraft into Stanstead but our intrepid lead sax man Rick managed to pilot his own aircraft into Duxford. From the saga I get the impression it is harder to avoid the red tape than it is to avoid the ground when undertaking a flight !
Each morning before the show there was 40's entertainment from the Debonaires of course, brilliantly supported by Jitterbug Jive dance troupe from Bournemouth and the dulcet Andrews Sisters style renderings from the Blue Bird Belles from the West Midlands. We certainly made new friends with the artistes and visitors alike and thanks to all you swing fans who tracked us down on Facebook and our website and sent us such encouraging messages.
Absinthe & Lace Champagne Supper Club
Wow, what a night we had !
I really must put on record, the fabulous show presented at the Opera House Arts Theatre Buxon on Saturday by Lady Absinthe. Such a fabulous thing to be part of. Fine dining whilst being entertained by internationally renown talent such as Florian Brooks, Oliver Tabor and Scarlet Butterfly in a professional show that hit just the right tone. Such a promoter of live entertainment and for me in particular - Live Music ! Thank you Lady A xx
See the 2 pictures here and then jump to our Gallery page to see more.
Nothing like a bit of networking !
Washed out Bandstand - Yikes!
Things not looking good upon arrival at the MSV Vintage Festival at Oulton Park Racing Circuit. However the organisers (Phil's Team) swiftly rescued the situation and found us and the Backstep Boogie Club a lovely dry corner of the CafÃ© and a captive audience !
It was fab to be working with Trina and the Backstep Boogie Club once again. How do you keep dancing all day ?!
But the weather did cheer up to allow this splendid band shot with this magnificent iconic aeroplane
I think Sarah was enjoying herself with all that military hardware !
Standing ovation for our debut at Stafford Jazz Society - Oh my !
What a lovely Sunday lunchtime concert at Stafford Jazz Society, and such a warm welcome from Nick Balmforth and the rather large audience and a standing ovation no less.
Thanks to ace trombonist John Barber for standing in and bravo to all my lovely regular musicians who clearly had a ball. On particular form I think was the delightful Sarah Eastwood on Vocals and Clarinet who was clearly loving performing in her home town.
I must also give a big thank you to Mr Paul Milgate-Scarrott, top photographer, for some excellent shots of the band, look out for a new gallery later in the week. I fear Sarah may well have a gallery to herself !
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Oh no, not another one been and gone. Its bad enough any year, but when band members start having significant birthdays along the way, it just highlights how quickly they fly by.
I hope you all like my â€˜Ladyâ€™ in this years picture? A reason to be cheerful for sure, and a very good excuse to be looking back at nostalgic things whilst the uncertainty of 2017 unfolds before us.
Once again the previous year has been fabulous for the band. As our regulars will know, we donâ€™t currently put on our own events, we quite literally wait for the telephone call or an Email and where they come from is quite unpredictable. We have performed once again for some lovely couples getting married in vintage style, made some new friends in the MOD, played some Jazz Club dates, debuted at the Stockport Plaza, and even put out a Debonaries Dixie Band for a New Orleans evening. However I would say the recurring theme last year was Private Parties. Suddenly a year of significant birthdays not only for band members hee hee. Our clients and their guests are just so lovely, appreciative and supportive of our efforts to keep offering genuinely live quality music.
Some of you will have noticed that in addition to our regular fabulous â€˜swingâ€™ repertoire our â€˜Latin Quarterâ€™ is growing. All still vintage of course but really exciting for â€˜non dancersâ€™ at say weddings and parties to dance to and let their hair down to. More in the pipeline.
Thank you and a happy 2017 to you All, and donâ€™t forget, â€œkeep dancing !â€
Kind regards, Max.
Stockport Plaza - Winter Cafe
We had a superb debut at the Plaza Winter Cafe' on the 9th December. It was a lovely opportunity to meet some new friends and to catch up with some of our regular fans who await our not too frequent public performances. Great to have so many diners. I'm told that there was only one spare seat in the whole Cafe' unsold.
Due to the size of the venue and the intimate dining nature of the event I took just a 5 piece combo along: Our regular rhythm section boys and the lovely Sarah Eastwood on Vocals, Clarinet and Sax.
If you have not been to the Plaza or indeed the Cafe' both are wonderfully restored Art Deco treasures. Tours are available.
I am happy to say that the Plaza have already re-booked us for next Xmas, the 8th December to be precise. Hopefully see you there, best wishes Max.
Congratulations to Ore and Joanne
Can't believe it has come around again. The 2016 Strictly season has been and gone and its time to say Congratulations to Ore and Joanne, winners this year. The standard was so high this year that the judges were were moved on occasion to remark that sometimes the 'celebs' were almost indistinguishable from the professionals, and that makes it all incredibly frustrating to the runners up, bravo to Danny and Louise it was sooo close.
We shouldn't take anything away from the winners, but for Debonaires fans, the departure of Len Goodman is a big deal. The last link from the original 'Come Dancing' days and someone who danced and taught Ballroom, perhaps not in the heyday (Len is not that old) but certainly was one of those that pulled it through the 60's and 70's and beyond and is still delivering it to us superbly today.
Who will be the next head judge? Oooogh. Bring back Arlene Phillips !
Thanks to all involved in giving us yet another annual festival of brilliant LIVE music and dancing. I think Strictly is becoming like the Proms, do you think It will going in 50/100 years time ? All the best Max.
AgrupaciÃ³ Musical Cultural de Teulada
Just back from Valencia Spain, a lovely break but icing on the cake was getting the chance to play with Spanish Band AgrupaciÃ³ Musical Cultural de Teulada. Thanks to Director Rafa Pascual Alfonso for letting me sit in. Special thanks also to Principal Trumpet Miguel for letting me sit alongside him and for translating !
Vintage Wedding - Claire and Gary
My world has changed ! For the first time in over 2 years I don't have Claire and Gary's wedding in the Debonaires band diary, suddenly its all over. I think Claire holds the record for early booking the Debonaires, bless you Claire !
You really did think of everything. You and Gary looked splendid in your wonderful vintage turnout as did your lovely guests.
Claire and Gary had dance lessons to prepare to dance to their choice of 1st dance which was Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing. And the guests were not getting away with it either. Yes jive lessons from 2 dance teachers on hand so that even the most uninitiated guests could throw themselves into the spirit of the evening.
Thanks to Claire also for pointing out a brilliant wedding song with such good words.Claire asked me to make a special musical arrangement of Bring Me Sunshine as a surprise for Gary. We kept the secret to such an extent that I entitled the song BMS just so Gary wouldn't spot it on our music stands and catch on.
Lovely evening, lovely couple, lovely cake !
Best wishes for your future Claire and Gary.
Battle of Britain Dinner
Fabulous debut night at MOD Stafford performing for mess Battle of Britain Dinner. Good food, good music, and a SPITFIRE, ok a jeep and a NAAFI tent too but a SPITFIRE !
Batte of Britain Dinner
Well, actually the Officers and Sergeants did rather dignify the authentic NAAFI tent, and it was a splendid evening with the right proportion of fun and seriousness as the occasion deserved. Heroes remembered.
Armed Forces Day - RAF Cosford
Fabulous musical day at RAF Cosford commemorating Armed Forces Day.
Great to be involved in this again.
This year we had a Hurricane fly-by, Wow wee!!!
Debut - Debonaires Dixie Band !
"Would you be able to provide a band to play New Orleans style music?"
Yes Madam! And so the Debonaires Dixie Band made its debut. I mean, which Bandleader doesn't have Sousaphone and Banjo players in their address book!
It was certainly fun to put together a scratch band for Redhouse Inn Grand Re-opening and it went down so well we hope to be going back.
The nice thing about a New Orleans/Trad Jazz/Dixie Band is that its just an acoustic set up ideal for pubs and smaller venues.
So yes the Dixie Band is taking bookings. The best things are never planned. :-)
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Borriello !
The great thing about Brides, is that they are so efficient when it comes to organising the wedding, usually booking the band nice and early as Izzie did 13 months ago. I feel I have become Izzie's pen pal as we have emailed each other over the months, sorting out dates, timings, favourite tunes, the first dance, oh and a buffet for the band hee hee! Absolutely the best part of my job and to be so well received by all ages as are found at a wedding is so gratifying. I was very pleased to pen a new musical arrangement for the couple's first dance, "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and that means we now have a new number in the repertoire. Have a good honeymoon Izzie and Adam.
Mayor of Tameside - Annual Charity Valentine
I just couldn't let last night's event go by without comment. The Debonaires first time at Dukinfield Town Hall, very nice, and what seemed to us to be a very successful evening.
We particularly enjoyed the Strictly Come Dancing style dance demonstration by the Mayor, Councilor Vincent Ricci, as he demonstrated his medal wining dance skills.
A bravo too to Joanne Green who seemed to have a complete handle on the organisation of this fine event.
BBC Northern Dance Orchestra - Bob Turner
Have just learned that the Debonaires have a genetic line to musical swing royalty in their ranks. What's he on about you may ask?
Our superb drummer Mr Robert Turner, is seems, has an even more famous Dad. Bob Turner was quote "top drummer in the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra". I know that many of our older fans remember the NDO with great admiration and affection.
Apparently the photograph was from the 1968/69 Premier Drum Catalogue taken at the BBC Playhouse Theatre Manchester. Cool !
If anyone remembers Bob Turner or would like to share any other memories or tidbits about the NDO send me an Email. Rgds, Max.
Happy New Year from Max Debon & the Debonaires
A very happy new year from Max Debon & the Debonaires to all our Clients and our ever growing number of fans. Can't believe I'm sitting here blogging about 2015 and the new year to come once more. Where has the year gone ?
Our thanks go to those organisations that book us year after year and contrastingly, those that have had the 'courage' to book us for the first time. Thanks also to all our lovely Brides, such a privilege to be part of your very special and individual big days.
Special thanks once again to our fans that are regularly shaking the tree for us and spreading the word to ensure they get a few more evenings in the year dancing to the Debonaires.
Well I predicted that we would be busy due to the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V.E.Day) but the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain suddenly appeared on the radar (get it?) as the year progressed and swept us along. Thank you so much to all those organisations not just for booking the Debonaires for their special event, but for actually putting on these events in the first place and keeping this important social memory alive. Didn't we have a ball ! I confess I particularly enjoyed playing at events for serving regular military not only due to the fabulous reception and hospitality but also the excuse to dust off the Regimental Marches. I think we have found a niche following the cut backs to the military bands.
THE YEAR AHEAD
Biggest challenge now after this fabulous year is to make sure we don't get completely cast as the 'War Band', might put our Brides off a bit !
Impossible to say this early but I know for certain that we are looking forward to nice mixture of jazz club dates, cabaret spots, lindy hops, fundraising events and of course sending some lovely brides into battle, er I mean into married bliss. Hee Hee.
Best wishes for the new year,
Congratulations Jay McGuiness !
Congratulations Jay, Strictly Come Dancing champion 2015 !
I must admit I can't wait until all the 'filler celebs' get eliminated and the serious contenders remain and we had about six seriously good contender's this time. Yes lots of hoo haa about who should have won, everyone in the final deserved to be there and it was too close to call for my money. But lets face it, even the 'celebs' are paid entertainers and if they draw us in, then they are doing their 'real' job superbly and giving the Beeb an excuse to showcase professional dancers and live musicians week after week, fabulous !
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Denovan !
Had a great time on Saturday. Lovely wedding, lovely people, lovely Bride!
I was very pleased to make a new musical arrangement for the band to play for the couples first dance' - Michael Buble's 'Have I Told You Lately That I love You'. I stuck quite faithfully to Michael's recording. Just as well! Rebecca and Trent launched into a beautifully choreographed dance routine precisely as per the recording. Phew! Just as well I didn't get creative with it. Bravo both it was a beautiful routine.
Professional accolades to Emma Tuckley of High Times Weddings & Entertainment http://www.high-times.co.uk/
Jazz at the Mill Presenter - The Debonaires very own Sarah Eastwood
How exciting ! The Debonaires very own Sarah Eastwood is now presenting her very own show on Stafford Radio.
Listen in to good jazz old and new. Contact her with your favorite 3 tracks from your Divas or Kings of Jazz and get them aired.
Well done Sarah ! (cute ears).
Battle of Britain Celebration at RAF Cosford
Great to be playing at RAF Cosford today AND a spitfire fly by to boot. They are the most beautiful and exciting machines ever made !
I have had a marvelous commemorative 12 months starting with our Great War centenary event in Middlewich last October, a legion (get the pun?) of VE and VJ type of events, my own trip to the Normandy Beaches this summer and this week a couple of musical outings commemorating 75 years since the Battle of Britain.
One of the moments that sticks in my mind was at one of our largest V.E. Day events. I overheard the caretaker of the building explaining to the skateboarding youths outside why there were so many old people descending on the venue. "Something about the war"
Vintage By The Sea
Thought I should spread the word about this brilliant vintage event. Not that I think I need to as in excess of 40,000 people are expected. Looking forward to some excellent live music. See you there !
Midland Hotel - Morecambe
Very excited to be performing last night at the Midland Hotel Morecambe. This beautifully restored art deco 'palace' did not disappoint. The glamour, the views, the location, and the staff ! All superb, A great vintage night had by all I think. Bravo to our lovely and charming hostess and birthday girl, Jean Avery.
How do you get an authentic 8 piece swing band into the Weighing Room at Uttoxetter Racecourse?
In the bucket of a vintage JCB of course!
Bravo to organiser Gemma at Vintage Suitcase, great weekend !
Selfie with Debonaires - Absinthe & Lace Buxton
And did everyone get into the spirit of the evening at the Absinthe & Lace Champagne Supper Club last Saturday? I think they did !
We were performing with some fabulous acts and the whole evening was a very classy affair and the guests left us in no doubt they had a good time.
Bravo once again to Lady Absinthe and her team !
Well I'm a year late for the 70th anniversary but I finally made it to Normandy to pay homage to this great event. I think one needs to go there, look up at the fortified positions from the beach to fully appreciate the bravery. And if you think you appreciate the scale of this invasion, wait until you have been to one of the may exhibitions. Impressed and amazed in equal measure. And what about Pegasus Bridge ! What an audacious feat of flying in pitch darkness by those glider pilots.
We all play at 'vintage' these days for fun but I will never trivialise any of the commemorative events we perform at.
I love my job !
Always stimulating to be performing with the stunning Talulah Blue at the Absinthe & Lace Champagne Supper Club.
All smiles at Mill Row VE Celebrations last night
No not another picture of the band on stage, just some smiling faces from last night's VE Day knees up at Mill Brow. Check out our Gallery Page for more pictures.
When we drove into the village it was like walking onto the set of 'Home Fires', what a great war effort from everyone.
Fabulous people, lovely pub, great swing music and Bravo! to the village dance troupe.
Lots of new friends made.
Look out for other VE Day performances from the Debonaires later in the year.
VE Day commemoration at Tatton Park Knutsford Cheshire tomorrow
I am very proud to be playing the bugle for the British Legion commemoration at Tatton Park tomorrow. The Mayor of Cheshire East Council will be in attendance and lets keep our fingers crossed for good weather !
Wigan Jazz Club
We had a lovely afternoon at the Wigan Jazz Club on Sunday. The Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra Kicked off the session in fine style under the direction of Debonaires own Richard (Rick) Halliwell.
The Debonaires provided a programme of jazz 'Dance Music' from its roots in 1917 through to Benny Goodman with a little bit of Vegas style kitsch thrown in.
What a lovely crowd and many thanks again to Diane Hammond for stepping in on clarinet at less than 24hours notice. Brill !
70th Anniversary - Victory in Europe (VE Day) 2015
Friday the 8th May 2015 is the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE Day). It's hard to imagine the joy and relief experienced by everyone at home and serving abroad after 6 years of threat, hardship, break up of families and of course, never actually knowing how and when it was going to end. We all know it ended in victory in1945. They couldn't know. What times they must have been when an 'entire nation' become heroes.
Just had to acknowledge the passing of one jazz's greats: The wonderful Clark Terry on the 21st Feb.
Playing with both Basie and Ellington in his early years, a great trumpet/flugel player and jazz man, he became his own show producing a signature jazz sound from his own horn and from his band, that in my opinion, left you loving jazz but never in a worthy academic way. Just a joy.
Wigan Jazz Club
Whoops! Sorry Folks, have had the wrong date on the website for our return to the Wigan Jazz Club. It is Sunday the 26th April. Please spread the word !
ALEX GORDON ORCHESTRA
Have been looking for this little photographic gem for some time. Going back to the 90's I used to play trumpet and vocals with East Anglia's premier dance orchestra, the AGO. What a fine body of men, and who's that girl?
We really did have colour photography then, but pre Instagram this was retro!
Great band, great times, great memories. Would be pleased to hear if anyone remembers dancing to or playing with the band.
Happy New Year !
A very happy new year from Max Debon & the Debonaires to all our Clients and our ever growing number of fans.
In particular our thanks go to those organisations that book us year after year and contrastingly, those that have had the 'courage' to book us for the first time. Special thanks also to fans that are regularly shaking the tree for us and spreading the word to ensure they get a few more evenings in the year dancing to the Debonaires.
Despite 2014 starting so badly we had a great year. The low point was in February when our original member trombonist and friend Glyn, collapsed on stage at the Wigan Jazz Club due to a massive aneurism in his brain. Glyn has been battling all year but we now have to accept that his now diminished self will sadly never be back in our ranks. Thanks go to Chris, Ed, Mark, Suzzanne & Fergus for stepping in so brilliantly between you.
Whilst every performance is special for me, If I had to name a performance that stood out, I would have to say the Great War evening in Middlewich Cheshire, in October. As you enthusiasts know, the Dance Band era did not start until after World War 1. So an evening was conceived where the Debonaires would play a chronology of music from Ragtime to the Music Halls, through the WW1 songs and into the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's and 1950's, having a right old knees up along the way. The Music Hall numbers and the WW1 Singalong material (including a beautiful musical setting of the Last Post) had to be specially arranged for the evening with a quick rehearsal at tea time. With another 3 years to go before the centenary of the Armistice, perhaps these special arrangements may get another airing at a suitable event ?
THE YEAR AHEAD
This year is the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe or V.E. Day, In addition to the serious business of the end of war which we will be commemorating all over the country, these events are of course the perfect opportunity for retro dance enthusiasts to get out there, dress up and party like its 1945 ! We look forward to seeing you all throughout the year.
Congratulations Caroline Flack
Well what a wonderful way to start Max's news blog, with the coincidence of the Strictly Come Dancing final 2014.
For a live music and dance fanatic like myself, this is superior show business, and all done with such wholesome good taste !
Well done to ALL contestants especially the finalists of course. A particular Bravo must go to the professional dancers who were consummate and of course to Dave Arch and his brilliant musicians keeping music live !
DUXFORD BATTLE OF BRITAIN AIRSHOW - 80th ANNIVERSARY - 19th & 20th September 2020 CANCELLED TO COMBAT CORAVIRUS
Excellent News! The brilliant team at the Imperial War Museums are flat out planning a socially distanced 80th Anniversary Airshow. Appropriate grit and determination if you ask me.
Full details of this brilliant event here.
See you all there ! All the best Max.
VE75 CELEBRATIONS - HELPING TO FUNDRAISE - 8th MAY 2020 CANCELLED TO COMBAT CORONA VIRUS
We are delighted to be supporting the MACS Charity this year. MACS support children who are born with unformed eyes and their families.
We will be having a proper authentic VE Day knees up in Chorley Lancs, to an invited audience, so sorry there are no public tickets for sale. Very much a first come first served situation this year for VE75. The band have had so much interest, sorry to everyone who I have had to turn down. Happy VE Day, hope you are able to Roll Out the Barrel where you are !
VE75 Celebration Concert - 7th May 2020 CANCELLED TO COMBAT CORONA VIRUS
In aid of SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity, we are thrilled to be participating in this "Shared Moment of Celebration" at the Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford.
We have it all: Winston, Vera Lynn, George Formby, Glenn Miller, well not quite. But we do have the original and authentic Colin Thackeray, BGT winner, topping the bill. Ably bringing up the rear will be the George Formby Experience, the Charming Jayne Darling, and Sarah Eastwood with the Debonaires !
Bring your good singing voices and lets celebrate Victory in Europe 75 years !
Tickets from the Box Office 01785 619080 or Email email@example.com)
DISCOVER VINTAGE - VICTORY BALL - York Racecourse - 25th April 2020 CANCELLED TO COMBAT CORONA VIRUS
Looking forward to this massive event celebrating the 1930's to the 60's, Keeley is a huge supporter of live music and this year she is excelling once again.
You can book your tickets Here
We are appearing on the Saturday evening as a separate ticketed event but why not make a weekend of it, its going to be fab !
LUNCHTIME CONCERT - STAFFORD JAZZ SOCIETY - 8th March 2020
How lovely to have been invited back to Stafford. A lovely venue and a lovely bunch of jazz club members, why not join us all for a nice relaxing Sunday lunch time for some hot orchestrated vintage jazz music. Venue is the White Eagle Club Stafford (12:30 till 14:30hrs). Host Nick Balmforth will give Debonaires fans his usual warm welcome. Don't miss this opportunity to hear Max Debon & the Debonaires in concert.
NEW YEARS EVE
Looks like we made some friends at the Lowther Pavilion Theatre last year. So pleased to be returning to this lovely venue and the lovely crowd for this years Roaring 20's Special.
Brush up on your Charleston, Drag, Black Bottom and Bunny Hug, although Ballroom and Swing Jive to 20's hits will be the order of the day I think.
This is a brilliant way to see in the New Year and the tickets are already selling fast. See you there, Boo-boo-pI-doo !
PHOENIX JAZZ CLUB - Stoke on Trent - Wednesday 11th September 2019
Delighted to be invited back to "Pedro's Club" again this year. Modestly priced tickets on the door. Kick off 19:00hrs.
Venue: Phoenix Suite, Longton Rugby Club, Eastern Rise Sir Stanley Matthews Way ST4 8WG.
As usual a varied mix of vintage jazz music from the 20's 30's 40's 50's & 60's. See you there !
YANKS ARE BACK IN SADDLEWORTH - 40th ANNIVERSARY - 10th August 2019
The 'Debs' are delighted to have been asked back to YANKS again this year to play at the Victory Swing Ball. We had a great time last year with a night of live swing music taking us all back to the day.
Box Office 07517 777837 or via website
BALLROOM BLITZ AT MORECAMBE - 3rd August 2019
Looking forward to making our debut at Morecambe this year performing for the Saturday evening Ballroom Blitz.
Its going to be a fab weekend, don't miss it !
Hope to see you all there.
NEW YEAR'S EVE - TARTAN BALL - LOWTHER PAVILION
Looking forward to making lots of new friends in Lytham St Annes on NYE and making our debut at the very nice Lowther Pavilion Theatre. Old friends too, do come and make a night of it with us, lots of lovely hotels in this charming little resort town just south of Blackpool.
A traditional dance evening, so something for everyone, featuring Swing Jive, Modern Ballroom, Sequence and Latin American dancing with a sprinkling from north of the border. Dig out that Tartan bow tie you never thought you would wear again !
Please see all our other news & events
Max doesn't bite! Just pick up the phone and call Max Debon on 07979 501101.
If you prefer, please use our contact form or send him an email to
“ Thanks again for a great afternoon, and I’ve got to say, you guys have had some of the best feedback we have ever had – the entire room thought you were excellent ! ”
RH - Corporate Client
Thank you and the band for an excellent set it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone this morning as we are packing away has not stopped talking about the band.
Thank you again and see you next year I hope. ”
Flight Sergeant KW - MOD
“ Hi Max
Thanks for a great performance the feedback to us was 100% positive. We don't really have much choice about next year as we have (already) had requests for tickets for next years dance ! ”
GD Morecambe 1940's Revival
“ Thank you SO much to you all for playing the reception music at our wedding on Saturday. You were absolutely fantastic! You created the most warm, festive atmosphere to accompany the mulled wine and went completely out of your way to include Christmas songs we'd asked for. It was exactly what we wanted! Thank you, Scarlett xxx ”
“ If there was a prize for best dressed band this weekend's contestants would win hands down.
The band opened with a brief snatch of the theme tune to Strictly Come Dancing to herald Nick Balmforth in his role as compere onto the stage. This led on to songs from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s played in style by Leader and trumpet player - Max Debon, Austin Ralphson on the trombone, Rick Halliwell on the alto sax, Sarah Eastwood on clarinet and vocals, Peter 'Pedro' Robinson on double bass, Rob Turner on drums, Peter Wilson on keyboard and Anne Holder on saxophone.
We had it all - Mambo Italiano, The Folks who Live on the Hill, Stardust, American Patrol, Tiger Rag, My Baby Just Cares for Me and much much more, ending with an appropriate swing version of The Addams Family. In line with Strictly's favourite straight-talking Craig Revel Horwood it was Fab-u-lous ! ”
Stafford Jazz Society
“ Hi Max
I just want to place on record my sincere thanks to you all for your superb performance on Saturday night at my 50th Birthday Party.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the music and didn't want it to end. The dance floor was full throughout the night and with dancers of all ages. - a real tribute to your artistry.
Many of us woke up on Sunday morning quite bleary eyed but with so many of your wonderful tunes going around in our heads. You have created many many happy memories.
I will not hesitate to recommend you to other people.
Please convey my appreciation to the other band members.
With sincere thanks and good wishes.
“ Thanks you for providing excellent music and I look forward to doing business with you again as you made my job a lot easier. ”
CM Flight Sergeant MOD Stafford
“ We would like to thank Max and The Debonaires for their fantastic music at our wedding on Saturday.
They were so accommodating and even added a new song to their repertoire as I requested Gary Smiths favourite song of Bring Me Sunshine, he was over the moon when he heard it.
So many of our guests were mesmerized by Max and the music, we had lots commenting on how fantastic they were and how lovely it was to have a proper band playing!
Everything was perfect from the initial e-mail to the very end, I can't recommend them highly enough. Thank you so very much x ”
Claire and Gary
“ Thank you Deboniares for the most amazing night. You were just superb and made our 1940s party such fun and got everyone on the dance floor! We're trying to think of future parties just so that we can book you again! Thankyou thank you thank you! ”
Nancy and Tom
“ Hi Max, thank you for the fantastic music on our opening night. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We will be in touch soon to arrange a repeat booking. ”
Ruth Newman - Redhouse Inn
“ Thank you for sounding so amazing last night, from start to finish we loved every minute of it. Adam Borriello (groom).
You guys were amazing! Thoroughly enjoyed your sets -Couldn't stop dancing and singing! Thank you for helping to make their evening special.Cazz Prior (Bridesmaid). ”
Wedding of Izzy & Adam
“ Hi Max,
On behalf of the Civic Mayor of Tameside (Councillor Vincent Ricci) and all his guests, please accept our sincere thanks for a fantastic evening.
The event was a huge success and we are all so grateful to the Debonaires for helping to make the occasion so memorable.
Thank you once again, it was a pleasure working with you.
Best wishes. ”
JG - Tameside Mayor's Office
“ Hello Max great to hear from you
I`d like nothing better than to book the Debonaires for a show next year- easily the best dance band I`ve booked EVER!! ”
DT / Middlewich Town Council
“ On behalf of the Commanding Officer of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, I would like to thank you so much for playing at our Battle of Britain Dining-In Night. Your contribution was greatly appreciated and I have received numerous positive comments following your performance last night.
The Debonaires captured the mood of the evening perfectly; the selection of music was ideal and, on a personal note, the RAF March as the Top Table left was the icing on the cake.
Please pass on my thanks to all members of The Debonaires - you all helped make the event a great success. ”
Project Officer - Battle of Britain Dining-In Night
“ Thanks Max, you did us proud. Fabulous band! ”
Lavender Ribbon Cancer Charity
“ Morning Max
Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to you and your team .
Excellent , very professional, and also lovely people to work with . Your dedication and passion for your art is outstanding , and you took the evening to a different level with your music - amazing !
I would love to have you back to another supper club and hope you had a wonderful night yourselves .
Please pass on my thanks and appreciation again to your team , they were all excellent .
Hope to speak soon ,
Lady Absinthe x ”
Lady Absinthe / Buxton
“ I wanted to follow up on your wedding performance on the 24th November. Your band's performance was excellent and everyone had a wonderful time; I can't tell you how many people came up to me to ask where we found you and how good they said you all were. As a 'small' band you put out a 'big band sound', witness the crowded dance floor. ”
PM / Macclesfield
“ We all had a brilliant night at the Swingaroo christmas party - what a great party atmosphere - Awesome band, absolutely blew us all away at Swingaroo on Friday. Hopefully we're getting 'em back next year! ”
AD / Preston
“ Thanks again for playing at our wedding. The music was perfect for giving the drinks reception that 'vintage' feel and definitely added a touch of class! We have had so many lovely comments from guests. We really appreciated your professionalism on the day and beforehand in fitting round our ever changing plans and song preferences for the day. We will definitely be recommending the Debonaires to our friends for future events. ”
HB / Nantwich
“ We gave a great reception to the Debonaires. - as this 'small big band' reminded us of Duke, Glenn, Woody and others, and singer Sarah did the same for such as Ella, Peggy and Marilyn. Absolutely everything went with such a swing. ”
Brookdale Club / Stockport
The Debonaires are based around Manchester, Birmingham, Cheshire, Staffordshire, essentially the Midlands and North West but are happy to perform at venues nationwide.