'The Band That Jack Built'
50th Anniversary Concert, January 29th 2015, The Great Hall, Lancaster University
On the 50th anniversary of Hylton's death, a very special concert took place in the Great Hall of Lancaster University, the home of the Jack Hylton Archive. Pete Faint led a band based around Michael Law's Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, augmented by extra players and a six piece string section, along with vocals from Michael Law and Lucy Ward, with special guests Gerry Mawdesley as George Formby and vocals from Olivia Archbold and Lauren Ramsey.
Audio visuals were provided by Roger Keech Productions and the concert was performed in the presence of Jack Hylton Junior, the Vice Chancellor of the University and many local dignitaries. It was the culmination of twenty years work and research for Pete, who had arranged all the music from the original scores in the Hylton archive, presented the show, conducted and played piano. It was also the launch day for Pete's biography of Hylton (the first ever) and his Hylton compilation CD. As well as that, the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster University launched the latest Jack Hylton exhibition, which Pete curated. He also joined Hylton Junior for a pre-concert talk and question and answer session. The Q&A was video'd and is available to view on YouTube by clicking here.
A multitrack audio recording was made of the show and the entire evening was filmed on five HD cameras. Many questions have been asked as to whether the show will see a DVD or CD release. It's quite an expensive process, but perhaps! Certainly a few tunes will be edited and made available on YouTube as promotion for possible future shows.
The reaction to the show was overwhelming. The books all but sold out and the queue for signing after the show was unexpectedly long! The Friends of the Concert Series held a drinks reception and the positive feeling towards the show, the archive and the Jack Hylton Music Rooms was unequivocally positive.
In the few days following the show Pete was inundated with positive comments. Here are a few examples:
“I just wanted to say once again what a great, memorable Concert it was yesterday. You should be very proud - and I hope you had a great response. It’s rare to hear such enthusiastic praise from an audience, I have to say.”
“Just wanted to say thanks for the concert last night – it was great. I appreciate all the hard work you put into it and the commitment you gave to it. Everyone I’ve spoken to thought it was wonderful.”
"I just had to write and compliment you on a terrific evening, "The Band That Jack Built"! I have worked at the University for 37 years man and boy and the show you put on was the best I have ever seen. I am still buzzing !!"
“What a great night! Congratulations on getting it all together so that we could all enjoy the fruits of your research. You did a great job in preparing the show and delivering it so successfully. People responded to your light touch in the introductions and to the stylish way you got the band to play. It was a memorable evening, and hope you were pleased with the warm way we all responded.”
“I just want to thank you for a wonderful evening last night. The band were fantastic (not sure I've ever heard a better sax section, loved the banjolele too). Your enthusiasm was infectious! I am currently listening to the CD and reading the book!”
“Michael, Lucy and the girls were superb on vocals. It was a real treat, we really appreciate the amount of work put in to make the evening happen. You could (should) take it on tour!! Pete, great work and I hope you have the energy and determination to keep going for a long while yet.”
“I hope you’ve come back down gently after the excitement of the last week and are feeling pretty bloody pleased with yourself for what you achieved. As if publishing a book, arranging all that music and putting on an exhibition weren’t enough, you pulled off a really complex event which got people travelling from all around the UK to enjoy a really interesting, unusual and entertaining evening. I do hope you’re happy that we did Jack Hylton’s memory justice for the occasion.”
“Let me add to the chorus of praise that you'll no doubt be receiving for Thursday's wonderful concert. It was a real pleasure to see your face light up when I introduced myself! You did a wonderful job directing the concert and it's great to see how passionate you are about such a worthy cause.”
We've been asked for the set list from the evening, so here's what was played:
1. Oh, Listen To The Band!
2. Ya Got Something There
3. Hylton Stomp
4. Music, Maestro Please
5. Why Did She Fall For The Leader Of The Band?
6. Did You Mean It?
7. Tiger Rag (Weersma)
8. Jeepers Creepers
9. Shepherd Of The Hills
10. Chinese Laundry Blues
11. I Kiss Your Hand, Madame
13. Chinatown, My Chinatown
14. Oh, Listen To The Band!
1. She Shall Have Music
2. The Band That Jack Built
3. Darktown Strutters Ball
4. Ever Since I Kissed Her On The Volga
5. All Through A Glass Of Champagne
6. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
7. One Two Button Your Shoe
8. Rose Room
10. We’ll Meet Again
11. Oh, Listen To The Band!
1. Life Begins At Oxford Circus
2. Happy Feet
Here are a number of photos from the day, from the rehearsals, from the exhibition and from the show itself. All photos are courtesy of Jeff Harlow and none may be used anywhere without specific consent from Pete Faint.