Nick Ross and His Orchestra


Standing Ovation for Nick Ross

Ending three days of thrilling Music

With the holiday season now gathering momentum and having reports coming in that heavy traffic is heading into and out of the West Country and what with hot sun forecast for the next week or two there is no finer place to be than England premier holiday resort the Cornish Riviera.

And so it was that Nick Ross and his orchestra were heading our way for three days of Big Band music. His first stop on this trip was Taunton Somerset, then on to Newquay, the surfing centre of the UK and the following day down to St.Ives, a quaint fishing town and artists' paradise.

Promotor Tony Wild

Tony Wild, who had arranged these venues following his introduction to this band by yours truly in Winchester a few months ago was now putting his money where his mouth is and risking his reputation for he was bringing a new band to the audiences in the West Country who, as regular Big Band fans, had not as yet seen this band or heard of it, I suspect.

I was in no doubt, having seen this band now twice in the past year, that all enthusiasts of Big Band music will rate the orchestra high on their list of favourites.
Nick had already rehearsed the band and was ready to go. At 8pm his familiar opening theme started and we were off once again to a fine concert performance once more.

Resident singer Mark O'Malley was not with the band on these occassions and a surprise vocalist was introduced; none other than Roy Marsden.
Roy was the resident singer with Syd Lawrence during the late 1970's and early eighties so for me this was quite a bonus as I had like this singer and have several of his recording of him with the SLO as well as some Video recordings taken off the BBC show back in 1979.

Roy Marsden

Saturday, and we were now back in our home county of Cornwall. Nick and the band made an early start and travelled the two-hour journey to beat the crowds of holiday-makers making their way to our sunshine and golden beaches.

The venue for this concert was The Hendra Holiday Park, and the concert was to be performed in the nightclub at 2.30.pm. This was a very nice large hall carpeted and seating about 500 at tables. The bar was right down the length of the hall on the left and was open during the concerts, which was very welcome on the very hot summer
day. The large swimming pool to the right of the building was looking very appealing and even more so by the number of bikini clad beauties soaking up the sun's rays.

The stage was very small in this hall so Nick had arranged the band with the saxes and trombones on the dance floor in front of the stage with the rhythm group and trumpets on stage.

With the hall now filling and our glasses too, we were off to another great concert with this very happy bunch ofmusicians, the audience soon appreciating this band as we knew
they would.

Roy Marsden

Roy Marsden was again the male vocalist for the afternoon.
A great afternoon was enjoyed by everyone and by the comments heard from many it was a surprise to them to find a new name to add to their best bands list.

Sunday and day three of Nick's visit to the west
country. The concert today was to be held in the
evening and in the Guild Hall and was part of the
St. Ives Festival for 2005.

I don't know what it was, maybe the sunshine for the
past week, the holiday atmosphere or the anticipation that this concert today was going to be topnoch, but the audience now gathering felt excited anticipation that something really good was going to happen.
One unexpected surprise once again was another well known vocalist known to the long time Syd Lawrence fans, none other than Tony Jacobs. Today we see Tony travelling the country with a varietyof different shows, but today he is here with the Nick Ross orchestra, a first for him, and a first for Nick Ross.

As the band members walked on stage to their chairs the chatting died down and polite applause was heard until the last man walked on, trombonist Andy Smith, at which point the audience applause and cherring increased. Andy, taking full advantage of the situation stopped t urn to the audience and bowed twice. The applause and cheers increased and as the band broke into uncontrolled laughter the audience, realising their mistake, also began to laugh raising immediately the already excitement of an anticipated great evening's entertainment.

Andy Smith

Tony Jacobs
Alan Ladds counted the band in as Nick Ross made his entrance, and the concert once again started with Anchors Away. From the moment the band started playing it was clear that this audience had been waiting for this band.
You had the feeling they knew the orchestra and what to expect
but in fact only a handful of us had seen the band. There was
excited anticipation in the air and as the last chord of Anchors
Away faded the crowd was cheering and applauding loudly.

Nick welcomed everyone to his show and introduced the next number, 'My Hero' This was the Ralph Flanagan arrangement, which had that very Millerish sax sound. Ralph Flanagan was one of those bands which were introduced by the record companies after the war to bring back the Miller sound to the record-buying
public. I don't think at that time they thought that the Miller music would be as big as it has been over the past sixty years. Ralph Flanagan's band was fine in small doses but can make you feel a bit queasy if you have too much of it. Nick, however, just played the one number enjoyed by all of us.

We were now off to a wonderful mixed programme of familiar numbers from all the best of big band music. A varied and nostalgic selection of all which is the best of those recording we have collected over the years and many of course we have still in our record collections but just never get around to playing.

Alan Ladds

Here we go with the list.

A String of Pearls. ( Glenn Miller)
All of Me sung by Jenny Darron. Solo Alan Ladds

Love Story Theme
Begin the Beguine Artie Shaw. Alan Ladds again doing the Clarinet solo.

A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square. introducing Tony Jacobs.
At The Woodchopper Ball (Woody Herman classic)

Jenny Darron

Evening Serenade (A Tribute To Syd Lawrence)
Colonel Bogey
The Nearness Of You. (Tony Jacobs)
East of the Sun (Ted Heath)
Orange Coloured Sky (Jenny Darron)
American Patrol. (Glenn Miller)
Leave Us Leap with Gary Evans drum solo

Gary Evans

The Second Half of the programme commenced with, St Louis Blues March. (Glenn Miller)
Little Brown Jug. (Glenn Miller) Come Fly With Me (Tony Jacobs) The Way We Were .
Blue Moon. (vocal Jenny Darron) April In Paris (Count Basie) Girl Talk (Neil Hefty)

920 Special (Mike Burney Tenor Sax solo. Sky lark (Vocal Tony Jacobs) Pennsylvania 6500 (Glenn Miller) A Foggy Day in London Town (vocal Jenny Darron) Manhatten ( vocal Jenny Darron)
The Story of a Starry Night (Glenn Miller) vocal Tony Jacobs.
At the end of this song, Tony Jacobs said what a thrill it was to sing for the first time with this band and especially because he knew several of the players he had worked with before in the Syd Lawrence orchestra. In that orchestra he used to perform a Trad Jazz number and asked, as he just happened to have brought his trumpet, if he could have the assistance of Alan Ladds Andy Smith and the rhythm group, with a tune called Dinah.
This was a great moment and everyone enjoyed his high jinks on stage including Nick Ross, who was watching from the back of the stage.It was now another Miller favourite Caribbean Clipper, with a cheer from the
crowd Nick announced, Moonlight Serenade. As that number finished the whole audience was up on their feet yelling for more . It was an amazing spontaneous response to this wonderful concert with this relatively new band on the British tour circuit.
Back came Nick and a final number… what else but In The Mood..

Tony Jacobs.
  As we filed out of the theatre all I could hear was
“Great concert”
“Wonderful” “Terrific”


For More information about The Nick Ross Orchestra

Click here...................


Please e.mail me with your comments.

If you have any article you would like to have included on this site or in our quarterly mazazine please.. click here

Back to Main Menu

Membership to Big Band Buddies Click here