The Mike James Orchestra and Singers is a vibrant, professional big band consisting of powerful signature brass section, whip tight rhythm and talented soloists and vocalists all led by the earthy charm and boyish enthusiasm of Mike James himself, one of Britain's best and most enduring band leaders.
Inspired as a boy by seeing the legendary Count Basie live in concert, Mike dreamed of touring the world with an orchestra of his own. He achieved this in the 1970s, playing on board prestigious cruise ships with his band, performing every night alongside classic entertainers such as Bob Hope, Petula Clarke, Vera Lynn, Bob Monkhouse, Jimmy Tarbuck and Vic Damone.
The success continued through the decades with shows for international royalty, yet more cruises around the world, seasons and events in Kuwait, Bahrain and all across the Middle East and appearances in two Hollywood feature films and soundtracks with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffiths.
For over three decades now, Mike James has led his band with his characteristic exuberance and he shows little signs of stopping.
Mike is no stranger to Fleetwood and comments, “As a boy I used to go to my aunts who had a bed and breakfast in Fleetwood. In those days Marine Hall had a resident band that was booked for the summer season. They would play each night in the Marine Hall for concerts and shows and then they would play a few afternoons in the gardens for such things as beauty and talent competitions.
“I used to sit on the grass and dream about having my own band and playing at Marine Hall. I have been lucky to play all over the world and have done TV, radio and even a Hollywood film, but never played at Marine Hall, so this is a dream come true!”
A perfect mixture of youth and experience, classic and contemporary, the orchestra’s vast repertoire includes timeless big band classics, swing and rock and roll, soul, blues, Latin, salsa and chart hits from now right back to the 50s. This brand new show consists of almost nonstop and unforgettable numbers from the revered swing era such as Woodchoppers Ball, In the Mood and Sing, Sing, Sing to the more popular vocal and instrument numbers of today including My Heart Will Go On, How Deep is Your Love and Sweet Caroline. Add to this classical favourites, iconic film pieces and theatre music all played in that happy music style that made Last famous.
The Mike James Orchestra and Singers are performing In The Style of Last at Marine Hall on Friday 3 June, tickets are £15, call 01253 887693 or click here