Formed in 1990, Straight Eight, an exciting Soul and R & B band promise a highly enjoyable show appealing to all. With a distinctive full-blooded horn section, initially the band played classics from the golden era of Soul, including tracks made popular in the ‘Blues Brothers’ and ‘Commitments’ movies. More recently, they have extended the repertoire by applying their special treatment to funkier numbers from the seventies to the noughties, along with some gems that you’d forgotten!
They have impressed at many high-profile events – awards evenings, college balls, dinner dances, charity events, parties, weddings, clubs – from Newquay to Newcastle, and are equally at home playing at a Park Lane Hotel or in the garden of your local pub. Prepare to be entertained!
Let’s meet the band…..
Noel – Vocals
This soulful smooth singing charmer is a born entertainer. His sublime vocals turn back the clock to the golden age of soul and the sounds of artists such as Otis Redding and Wilson Picket but with his own unique style.
This man is a “smile on a stick” who everyone loves and he certainly knows how to keep an audience happy and up on the dance floor, throwing a few shapes of his own as well.
He does however have a shocking memory with every member of the band being introduced as someone else sooner or later. Luckily he has an unerring sense of direction and finds his way home from gigs most of the time.
Vikkie – Vocals
Known as “The Enforcer” Vikkie has a massively powerful voice ranging from a soft purr on tickover to an ear-splitting rockchick belter capable of crushing eardrums at fifty paces when the taps are turned up!
Demonstrating an incredible vocal range, her training in the performing arts has certainly not been wasted, although as choreographer her infinite patience is tested when dealing with the eight left feet of the horn section!
Jim – Guitar
The wild man of rock founder member Jim brings with him a wealth of experience and guitar expertise. Jim has played in all manner of styles over the years and the rest of the band are convinced that he has more than the normal compliment of digits to enable him to play such incredible guitar solos. Jim has only recently re-joined the band after spending a year dead for tax reasons (like his idol Hotblack Desiato of the band Disaster Area) or possibly he was detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure – whatever the reason, welcome back Jim!
A massive musical talent, give him a high six next time you see him!
Kim – Bass Guitar
Kim brings a touch of sartorial elegance to the band together with a collection of bass guitars and his black & white correspondent shoes! Always pumping out a solid performance in the manner of “Duck” Dunn in his Stax days, Kim is a perfectionist and just what is needed to underpin the soul songs of STRAIGHT EIGHT.
Ever the optimist, Kim hope that his basses aren’t ever sold for what he told his family he paid for them!
Jeremy – Drums
AKA “The Speedbadger”(long story!).This man is always jetting in from some foreign country like Kate Adie into a war zone! The powerhouse behind the sound, Jeremy is an accomplished rhythmist second to none, employing a light touch when needed on the soulful numbers but also capable of knocking out a 70’s disco beat if required.
Jeremy loves to hit things – thankfully he has so far restricted this to his kit and not other band members!
Nick – Saxophone
A founder member of STRAIGHT EIGHT, Nick is also the self-styled Musical Director often, however, referred to by the rest of the band as the “Obergruppenfuhrer”. He can be blamed for the majority of arrangements for the band.
His favourite instrument is the baritone sax and he loves the unique sound that the unusual line-up of the Straight Eight horn section produces.
Nick has been playing saxophone for over 40 years and his playing is as precise today as the first time he ever picked up the saxophone!
Gary – Trombone
Don’t let Captain Happy’s taciturn expressions put you off – he really is enjoying himself! The powerful sound of founder member Gary’s bass trombone is one of the most recognisable elements of the STRAIGHT EIGHT sound.
He is without doubt the best trombonist in the band!
Robert – Trumpet
The ever cheerful, chipper and frightfully well spoken Robert not only plays trumpets but makes them as well! A fantastically talented and renowned international baroque (classical to you and me) player we are pleased he has chosen to “slum it” with us lowly rock musicians. Just hearing this man warm up leaves us in awe!
He can turn out a jazz/rock solo with the best so listen out for him at the next gig! (you won’t be disappointed!)
Dick – Trumpet
Dick is a real life “Joey the Lips” having played trumpet with an incredible number of famous acts throughout the years (and also owning a small scooter)! One of the original horn section of Graham Parker and the Rumour, Dick is often seen on stage with Suzie Quatro and recently with the Osmonds. A fantastic jazz, rock, blues and soul trumpeter, Dick is a true musician’s musician and we are lucky to have him. His only worry is that one day he might have to get a real job!