My favourite gig of the week was when I popped up to London to see Ray Gelato and The Giants at Pizza Express, Dean Street – a wonderful swinging gig and worth the trip.

My own swing band will be at The Shed, Bordon, this Friday and The Mulberry, Farnham, on Sunday night – both free entry.

Tonight (Thursday) it’s Unplug The Wood ukulele jam and open mic at The Lamb, Farnham. These are a series of gigs hosted by Mike and Caroline under the Unplug The Wood banner at various venues including the Lion Brewery, Ash, each Tuesday evening.

There is always a great community spirit at these welcoming nights. It includes a “ukulele” jam where you can play along with the chords and words projected on a screen.

Also tonight Geoff Hiscott returns to the Jolly Farmer, Blacknest, to host open mic.

A reminder that on Saturday the Waverley Singers have their big event of the year when they perform Bach’s Mass in B minor at St Andrew’s Garrison Church, Aldershot. Tickets (£20, £15, under-18s/students £5) are available at

On Sunday, Jazz At The Abbey is back at the historic Waverley Abbey House. Singer Debby Bracknell will be appearing with the band.

She recently appeared at the big Platinum Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace singing backing vocals for the likes of Alicia Keys and others on the night.

The band includes double bassist Marianne Windham, who has played with some of the greatest musicians on the UK jazz scene. Mark Jones and David Kirby are back on sax and piano while Kirk Weber is drummer and emcee. Details and tickets available at

On June 23, Petersfield Orchestra play at the town’s Festival Hall. Three composers inspired by thoughts of their homeland feature in the concert.

The landscape of his native Finland inspired Sibelius to create the mighty epic that is his Fifth Symphony; the sight of a majestic flight of swans over the ocean suggested the surging theme that dominates the last movement.

Then the Danish composer Carl Nielsen wrote his Helios overture, an evocation of the sun’s journey from rising to setting, while far from home; he was staying in Greece and working in full view of the Aegean Sea.

And Dvorak was teaching in the USA when he composed his Cello Concerto; it is full of nostalgia for his native Bohemia and haunted by the loss of a girl he once loved.

In this ever-popular work, the soloist will also be far from his native land: Russian-born cellist Mikhail Lezdkan now lives in Southsea and performs all over the south of England.

Conductor Robin Browning will be on his home patch!

The event starts at the Petersfield Festival Hall at 7.30pm. Tickets (£18 and £16) are available from One Tree Books, Petersfield (01730 261199) or at

On Saturday, June 25, the Rhythm and Groove Big Band are on at Haslemere Hall – more about that next week. Tickets at

Gig Guide

(free entry and 8pm unless stated):

Thursday, June 16

Unplug The Wood at The Lamb, Farnham

Open Mic at Jolly Farmer, Blacknest (7pm)

Open Mic at The Good Intent, Petersfield

Eloise Kate at The Mulberry, Farnham

Friday, June 17

Five Field Holler at The Plough, Farnham

Vic Cracknell Swing Band at The Shed, Bordon

Sarah Saville at Square Brewery, Petersfield

Sunday, June 19

Brobed Stils at Gostrey Meadows, Farnham (3pm)

Vic Cracknell Swing Band at The Mulberry, Farnham

Tuesday, June 21

Unplug The Wood at the Lion Brewery, Ash

Julie’s Open Mic at Village Inn, Sandhurst

Wednesday, June 22

Jam Night at The Plough, Farnham

GT Live Sessions at The Britannia, Guildford

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