2005 Bands and Performers
THE HACKNEY RAMBLERS
The Hackney Ramblers have been playing Cajun Music for many years and are firmly established as one of the top bands in the country. The band features the classic Cajun line-up, accordion and fiddle backed by guitar and drums. Using the classic cajun dance-hall repertoire as a starting point the The Hackney Ramblers are not afraid to add different flavours to the pot, 30s string band fiddle tunes sit alongside creole blues, straight down the line cajun honky-tonk and western-swing. The whole thing adds up to an irresistible, steamy, gumbo straight from the Louisiana bayous. A 100% cayenne powered dance machine guaranteed to get you moving!
CRANE RIVER CAJUNS
Hand reared by alligators on the banks of Eel Pie Island, the Crane River Cajuns serve up a hot gumbo of two steps, spicy waltzes and their own foot-tapping original numbers. When these lads and lassies take the stage, it's time to party cajun style... "Laissez les bon temps roulez!"
JOE LE TAXI & THE ZYDECO BAND
"Hot Zydeco Dance Music from the Welsh Frontier!" Joe Le Taxi & The Zydeco Band play hardcore Louisiana Zydeco, authentic Creole blues, sleazy shuffles and old school waltzes, heavily influenced by the raw dance music of such Zydeco legends as John Delafose, Boozoo Chavis and Bebe Carriere. Now in it’s third successive incarnation, Joe le Taxi’s Zydeco Band continues to combine this irresistible Zydeco groove with mantric melodies and crazy twisted love lyrics, to create a stunning original sound which has packed the dance halls from Sidmouth to Shetland; plus the occasional foray into Holland, France and Belgium.
LIL' JIM AND DEEPZONE ZYDECO
Lil' Jim and Deepzone Zydeco are fronted by Lil' Jim the 17 year old UK accordion maestro who is backed up by members of R Cajun And The Zydeco Brothers and Zydecomotion. They play hardcore Zydeco. A powerful musical style from the black French speaking world of Louisiana. Jim’s Zydeco heroes are musicians like Keith Frank and Geno Delafose. When Jim plays its not hard to imagine being in a downhome dancehall on the bayou on a Saturday night with the smell of crawfish hanging in the air and a cold bud at your side. This is Zydeco music as good as it gets from a young guy who knows how to rock!
ELVIS FONTENOT AND THE SUGAR BEES
Formed in 1992, Elvis Fontenot and The Sugar Bees are going from strength to strength. Gigging relentlessly all over the UK as well as twice in Louisiana, Elvis Fontenot and The Sugar Bees have most recently been voted as Runners Up in The Best Zydeco Band -category on the European Cajun & Zydeco Awards 2005. Their ferocious brand of cajun, zydeco, soul and blues is best described as "Swamp 'n' Roll" - expect merciless energy, sweat and a highly visual performance! New CD - "Not Necessarily In That Order" - due to be released in the autumn.
KAY ANDERSON (cajun dance workshops)
Kay Anderson has been dancing all her life but got hooked in cajun music a number of years ago after hearing Balfa Toujours play at Broadstairs Folk Festival. Finding gigs and workshops proved difficult and far afield so she started her own regular dance workshops in Kent where she offered to share what she had learnt. She has also taught cajun dance at the Bristol Cajun & Zydeco Festival in 2004 & 2005, at the Gloucester International Cajun & Zydeco Festival in 2006 and at the Broadstairs Folk Festival since 2001. If you’re in Kent look up www.kentcajun.org.uk and come and join in the fun. "You learn by doing!"
AMRIK SINGH & MARY ELMS "The Zydecajun Dancers" (zydeco dance workshops)
Amrik and Mary have been dancing and teaching cajun and zydeco dancing together for more than 12 years all over UK and Europe at different events and festivals such as Gloucester Cajun & Zydeco Festival, Sidmouth International Festival and Raamsdonksveer Cajun & Zydeco Festival (Holland). They have also held regular classes at Sidmouth, Totnes, Newton Abbot and Exeter and as a result, appeared on TV at various news items in the South West, the local radio in Exeter and the Independent newspaper! Zydeco is a great passion of theirs as "it really does reflect a true dancing partnership, yet independent freedom as well and the self-expression and feel of the different rhythms help to make sure that no two dances are similar".
HOPPIN' MAD (Graeme Puckett & Ann Peskett - Friday night cabaret)
Graeme & Ann teach and perform together and with their dance group, Hoppin' Mad all over the country. They run classes in Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Manchester, Cardiff, Gloucester, Swindon, Southampton and anywhere where people are interested in learning swing dance, be it Lindy Hop, Balboa, Shag, Charleston etc. Recently they taught and performed in San Francisco and New York where it all began. They have won several awards and appeared on films, TV and videos.