You've either come to this page because somebody you know has told you about us or because you simply enjoy Big Band music and somehow by modern wizardry we've popped up on your browser. Either way thanks for your interest on behalf of all the fantastic big bands out there working hard to keep this genre alive and jumping.
So what is a "big band?" You can be forgiven for thinking that a big band refers to the level of success it has achieved, like The Beatles or One Direction. But no, it's a genre in its own right with roots in the dance band days of the 1930s and it continues to play a major part in mainstream entertainment today inspiring many new young artists. Harry Connick Jnr, Michael Buble, Lady Ga Ga, Robbie Williams, Ray Quinn all enjoy and have had fantastic success with big band albums whilst maintaining their own modern individual careers. The X factor has its own big band week.
Well because it's happy, fun music which is unavoidably uplifting. Intricately crafted arrangements of old and new songs with close harmonies create "colour" in a way that only the big band sound can. Until you've experienced a live big band up close and personal and felt the music you won't know what I mean. A father of a 16 year old lad came up to me after a gig recently and said that his son had never seen "a band like this before and he's absolutely made up with it. He thinks it's brilliant."
That's basically what we do. We aim to make our performances memorable, inspiring, sometimes moving in our own way playing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, as Glenn Miller used to say. We have the traditional set up of the Glenn Miller or Frank Sinatra "orchestra" as they were called but the variety of music played and the versatility of the musicians and singers means that each performance is more of a show rather than just an evening of music, if you want it to be.
The variety of music the band offers means that the audience could be mid swing with "New York, New York" from the Frank Sinatra portfolio and then be singing and dancing to “Everybody needs somebody to love” in a tribute to the Blues Brothers, being able to change style and feel in an instant. It doesn’t matter what era a song is if from, if it suits the occasion, makes you smile and want to dance we’ll play it.
Over the years we've played all over the south of England for corporate entertainment, civic celebrations, dinner dances and select weddings at venues like the London Hilton, Grosvenor House and to 2000 guests at the Alexandra Palace. Clients have included a Home Secretary right through to John & Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac fame. The band has also performed in local theatres including for the Mayor at the Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall, music festival and our own dances.
The musicians are professional and despite the number of them the band can fit into surprisingly small venues. If you're thinking of having us for your event and wanted to vary the music styles even more, CDs/MP3s can be played through the PA system during the band breaks for the most up to date music.
So whether it’s forties, fifties theme night or just the full spectrum you just cannot replicate the sound, energy and feel of a live big band in full swing.
We look forward to seeing you sometime.
Wow! What a night that was last Friday! Everyone came away absolutely buzzing. So much going on, and so much talent. Can’t wait for the next one now
I have seen them on numerous occasions and each time a thrilling experience.
It was brilliant, great atmosphere
I enjoyed tonight's D-Day dance very much. I see your next dance is already sold out. Please let me know when you have more dates, and I will let my dancing friends know.
Great Concert last night at Headcorn. My wife and I enjoyed it very much and spoke to you briefly afterwards. We would like to know more and in particular where we can find you performing again.
Just to say that we very much enjoyed Friday 8th which was our first experience of a live big band performance. We'll look out for you in the future!
Thanks for an amazing evening. It is one we will remember forever. Kiah said "it was the best night of my singing life so far
My daughter and I had a fantastic night at the VE Day event. I'm so glad we got tickets.
We all had a fantastic night and definitely celebrated our hospital 50th birthday in style
We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for a fantastic night out last night. Please thank the rest of your line up on our behalf. The music was fabulous.
The Clefhangers are an excellent event band. They did a broad range of music that suited all tastes. It was refreshing to see a band that used a variety of good quality singers, all with different styles. This made the evening more enjoyable for our audience. The feedback from our guests was really positive, the music was enjoyed by all ages and people felt moved to get on the dance floor. The band members were very friendly and John tailored the evening to meet our needs, we will definitely book them again.
The band where phenomenal and the hospital staff are still talking about the event some two weeks later. The quality and variety of music on the evening were beyond anything we could have imagined. I hope to be able to enjoy The Clefhangers Big Band again soon!
Thank you for the wonderful evening in Tonbridge” “I would also like to add my thanks and appreciation to you and the band members for organising the evening and producing such a polished and professional set. The mix of music from uplifting to poignant and the sense of fun which was blended with a tribute to those that lost their lives was absolutely perfect.
It would be wonderful to work together again and I have some existing events that would benefit from an appearance from the Clefhangers Band, I would also be interested in discussing any ideas or thoughts you may have yourself about future collaborations.
On the 7th June in Headcorn and to mark the 70th Anniversary of "D"day a sell out audience were treated to a truly remarkable and authentic Glenn Miller sound. The twenty piece band led by John Haffenden and featuring 5 singers re-created a wonderful evening of swing with people in authentic period costume jiving and lindy hopping. You could close your eyes and be transported back to the 40s thanks to The Clefhangers Big Band