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Next Public Events

40th Anniversary and Memorial Concert
September 3rd 2023, Tonbridge - Tickets Available
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Past Public Events

30 years of The Clefhangers Big Band
July 4th 2014, Paddock Wood - SOLD OUT
70th Anniversary VE Day celebrations
May 8th 2015, Tonbridge - SOLD OUT
"Christmas 2017"
December 9th 2017, Headcorn Village Hall - SOLD OUT
"Christmas 2018" A festive celebration
December 14th 2018, Ditton Community Centre, ME20 6QR - Tickets Available
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D'day Big Band Dance
June 7th 2014, Headcorn - SOLD OUT
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"For Your Eyes Only" - Dance to music from Stage and Screen including James Bond.
October 1st 2016, Headcorn village Hall - SOLD OUT
Frank Sinatra Centenary & Christmas with the Clefhangers
December 12th 2015, Headcorn - SOLD OUT
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Frank Sinatra Centenary tribute concert
May 7th 2016, Medway Hall Theatre, The Angel Centre, Tonbridge, Kent - SOLD OUT
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In The Mood - a concert in salute to Glenn Miller and his music
March 25th 2017, The Angle Centre, Medway Hall Theatre, Tonbridge - SOLD OUT
Kent VE day 75 Big Band dance Celebration
May 9th 2020, The Angel Centre, Tonbridge, Kent - Tickets Available
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"L.O.VE" a Valentines dance
February 16th 2018, Ditton Community Centre, ME20 6QR - Tickets Available
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What People Say About Us

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.

- Maggie Middleton

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Ticket Enquiries

Note: As the site is still under construction, please e-mail john @ if you'd like tickets to any events.

About Us


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.

What's it all about?

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.

So what makes it so popular?

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.

We've been around...

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.

John Haffenden
Musical Director


What people say about us...

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

Maggie Middleton

I have seen them on numerous occasions and each time a thrilling experience.

Mrs Julie Parsons

It was brilliant, great atmosphere

Rebecca Leitch

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.

Carolyn Mell

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.

Ray Pilbeam

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!

Suzanne Jones

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

Sonia Spurle

My daughter and I had a fantastic night at the VE Day event.  I'm so glad we got tickets. 

Emma Cannon

We all had a fantastic night and definitely celebrated our hospital 50th birthday in style

Chris Skitt

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.

Dorothy-Jane Shattock

What our corporate clients say about us...

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.

Christine Allen - Parkwood School

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!

Olivia A Barker - Nuffield Health Sales & Services Manager

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.<br><br>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.

Jane Ayers - Royal British Legion

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

James Hayden-Thomas, Headcorn