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The Fabulous Shirtlifters' West Country Tour 

(24 May 2008)

Photographs Copyright Pauline Clark

(click on photos for larger image)



2008 was the year that Cookham's jazz group, the Fabulous Shirtlifters, decided to let the people of Cornwall know about their talents. They were booked into the Minack Theatre, Cornwall's outdoor theatre right on the sea edge. It was a misty day and very little could be seen when the band arrived, however they were joined by an enthusiastic audience of around three hundred.

Preparing for the Evening Show at the Minack Theatre

The event was a charity do to mark the 10th anniversary of nearby Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, and all profits from the evening's entertainment were being given to the museum's education programme.

Rehearsal in Progress

As well as music with an initial French theme which appealed to a large contingent of French students in the audience an explanation of how the Fabulous Shirtlifters came into being with such an unlikely name. Apparently the band came into being for one night only. That was 20 years ago, obviously a long night.

The Performance Begins

The Fabulous Shirtlifters performed everything from King Oliver's Royal Garden Blues to Louis Armstrong's Black and Blue, not to mention such "hot" favourites as Alexander's Ragtime Band and Frankie and Johnny were Lovers, plus.of course, the inevitable When the Saints come Marching In, the band was in great form. Led by its pianist and titular head Charles Benson the seven musicians played their hearts out until well after darkness fell.  John Brook, who no longer lives in Cookham, did his George Melly impression as the band's vocalist,

A Successful Tour

More photographs of the evening taken by Pauline Clark Photographer can be seen at The Fabulous Shirtlifters are planning other gigs Click here to see their website.

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