The Night Owls are a cafe swing band formed in 2007 to play the great songs of the 1920’s and 30’s. The original line up has developed with the addition of drums, plectrum guitar and violin, but remains true to its roots still featuring the most popular instrument of the jazz age, the ukulele. Performing standards and more obscure songs the group sound tight and crisp embodying a real 1930’s sound. The band have played successfully at many weddings and local gigs as well as appearing on the main stage at the UK Ukulele festival and live performances on BBC Somerset Sound and Apple AM.
Nipper – Ukulele, National Plectrum Guitar and Vocals
Founder member of the band, ‘Nipper’ has played ukulele since the age of 15 and is now a well known teacher of the instrument. He has published several books on how to play ukulele and written widely about all things uke. He also plays a 1931 National Plectrum guitar bringing an authentic sound of pre-war jazz to the band. He has performed in many bands including ‘Skaville Train’, ‘The Hot Tone Rhythm Boys’ and on occasion in a duo with Steven Sproat, he often performs solo with ukulele and voice. ‘Nipper’ spends many hours writing and recording ukulele music in his solar powered narrowboat studio and researching the band’s songs from his extensive collection of 78rpm records.
Ali ‘Topsy’ Foyle – Violin and Vocals
Topsy has been a professional violinist for more than 30 years, teaching and performing classical music as a member of several orchestras. In the last few years she has had a brief flirtation with folk playing in the band ‘Hopping Mad’, however in 2012 she began a journey into the world of jazz violin. Inspired by Stéphane Grappelli and Joe Venuti she brings a lyrical and swinging style that sits perfectly with the Night Owls. In addition to her violin Topsy sings a number of the Owls most popular songs, her light and inventive vocals delight all who hear them.
Ian ‘Fats’ Elenor – Upright Bass
Ian is the heart of the Night Owls. He brings a wealth of bass playing experience having played for many years with local Hot Club jazz groups. In recent times he has concentrated on playing folk music with Bridgwater based bands ‘Jankie Fardel’ and ‘Hopping Mad’ as well as being a firm favourite in many local folk sessions. His welcome return to jazz has allowed him to once again show off a style which is complex and inventive while always remaining focused on providing a solid underpinning to the band’s sound.
Paul brings many years experience in Jazz drumming and provides a solid swinging beat that keeps the band moving and the dancers jumping.