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7 March 2023

OK XXXX... it's time to spring into spring!

Is it spring yet? Welsh snowdrops in Jo and Dave's poor-excuse-for-a-garden. Click to enlarge


Yup, spring! Jo suggested that I start this newsletter with something positive. Something to lift your spirits. Something with a spring-scented, lamb-skipping, buds-bursting, bird-singing, full-of-optimism vibe...

Since the world and UK news can be a trifle gloomy. From time to time.

Yellow crocuses
Yes it is spring! Even in Wales... Yellow crocuses from the same in-need-of-maintenance place. Click to enlarge

Hopefully then this up-and-at-'em, keep-'em-smiling beginning will distract you. Not just from miserable news, but also from my poor performance as FiddleBop's official newsletter writer. Awful indeed. It has been ten months (gasp!) since the last FiddleBop news missive! That's dodgy going even by my own low standards.

Skipping lambs at dusk
It is definitely spring! Skipping lambs at dusk. Click to enlarge

No excuses, of course.

I could say that I've been busy. But I won't. Really.

So — moving swiftly on — let's look to the future. And there are some looking-good-and-feeling-happier FiddleBop gigs in the coming months, for your delectation! Some in Wales and some in England, and more being arranged as I write.

FiddleBop! Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper
Those springtime FiddleBoppers! Left to right, it's Dave, Paul (with added beard), Graeme, Jo. Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper. Click to enlarge (if you've a strong stomach)

Not to mention lots of new songs and tunes in the FiddleBop repertoire. And a new way of describing our music, "Gypsy jazz re-imagined". (More about that below.)

Yup, FiddleBop has been busy. Which I could use as an excuse for my bad newsletter-writing performance.

But I won't.


The Bank Vault, Aberystwyth
The Bank Vault, Aberystwyth. FiddleBop are here on Saturday 8 April. Click to enlarge

First on our forthcoming gig list is a new venue for us: the Bank Vault at Aberystwyth, "an intimate craft beer and live music bar". And they don't just serve beer, they also have a lovely range of artisan Welsh ciders, spirits, soft drinks, and wines. Smiley

In case you were wondering, the Bank Vault really was a bank! A 200+ year-old bank. (Let's hope that they don't have regular lock-ins there, ho ho!)

We can't wait! FiddleBop will be giving the best possible account of ourselves (Geddit? Ho ho!) playing "Gypsy jazz re-imagined" from 8 pm on Saturday 8 April 2023. And it's free admission! So come and cheque us out! (Ho ho again...)

The Bank Vault, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 2AT. 01970 600220

The Rose and Crown, Oxford
Sunday 7 May: FiddleBop return to the picturesque Rose and Crown, Oxford. Click to enlarge

Next, FiddleBop head east.

Where we're making a very welcome return to the Rose and Crown, Oxford on Sunday 7 May 2023. This is an Oxford Jazz Kitchen gig (thanks, Trish!), and the Rose and Crown is one of our most favourite pubs, with great beer and wine, brilliant food, and a fascinating history. Plus Andrew is one of our most favourite landlords ever, too. So we're definitely looking forward to this gig! FiddleBop will be playing from 7 pm.

Admission is £5, and booking is recommended. There is a coronation occurin' during this Bank Holiday weekend, and things just might get busy...

The Rose and Crown, North Parade Avenue, Oxford OX2 6LX. 01865 510551

And now for some festival gigs!

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye. FiddleBop are playing here on Saturday 27 May and Monday 29 May. Click to enlarge

FiddleBop will be playing twice at the HowTheLightGetsIn Festival in Hay-on-Wye. With a smashing location beside the River Wye, this is "the world's largest music and philosophy festival which electrifies the idyllic town of Hay-on-Wye during a magical Bank Holiday weekend". The festival runs from 26-29 May 2023, with a thrilling speaker lineup which includes Slavoj Žižek, Esther Freud, and Brian Greene; a sensational music lineup, and hilarious new acts in the comedy lineup.

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye
Another view of HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye. Click to enlarge

FiddleBop played here last year, and we loved it! This year, we will be playing from 3 to 3.45 pm on Saturday 27 May in the Blue Moon Tent, and from 3.30 pm on Monday 29 May in The Stage venue.

If you are wondering about the title of the festival... well no-one seems to know exactly who said it first, but a much-quoted version is from Leonard Cohen's 1992 song "Anthem" which includes these lines:

"Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
That’s how the light gets in."

Tickets for HowTheLightGetsIn are available here. This will be a really great weekend. We'd love to see you there!

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5BZ

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye

Which brings us to Upton Jazz Festival!

This marvellous two-day event, in the highly photogenic town of Upton-upon-Severn beside the (you guessed it!) River Severn, takes place this year on 24-25 June 2023. No flash-in-the-pan, this. The festival was founded by a group of friends in 1985. Pubs, hotels, and clubs are transformed into jazz venues "hosting the very best in Dixieland to boogie woogie, hot club to European, trad to swing and gypsy jazz".

Upton Jazz Festival, by the River Severn
Upton Jazz Festival, by the River Severn. Saturday 24 June for FiddleBop! Click to enlarge

This year there are some brilliant jazz musicians playing: Alex Clarke Quartet, Alligator Gumbo, Ben Holder’s Hot Club Quartet, Cate Cody Trio, Debbie Arthur Trio, Dorine De Wit’s Tremé, Hotsy Totsy, Jake Leg Jug Band, Jeremy Huggett’s Boogie Band, Moscow Drug Club, Pedigree Jazz Band, Richard Leach’s Street Band, Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Band, Swing from Paris, Tenement Jazz Band, ‘Spats’ Langham and Hot Fingers, The Vintage Jazz Collective, Washington Whirligig... and more!

So FiddleBop are very pleased to also be making our music ("Gypsy jazz re-imagined", to be precise) at Upton Jazz once again. Yaaaaay! We're on from 4.30 pm on Saturday 24 June 2023 (venue TBA).

Tickets for Upton Jazz Festival are available here. And yes, it would be brilliant to see you at Upton Jazz!

Upton Jazz Festival, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcs WR8. 07759 342073

Money collected for Ukraine when FiddleBop played at the Muse, Brecon, on Valentine's Day 2023
Money collected for Ukraine when FiddleBop played at the Muse, Brecon, on Valentine's Day 2023. Click to enlarge
A springtime stream
This springtime stream (at the bottom of Jo and Dave's field) is always the same but is always changing (so "You can't step in the same river twice"). Gypsy jazz is the same. Click to enlarge

OK, that's enough about the future. What about the year so far?

On Valentine's Day, FiddleBop played at The Muse, Brecon, to raise money for Ukraine. Not only did everyone (including us) have a great time (we won't forget the delicious Ukrainian food), but ‐ in our trusty yellow buckets ‐ we collected 320 quid for Ukraine.Smiley

And finally, what's all this about a new way of describing our music: "Gypsy jazz re-imagined"? Well, if you want a long answer then take a look here. But the short answer is that we've thought for a while now that, while FiddleBop certainly plays Gypsy jazz — as was jointly created by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in 1930s Paris — we are moving more and more towards a version which has been updated for the 2020s.

So that's what we now say that we play: Gypsy jazz re-imagined, updated, re-invented. Brought up to date, and very eclectic. But still with all the pizzazz and excitement, the "zing", of the original. Which comes naturally, since we love what we play.

OK. How about seeing you at a FiddleBop gig soon, for some "Gypsy jazz re-imagined"?

And finally finally... as usual I need to check that you wish to continue to receive FiddleBop newsletters. If no, then click here to unsubscribe. Or send an unsubscribe-request email to If you don’t do either of these things then I’ll assume that you are happy to receive future FiddleBop newsletters.

Thank you! Stay well.Smiley

Dave (and Jo and Paul and Graeme... the FiddleBoppers)

Gypsy jazz re-imagined! Phone01982 560726 Mobile Phone07968 950870
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Future FiddleBop gigs!

This list of gigs is correct at the time of writing, but the list on our website is always up to date.

The gig! When is FiddleBop playing? Venue, occasion, whatever... Where is it?
Bank Vault Aberystwyth

Free admission!

From 7 pm
Saturday 8 April 2023

Bank Vault,

Bank Vault
1 New Street
Ceredigion SY23 2AT, UK

The Rose and Crown, Oxford

£5 admission
Booking recommended

From 7 pm
Sunday 7 May 2023

Oxford Jazz Kitchen gig at
The Rose and Crown, Oxford

The Rose and Crown
North Parade Avenue
Oxon OX2 6LX, UK

HowTheLightGetsIn Hay-on-Wye 2023
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival tickets here

3 - 3.45 pm
Saturday 27 May 2023

Blue Moon Tent
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay

26-29 May 2023

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival
Hereford HR3 5BZ, UK

HowTheLightGetsIn Hay-on-Wye 2023
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival tickets here

3.30 - 4 pm
Monday 29 May 2023

The Stage
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay

26-29 May 2023

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival
Hereford HR3 5BZ, UK

Upton Jazz Festival 2023 Upton Jazz Festival
tickets here

From 4.30 pm
Saturday 24 June 2023

Upton Jazz Festival
24-25 June 2023

Upton Jazz Festival
Worcs WR8, UK


Gypsy jazz re-imagined!  Phone01982 560726  Mobile Phone07968 950870 
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