Almost no other band seems to possess the ability to perform in so many varied and diverse venues as The Dizzies. You are just as likely to find them performing for a club full of twentysomething cool cats or to an audience of trad jazz fans. Their repetoire is full of artistic contradictions.
Appearing at many different music clubs gives a clue as to why they enjoy such a massive appeal. The music often crosses the genre divide simply because they are so interesting musically. With influences of Hot Club, 40's swing, Blue note Soul and Sinatra often with Latin rhythms gives them an edge most bands would die for. Currently they have 4 albums available from iTunes and on CD. Equally at home performing to 3,000 plus festival audiences or in the intimate atmosphere of a sleazy jazz club, the Dizzies do it everywhere.
The line up is
John Naylor - Vocals, Rhythm guitar.
Patrick Walker - Violin, Lead guitar, vocals.
Mike Fleming - Double Bass, vocals.
Caroline Boaden - Drums, vocals
The Dizzy Club perform "Old Black Magic" at Seven Jazz.
The Dizzy Club have been blessed with an abundance of talented musicians over the years. Here is the current line-up.
VOCALS / GUITAR
John Naylor is one of the founding members of The Dizzy Club and is the driving force behind the Dizzies.
John was first taught the piano at the age of eight and took up the guitar four years later. Educated at Birkdale in Sheffield.
"In my teens I could not help but listen to every style of music and was particularly influenced by the Northern Soul played at many of the All Nighters dotted around the north of England.
The music coming over from Chicago, Detriot, Philadelphia and New York was something else. It had the blues, jazz, country and swing influences in abundance which created even more curiosities for me. The classical strings of Anthony and the Imperials drew me to classical music. The complex arrangements of Ramsey Lewis's Motown work blew my mind.
This eventually made me look into the varieties offered by the Jazz singers, and I was nineteen when I truly became under the influence of the greatest singer that has ever been. Miss Ella Fitzgerald.
My curiosity was a little dulled in my twenties because I took up a career in business and that removed me from the performance arena until I decided to pack it all in to become a musician.
I then found myself studying the songwrtiters of the great jazz era of the twenties, thirties and fourties and quickly realised the genius of songwrtiters like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart and was completely enchanted by the poetry and by the supremely written melodies which accompanied those fantastic lyrics.
My favorite composer of them all is Irving Berlin primarliy because he could write a song for any mood and in many styles.
DOUBLE-BASS / VOCALS
Mike was born and brought up in the old bohemian jazz quarter of Timperley in the deep southern steaming mangrove swamps of Cheshire. He remembers with affection the colourful community that wrapped itself around him and his family – free- wheeling estate agents, hip young chartered accountants and pension planners with their devil may care, live for the moment attitudes to life. Times were tough and edgy in the 'hood'; he still has occasional flashbacks to the day - age seven - when he witnessed a drive-by shouting.
But there was the vibrant upside of street life as well. One hot summer afternoon his ears pricked up to the sounds of a Sally Army band and dashed down to the village to see a row of trombone horns glistening in the sun. It was a Road to Domestos moment; all those tubes. It was either that or a career in gaenocology.
And there it was in the school music cupboard- his first trombone. He worked hard over the years and eventually failed to get on the prestigious Leeds University music course. Instead they let him settle for the less prestigious Ripon College music course to specialize in composition, so long as he could secure 2 E's. (After an awkward misunderstanding the head of department later had to clarify this for him.)
After years of intensive practice came the gradual realisation that his 'sound' on the bone hadn't really progressed beyond fart in a colindar, but once more fate stepped in; standing in a corner of a practice room one day was an old double bass, and the new love affair began. Furthermore the college padre was forming a simultaneous folk and jazz quartet in downtown Ripon and just happened to need a young, self-taught man of severely limited talent to get on the old stand-up. The bass had to be smuggled past the porters' lodge on gig nights, then shoe-horned into the Rev's ancient Morris Marina with the neck angled out of the front passenger window with a red warning scarf round it for passing cyclists. The ‘All-Stars’ would soon become firm favourites with the local chapter of Hells Angels, tending to come to the pub in their leathers having caught the bus to avoid breathalyzer incidents.
Happy days. The rest is too much history to tell: eventually the legendary 'Dizzies' were born in the back room of Sheffield's Irish pub 'Fagan's', and here they still are today, keeping the faith with Northern Swing.
GUITAR / VIOLIN
Patrick has been a well known musician on many music circuits for over 25 years and has played in many many bands and has always collaborated with the finest fellow musicians. Patrick began playing guitar at the age of 9 and by 13 supported Christie Moore and was featured in the famous weekly music magazine Melody Maker and was regarded as one of the city's most precocious talents and played many music clubs throughout the U.K.
Irish music in it's many forms is something he specialised in for many years on his fiddle as he calls it and began experimenting with jazz structures with John Naylor in the early 90's. This collaboration which formed initially in the back room at Fagans in Sheffield was where the Dizzies sound and style was born.
Patrick's influences include The Stones, Tommy Peoples, Steve Earl, Martin Taylor and the legendary violinist Stuff Smith.
You can often find other superb guitar players turning up to listen to his very unique style of playing which has not been constrained by text book technique.
Patrick has one daughter Hannah and one son Wesley.
DRUMS / VOCALS
Caroline Boaden is the newest member of The Dizzy Club. Caroline has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz and has been a professional drummer for over twenty years.
She began her career at the tender age of fourteen and cut her teeth on the club circuit alongside her Dad Fred Boaden who had been an established keyboard player on the jazz circuit. He became my musical mentor and advised me to study at the Leeds College of music (1982). Caroline has since then played all over the world in various bands and has work with artists such as Ephraim Lewis & Jimi Tenor. She has also appeared at festivals such as Glastonbury & Virgin. She has also worked locally with many visiting jazz legends including Pete King, Art Farmer & Harry Sweets Edisson
Caroline was a regular performer at the legendary wine bar Mr Kites and could be heard providing the groove for many of the Sheffield based jazzers and also performed at John & Annie Naylor's wedding in 1993. Her other current projects includes Laura Fowles and is playing support for Take That during their current 2007 UK tour.
In the summer of 2006 Caroline headed a series of jazz drumming workshops at the Cinnamonn Club in Manchester and also provides private tuition to a few selected pupils.