Gerry leads the band on trumpet. His forceful style and wicked sense of humour, not to mention his singing (forceful or wicked?) set the pace for the rest of the band who are:
MIKE SNELLING - Clarinet and Saxes. Toured with Gerry in the early sixties prior to taking up teaching
and was one of the few musicians to turn down a job with the great Alex Welsh Band. He retired as Deputy Head of a large comprehensive school, where he was regarded with a mixture of awe and disbelief, and is now just playing, teaching reeds and cooking curries. His major influences are his wife, Ed Hall, his wife, Archie Semple, his wife, Benny Goodman and his wife!
MIKE BLAKESLEY - Trombone. Toured for 3 years with Gerry Brown Jazzmen in the early sixties including the Louis tour. Has since led his own band, played with Harry Strutters, Colin Bryant on QE 2 for 18 years (!). He was with the Mission Hall Band for 13 years in the 70's and 80's
DAVIE BROOMFIELD - Banjo and Guitar (but not both together). A founder member of the band and a devotee of New Orleans music. He loves to see audiences dancing and his driving style propels the band along like a storm powder.
RAY BALL - Drums. To say that Ray is somewhat eccentric would be the understatement of the millennium. He toured with Gerry and Louis in the sixties and has since worked with Roy Pellett, Al Grey, Benny Waters and Scott Hamilton. Ray is one of that rare breed who treat a drum kit as a musical instrument and his sensitive, responsive and dynamic style is responsible for the freedom that one senses in the band's performance; which is amazing because if his drum kit was a horse it would be put down.
PETER McCURRIE - Double Bass. Peter has had a versatile music career covering folk, rock, cabaret, church choirs and Bavarian oompah bands. In the 70's he was principal tuba with Freckleton Silver Prize Brass Band, around the same time playing with Shep's Banjo Band and Your Father's Moustache. The 80's saw him 'come out' as a double bass player. He spent 16 years with the Roy Pellet Hot Four playing the tuba and appeared on a local TV series with'Humph'.
The Mission Hall Band is a happy band who genuinely enjoy what they do and this is very effectively communicated to their audiences. Veterans of television and radio both here and abroad, they have built a reputation second to none at venues and jazz clubs throughout the land and were voted "Band of the Year" at Nat Gonella's own club - at Gosport last year.