Wedding At Cupitt’s Winery


Last week the five-piece Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters’ played for Angus & Alex’s wedding at Cupitt’s Winery near Milton on the south coast of NSW

Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Broadcasters are a Great Gatsby trio to 6-piece band who take you back in time to the 1920s and 1930s with authentic small group Hot Jazz and swing. Singer and band leader Greg Poppleton is Sydney’s only authentic 1920s and 1930s singer

Visit the Broadcasters’ official website, www.bakelitejazz.com 

Greg Poppleton, Sydney's only 1920s and 1930s style swing and jazz singer
Greg Poppleton, Sydney’s only 1920s and 1930s style swing and jazz singer. Pic by Nigel Unsworth Photography

What a fantastic reception. A beautiful couple celebrating with great family and friends, dancing the night away to Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Broadcasters in a glorious location of rolling fields and vineyards overlooking the top of Burrill Lake and the rugged, Croobyar Forest and mountains in the west

Capturing plenty of magic moments for posterity was photographer Nigel Unsworth. Nigel took some stunning photos of the band and below I’d like to introduce you to the band through Nigel’s sharp, evocative portraiture with Angus’ and Alex’s kind permission

Angus and Alex emailed the band after to say: “how pleased we were with the band – and how much all of our guests enjoyed the music as well. Alex and I were particularly impressed by the rendition of Beyond the Sea and how easy you guys made it for us to perform our first dance (which we were very nervous about leading up to it but greatly enjoyed on the night). It was also very cool that Jamie was able to play a couple of tracks and for Linda to sing a few – all in all, it was a fantastic night of music and we greatly appreciate the effort you and the band put in coming down the coast for the night”.

Thank you Angus & Alex

Now if you’d like to book Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters for your occasion, please visit the Broadcaasters’ Enquiry Page. We answer all enquiries very quickly

Based in NSW, Nigel travels interstate on a regular basis to photograph weddings and for other photographic projects. He captures emotions, focusing on the natural and on the relationships between people. In the shots of the band below, you’ll see that Nigel has captured some fascinating human moments

Firstly, here’s Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Broadcasters’s trumpet and trombone player, Al Davey

Al Davey, jazz trumpet and trombone with Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band
Al Davey, jazz trumpet and trombone with Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band

Al Davey is one of Sydney’s busiest swing trumpet players. He also plays trombone with Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band

Al Davey has been called one of Australia’s best jazz trumpet exponents. His trumpet playing is described by Jazz Critic John Shand as “being plump of sound and sharp of line.” He also doubles at weddings and events on trombone for Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Jazz. From Melbourne, Al began playing in a brass band at 8 and in his late teens joined the 3rd Military District Band. He moved to Sydney were he was accepted into the jazz course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was tutored by many greats, including Don Burrows, James Morrison, Judy Bailey, Roger Frampton and Mike Nock. Since completing the course he has been a very successful freelance musician on the Sydney scene, playing in many jazz groups and backing many big names in the cabaret scene. Al was the ‘Festival Ambassador’ at the Clarence by the Water Jazz Festival in Hobart in 2007 and a featured solo artist at the 2008 Thredbo Jazz Festival

Playing piano – Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Broadcasters’ professor, Peter Locke. Nigel Unsworth snapped him in an unguarded moment…

Peter Locke, jazz and swing piano with Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Dance Band
Peter Locke, jazz and swing piano with Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Dance Band

Peter is Sydney’s most in demand swing pianist. He’s recently toured the US twice and Europe once, playing jazz clubs and festivals

From Europe is Bakelite Broadcasters double bass player, Dieter Vogt. Nigel‘s camera captures Dieter in a musically intimate moment…

Dieter Vogt, swing double bassist with Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Swing Jazz Band
Dieter Vogt, swing double bassist with Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Swing Jazz Band

Dieter Vogt has played double bass all over the world. Dieter was born in Basel, Switzerland, and began his musical career at the age of 12 playing the trumpet. At 17 he took up the double bass and played with the Oscar Klein Quartet. (Oscar Klein played with Lionel Hampton & Joe Zawinul.) He migrated to Sydney and became a foundation member of the Daly-Wilson Big Band. Dieter went to the USA, playing for a year with the Allan Pennay Trio. On his return he joined Winnifred Attwell for eight months touring Australia. Dieter toured China and South East Asia with the Nolan-Buddle Quartet. He also toured with Ricky May and Georgie Fame, and again toured Australia with British jazz stars, Humphrey Lyttleton and Alex Welsh in their Salute to Satchmo. Dieter toured with Graeme Bell’s All-Stars around Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, China, Hong Kong, the Phillipines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Japan

On drums was the man who’d played in Cliff Richard’s big band when Cliff Richard’s was still a big star with the Shadows, Laurie Bennett. Here’s Laurie as photographed by Nigel Unsworth

Laurie Bennett drums. Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Swing Jazz Band
Laurie Bennett drums. Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Swing Jazz Band

Drummer Laurie Bennett comes from a musical Sydney family. He has played in the bands of Don Burrows, Johnny Nicol and Judy Bailey to name a few. He was a long time member of Geoff Harvey’s TCN Channel 9 Midday Show Band. Laurie has played on many tours throughout Asia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Europe and has performed throughout Australia. He has backed many international Jazz artists such as Richie Cole, The Toshiko Akyoshi Orchestra, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Buddy Tate, Eddie ‘Lockjaw Davis, Joe Newman and has played for many local and international cabaret performers including Buddy Greco, Harry Secombe and Liza Minnelli

Now for Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Broadcasters’ singer and band leader and author of this post – Greg Poppleton. Nigel’s camera caught me in a very expressive moment rendering a 1930s love song, hair flopping everywhere Cab Calloway style…

Greg Poppleton is Sydney's only authentic 1920s and 1930s swing and jazz singer
Greg Poppleton is Sydney’s only authentic 1920s and 1930s swing and jazz singer

From my own publicity, let me introduce myself …”The darling of Sydney underground cabaret, Greg Poppleton is Sydney’s only 1920s and 1930s swing and jazz singer. Operatically trained by the same New York maestro who discovered Bette Midler, Greg has a 4.5 octave range. He plays with only the best internationally touring classic jazz musicians

Greg sings in clubs, for weddings, corporate functions, parties and historical events. He was chosen to sing at the sold out first Sydney Artists’ Ball recreating the wild, bohemian Sydney Town Hall Sydney Artist Balls of the early 1920s. He opened the International Sunset Jazz Concert series at SKYCITY Darwin in 2007. He has played at the Vanguard (sold out), the 75th Anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the 60th Anniversary of Film Australia and for the Wallabies. And he DJs his exclusive collection of swing & jazz from live 1920s-60s radio & TV twice weekly on his award-winning Phantom Dancer Radio show on 2SER-FM and for Jingle Jangle and the Pan Dimensional Halloween Syndicate

Now if you’d like to book Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters for your occasion, please visit the Broadcaasters’ Enquiry Page. We answer all enquiries very quickly

And, of course, if you wish to engage the photographic services of Mr Nigel Unsworth, well, we heartily recommend him and here is his website

Phantom Dancer CD and Greg Poppleton Voiceovers


Hello Radio Loungers,

I’m nearing the end of rebuilding my website www.gregpoppleton.com, home of Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Dance Band – 1920s & 1930s Hot Jazz & Swing

Lots of new pics and film clips still to go up, but here are two newies I’d like to share with you

This first one is a slide show of mostly recent live band photos taken by professional photographers. Most are by the stunningly talented photogapher, Janine Kaye

The white background shots are by Robert Stow, Hornsby Arts, for a music mag shoot

The soundtrack to the clip is from the Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band album “The Phantom Dancer: 14 Swing Era Songs of 1926 – 1939 in Radio Review” available at CDBaby for US $9.99 (mp3) and US $12.97 (CD with 8-page glossy booklet of song facts and historic 1920s & 30s photos from my archives)

The second clip is a voice reel of commercial radio ads I’ve been doing for a major radio network. I hope you enjoy them. And that’s my current actor headshot in the mix. While I freelance as a voiceover, my film & TV agent is Woodburn-Sweitzer Management

Cheers
Greg

Narnia Photos – Behind-the Scenes


It was great to be part of the latest Narnia film, Chronicles of Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as one of the Dufflepuds

As for my part in it? Well, I’m heard quite a bit as a Cock-a-nee in the voice track. Then there’s a flash of me as the first Dufflepud revealed. I won’t say what ‘revealed’ means in case you haven’t yet seen the movie, but let’s just say, film critics around the world have stood up in cinemas and applauded my flashing. Hardened media hacks have been moved to tears by the depth and spectrum of emotion I bring to my character in that crucial split second. The word, ‘genius’ has been whispered in exalted circles

Now, I just found two Narnia sites that share the magic. One is a film clip of the Dufflepuds. I hope it’s official. If not, I’ll take it down straight away. Worry not, however. It’s not a spoiler, none of the overall plot of the film is revealed. Clip

Link 2 is from a make-up effects magazine. It shows Academy Award winners Howard Berger and Tami Lane and others from KNB EFX Los Angeles and Make Up Effects Group Sydney creating the Dufflepuds, Red Dwarves, the Faun, Satyrs and the Minotaur in the Narnia make-up van. Magazine Article. Interesting stuff which reveals some of the process of expert imagination and creation.

Enjoy!

P.S. You haven’t seen Narnia yet? Here are the movie times when you can see Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Sydney

ALSO
See the latest Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band video clips via these Radio Lounge Blog Links
1. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
2. Exactly Like You
3. Blue Moon
4. The Way You Look Tonight

Cheers!

Torwood Lounge


I want to share something most extraordinary with you. It’s called the Torwood Lounge, 247 Rocky Point Road, Sans Souci

This is one of Sydney’s hidden gems and I happily stumbled across it in the line of musical duty last Friday night

You see, the Greg Poppleton Bakelite Trio played there last Friday night. It was a corporate Murder Mystery night. The stars were Murder Mystery Fun who provided the murder, while Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters murdered the music

Murder Mystery Fun was, as always, fun. Afterwards, the Greg Poppleton Bakelite Trio got guests on the dance floor and guests took dozens of photos of themselves with the band. Everyone had a great time at the Torwood Lounge

The Lounge was built in 1963 and it retains that early 60s modernist feeling of space and optimism. It’s one of the few rooms in Sydney where you walk in and go ‘WOW!’ – you’re transported. (I personally rank the Cello Room in the City and the small ballroom of the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba as the two other ‘WOW’ rooms about in Sydney.)

And just like the Cello Room and Carrington, the Torwood Lounge and the music of Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Broadcasters fit together hand in glove. The Bakelite Band’s repertoire, though 1920s & 30s, is very much a part of early 60s Australian popular culture and heightens the experience of this historic room. In return, the room heightens the experience of the music

However, the room is just the icing on the cake. Reema and her staff who run the Lounge are the friendliest, most generous and genuine event managers you will be lucky to meet. And that’s so important when you and your guests will be spending hours in their room celebrating

In the kitchen, Rob, who also teaches cooking, is the masterchef. Everything that came out of his kitchen on Friday night is perfect – classic dishes from the oysters to the roast lamb and the chicken curry which everyone raved about. Yum

And is this room CLEAN!. I’ve never seen a room so CLEAN. The axminster carpet is immaculate. It’s glorious!

I’ve taken a picture off the Torwood Lounge website to show you this classic 60s room, but really this is a case of seeing is believing. You have to walk into the room to fully appreciate it. Maybe I’ll be able to post a picture of the band playing on the Torwood Lounge stage and post that for you soon, till then, here’s the Lounge (dance floor in foreground) set up for a wedding reception

Torwood Lounge, 247 Rocky Point Road Sans Souci
Torwood Lounge, 247 Rocky Point Road Sans Souci

Bakelite Dance Band Review – Castle Lounge, Penrith. Saturday 20 Nov 2010



Caption: Exactly Like You. Guffaws and groove aside, this reviewer asks, if this is swing, where are the dancing girls?

PS: – The CD Greg is taking about in the video clip that will make a lovely coaster for your coffee table is the band’s Phantom Dancer CD: 14 songs from 1926 – 1939. Only 5 are left at CD Baby for only $US 12.97 + Postage. Get yours now while they’re still available

Band Review by Tony Deff, Jazz Critic, Penrith Bugle

“When the Bugle’s editor-in-chief told me to cover the action at Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band’s show in the Castle Lounge last Saturday afternoon, he added, “And use a lot of superlatives. These boys need a break. The bass player has played for Tony Bennett. For crying out loud, that’s a suit outlet!”

Well I thought at the time that superlatives meant extra strong laxatives. Turns out I didn’t need them…

On entering the Castle Lounge I was instantly struck by the show’s stage designer, the flamboyant Coco de Lamé

“Sorry,” she apologised afterwards. “From behind you look just like that bitch of an agent, Noah. He hasn’t paid me in months.”

Lamo, as she is affectionately known, went on to explain her stage concept to me for the band.

“It’s all about irony, darling.,” she purred. “The curtains along the back wall suggest inevitability. The plain wall down one side, domesticity. The toilet door in the background refers to the music.” (See video below)

At that I hastily excused myself

The bandleader gave the downbeat, 1,2,3,4,5 and the dance floor filled with dancers

As a learned music critic, I make the following notes about the band…

1. Grahame Conlon, guitar. The guitar Grahame plays has 6 strings. Each string makes a different sound. Played in combination, Grahame is able to create a palette of sounds that follow the melody. Sometimes in the middle of a tune he makes up his own melody. This is called improvisalisation

2. Darcy Wright, double bass. I don’t know how he does it. Playing the guitar must be hard enough. Granted, the bass has two fewer strings. But on the bass the strings go up and down instead of side by side. A totally new direction in jazz. Crazy, man.

3. Bob Gillespie, drums. Bob had a lot of drums in his kit. I noted that the bigger the drum, the deeper the boom. The cymbals (pronounced symbols, I’m reliably told) make a metallic ting. The only suggestion this set of ears has is that there should be a square drum placed slightly to the right of the drummer and up a bit. The square drum would fill the round hole I sensed percussionistically.

4. Greg Poppleton, singer. Do singers have to sing? This jazz critic for one says a big fat NO. What’s wrong with skiddily-diddily bed-ee bop? Now that’s jazz. As for presentation, his dress wasn’t short enough. In fact he was wearing a suit!

Band manager and agent Noah Problemo, whose roster of real stars include the Koala Suit Stompers, Hot Harmonica Hepcats and Vegemite on Toast – The Musical, (where I occasionally cameo as ‘Ol’ Crusty’), was surprisingly upbeat about the band, “Some laughs, some songs, (I winced). But too many people on the dance floor – not enough bums on seats.”

“Do you mean like in a soup kitchen,” this jazz reviewer parried wittily.

Noah stopped a passing drunk. “Go tell the band to stop that noise for a minute. I’m trying to talk to the man from the Bugle!”

“So how would you put Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band in a nutshell?” I grilled the legendary agent.

“I don’t like putting bands in nutshells,” Noah huffed. “Jazz critics are always asking me to put bands in nutshells. It’s impossible!” His eyes brightened. “Unless, of course, I get the set designer to build me a big nutshell on stage to put the band in for the 8 January show. But how do I get Lamo to do all that for nothing?” Noah laughed as the obvious came to him. “I’ll tell her it’ll be great for her portfolio.”

At that, the band stumbled back on stage for their seventh set and I had to race back to the toilets – to write this review, of course

So what do I think of the band? Well, in a nutshell, this inky-fingered hack gives Greg Poppleton and his Bakelite Dance Band two fingers”

Wedding Photos-Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters


Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters recently played in the perfect venue for our 1920s & 30s Hot Jazz & Swing – the Ballroom of the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba

We were playing for Caitlin & Stirling’s wedding – who had the most beautiful, warm reception in this classic Victorian hotel. Even the weather conspired to be mountains perfect, with an unusually thick fog for mid-Spring adding to the romance

As a band, we have always played at wonderful weddings, and here are some photos to prove it, taken by Janine Kaye, and passed onto me with Caitlin and Stirling’s generous permission

You can click on all the photos below to enlarge them…

Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band, 1920s & 1930s jazz & swing music for your wedding, corporate function or party. Featuring Greg Poppleton, Sydney's only 1920s & 1930s singer.
Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters. In photo (l-r) Peter Locke (p) Greg Poppleton (voc) Bob Barnard (tp)

Caitlin & Stirling chose the 5-piece version of Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters

This band features Sydney’s only authentic 1920s & 1930s-style swing singer, trumpet, piano, double bass and drums

Greg Poppleton, Sydney's only 1920s & 1930s style singer with megaphone
Greg Poppleton singing a song from the 1920s through a red megaphone with Bob Barnard (tp) & Dieter Vogt (double bass)

Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters can be hired as a vocal-instrumental duo to a 6-piece band from the band’s official website

The band draws on Sydney’s finest and most experienced swing and jazz musicians, all of whom have performed around the world

As the singer, I’m the only band member who has not toured the world, though my image has been worldwide on radio, TV and films including Moulin Rouge and Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

For Stirling and Caitlin’s wedding, the Bakelite Dance Band trumpeter was Bob Barnard

Bob Barnard - trumpet with Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters at the Carrington, Katoomba
Bob Barnard - trumpet with Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite dance band at the Carrington, Katoomba

Bob Barnard is one of the most highly regarded jazz musicians ever to come from Australia. Barnard grew up in a musical family in Melbourne and started on cornet with a local brass band when he was twelve. His first professional job was with his mother’s band at fourteen. Introduced to jazz by his father, Bob was a founding member of brother Len’s South City Stompers in 1948. He moved to Sydney permanently in June 1962, as a member of the Graeme Bell All Stars, and remained with them until mid-1967. Bob formed his own jazz band in 1974, touring throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, and the US. The band held long residencies at some of Sydney’s popular hotels. Bob is a regularly featured guest at festivals and concerts in the US, Britain, and Europe, and has recorded with top American, European and English jazzmen

On piano with the Bakelite Broadcasters is Peter Locke

Peter Locke at the piano with Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band
Peter Locke at the piano with Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band

Peter Locke started playing piano at 10 in his hometown of Port Macquarie and turned professional at 21. He is self-taught and is Sydney’s most in-demand classic Swing & Jazz pianist. Peter also plays in the band led by internationally renowned Australian trumpeter Bob Barnard (who also plays trumpet in Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters). Peter has toured the US twice, playing at the Bix Beidebecke Jazz Festival in Davenport Iowa and in many mid-west towns as well as Chicago and San Francisco

Dieter Vogt played double bass with Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters at Stirling & Caitlin’s wedding

Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band with Dieter Vogt, double bass
Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters with Dieter Vogt, double bass

Dieter Vogt has played double bass all over the world. Dieter was born in Basel, Switzerland, and began his musical career at the age of 12 playing the trumpet. At 17 he took up the double bass and played with the Oscar Klein Quartet. (Oscar Klein played with Lionel Hampton & Joe Zawinul.) He migrated to Sydney and became a foundation member of the Daly-Wilson Big Band. Dieter went to the USA, playing for a year with the Allan Pennay Trio. On his return he joined Winnifred Attwell for eight months touring Australia. Dieter toured China and South East Asia with the Nolan-Buddle Quartet. He also toured with Ricky May and Georgie Fame, and again toured Australia with British jazz stars, Humphrey Lyttleton and Alex Welsh in their Salute to Satchmo. Dieter toured with Graeme Bell’s All-Stars around Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, China, Hong Kong, the Phillipines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Japan

And finally, on drums at the Carrington was Laurie Bennett

Laurie Bennett, drums, Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters
Laurie Bennett, drums, Greg Poppleton & his Bakelite Dance Band

Laurie Bennett comes from a musical Sydney family. He has played in the bands of Don Burrows, Johnny Nicol and Judy Bailey to name a few. He was a long time member of Geoff Harvey’s TCN Channel 9 Midday Show Band. Laurie has played on many tours throughout Asia, New Zealand, Great BritainEurope and has performed throughout Australia. He has backed many international Jazz artists such as Richie Cole, The Toshiko Akyoshi Orchestra, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Buddy Tate, Eddie ‘Lockjaw Davis, Joe Newman and has played for many local and international cabaret performers including Buddy Greco, Harry Secombe and Liza Minnelli

So that’s the star-studded biography of the musicians in Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters who played at Stirling & Caitlin’s wedding. And now, here’s a Janine Kaye photo of the stars of the evening, Stirling & Caitlin:

Caitlin & Stirling - the bride & groom
Caitlin & Stirling - the bride & groom

And we’d love to play for your reception. We even have a small acoustic band with Greg singing through his red 1929 megaphone that’s popular at garden ceremonies. To find out more including how to book the band, visit the official website of Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters: www.bakelitejazz.com

Thank you for reading. And we hope you enjoyed the photos by Janine Kaye

Mozart Flogs Mozart on TV


Here’s a TV commercial I did recently that is now on TV for a short time here in Australia

For those of you outside of Australia, Telstra is the largest local telecommunications company

I play sober Mozart. Best of all, for me, was that I was allowed to do a little hand twirl to bring attention to the product. I felt like a TV game show model revealing the big prize. A dream fulfilled, I kid you not. These iconic signs from popular culture tickle me. I’ve been a talking tooth in a 1990s ad for TV in Fiji. Alas, and indeed thankfully, I’ll never be a dancing cigarette packet

Next month I’l be on the silver screen when Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is released. See you at the flickers…