Here’s a YouTube short of the 1920s-style dance orchestra, The Lounge Bar Lotharios, which I hope you’ll enjoy for both the music and dancing.
The short was directed by Chicago-born, Sydney-based director, Justin Lane. It was filmed at a live concert by the orchestra at the Glen Street Theatre in Sydney.
The song is, ‘Breakaway’, or, ‘Let’s Do The Breakaway’, colloquially, written by Arthur Kay for the Fox Movietone Follies of 1929, a lost film.
The Lounge Bar Lotharios play the songs that made the Roaring 20s roar. And in its short existence the orchestra has already played some massive shows including the 1920s themed Gala Dance for the Centenary Celebrations of the Australian capital, Canberra.
The orchestra is lead by myself, Greg Poppleton (singer). The musical director, Geoff Power (gold trumpet), has toured the U.S. 9 times and recorded with Vince Giordano.
The dancers are the Sydney SwingKatz, lead by James Star.
Do come to the Django Bar of the Camelot Lounge on Thursday 23 May for a night of toe-tappin’ 20’s croonin’ with Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters. With Geoff Power trumpet and sousaphone and Grahame Conlon tenor banjo. I’ll be singing. Please spread the word. Doors open at 6pm. Music at 8pm. Pizzas are the best in Sydney. Just whipped up a poster…
The Django Bar is on the corner of Marrickville Road and Railway Parade opposite Sydenham Station
The latest independent release by Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters is pure 1920s in flavour and available on Bandcamp
With the same maverick spirit that produced ‘The Phantom Dancer’ (the sold-out first CD and the award-winning, national community radio show), ‘Doin’ The Charleston’, is the long-awaited second album from Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters
Recorded live-in-studio in just 5 hours, ‘Doin’ The Charleston’, is the first document of Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters as a purely Roaring 20s Speakeasy 5-piece. There are more layers, more stylistic tangents than before, with a DNA recovered from the very bones of smoking, catchy, 1920s speakeasy pop. At the forefront is the undeniably authentic and unique Roaring 20s vocal style of Greg Poppleton
A pre-release spin of ‘Doin The Charleston’ at the 2012 Sydney Fringe Festival had swing dancers crowding the dance floor
Greg Poppleton is very proud of the results, “For me, ‘Doin’ The Charleston’, is all about the songs, how they line up, intertwine, switch partners and promenade home”
Greg has expanded his 3.5 octave sonic palette with a long list of influences to forge his own sound. Heir to a tradition of finely-crafted, dramatic, confessional music that explores the ups and downs of life and love with a keenly-observed honesty that touches all who hear, Greg Poppleton is backed by what really is an all-star speakeasy band of world-touring jazz musicians…
Paul Furniss weaves shimmering, infectious, toe-tapping anthems using soprano, alto, tenor saxophones and clarinet. Al Davey wails, growls and caresses on trumpet and trombone. He brings together the brightest elements and darkest undertones in a unique blend of unshackled two-beat. Grahame Conlon’s banjo demands attention weaving audacious fat chords around the pulsing, minimalist sousaphone loops of Rod Herbert and ARIA nominee Geoff Power and the chemically infused drum beats and bootleg hooch washboard laid down by Bell band legend, Lawrie Thompson
The quintet makes lullabies, lush dreamy vintage pop, and the powerful, bone-rattling immediacy of hot, danceable jazz. Vocal hooks are inescapable, lush productions uncannily authentic to the Roaring 20s, as sophisticated and pristine as anything on a 78 disc. ‘Doin’ The Charleston’s’ 14 tracks (including a bonus alternate take on the soaring St James Infirmary) trace a unique aesthetic universe that is fully-crafted and fully-realised, deftly walking the lines between joyous exhilaration and otherworldly rapture, pleasure-centre pop and total self-possession
It has been described as the Temperance Seven meets’ Don Byron’s Bug Music
Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters’ is a universe that invites exploration and demands revisiting. ‘Doin’ The Charleston’ is a journey from darkness to light, from anger to love, from chaos to order. Buy at Bandcamp, CD Baby and bakelitejazz.com
‘Doin’ The Charleston’ has been featured by Bob Rogers in a one hour special on the album over 2CH and the Macquarie Network, Sydney. It has also been CD of the Week on ArtSoundFM Canberra and Jazz Album of the Week on 5MBS Adelaide
Former jazz critic for The Australian newspaper, Kevin Jones, wrote about ‘Doin The Charleston’…
“Even in the 21st century, the music of the so-called jazz age (the Roaring Twenties) still holds a fascination for many, judging by the number of bands which play this style of music world-wide. The Bakelite Broadcasters, led by vocalist Greg Poppleton, keeps the 1920s’ flag flying in Sydney as this enjoyable disc, the second by the group, shows.
They are mostly pre-Swing Era songs written before Benny Goodman launched jazz’s most popular years at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles on August 21, 1935 ranging from Paul Dresser’s My Gal Sal (1907) to Fats Wallers’ I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Lettter (1935) and include The Charleston (1923) and Sweet Lorraine and Button Up Your Overcoat (both written in 1928)
Listening to the 1929 recording by the Mound City Blue Blowers of I Ain’t Got Nobody and My Gal Sal shows the Broadcasters have captured the basic sound. Not surprising when you consider the group includes musicians of the calibre of Paul Furniss (reeds) Al Davey (trumpet and trombone) and Lawrie Thompson (drums and washboard) who show how well they have mastered the style. Grahame Conlon (tenor banjo) makes a mockery of those many banjo jokes with his rollicking solo on The Road To Gundagai. As for the leader, some may find his voice a little affected at times but he has captured that decade’s vocal style to perfection especially on Falling in Love Again sung in both English and German. As enjoyable as they are to listen to The Bakelite Broadcasters must be even better live.”
Here is the line-up of the 8 hour Concert Warren Fahey is producing for the Kings Cross Festival 2012. It is FREE and will be in Fitzroy Gardens, Kings Cross. You’d be nuts not to put this in your diary. Greg Poppleton & the Bakelite Broadcasters play songs from the 1920s from 1 – 1:30pm
11am – 11.30 Margret RoadKnight & Marcus Holden
Songs about life, strife and the roll of the dice. Margret RoadKnight is one of Australia’s most respected singers of blues and contemporary song. Margret first performed in Kings Cross in the 1960s. She has appeared on over 25 albums. The NY Village Voice described her as “chameleon abilities – humorist, politico, blues-woman. rocker, folksinger” Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Marcus Holden on fiddle, guitar and mandolin.
11.45 – 12.10 .Scott Sandwich & Emrys Quin’s Word Beat.
‘The Unnamed Italian Admiral’ and other performance poems. Off the air, radical, young and cheeky – this pair of wordsmiths break new ground in unravelling European history. Weird and wonderful.
12..20 – 12.50 The Beating Around The Cross Ukelele Band
Hail the Ukelele! The ukelele has a long history in Australia including being featured at the Tiki Room, Macleay Street in the 1960s (where the De Vere Hotel now stands). This loud-shirted ensemble makes it swing as it plunks.
1 – 1.30 Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters.
The moment the Bakelites play, you’ll instantly imagine yourself partying with your friends in the Great Gatsby Mansion, dancing the knees-up Charleston in a 1920s Speakeasy, sipping Gin Fizzes in the moonlight.
1.45- 2.15 The Larrikins. Warren Fahey, and his Larrikins perform bush songs and city ditties from Australia’s yesteryears plus some bush poems and yarns to stop the hens laying for a week!
2.30 – 3.00 Characters of the Cross presentation by Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Adrian Bartel, Potts point Partnership, recognising some of our favourite locals. Vito of Piccolo Bar, Graham Long, Animal the Bikie, and Ashia and Carlotta of Les Girls.
3. – 3.15 Carlotta – the living legend of Kings Cross
Performing her new single and talking about her extraordinary life which has never been a drag.
3.30- 4pm The Fabulous Jeff Duff
Singing the songs of David Bowie and Lou Reed better than they ever did! Flamboyant, eccentric and totally unique.
4.15 – 5.30 pm The Pigs
The Pigs play rip-snorting fill the air with music that could only be described as the ‘pig’s ear’ – hillbilly meets bluegrass meets comedy meets whatever. Great fun for porkers
6 – 7.00 Renee Geyer – Australia’s legendary Queen of Soul.
After 25 albums and countless awards and accolades we welcome one of Australia’s finest singers and her all-star band.
It was great to see the dance floor full and everyone having fun to our 1920s and 1930s jazz and swing
Guests even bought a few of the new Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters’ 1920s CD ‘Doin’ The Charleston‘
Here’s some pictures taken of the Broadcasters towards the end of the fun afternoon as the dance floor was packed. To have Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters at your event, wedding and party, email Greg