The music from these Old Codgers gets better with age
PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 29 October 2010
They make the Rolling Stones look like schoolboys. They are the Old Codgers - the magnificent seven who are taking the music scene by storm. And their ages add up to more than 550 years.
They make the Rolling Stones look like schoolboys. They are the Old Codgers - the magnificent seven who are taking the music scene by storm.
And their ages add up to more than 550 years.
“You could say we are Norfolk's answer to The Zimmers,” said the drummer Dick Pearce, one of the junior members of the outfit at the age of 75.
The difference is - these musicians can really play and they have been entertaining us in various groups, bands and orchestras in Norwich, Norfolk and other parts of the country
for the last half century or more.
They say musicians never retire. They just fade away and then come back and now The Old Codgers are raising the roof at The Fox public house in Hevingham once a month. “We are a group of retired and semi-retired Norfolk musicians who have been meeting together for several years, once a month, to have a few beers and mardle over old times,” said Dick.
“At the end of last year Tony Ireland suggested it would be good if we brought our instruments along for a blow. The landlady agreed and to our surprise it has really taken off and now we are getting quite a following,” he added.
“We are loving every minute of it,” said “sticks” Pearce. “And it's lovely to think people enjoy listening to us.”
“It's good fun and our wives come along as our roadies,” laughed Tony, the former Norwich teacher who inspired generations of boys and girls to take an interest in music. And when do they practice? No need - they did that back in the 1950s! These lads are a class act.
In the line-up we have:
t Hylton Tait, 73. The “boy” singer who has been in the music business most of his life and still has the magic touch. He was with Tony Ireland in the Remon Quartet
t Tony Ireland, 74, on piano. A man many of you will know. Former teacher at Thorpe Hamlet School who has played with dozens of bands and groups all over Norfolk and on his own.
t Dick Pearce, 75, on drums. Former member of the Dixielanders who played at the Savoy on Prince of Wales Road for many years and with other bands.
t John Winsworth, 76, on bass. Classical musician who has played with several orchestras over the decades.
t Denis Payne, 77, on bass. Another former member of the Dixielanders and a stylish music maker.
t Ivan Tooes, 86, on sax and clarinet. A semi-pro musician who is still loving his music and sounding better than ever.
t Eric Burrell, 91, on trumpet. The granddaddy of the band and one of the oldest trumpet players in the land. A former member of the legendary Billy Duncan Band, one of the regulars at the famous old Norwich Lido - now the bingo hall on Aylsham Road.
Put that lot together and what do you get? The amazing Old Codgers. See them live at the Fox, Cromer Road, Hevingham, on Thursday, September 25 from 8pm.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box below for details.