Thornbury Swing Band lit up the Armstrong Hall during the town’s Arts Festival thanks to a brilliantly performed set packed with favourites from the 1930s and beyond. Musical director and trombone player Chris White-Horne admitted that some of their choices stretched the wartime theme somewhat – at one point, they ventured into the 1960s with a spirited version of It’s Not Unusual – but the vast majority of the evening was spent indulging in swing and big-band favourites.
Vocalist Charlie Atterton was kept busy, regularly joining the band on-stage and – along with Will Swales – giving an excellent performance, particularly on Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree. Glenn Miller arrangements featured throughout, including Chattanooga Choo Choo and Pennsylvania Sixty-Five Thousand, and there was even time for a tribute to the Queen’s 90th birthday via a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia.
The packed venue was specially decorated in period style for the occasion, with bunting and tables arranged to give the look of a street party. Beverley Harwood, meanwhile, kicked off proceedings and got everybody in the mood for dancing with a jive demonstration and beginners’ lesson – a fitting warm-up and one that encouraged people to take to the floor later in the evening.