One Final Encore for Herbie’s All-Stars
Video recording of performance below
After three years of retirement, Herbie’s All-Stars returned for the Spring Concert for their farewell performance. Before anything else is said, we must give our thanks to Mrs. Whitehead for accommodating such a rabble.
The music once heard ringing through the corridors had spent three years gathering dust somewhere in the unearthed depths of Mrs Kanan’s cupboard. However, the bars were miraculously rediscovered and this band of musical extroverts became a band of brothers once again, under the name of their creator – the man, the myth and the undeniable legend that is Mr. John Herbison.
The band was created back in 2011 by Herbie with the title of ‘Year 8 Blues Band’, and was carried underwing by Wij (Tom Wijesinghe) right through until the Summer of 2014. After a memorable excursion to Lake Garda, the band unfortunately dissolved in the face of GCSEs and, more prominently, “wine & women”.
The band was thought gone, an idyllic myth which could never again muster the strength to pull another performance out of the bag. The music was lost and so were the lads who struggled to find motivation or purpose in their quest to rejuvenate their musicality. Indeed, the thrill had well and truly gone.
But, as it turned out, only temporarily. With the prospect of one final show at the Spring Concert on the horizon, a call was sent throughout Bournemouth School and to the foreign lands of Twynham and Brockenhurst, where some Ex-All-Stars had ventured for the Sixth Form. They rallied to the call, with Wij and Sheppard returning to School ready for one final showdown…
After some stand-out soloist performances from Josh Pretty and Tim Su, the band of musical misfits took to the floor, and by God was Jake McDonnell right; the thrill had most certainly returned. As he stepped up to the microphone he began working the crowd like never before; a true born performer who immediately reassured the audience that ‘the party has started.’
It most certainly had, with the band hitting the audience with some timeless classics from the one and only B.B. King (The Thrill is Gone and You Upset Me). Their love for the blues shone through with some truly epic solos. Sax and Piano serenaded the audience and of course, let’s not forget that outrageous call-and-response on the guitar from Harry Burden and Will Osborne. On the point of solos, where would we be without Wij’s harmonica? He stepped up to the mic with all the swagger his little legs could muster and blasted that thing like he was trying to blow a dead pigeon out the gutter.
Before we knew it, our time was up – Herbie’s All-Stars had played their final gig at Bournemouth School. But what a way to go out. The audience were left beaming with joy and drooling for more.
It was a fitting end to a journey that lasted six years; a journey which started with “A one, and a two, and a’you know what to do”.