The BBO Big Band was formed in 1986 and plays classic big band swing music to raise funds for local charities and good causes. 2016 is a really special year as it is the bands 30th anniversary and the band are delighted to have just surpassed the sum of £350,000 raised for local charities.
As the leader of the BBO I inherited the ‘pad of music’ from Roy Hole when he retired. I have appointed a number of musical directors over the years, which have included trumpet player Sid Busby, world renowned percussionist Alan Graham and up until this year Bill Skelton who has been the band’s longest serving MD. I am taking the role of Musical Direction for this special year and I am delighted that Bill has remained with the band returning to his first love, playing the Trombone, I and all the band would like to thank him for his outstanding commitment to the band.
I very much hope that you will want to come see and listen to the band; we play regularly at the Royal British Legion Hall in Marlow every month; January to June and September to November.
We are regularly booked to play at fundraising events, so please check out our news and gig pages for upcoming events.
If you are interested in booking the band then please check out FAQ page.
I look forward to meeting you soon – please come, make yourself known to me and say hello.
The BBO was formed in 1986 and gets its name from the three counties the original members were drawn from, namely: Bucks, Berks, Oxon. The band has reduced the name to just BBO.
Radio interview of the Band broadcast by Gulf Radio May 2011
The 20 piece band is made up of both a male and female vocalist, 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones and a rhythm section comprising of piano, guitar, bass and drums.
‘The Clayton Arms’ in Lane End, a village outside High Wycombe, was the venue for the inaugural ‘blow’ organised by Roy Hole back in 1986. The band has continued and over its now 29 year history has raised in excess of £345,000 for charity through the many concerts given by the band.
25th Anniversary Concert
The band played a very special anniversary concert on the 10th November 2012 to commemorate its 25 year history and the concert was recorded on DVD. There is interview footage with band members and from Roy which was used throughout the concert. A live rehearsal was recorded to mark 25 years of rehearsals and available on CD. (Release date 1/3/2013)
The concert was sold out with thanks to All Saints Church, Marlow Tourist Board and Marlow FM.
Roy has retired as band leader and the musical direction of the band is undertaken by Trombonist Bill Skelton. Bass player, Adam Linnell, manages the band and is supported by Brian Greene and Hilary Spiers who help with marketing/promotion and bookings respectively.
Roy was awarded the B.E.M. by the Queen on behalf of the band for his tremendous fund-raising efforts.
The three counties of Bucks, Berks and Oxon originally provided the musicians, who come from all walks of like, although they now come from all over, including Northamptonshire, Surrey and Middlesex.
Professionals, semi-pros and those who have retired from the business but just can’t stop coming back are drawn together by the infectious drive and swing of the big band repertoire. It is the music that holds the band together and the results continue to be in demand.
The BBO is based in Marlow and rehearses each Thursday (September-June & January-June). The last Thursday in every month is opened up to the public for a month end concert to raise money for Charity.
The home of the BBO is The Royal British Legion, Station Approach, Marlow, SL7 1NT.
The band is hugely grateful to: our generous hosts, Royal British Legion, Carmel and Chrissy for all the years of manning the door for us, to Pauline Hanson for taking over and being such a wonderful host, and to all our regular followers, many whom have followed the band for many, many years. THANK YOU!