Miles Guerrini & Russell Blackaller
In 2008 Miles Guerrini and Russell Blackaller got together to perform as a duo. Russell Blackaller was Head of Performance Arts Kingshill School and director of countless shows – but he’s now turned professional director and lends CLBB his piano and accordion skills. Miles Guerrini sang around the world and in London’s West End musicals before moving to Gloucestershire, and spares no opportunity to dress up and explore his theatrical roots.
From a duo to a full on, interactive, theatrical experience!
A year later, two more musicians came into the Band. Andy Hughes has played in many bands as a Drummer/Singer. He lived in Spain as a cabaret singer from 2005-2007, performing mainly in restaurants, bars and entertaining for cabaret shows. He is now firmly based in the UK playing with The Curious LITTLE big Band and The Slammers.
Guy Guerrini, (yes, brother of Miles) flexes his muscles on sax, keyboard, guitar and vocals. He was previously Head of Music at Kingshill School, Cirencester. Then at Gordano School, Portishead. Now at Bristol Grammer School
In December 2013 the Band became a 5-piece with the addition of bass player Nigel Baylis. Later the bass position was shared with Henry Blackaller, son of Russell. With Henry travelling the world and at university, Simon Messenger now supplies the groovy bass line.
The Red Hat Horns
Martin Milnes – Claire Mitchell – Howard Rigby
The Red Hat Horns
In the Summer of 2014 Martin Milnes (Left) created a “bolt on” horn section with two other musicians, Claire Mitchell and Howard Rigby. This addition is a rare treat these days and has transformed the sound from action packed to sublime.
The first recorded gig with the new horn section.
Also appearing in our line-up from time to time is our dep drummer Rupert Irving. Rupert has played several gigs with the Band including Glastonbury Festival 2016. Rupert trained as an opera singer.
“Miles, Russell, Andy, Guy, Simon, Martin and Howard (and sometimes Rupert) give a really committed and full on performance and will make any party go with a bang. Great musically, thoroughly entertaining and strongly recommended! “
This talented band of musicians and performers provide a brilliant, mixed playlist which has wide appeal and they deliver every song with maximum energy and impact. Combined with some considerable humour and a strong storytelling element (enhanced by the use of various props and costumes!), they really hold the crowd’s attention and keep everyone dancing and begging for more.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford
Photo by Jo Hansford Photography.
Unforgettable journey because of the deep snow over the Cotswolds between Cirencester and Stratford.
This explosive seven piece band are bound to make you dance and laugh. They don’t just play music: they have created a show, a musical journey that demands participation and draws in even the hardest of hearts. It’s almost cabaret but the band is too accomplished to take a backseat to their unpredictable front man and knocks out track after track of dance floor filling classics (with a few moderns thrown in).
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar.
Miles Guerrini had a passion for performance from his earliest nursery ballet lessons to school acting roles. After his Post Graduate Diploma in Classical Acting and Musical Theatre he toured the U.K., Europe and then the world in various productions before winning the role of Richie Valens in The Buddy Holly Story in the West End. Further roles followed but family life beckoned so Miles retired and helped his wife realise her dream, creating her own nursery school (www.acornscirencester.com).
The Curious Little Big Band now satisfies Miles’ need to sing, dress up and show off, dance to great music and have fun with friends and the general public. Other than that he enjoys stamp collecting, tiddlywinks and watching paint dry.
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar, Saxophones
Initially inspired by a family friend and jazz aficionado he triumphed at tinkling on the ivories before engaging with the mighty church organ. Pipes became a theme as he moved into the flute which led to the saxophone – and all before the age of 16. With such a grounding, he is now literally able to grab whatever comes his way and squeeze music out of it. In this band he has played everything on stage at one point or other and adds lead, backing and rap vocals to his roster.
When not flexing his performance muscles he can be found inspiring hundreds of young musicians and running a music department at Gordano School (a suburb of Hobbit-land, in outer Bristol).
Unlike his brother Miles, all these talents are touted with disarming modesty.
Drums, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals.
Keyboard, Backing Vocals.
Electronic Wind & Trombone
Born in Wiltshire in an isolated spot now commemorated by a stone circle. While in the sixth form he had a Saturday job in a party shop filling helium balloons where people spoke very highly of him. Otherwise little is known about his early life but after leaving school, he left home to go off around the world but only made 5 miles before he was taken in and adopted as a computer operator and trainee managing director until absconding the following year. Using the now familiar disguise, he reappeared on a computing course at Portsmouth Polytechnic and finished three years later confident that a working knowledge of paper-tape and punched cards would be vital in his future career. After a period in London attempting to release his own fragrance, he worked his passage back to Wiltshire busking on street corners and stations. Away from the world of IT, music publishing and gigs, Martin Milnes devotes his time by continuing to seek a lasting peace in north Wiltshire.
His musical influences are his father (shut that bloody racket up will you!!) his mother (in jazz why don’t they all just play the tune!!) Stan Getz, Ben Webster, and Sonny Rollins.
He is famed for playing too loud, the wrong notes, the wrong rhythm and bragging his way into playing in this great band. His likes include alcoholic drinks and his dislikes include non-alcoholic drinks . He lives locally with his very long-suffering partner and her equally long suffering dog!