Who Do They Think They Are?
The story so far
from a duo to a full on, interactive, theatrical experience!.
The guys of The Curious Little Big Band from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, really know how to whip the crowd into a frenzy with lead singer and guitarist Miles Guerrini not only hitting the right (and sometimes very high) notes but also revealing evidence of his theatrical showmanship and great sense of fun.
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 Cirencester, Gloucestershire, and spares no opportunity to dress up and explore his theatrical roots.
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) Head of Music at Kingshill but recently moved to a new school in Portishead, flexes his muscles on sax, keyboard, guitar and vocals.
In December 2013 the Band became a 5-piece with the addition of Nigel Baylis who ties it all down with a thumping bass. The bass position has now shared with Henry Blackaller, son of Russell. In the Summer of 2014 Martin Milnes created The Red Hat Horns. This addition is a rare treat these days and has transformed the sound from action packed to sublime. The original Red Hat Horns lineup were – Martin Milnes (trombone / trumpet / horn leader), Claire Mitchell (trumpet) and Howard Rigby (tenor sax). They are now two (Martin & Howard) and no longer identified as an “add-on” section. The “Red Hat Horns” name was dropped.
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.
Miles, Russell, Andy, Guy, Nigel/Henry, Martin and Howard 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 explosive seven piece band from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 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).
Miles 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).
CLBB 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.
Guy was the fifth of six children, all of whom are musicians and so, desperate to outdo them and attract some of his parents scant attention, he never contented himself with just the one instrument.
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 in Gordano (a suburb of Hobbit-land, in outer Bristol).
Unlike his brother Miles, above, all these talents are touted with disarming modesty.
Andy traveled the world as a singer before returning to his native and beloved Cirencester. Whilst he continues with his solo singing, CLBB have managed to lure him back to his first musical endeavour – drumming. But, if you listen carefully, he is not a man to be out done by the other vocalists in the band.
Russell has busked with his accordion around the planet and has played the piano in some of the finest hotels in the world. When not playing music, he might make appearances as characters from Alice in Wonderland down the world famous The Rabbit Hole at Glastonbury Festival. Russell now feels at home amongst the array of delicious characters in the Curious Little Big Band. His love of theatre and music can be fulfilled in one fell swoop. X
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.
Currently somewhere in Somerset driving a van.
Born and raised “oop North” ( in the year of the ferret!), Howard (the Doc) Rigby came from mining stock — his mother was a pit pony!! He retired from the “coal-face” of the NHS 7 years ago. He started playing the sax aged 40 and now plays in the Horn Section of the Curious Little Big Band and other local bands.
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 blagging 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!
It’s All About Henry
At the ripe old age of 18, Henry Blackaller is the youngest member of the band. He is also Russell Blackaller’s son, so along with the Guerrini brothers The Curious Little Big Band is a real family affair.
Henry is studying film and aims to work in the movie industry. Other than producing film, Henry spends much of his time composing and performing all styles of music, from hard rock to musicals.
Henry can be also be hired to croon mid-twentieth century classics to create a great atmosphere before the main band arrives.
Rupert trained as an opera singer but fills in on drums for Andy from time to time. He is a timeless gem and we all have a lot of time for him. (other drummer jokes are available).