Tag Archives: Peninsula Jazz Club

Steve Waddell on the comeback trail

Steve Waddell

A COUPLE of days ago I brought you the good news that Steve Waddell had made a welcome return to playing as a special guest with Doug Rawson’s Sobriety Five. Here are a couple of images of the Five (expanded to a Seven) taken last Wednesday at the Clayton RSL by the Victorian Jazz Club’s ace photographer, Ron “Flash Harry” Jobe.

Derek Reynolds, Tony Orr, Steve Waddell

Derek Reynolds, Tony Orr, Bob Pattie, Mike Edwards, Peter Grey, Doug Rawson, Steve Waddell

Harry Daniels, President of the Peninsula Jazz Club emailed yesterday that Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells will again be presenting themselves at the PLC afternoon concert on Sunday 24 November 2013 at the Patterson Lakes Community Centre. It will be a year since the Creole Bells performed at Patterson Lakes. Last year Steve was MC and sang, but didn’t play. This year we hope that he will be able to lead the band with trombone in hand.

Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells @ the Peninsula Jazz Club: history repeats itself

Creole Bells Poster

IN November 1978 the newly formed Peninsula Jazz Club – (there had been an earlier club which operated for a couple of years in the 1960s under the leadership of the energetic Carter clan, including Kenny Carter) – held its opening gig at the Frankston Yacht Club . The chosen band for that special night was Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells which had been founded  that  same year.

Thirty four years later, the Peninsula Jazz Club will welcome back some members from the early days of the band, including Steve Waddell himself, for a great reunion concert. This will be held on SUNDAY 25 NOVEMBER from 2.00 – 5.00pm. It won’t be at the Frankston Yacht Club of course, but at the PJC’s current home, the Patterson Lakes Community Centre at 54-70 Thompson Road Patterson Lakes ( Melway 98 H6)

Patterson Lakes Community Centre

Here’s an exerpt from a report of that opening night in November 1978 written by Jimmy Smart. It appeared in the Victorian Jazz Club’s magazine Jazzline, Vol 12 No. 1, March/June 1979:

The Yacht Club was a marvellous place for atmosphere – new building right on the beach with a full verandah where people could sit on a hot summer’s night and still enjoy the music. It was so crowded, a lot had no option but to verandah it. Honestly folks they were gathering at the gate when we arrived to set up around seven. From then on I don’t think any of us knew exactly what happened ..I know I started playing piano at 7.30 because even at that time the place was full of happy expectant people – waiting. The Creole Bells arrived in excellent order and good time, of course, set up quickly and blew their first number. Wow! Cheering, stamping, roaring, appreciation you would have thought it was their last number , not their first. What a wonderful night – all night. We were crowded out, it was hot, it was happy – we were away.

The original lineup was:
Steve Waddell, Trombone/ldr
Vic Petraitis, Cornet
Geoff Pratt, Clarinet
Peter Cass, Sousaphone
Chris Farley, Banjo
Doug Rawson, Piano

Over the years the personnel changed but Steve managed to keep the brassy sound basically the same due to his accurate arrangements and insistence on everyone adhering to them.

For the concert on 25 November the band will consist of members from the 80s and 90s. (Doug Rawson played with them from the beginning until 1997.):
Steve Waddell, narrating and vocals; Doug Rawson, piano; Bob Pattie, cornet; Mike Edwards, reeds; Tony Orr, banjo; Alan Stott, sousaphone; and Rob Moffat, trombone (taking Steve’s place from the more recent band lineup after Steve sadly retired in 2006.)

Creole Bells
Doug Rawson, Steve Waddell, Tony Orr, Bob Pattie, Alan Stott, Mike Edwards

They will be playing all Steve’s original arrangements and tunes from the eighties and nineties repertoire with which the Band made its name. It will probably be the last time the early Creole Bells will be able to get together so they are keen to reach as many of the old followers from the Bridge Hotel and Whitehorse Hotel days as possible.

Bookings are not necessary as the Patterson Lake Community Centre seats 200, but my guess is that, for this special nostalgia afternoon, there will be similar crowds to those in 1978, so you’d be wise to get there early. Charge: $10 for PJC members, $12 for non-members. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served in the first break, and at the end of the gig you can enjoy orange juice, wine, cheese and biscuits while reminiscing.

And to remind us of the Creole Bells sound, here they play “Cake Walking Babies” in 1989. It’s a beauty!!
It features Bob Pattie, cornet, a bare-faced Stephen Grant, trumpet, Daffyd Wiesner-Ellix, soprano sax, Doug Rawson, piano, John Brown, banjo, Fred Clark, tuba, and Steve Waddell, trombone and vocals.

In 2002 Graeme Bell wrote:

For some twenty three years, Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells from Australia’s East Coast, have been our best-known exponents of relaxed, two-beat jazz, commonly known as West Coast Style

Steve Waddell
(from “Jazzline”, Winter 2008)

Maple Leaf Reunion Band at Peninsula Jazz Club

THE ever popular Peninsula Jazz Club meets on the third Friday of each month at the Patterson Lakes Community Centre in Thompson Road. This month – October 19th – the band on tap will be The Maple Leaf Reunion Band, with some members from the original band and others from various stages in its wild and woolly career.

The band began in 1974 at the Canada Hotel in Swanston Street, hence the name Maple Leaf. Many people have flowed through the ranks since then – remember who turned up at their famous reunion in March 2010.

The band had a number of notable residencies during its roaring days. Amongst them were The Anchor and Hope Hotel (known fondly as the Wanker and Grope) in Church Street, Richmond which was said to be a dangerous place to play – not because there were bad men about, but because it was so crowded, especially after a footy game; The Victoria Hotel (The Pink Vic – but no longer pink) in Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park; The Spread Eagle in Bridge Road, Richmond and The Portsea Hotel down the Bay.

The legendary Wes Brown was one of the originals. Wes has just celebrated his 90th birthday.

Wes Brown at the 2010 reunion (photo by Barry Wratten)

I believe Don Santin may also have been a founding member.

Don Santin with his daughter Kellie, another talented musician

Perhaps the longest serving members, Bob Whetstone and Kim Rushworth, will be playing at the Peninsula gig:

Bob Whetstone

Kim Rushworth

With Bob and Kim, the rest of the lineup will be:
Don Santin, trombone
Tony Orr, banjo/guitar
Joe McConechy, bass
Ben Rushworth, drums

Bob will be debuting his new “Marcie” trumpet, actually a Bobby Shew Yamaha.


They’ll play and sing a lot of the old tunes which were, and still are, favourites with thefans. No doubt some of these will be from the Reunion CD which was recorded in 1986 and released in 2010. One of my favourite tracks on this disc is King Oliver’s “Chimes Blues”. I enjoy the Maple Leaf arrangement more than others I’ve heard, including King Oliver’s, Louis Armstrong’s and Chris Barber’s!

Doors open at 7.00pm, and the music will roll from 8.00-11.00 pm.
It’s a good idea to book because the Peninsula Club always has a crowded house. 9580 2906 or 0422 657 634