Audition: The Dixie Ticklers

June 08, 2011



Superstition dictates that if another brilliant all girl vocal harmony trio shimmies into the Sternberg Clarke Offices, then a member of staff is about to fall pregnant and give birth to the greatest entertainment booker that ever lived. Sadly, the streak was broken yesterday afternoon and the wait for the chosen one continues. So sayeth the prophesy.

But if you're going to break the streak, you may as well break it in style, and if you're going to break the streak in style, then the style may as well be New Orleans style 'Early Jazz' as favoured by the quite brilliant Jazz 5-piece "The Dixie Ticklers."

Plonking themselves square in front of the Sternberg Clarke 'judgement couch', the Dixie Ticklers immediately caught the attention of the couch judgers with a combination of crumpled charm and-hold on is that a washboard? With a cymbal and a cowbell? ... Yes! Yes it is!


And with a scraping shuffling N'orleans swagger the band schlump into an instrumental number that is the aural equivalent of a Mint Julep on a muggy afternoon aboard a riverboat... which is precisely as appealing as it sounds. Playing completely unamplified, the Ticklers exude a sort of ramshackle, down at heel warmth whilst also displaying some serious musical ability. Dressed in crumpled, slightly scuffed linen jackets and sporting artfully ruffled hair, the band make expert use of their line up of Clarinet, Banjo, Double Bass, Trumpet and the aforementioned completelyawesome washboard.


The band have a strong following on the Vintage Scene having played countless speak-easy themed club nights and prohibition parties since forming. They've even picked up a celebrity fan along the way in the shape of Woody Allen who owns a copy of one of their recordings.

Take a listen to a sound-clip right here.

It's a surprise when they announce that they're going to sing the next number, it's a complete shock when they launch into a four-part harmony without losing any of the rattling energy of their playing... and to stress the point again, they're playing unamplified - surely a selling point for the corporate events market as they'd be able to set up quickly anywhere and provide entertainment at a drinks reception whilst keeping the spontaneous, informal feel that makes the Dixie Ticklers so very exciting.


With a flexible Line-up, the Dixie Ticklers have the potential to span up to around 8 members, adding in pianists or further brass instruments (Sousaphone!) as well as upgrading to a full Drumkit (which would be a shame after having seen the washboard) but most of the appeal is that the band are mobile and more importantly, suitable for venues where there are strict sound requirements - particularly useful for the many wedding venues where decibel limits are in place.

Below you'll find a video of the band in action, featuring Graham Hughes from Sternberg Clarke Favourites New Cross Hot Club and our multi-talented magician Dan Farrant who you may remember from his stint as Santa's Elf over Christmas.

Sadly Dan wasn't wearing his Elf costume this time but there's always next Christmas... That goes for all of you Ticklers.

If you're interested in booking the Dixie Ticklers for Weddings or Corporate Events, get in touch on 020 8877 1102 or email