Ken Dodd’s dad played the saxophone

Written by  on April 20, 2017

Ken has performed all over Britain and has made numerous TV and radio programmes. He has appeared on the Royal variety show at the Palladium on a number of occasions.

He was a boy ventriloquist and made an early appearance at the Flat Lane Labour club, Ellesmere Port, earning three and sixpence (seventeen and a half pence).

His father who was a coal merchant was also a musician, playing the double bass and saxophone
. Ken added: “my father was also a great joke teller, encouraging my brother, sister and I to go into show business.”

Ken turned professional in 1954 and has been waving his tickling stick ever since. Ken’s first record was’ Love is like a Violin’, recorded in early spring of 1960 and by the autumn it was at the number one slot. He went on to record ‘Happiness’ in 1962.

Ken tells me that in 1965 he played the London Palladium for forty-two and a half weeks. While there, he recorded two songs at Abbey road studios. They were ‘Tears’ and ‘The River’. He told me that ‘Tears’ sold over two million copies and ‘The River’ earned him a silver disc.

Asked what was his greatest moment in the business, he said, “Tonight. It’s always the present that is the best, because yesterday is history and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

How he invented the catchphrase ‘How Tickled I Am’. He told me that he wanted a catchphrase that he could vary and tells me that after racking his brains he came up with that one. Ken said: “When there were many comedians, you had to have your own trademark. Mine is the tickling stick, the hair and teeth.”

Sax Gigs from April 2017

Written by  on April 20, 2017

Sax Gigs from April 20th 2017

21 April Brass Junkies Canteen, Stokes Croft, Bristol

21 April Jon Shenoy Bebop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol

22 April Inexplicables Golden Lion, Gloucester Road. Bristol

23 April Jake McMurchie Hen & Chicken, North Street,Bristol

24 April Craig Crofton Canteen, Stokes Croft, Bristol


26 April Yolanda Brown Colston Hall, Bristol
26 April – 1 May Cheltenham Jazz Festival
27th-30th Kansas Smitty’s House Band
28th Marius Neset
30th Chris Potter; Snarky Puppy

27 April Brass Junkies Old Duke, King Street, Bristol
28 April Alan Barnes Meeting House, Ilminster

3 May Guess the Bleating Fringe Jazz, Princess Victoria St., Bristol

4 May Ben Waters Chapel Arts, Lower Borough Walls, Bath

5 May Manu Dibango Ronnie Scott’s, Soho, London

6 May Manu Dibango Ronnie Scott’s, Soho, London

19 May Emperials Tunnels, Temple Mads, Bristol
20 May Baraka Hy Brasil, Baldwin Street, Bristol

25 May Jive Aces Chapel Arts, Lower Borough Walls, Bath

26 May Simon Spillett Meeting House, Ilminster

28 May 2 Rude The Fleece, Victoria Street, Bristol

2 June UB40 Bath Racecourse
2 June Zen Hussies Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

2 June Silverado Bebop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol

9 June Yesterday’s Men Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

16 June Temperance Seven Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

23 June Jean Toussaint Meeting House, Ilminster

25 June Andy Sheppard Hen & Chicken, North Street, Bristol

9 July Iain Ballamy Cooper Hall, Selwood Manor, Frome

9 July Oded Tzur Quartet Hen & Chicken, North Street, Bristol

16 July Pete Gage Band Corner House, Frome

20 July Brass Junkies Old Duke, King Street, Bristol

22 July Baraka The Stable, Harbourside, Bristol

5 August Bartoune Iford Manor, Bradford on Avon

23 August Skatalites/2 Rude Globe, Albany Road, Cardiff

10 September Gilad Atzmon Hen & Chicken, North Street, Bristol

22 September Urban Voodoo Machine Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

30 September Roxy Magic Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

13 October Blockheads Subscription Rooms, Stroud
14 October Blockheads Cheese & Grain, Frome

10 November Blockheads The Fleece, Victoria Street, Bristol
20 December UB40 The Forum, Bath

Next Blowout Sax Gig Summer 2017 May 12th Friday at Chapel Arts Centre

Written by  on April 20, 2017

Blowout Sax Summer Gig

ACE SHOT peter gunn with oli moore

@CHAPEL ARTS CENTRE Lower Borough Walls, Bath BA1 1QR. 7.45pm Start.
Tell your friends and do get Your Tickets early!! £10.

One of the things that sets Blowout Sax apart from other forms of instrumental tuition is the performance aspect.
At every Blowout gig there are in excess of 60 plus enthusiastic students showing off their new found skills in a very professionally organised performance. The backing band is always made up of top Bath and Bristol session musicians and the band is run by the incredible talent of top American sax man and long-time Blowout Sax stalwart Craig Crofton.
“Students will be playing pop, blues, soul, funk and some ska/reggae. It’s classic party tunes, basically, from One Step Beyond to Baker Street, Pink Panther to Your Latest Trick it’ll all be there ” says Mark. “We get a top class band with session musicians from Bristol. We’re giving people the experience of playing live; it gives learning a focus, a goal. This the 17th year of this gig and always been a sell out.

Positive Compliment from a new online student-buy the book

Written by  on April 20, 2017

‘Hi Mark.
I love your videos. You get me excited about playing my saxophone.  You delivery and enthusiasm is contagious.
(Blowout Sax Channel).
I play the Alto sax. I have loved the sound of a sax forever and at the young age of 60 I bought one. I can read music but I am always open to new ideas. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Wish I had bought one 30 years ago.
Thanks very much for your time.
I just bought your book (A revolutionary approach to playing the saxophone) and noticed the references to a CD.
Can I purchase separately or pay to download?

The Answer is
The cds of the music are available upon request from me.
Book can be bought through me,on amazon or at

blowout front 72dpi v2

May 6th Modulus III

Written by  on April 20, 2017

Kelston Records 2017 “live at the Old Barn” season kicks off with serious purpose

We’ve splashed out on the exceptional hypnotic, pulsing composition trio Modulus III (Drew Morgan, Dan Moore, Matt Brown). We’re hoping for a really good turn out for a May evening up at the Old Barn and a great reception for Modulus III: they’ll surprise us and we plan to surprise them.

Top notch food by Michael Holloway and fresh local beer and cider available.

We’re also introducing support acts to showcase new bands: on 6 May Modulus III are supported by Athea, a new project by our old friend Paul Bradley, working with percussionist Emma Holbrooke.

Tickets here £14+booking fee

Do come back with any queries; hope to see you there!

Gas Giants featuring Will Gregory

Written by  on April 20, 2017

Old Barn + Roundhill 
Saturday 20th May

The Gas Giants
and support

As hoped, The Gas Giants will be playing (and being recorded for a future release on Kelston Records) at the Old Barn, Kelston Roundhill on Saturday 20th May.

The indestructible side project of Will Gregory (on saxophone, keyboards and one half of Goldfrapp),

wil the workshop leader part 1

will greg and his bari

Both photos are by Simon Archer of

The rest of Gas Giants are multi-instrumentalist Ross Hughes (of live Portishead) and legendary local drummer Tony Orrell (The Pushy Doctors) will be performing in the UK for the first time in two years.

“Traversing through the inspirations with surreal aplomb, they were vastly entertaining to this obviously sophisticated crowd…Ross Hughes was amazing…but particularly impressive was what an excellent saxophonist is Will Gregory”  Charley Dunlap, Listomania

“They are, however, incredibly good”  Phil Johnson, The Independent


Advance tickets are £14 with no additional charges from: