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Last Of The Crooners At The Palm Tree

April 19, 2018
by the gentle author

This Saturday 21st April promises to be a big night at The Palm Tree in Mile End. Accompanying the opening of an exhibition of portraits of celebrated musicians by photographer Tom Oldham is the release of limited edition of five hundred copies of The Last of The Crooners, a record of  live recordings of the performers (including a portfolio of portraits) for £20 available exclusively on a first-come-first-served basis at the pub. The exhibition opens at 7pm and the music starts at 9pm.

“Jack Honeyborne on keys, Alan Jackson on drum and Izzy on bass, playing a more freeform instrumental track prior to the singer stepping up.”

Jack Honeyborne“Jack used to perform with Vera Lynn and maintains the heyday for modern music in this country was before the rot set in, in the fifties.”

Charlie Willis “Charismatic singer Charlie used to sing in down in the tube stations during the Second World War. They’d ask him to get up and give us a song, which is how he started performing.”

Alan Jackson – “The other rock solid element of the Palm Tree Trio rhythm section is Alan Jackson on drums. Cheeky, but an incredible talent at beating a jazz pattern out of the modest cocktail kit that comprises the absolute minimum of luxuries for a drummer.”

Izzy “Izzy play bass. He’s the backbone of a rock solid rhythm section and one third of the Palm Tree Trio.”

Andy Gangadeen“a drummer of world reknown, having played with greats such as Massive Attack, Jeff Beck and a huge variety of artists going back thirty years. He happily sits in at the Palm Tree and loves the gig for its challenges and the free range creativity it demands.”

Helen Keating “Helen Keating is so glamorous it’s almost impossible to believe she’s almost eighty-one, dare I say it. She is a true performer and reglaulary played the last Sunday of every month for next twenty-five years before retiring a few months back. She also performed in Minder and the Sweeney back in the day.”

Bruce “Bruce is a pianist at the Palm Tree and guests at the old piano occasionally. He plays beautifully and always makes a welcome return to the little stage.”

Shireen Francis “Shireen has a beauty in her voice that brings so much to these old songs, everytime. A proper journeyman singer, she regularly performs all over London but still gives every show her all. A delight to see if you’re every in.”

Colin Anthony “Colin Anthony is a guest singer and regularly travels to Bow to guest on the mic at The Palm Tree. He adds a stylish air of panache to the proceedings, as well as performing with a voice truly reminiscent of Tony Bennett.”

Kerrie Barrett “daughter of Alf & Val, landlord & landlady at the Palm Tree. She’s also the owner of a great set of vocal chords and often graces the stage at the weekend to sing a jazz standard or two, which everyone looks forward to.

“generations of talent have stepped onto the stage at the Palm Tree”

Photographs copyright © Tom Oldham

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Duncan Mude permalink
    April 19, 2018

    Fantastic article, but the photographs are sublime, really beautiful portraits worthy of an exhibition in my opinion. Thank you very much.

  2. David Feder permalink
    April 19, 2018

    Great article! But Izzy only ranks one, perfunctory line? Let’s hear more about Izzy!

  3. Ian Silverton permalink
    April 19, 2018

    Loved the film series,SAVE ME,filmed at the Palm Tree,they tell me another series,has been commissioned great. Could use some of the talented music people there in your pictures,captures the atmosphere just right, great pub,good sounds,good drinker!!! Cheers

  4. April 23, 2018

    The Palm Tree is such a wonderful pub and has the feel of the old pubs that were once on Brick Lane (in particular the Frying Pan). Congratulations to Tom Oldham for his eloquent photographs that also echo the singalongs that were a feature of East End pubs for decades.

  5. March 12, 2020

    Great portraiture

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