Who, How and Why?

A trio of jolly musicians to entertain you

Who is the Sing-along-a-Nick Band…?

Well, the core of the band is made up of three merry cohorts: Nick Willson on piano and singing, Paul Minchinton on double bass and Steve Lester on acoustic guitar…

Nick Willson

Landlord and owner of The Flowing Spring pub in the hamlet of Playhatch in Oxfordshire, Nick loves hammering away on the piano (as well as his Hammond and synths). Sing-along-a-Nick is a great release from the daily grind of running the pub and is his excuse for sharing his wit and sarcasm with the unsuspecting public.

Steve Lester

A fine musician, Steve has performed in rock and blues bands for centuries and shows off his inimitable acoustic guitar style with Sing-along-a-Nick. He dissolves into uncontrollable fits of laughter when Nick plays a bum note or more, whether inadvertently or deliberately.

Paul Minchinton (Minch)

Plucked from the acoustic folk scene, Minch joined Nick at the start of this venture to bring some rich warm bass to enhance the clattering piano. And it works! Minch also plays electric bass and he’s never happier than when he’s talking nonsense (which can go on for hours).

We’ve been blessed with a medley of other greats joining in over the years, most notably Paul Hancock on guitar and both Nicky Furlong and Sam Hancock also singing, all of whom feature on the forthcoming Christmas recordings of the Christmas Satsuma Song and Stuck in the Chimney with You. We also had the joy of Bradley Lucas banging the drums on these recordings.

And in the dim and distant past we also enlisted the help of Claire Mahoney with singing and Peter Crowther on fiddle.

How does the singalong work?

Good question. We have no idea. But it does!

The band chooses the songs to perform on a particular night: some good old favourites, some performed for the first time, and some wittily re-worded versions of well-known songs (these go down particularly well at Christmas). Then we print out songbooks for all the guests so there’s no excuse not to join in.

There’s lots of banter, sarcasm and humour throughout and everyone is encouraged to join in, regardless of how well they think they sing.

Why?

Why? Because it’s a good laugh and a great way to let your hair down. We’ll get you all in the mood and you’ll be making a racket in no time. Simply, it’s good fun.

So whether you’re having a birthday or anniversary celebration or just fancy a knees-up one night in the pub, Sing-along-a-Nick will make it work.

If you’re booking us we’ll send you a list of all the songs we play so you can choose any favourites that you’d particularly like for your gig.

We set up (we don’t need a lot of space: 3m x 2m minimum) with our own little PA system and, at the alloted time, strike up! We usually play for around 90 minutes, that’s 20 songs. We can bring stage lights if needed and, if it’s a bigger venue, a more powerful PA but it’s worth noting Sing-along-a-Nick works really well in a small, intimate environment. There will be an extra charge if we have to supply extra sound equipment or lighting.

One note: as the majority of material we play is ‘classic’ old stuff, it may not work for parties where the average age is teens or twenties! We focus more on the generations who remember all those gold songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Macmillan Cancer Support

The band’s Christmas video for 2020 has raised well over £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support which does such unstinting work to help those suffering from cancer and their families. Every penny donated from the track goes direct to the charity. We ask everyone who enjoys the video to Like It and Share It and, most importantly donate to Macmillan through Nick’s Just Giving page. We’re closign the campaign in March so please donate if you haven’t yet.


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