Biggles is, in order of rank,
Wing Commander Jok
Jok - A never ending stream of cheerfulness emanates from Jok virtually all the time.
The lead vocalist with the vocal range of a man half his age (he describes himself as well over twenty two) he crashes his way hilariously through a range of styles and pitches with ease.
His additional talent of being able to play a tune on more or less anything that can be blown into - kitchen utensil, car component or other bit of junk- makes for a more than amusing break in many of the bands numbers.
Flight Lieutenant Father Green
Father Green - Mel is the most complex character in the band.
A demon washboard player, with a brittleness and attack that belies the gentle character that hides beneath.
Playing with aggression and panache his face displays the expression of a man who says, "I hate this ****ing washboard." In reality, he says, when people move the bands gear around, "Be very careful with my favourite instrument, that delicate, treasured and irreplaceable object of my desire, which is worth several pence, and of which I am inordinately fond." Such is the enigma that is Father Green.
Take, for instance, the impression given on stage of the ecclesiastic aesthete who frowns on the other band members philandering and irresponsible ways.
Yet, in real life (and indeed he has one) he is a model of bachelor inconsequence. Women, beer, parties, smoke filled rooms (he doesnt smoke, but he has this machine).
Flight Lieutenant Bonz
Squadron Leader Graham
Graham - A mean banjo player who adds depth and frisance and weaves a pattern of melodies to the bands varied routines.
Although the groups banjo stalwart, Graham majors on double bass. Generally, it has been agreed that the instrument is just too big to carry around, and anyway, there is a suspicion among the band that this huge contraption has mice.
Flight Lieutenant Fiddle Castro
Fiddle Castro - Steve just loves music.
Steve is the technician of the band, knowing when to add a melody, when to come in with that sweet little lick and knowing all the time how music should sound.
If you invite Steve to a wedding, funeral, barmitzvah, Christening, fortieth birthday, Masonic or house warming, you just know that he will bring his fiddle. And he will play it. Everyone will love it.
Steve plays with Biggles, a Jewish music outfit, the Ragin Cajuns, a Bluegrass band and anyone passing by at the time.
Flight Lieutenant Dave
Dave - Party? You want to party? Daves your man. This human dynamo never stops.
Here are some of the things Dave has NEVER said.
I think Ill turn in now
Anyone fancy a coffee?
My feet really hurt
I have to be up REALLY EARLY tomorrow
Have you ever compared Descartess view that we can only prove we exist when we are both awake and thinking, with the view of this stupid Landlord who merely claims that it is closing time? I think it is 1am? What sort of philosophical mumbo jumbo is that? I want another drink you bastard. Ill go home when Im good and ready. Let the sodding dog out if you want. Anyone want a dog sandwich?"
(Well perhaps he did say that once, but it was a well over two months ago)
Multi talented, multi instrumental (he plays mandolin, fiddle, guitar ,double bass and more) and he is perfectly capable of entertaining an audience on his own, Dave chose to play sousaphone as a sort of challenge.
Its a sort of challenge he said enigmatically.
The band, always boyishly impressed with the enigmatic, embraced Dave immediately. The embracing was of course more figurative than literal. We are not football players.
Flight Lieutenant John
John - Guitar gladiator, he plugs in and turns it up, you check your BUPA policy as your 'innards' exit stage left.
Next thing you know, as John goes melodic, you trance out quicker than a Vulcan mind melt, then come round wondering why the aliens picked on you. He is the very reason you should give blood.
Flight Lieutenant Jake
Jake - Jake has mastered the art of sousaphone playing and it is this instrument which contributes to the unique sound that is Biggles. But, this doyen of the Manchester chic scene, Jake, a Northern College of Music graduate, plays violin with the Halle.
Why, then, does he play with Biggles?
"Compared with the Halle", says Jake, "it is more fun. You stand on that stage and win or lose on your own performance right there on the night. And generally it pays more money".
Jake is an accomplished cook, and his hobbies include fishing, walking and camping.
Look out for a man on the canal bank, trailing a rod and mincing along shouting, "Get you sweetheart. Ive got the biggest pole on this ****ing towpath"
Biggles ran up a huge bill when Jakes sousaphone was infested with locusts, and they determined never to risk playing again with instruments which could involve any of the seven plagues.
Flight Lieutenant Rob
- With thirty years perched on one leg and an arched back reminiscent of the Sydney
Harbour Bridge, Rob developed the condition known as Deep Vain Thrombassis resulting
in various bits of his body being surgically removed. |
WARNING: The bass frequencies of Rob's tea-chest are capable of thawing out a frosty mop and rearranging your internal organs in the process.
Flight Lieutenant Tom
- Tom picked up the fiddle as a young boy, but hated the Classical music people
wanted to teach him. The fiddle was duly put aside. When he was old enough to
get into pubs without being thrown out, the fiddle was resurrected! |
Missing in Action
Flight Lieutenant Phil
Phil - Phil fell in love with twelve string guitar when he was about sixteen. He slowly mastered the technique of playing bass drum, mouth organ and twelve string guitar all at the same time.
Phil forms part of the front line, supporting Jok and providing another part of the inimitable sound that is Biggles.A founder member of the band, he is ever the rebel.
His latest cause is the conservation of world fish stocks with particular interest in North Sea cod and the use of gill nets in Northern Atlantic waters. "I dont eat fish much"says Phil defiantly.
of Life's Imponderables - with
"Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?"