Swing by the tower for a big night out with Andy

The Andy Prior Big Band, which is playing the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool, every Wednesday this month.
The Andy Prior Big Band, which is playing the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool, every Wednesday this month.
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Big band music is back at the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom, thanks to swing star Andy Prior.

Andy and his band are hosting summer concerts at the tower on Wednesday nights, with a view to continuing through until the end of the Illuminations season.

The legendary Tower Ballroom is something of a home from home for Andy, who first played the town in 1986 with Eric Delaney’s band, and with his own band, then called The Night Owls, for a residency in the early 1990s.

“I know the room well,” he said. “After two years there with Eric and three years with my own band in the 1990s, as well as about a dozen New Year’s Eve parties.

“I sort of lived there, so it’s nice to be back.

“In the early 90s, we were in there six nights a week – and we’d love to extend the run from the five weeks we have planned, so please come and see us.

“We really are trying to make a revival of big band music in the iconic Tower Ballroom.”

Andy, a former New Faces winner who sold out the London Palladium, is marking his 30th year on stage this year.

Speaking about last Wednesday’s opening show for the run, Andy, from Leigh, said: “We had a great response in our first week, and it’s the sort of thing people will hopefully want to come back and see more than once.

“We had people in who were into Robbie Williams and Michael Buble, and were not necessarily wanting to get up and be dancing, as well as those who were.

“It’s not often these days that you get a 16-piece big band orchestra playing like that, so it’s great. I sing, play trombone, a bit of percussion and basically host the evening, and we play everything from Frank Sinatra classics Fly Me To The Moon, Come Fly With Me and I’ve Got You Under My Skin, as well as everything swing and big band.

“We call it The Big Swing: The Show You Can Dance To. We’re on stage for two and a half hours, and it appeals to those who just want to listen as well as those who want to dance.”

l The Big Swing, is on at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, 8pm, Wednesdays until August 27. Doors from 7.15pm, show 8pm.

Tickets cost £18, under-12s go free. Go to theblackpooltower.com or ring 0871 222 9929 to book. Entry is available on the door.