While the grounding of all group members is Traditional Jazz, the diverse musical backgrounds and experiences of the individuals means that the groups repertoire extends across virtually all eras and styles of popular music and even includes some classical pieces. The unusual line-up of clarinet, banjo and sousaphone allows them to cross all musical boundaries, yet still retain their unique sound.
In order to protect themselves against staleness and the inevitable absences due to illness and other commitments, the band draws on a pool of like-minded musicians, which guarantees evenness of quality and therefore customer satisfaction. Upon request, the regular line-up can readily be supplemented by the addition of one or more of trumpet, trombone and drums. Only the very best jazz musicians are used, whatever the size of the group and whatever the function.
While musicianship is of the highest priority, so is the capacity to entertain – every musician has something unique to add to the audience’s enjoyment and all exude an infectious sense of fun. The most frequent comment made about the Total Fire Band is ‘You guys really enjoy what you are doing!’ – And they do.
One of the group’s great strengths is their capacity to play virtually anywhere. With no amplification (unless specifically requested) to worry about, there is no need to be anchored to one spot. The normal three-piece line-up specialises in circulating among the guests, chatting with them and playing their requests.
The distinctive uniform of all black with red braces stamps them as what they are – a truly professional outfit. However, for the sake of the success of a particular function, they will, on request, don whatever is required (on one occasion, old-fashioned neck-to-knee bathing costumes to fit in with the theme of an Aquarium function!) For aesthetic reasons, they draw the line at the Full Monty!
If you don’t come away from a Total Fire Band function feeling happier than when you arrived, consult your doctor!