Prelude To The 2017 Shuffle: Barnacle Bill At The Belgian Cafe, Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle 2014

Barnacle Bill, Belgian Cafe, 2014 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle.

I was delighted to catch up with Barnacle Bill playing in The Belgian Cafe during the 2014 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival just before he handed in his horn, announcing to the audience that, age 87, he was taking “early retirement”!

Bill launched The Bill Barnacle Jazz Band at The Smugglers Inn, Herne, just to the south of Herne Bay, Kent, in 1979. Had it been twenty years earlier I would have been a fan at his gigs, back in the days when I lived in Beltinge, Herne Bay, and The Smugglers was on my list of favourite haunts.

Over the next three decades Bill grew in popularity in Kent and neighbouring counties, and made several trips across the Channel, in particular to Reims. You can discover more about Barnacle Bill on Burt’s Jazz Pilgrims Website.

This year’s Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival is over the 14th, 15th and 16th July weekend. In the absence of support for the first time for some years from Thanet District Council and also Ramsgate Town Council, The Belgian Cafe is stepping in to host Dick Smith’s Temple Jazz Band with free entry: 11.00am to 1.30pm on Saturday 15th July.

So as a taster for the 2017 Festival and to keep a long standing promise to Bill, below are my YouTubes of his 2014 Belgian Cafe festival gig – a truly magical occasion with Trefor Williams on bass, Jimmy Tagford, drums and Ray Perkins, keyboard.

Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival 2017 Programme

Jazz by the Seaside: 14th, 15th & 16th July. Enjoy the sea air, the camaraderie and most of all,
enjoy Jazz at Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle.

At The Belgian Cafe Saturday, 15th July, 11.00am – 1.30pm
Dick Smith’s Temple Jazz Band
Admission Free

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(Photos & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

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  1. Therese DELESALLE says:

    Nice to see your are still playing ! As president of Reims-Canterbury twinning for years, I had invited Bill Barnacle in our town, and this morning, – trying to clear up my house – I found a letter I sent to Sean Maple in January 1995 ! I still love jazz and my son plays in a band near NImes and Montpellier…
    I am no more in charge of twinning but still enjoy to visit friends in Canterbury and Herne bay so next summer if you play somewhere in Kent I would enjoy to be invited ! I am an old lady but still driving long ways and writing for our local newspapers as I did for Bill more than 20 years ago…
    How to get an answer !
    Best regards.

  2. Peter Butler says:

    Sad to say Bill recently passed away, Theresa. As has Trefor Williams.

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