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In an industry where times change rapidly we find ourselves sometimes struggling to get enough bookings to warrant keeping band members exclusively for all concerts. In The Ball Band we have been lucky enough to have brilliant musicians who are in great demand with other acts and need to work as much as possible to keep their families. Therefore sometimes it is neccessary to book deps when one of " The A Team " is away either working, through illness or during family holidays etc. and we are very fortunate to be able to call on some of Britains greatest guys to help us out.


      We have Ben Cummings as our principal leader but have the likes of Digby Fairweather, Ian Bateman's brother Alan Bateman and from Chris Barbers band Peter Rudeforth and Mike " Magic " Henry who all played 2nd trumpet to Ken in the last couple of years of his life.


    Ian Bateman is our number one dep while John Bennett is still away from the band but we have multi award winning Roy Williams, Humph's last trombonist Ray Wordsworth and the superb Adrian Fry who have all stood in when Ian is needed elsewhere.


    Julian Marc Stringle has been our first choice reedman since Andy Cooper left in 2012  is one of the hardest working in the business and in great demand who also runs his own studio. Ron Drake, the versatile Alan Bateman and Trevor Whiting, now on his second stint with Chris Barber are all on the list to cover for Jools.


    Hugh Ledigo has had the piano seat for around 30 years now and a concert without Hugh is so rare that our pianist cover list is minute. However, Craig Milverton is usually my first call followed by Piano wizard Paul Sawtell who are both fantastic deps.

Double Bass

    We said goodbye to Bill Coleman earlier in 2015 and welcomed Ex Acker Bilk bassist John Day into the family. If John's unavailable we have the great Dave Green, ex Barber among many others, and BBC big band and prog rock band Soft Machine's Roy Babbington to call upon.


    Nick Millward has held the drum seat for around 20 years and is also in much demand and we are lucky to have drummers with similar dynamism as Nick. Bobby Worth has been a regular as has Martin Wilde, ex Alan Price, Alan Savage currently touring with Des O'connors house band and big band leader Pete Cater and not forgetting the manic Steve Rushton who is Imelda May's drummer.

    Booking deps is a nuisance as fans of the band have their favourites and can be disappointed when one or more are missing. We are lucky in that the people we use as deps generally know all the arrangements and can sometimes, if not always, inject a bit of extra energy into a show.