Billy Bob Jam Review

Great fun!  Such variety!  So many BUMS onstage!  Just loved it!

The plaudits rolled in after 64 people took over the Function Room at Northern Suburbs Bowls Club (home of the Northside jam) on 25 May.  It was a very appropriate day as Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday was on 24 May.  It was the biggest jam we’ve ever had there and you needed stamina to keep abreast of two hours on non-stop music, fun and games.  Every song or activity was linked to a Bob or a Billy.

Caroline Haig Quizmaster

Mick Angeles

Mick was first up supported the ‘house band’ featuring the ever-reliable Cath McCourt on bass, Caroline Haig on keyboards and her son Andrew on percussion.  The Cha cha cha (Bobby Rydell) and Just Like a Woman (Bob Dylan) got everyone singing.  Night Moves (Bob Seger) was a bit more challenging.

Peter Ransom

It was great to see Peter back on stage as he led us through Beyond the Sea (Bobby Darin) supported by Caroline and Cath.

Peter Ransom

Bobby Bill Brothers

David Smith and Peter Grace from Spare Parts (+ our ‘sister’ Cath on bass) sang the simplest song of the night – Things (Bobby Darin) with the audience really getting into the vocals and echoes.  This is a Play-along song available on the BUMS Online Facebook site.  The BBBs finished with the Glory of Love (written in 1936 by Billy Hill and recorded in 1957 by Big Bill Broonzy).

Bobby Bill Brothers

Jilly Bowls Band

Next up were the Ukulele Saints plus Les Briant leading a rocking version of You May Be Right (Billy Joel).  The audience lifted the roof on the choruses.  This was followed by Don’t Think Twice (Bob Dylan) and A Matter of Trust (Billy Joel again).  Finally, the most ‘cringe-worthy’ song of the night Billy Don’t be a Hero.  It was made bearable by the immaculate military drumming by Andrew Haig and fine whistling by his mother.

Jilly Bowls band

Andrew Hunt

Andrew and the house band rocked the house with the I Don’t Like Mondays (Bob Geldorf) and Sharp Dressed Man (Billy Gibbons).  Sadly, Caroline’s electric uke solo needed a bit more volume (or maybe everything else turned down a bit).

Andrew Hunt

Irish jig

On a quieter note, Lesley Allan played a challenging three-part Irish piece called Tom Billy’s jig.

Lesley Allan

Spin the Cat

The volume was raised again by Steve Sandilands and Cath McCourt ably assisted by the house band (Mick on bass this time).  They started with Waiting in Vain (Bob Marley).  Most People I Know (Billy Thorpe) was very popular with everyone belting out the choruses.  They followed with Turn the Page (Bob Seger).  The last two Billy Joel numbers were great fun.  The audience gradually got the echo lyrics on River of Dreams and It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me was a fabulous end to the set.

Ukulele Saints

They played Caroline’s favourite Billy Joel song – the deep and thought-provoking Lullabye.  An open mic featuring a duet with Leanne Williams and Peter Grace.

Ukulele Saints


At last, we got Piano Man, Billy Joel’s classic by the Jam All-Stars.  There were 13 people on stage (oh so squeezy) with eight different lead vocalists.  It was quite a scrum to get to a mic to sing a verse.  Great harmonica from Steve Sandilands.

Quizzes and prizes

Interspersed through the night were quizzes on the Billys and Bobs of the entertainment world.  Five questions were projected up on the screen and the audience had a couple of minutes to write their answers down and hand them in for judging.  For example, which Bob or Bobby wrote I Shot the Sherriff?  Which Billy or Bill has a son who is also his stepfather?  Answers below.

Winners were Patrick Sherry, James Strathdee and Salli Chmura with Lew Bell winning the lucky door prize.

BUMS Ukecessories Raffle.

The raffle was drawn at the jam.  It was a hoot!  Andrew Haig got the job to draw the tickets with Lesley Allan (Treasurer) and Sylvia Hunt (Assistant Treasurer) officiating.  Andrew drew Frank Buckley’s ticket out.

Coincidentally, Frank was on stage at the time setting up for the next set – the look on his face was hilarious.  Garry Madigan won second prize.  And then Frank’s name was drawn again!  It was Lesley’s turn to look amazed.  Frank asked them to draw again and Leanne Williams won third prize.

Frank’s surprise


It was a wonderful team effort to put on this event and Caroline thanked all her supporters who prepared and practised their songs.  Thanks as well to all the volunteers and audience who made the night a success.



Answers to the quiz questions. 

Who wrote I Shot the Sherriff?  Bob Marley.

Who has a son who is also his stepfather?  Bill Wyman