Band hope to hoedown well at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 March 2015

The Famous Potatoes

The Famous Potatoes


Scintillating spuds are on the menu when bluegrass band The Famous Potatoes play in the Queen’s Theatre foyer.

The Potatoes are veteran performers, setting up 35 years ago, releasing four studio albums and clocking up about 1,700 performances over the years.

The eight-piece band are set to perform a high-energy set of country, gospel, swing, folk and Cajun music – a sound popular at the barn dances the group regularly play at.

The Essex collective consist of banjolele player Keith Baxter, saxophonist and vocalist Richard Baxter, bassist Nigel Backaby, drummer Paul Collier, recorder player and vocalist Melanie Derbyshire, guitarist and vocalist Tony Littman, accordion player Paul “Prof” McDowell and fiddle player Charlie Skelton.

Band member Keith, 57, from Westcliff, said: “Queen’s is a delightful venue and the atmosphere is always lovely.

“The music we play is largely covers but I wouldn’t profess to being a covers band – we play old country music and rock and roll.”

He added: “It’s music of the people, it’s not fancy but it’s appealing because it’s straight forward and it’s got an emotional depth to it. It’s honest music and it has a great life to it.”

String band enthusiast Keith, an ex-geography teacher at Sanders School in Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, cites country dance band Flowers and Frolics as a big influence.

He said of the upcoming show: “Come along and have a good time, it will definitely make you smile.”

He added: “The truth is we’ve kept playing all these years simply because we keep on getting booked!

“But I’m definitely looking forward to the next show.”

The Famous Potatoes play at Queen’s, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, on Sunday, April 12. The performance starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10.50

Call the box office on 01708 443333 to book or get your tickets online at

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