xmasevegigGreetings of the Season to you all
It is Christmas Eve:-  the Tree is up, the Tinsel is out, the Mistletoe has fallen down (again), the Pressies are bought and wrapped, and there are a number of hours left to kill before The Big Fat Guy in Red actually arrives, “ho ho ho” ing his way across the sky in his vain attempt to find chimneys without wood burning stoves, or gas fire flues….
“What can we do to pass the time?” you may think to yourself. Well think to yourself no more, for what better than to spend Christmas Eve in the company of The Pretty-Nearly-Legendary Monkey Fingers, a rhythm and blues band so cool they’ve named an entire region of the Antarctic after them.
“Where is this marvellous event taking place?” you ask, before noting that there is a Handy poster accompanying this blog, almost as if it were planned.
Yes – the Downs Hotel, Woodingdean’s finest establishment of that name, is the venue. We shall be playing all of our old favourites, and may throw in a Christmas Song or two as well.
Please do come along!
David (the Finger that sings)
PS No Monkeys, or Simians or any kind, were injured in the typing of this email.



Once upon a time and long, long ago, in a land of unfeasibly wide lapels, sparkly eye-shadow and towering platform soles, the Christmas single was as much a part of the festive season as mince pies, mulled wine and mistletoe. Much has changed in the intervening years (fashions included, thankfully) but the bells still ring out for the hit singles of Christmas past. Yes, it may be 40 years since Slade and Wizard fought for the Christmas number one under the unseasonably hot lights of the Top Of The Pops studios [*] — longer yet  since  the Plastic Ono Band wished us Happy Xmas (War is Over) — but Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of tinsel-strewn glam pop to get the party started, now would it?

Which brings us to Christmas eve 2013 and the triumphant return of the Monkey Fingers to the Downs Hotel, Woodingdean. The five festive Fingers will be on top Xmas form and the band will certainly be looking to augment its characteristically eclectic mix of classic British 60s and 70s RnB with a few Christmas pop crackers (whilst hopefully avoiding the more obvious Christmas pop turkeys). So do join Brighton’s premiere 60s and 70s RnB band for some great tunes (with added tinsel and sleigh bells) down at The Downs Hotel, Woodingdean, 24th December, 9pm ’til midnight.

Gawd bless us, every one!

* For those of a tender age: back in 1973 Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody famously beat off Wizard’s I Wish Could Be Christmas Every Day to the top of the pop charts (and the latter had to be content with number 4).

The Monkey Fingers were delighted to make an appearance at Hove Deep Sea Anglers’ Club on Saturday 11th May. The gig: a joint birthday party celebration for Mark, Laura and family, and a fantastic occasion it turned out to be.


© Copyright Simon Carey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

For those not in the know (and that probably included four fifths of the band prior to the party) the Danglers inhabits a windswept and salt-sprayed spot just off Hove’s shingle beach, at the point where the Western Esplanade finally gives way to wharfs and warehouses and the grand homes of Brighton and Hove’s celebrity set. The long, low club house has been home to the town’s deep sea anglers since it was built for the purpose in 1922 and seems to be something of a well-kept secret. As a party and live music venue it certainly has a whole lot to recommend it. While a gale raged and rain fell  (is it really May?) inside the club house it was warm and comfortable and the facilities were excellent.

Mark and Laura’s party went with a bang and the Monkey Fingers were happy to be there and help it all along. With three 45 minute spots followed by no less than three encores it was a real buzz to be a part of the celebrations and get everyone up and dancing. Great crowd, great venue — hope to be back at the Danglers some day soon!

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREThe Monkey Fingers returned to the Downs Hotel Woodingdean on Saturday 4th May in a Kinks/Feelgood/Animals/Stones/Beatles kind of mood for another memorable evening of music and mayhem. The band were on irresistible form and, as usual, propelled to greater heights by an enthusiastically eurythmic audience. So, many, many thanks to everyone who came along to The Downs on Saturday night for giving the band such a great reception — and we promise that we’ll be back very soon for Woodingdeanstock IV!

In the meantime, The Monkey Fingers make the perilous journey across town into darkest Hove next week to appear at the wonderfully titled Deep Sea Anglers’ Club. This time it’s a private party (Hi, Mark and Laura!) and we’re really looking forward to playing. Parties are a speciality and guaranteed to bring out the best in the band — well, musically, at least. Beware fishy humour: there may be sole music and bass solos. Fish Fingers anyone?

Did we mention that the Monkey Fingers are appearing at the Downs Hotel, Woodingdean on Saturday May 4th? By popular demand, we’re back. Some new tunes and some old favourites. So, get on up at the Downs.

poster 2 March 2013

May the 4th be with you.

Cartoon Horses and Spinal Crackers

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Back Beat

Shakespeare was right about the roses. They look pretty, they smell nice: so who’s to care what they’re called? But bands are different. A good band name can tell people a lot about the look and the sound: it’s a part of the image. Finding the right name is not so easy, though. The Monkey Fingers took a while to become The Monkey Fingers.

Worth crossing the road for.

Worth crossing the road for.

A fore-runner of the present line-up took the industrial-sounding Carbon Haze as its nom de guerre. Not so much a name as an air quality warning, Carbon Haze is surely more suggestive of heavy rock than classic RnB of the 60s and 70s. So not really us. And then there was Cartoon Horse. Originally suggested by front-man David Stabler as a bit of a joke, it nearly stuck. But it’s Art-Rock notes also seemed off key with the band’s musical signature.

What to do? Turn to the Bard, of course: though in this case we’re talking the Bard of The BeatlesLennon‘s inventive lyrics for Come Together, a track already in the band’s repertoire, provided ample possibilities. The Spinal Crackers, perhaps. Or maybe The Ono Sideboards or The Mojo Filters. What’s in a name? In the end, we could only be The Monkey Fingers.

What is it with drummers? The backbeat and backbone of the band and generally content to take the back seat, eclipsed by bandmates and a bewildering construction of percussion items and supporting metalwork. I suspect it takes a certain kind of personality: selflessness, a closet love of engineering and a conviction that the music is all that matters.

The Monkey Fingers’ Nigel Summerley — pictured below — is a case in point. But exceptions prove the rule. Those whose formative musical years coincided with Top of the Pops in the early 1970s may well recall Golden Earring‘s Cesar Zuiderwijk, who would launch himself skywards over his drum kit at the finale of the drum solo on Radar Love. Gymnastic prowess is one way to grab centre stage, I suppose. Perhaps wisely though, Nigel tends to stay right behind the drums: at the back and on the beat. After all, the music’s all that matters.

Nigel Summerley

Behind the drums

The Monkey Fingers’ “world tour of Woodingdean” continues apace following a triumphant return to the Downs Hotel on March 2nd. Coming just a week after the Palmeira in Hove, there was a sense of the band getting into its stride: altogether more confident and self-assured than the first appearance at the end of last summer and certainly propelled to greater heights by an energetic and enthusiastic audience. There’s no doubting that seeing people dance while you play gives a kick to the performance.

Downs Hotel March 2nd 2013

On the strength of that night, the Monkey Fingers are booked for another appearance. So, don’t miss out. Come and see the return of the Monkey Fingers for yourself on May the 4th: this band is the one you are looking for.

Five Fingers

The Monkey Fingers at the Palmeira, Hove, 23rd February 2013.

Image  —  Posted: March 11, 2013 in Gigging, Live Fingers
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