Whatever Happened To -

As far as I am aware, this band is still available to play,
but have not appeared in What's On for some time

Vinnie Parker (keyboard), Mike Reddin (guitar), George Allison (bass), Andy Wallace (saxes,clt), 
Eugene Farrar (trombone), Colin Ball (trumpet). Photo taken at Calder recording studio.


Colin Ball has reformed and renamed his band, which is now known as "Colin's Metro Swing". The style remains essentially arranged Dixieland Jazz, but the change from banjo and sousaphone to guitar and string bass has given the rhythm section a lighter, more swinging sound, which is also essential when occasional forays are made into mainstream and later styles of music!


Colin Ball

Colin has spent the greater part of his working life as a dedicated instrumentalist and arranger. Before National Service, he played reeds with Rod Mason in Plymouth, after which he joined the army as a bandsman. On demob., he became a professional player on the Mecca circuit, then cruised the world on cruise liners. He has worked with dozens of bands, including the famous Leslie Douglas Orchestra, and has complete countless tours and engagements in many parts of the world. These days, Colin concentrates on trumpet playing, but in the past  has been equally well-known as a multi instrumentalist, playing saxophones and tuba. He is also an expert arranger and has completed over 100 arrangements for his new band. 

Andy started playing clarinet and piano at the age of seven. He bought his first saxophone when he was 15 and was soon playing with bands in and around his native London. After studying at college, a move to Huddersfield as a lecturer brought him in contact with rock and roll and work with screaming Lord Sutch!  Today his interests are more inclined towards jazz. He plays clarinet and all the saxes and is an accomplished reader and soloist. He has played lead alto in the Manhattan Sound Big Band, tenor and clarinet with Dave Morrell, The Harmony Hounds and others, but has also recorded with different types of groups, including Embrace (pop), Simple Simon from Jamaica (reggae), and  Otis Day (soul). He currently works with the Autumn Leaves Quartet, and the Pennine Jazz Band as well as Colin's Metro Swing.

Andy Wallis

Eugene Farrar

Eugene is proud to be the only Yorkshire man in the band. He began playing in brass bands in the Halifax area, and now lives in Harrogate. He is a versatile instrumentalist, doubling on, sousaphone, tuba,  blues harmonica and even vocalises occasionally!

Eugene attended colleges in the North West and on Tyneside, and since then he has been an active jazz musician for almost twenty years. He has performed in jazz, pop, and commercial settings together with orchestral work. He has worked all over the North with such bands as La Harpe Street Jazzmen, Winston's Pennine Jazz and the Phoenix N.O. Parade Band. In addition to playing with Colin's Metro Swing, Eugene also fronts is own Sophisticated Function Band.

Vinnie's musical career began in Liverpool's thriving nightclub scene, which led to many years touring and theatre work with various artists, including Tony Christie and Vince Hill, then to working on cruise ships to the West Indies and many other destinations. Nowadays, he devotes his time to his first love, - mainly jazz, in all its forms. The famous Vinnie Parker trio accompanies many soloists in the North West, such as Alan Barnes, Roy Williams, Bob Gill and George Galloway. Vinnie also enjoys playing music from an earlier era and his scintillating solo performances and tasteful rhythm section work can be heard to great effect on the new CD. 

Vinnie Parker

Mike Reddin

Mike is one of the most popular and well-known rhythm guitar/banjo players in the North West, and has appeared with many bands in this area. As a boy, he played banjo in a minstrel band before joining the jazz aces in 1958. Then followed army service, when he played clarinet in the military band and guitar in the dance band. After demob, he joined the Derek Maurice Four, and in recent years he has worked with many bands, including Jed Hone, The Pendle Jazzmen, and the Society Promenaders. His 1935 Gibson guitar is heard to great effect with Colin's Metro Swing, where he excels as both a solo and rhythm player.

George began his long and varied musical career as a teenage guitarist in the Preston area with Vic Carter's Band. At Leeds University, he was the leader of the student dance band and spent each summer season playing at Port Erin, I.O.M. on bass. His National Service in the R.A.F. Education Branch took him only to Padgate where he built up such a good gig connection that he settled in the area after demob. He worked for many years at the Casino Ballroom, Warrington, followed by a long spell with the Johnny Prior Band at the Casino Ballroom, Leigh. As George Allen, he became bandleader at the Keirby Hotel, Burnley, followed by 20 years as M.D. at the Clayton Lodge Hotel, Newcastle-u-Lyme. After a long spell with Pat Nash and the Wally MacKenzie Orchestra, in Manchester, he joined Café Society on sousaphone, and since then, has played with Colin Ball and various Ceildhe bands.

George Allison


Our new CD - "From Monday On


We invite you to listen to a sample of our CD, click on one to download

Alexander's Ragtime Band

2)  Japanese Sandman

3) From Monday On

Please note that the CD quality has been downgraded for the internet

Copies are available together with information concerning the band's availability from 

Colin Ball 01706 877965


Pick Another Band

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