All these are genuine comments made by people who have seen us play or booked our services.
Dear Graham, Bernadette & Band
A belated thank you for the wonderful evening you gave us at my 60th birthday
party the other weekend.
It is still the talk of the town and everybody who went, bar none, is still raving about the quality of the entertainment.
Thanks once again for making the Mayoral charity night such a
I have had great feedback from the audience who thoroughly enjoyed their evening
Mayor of the City of
I on behalf of the committee of the St Helens and District retired police
officers thank you all very much for your visit to the Police club in Bishop Rd
on Friday last.
I have had nothing but good reports regarding your performance and will not hesitate to recommend you to others.Thank you again
Dear Graham and all the Band
I would just like to say thank
you again for such a fantastic night on Saturday, it was perfect. Dad had
such a great time and he will never forget his 60th birthday. You were all
so brilliant, everyone has been ringing me to say what a great night they
had and everyone who bought a CD has been listening to it non stop. Mine is
in my car and I love it! Please can you email me when your next CD is
I hope we see you again very soon.
Thanks again you made it a very special and memorable night.
DARWEN LIBRARY THEATRE (Our first appearance)
I’d be hard pushed to think of anyone, who can match the total hours of ‘live stage work’ put in, over recent years, by Trouble at’ Mill. ‘Keep Music Live’ is Grahams mantra.
This was the fist time I’d seen Graham, Bernadette and Denis on a theatre stage and I knew from experience that this is a very different proposition to the ‘freewheeling atmosphere’ of pubs and clubs. From my earliest days in Skiffle and Rock and Roll, I’ve always preferred a ‘mobile’ audience (preferably dancing) I always find static audiences a real challenge. Graham Dixon and Co. have no such problems, once on stage, they launched into the same act and routines that they use in the clubs and it fit the theatre stage perfectly. I believe that the reason for this is an interesting one.
Since the ‘folk revival’, the folk movement, in general, has expanded and developed in various ways that are both celebrated and frowned upon. In one of these areas (the ground that Trouble at’ Mill now occupy) both traditional and contemporary songs are used, together with anecdotes and comedy routines, to form the basis of an act that fits comfortably into a theatre format, and good front men, like Graham, can build a rapport with the audience – which is akin to that of Music Hall.
The aforementioned love, of live music, and hundreds (probably thousands) of hours put in on stage, enabled them to both entertain and involve the audience as they cruised effortlessly through ‘Bright Lights’ - ‘A Sailors Life’ - ‘ Sylveste’ - ‘ Female Drummer’ and the well thought out ‘Uncle Joes Medley’ (a great favourite with the audience). Bernadette's voice ringing out ‘clear as a bell’ with support from Graham (usually in unison rather than harmony) and Denis’s Fender Jazz Bass laying down that ‘solid foundation’ that we all know and love, ensured a successful workmanlike performance that pleased this particular audience, they even applauded when Graham walked on stage to plug in Susan Faulkner’s guitar………………..
OUR SECOND VISIT TO DARWEN THEATRE
Whatever your views about the populist approach to folk music, a genre so pure that no one wants to hear it is useless, even to the purists themselves. Fortunately a group that rocks all the preconceptions is also one of our regions most hard working and popular. Trouble At Mill have created a wide audience for themselves, and if you told that audience that they were there to listen to folk music, they would look at you incredulously. They were there to be entertained, and the ‘Sold Out’ signs plastered across the posters said that a lot of people expected nothing less.
There’s more than a touch of music hall about Bernadette and Graham Dixon, and Denis Wane. Their personalities fill the stage. Graham’s stories and gags occupy the spaces between the songs. Bernadette’s clear, strong vocals fill the auditorium. Denis wanders around as if unconnected to the group, a man of few words and eccentric dress, but his bass completes the accompaniment as well as providing the odd sound effect. The first half began with the traditional ‘I’ll Tell My Ma’, and included ‘Poverty Poverty Knock’ and Richard and Linda Thompson’s ‘I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight’.
Despite the fact that the group were up on stage, rather than their more usual closeness to the audience in pub or club, they connected easily with their listeners, and had them responding then joining in, verse and chorus, on more familiar songs. And if you need a measure of how the audience enjoyed it, I heard several whistles and hums of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ in the corridors, and the ‘gents’, during the intermission.
Darwen Library Theatre is large enough to have a real theatre feel to it, yet small enough to allow the intimacy between performer and audience. Brett, the sound engineer, produced a clear and musically balanced sound that took full advantage of the theatre’s own equipment.
Trouble at Mill began their second half with a rousing version of ‘The Irish Rover’ and included ‘Three Drunken Maidens’, ‘Dirty Old Town’, and a remarkable 13-minute medley centred on ‘Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls’. The concluding song, an encore, brought Wench All back on stage for ‘The Leaving of Liverpool’. It’s a practised and polished performance, but with enough roughness around the edges to have a common touch that involved the audience throughout.
Trouble at Mill’s mixture of Lancashire and Irish songs, old and new, punctuated by tall tales and humour, provide a rich evening’s entertainment. It’s pure fun. The trump card is that even though the songs may be familiar, and they may be traditional, they entertain; they make people sing and laugh. That’s what really matters. Just don’t tell the audience they’re getting folk music……
Review by Don Moore.
Graham (and the gang)
in the words of J Bowen,,
Super Smashing Grand!A great night, well received, and you would be welcome back here anytime.
Roger Carter (Hornby Institute)
I got married 5 weeks ago, in Silverdale on 18th May 2002 and we hired Trouble at Mill for our evening entertainment. They were absolutely fantastic. They brought the evening alive, like they promised, and got everyone to join in. As it was a wedding, people were circulating and chatting, but found they couldn't resist getting up for the odd
jig with those that never left the floor! It was lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves so much, including my young nieces and nephews, who are only really into pop music! Even they sang along to a couple and got coaxed up by the band to play along on percussion instruments!
It really was a fab evening, so thank you Trouble at Mill for helping make my wedding day a real day to remember. I would recommend them to anyone for a wedding or any other function.
I have seen a lot of bands in my time and these really have the spark to create a warming and enjoyable atmosphere, as well as providing excellent foot-tapping music!!!!
Thanks to you all and may you continue providing us all with your music for years to come.
Tracy Upton Hill
Hi there band members,
Just a quick note to say it was our 1st time to see you perform and we enjoyed every minute of it.
We hope to see you again in the near future.
p/s We were the group at
the back...(My dad was dressed as Elvis) keep up
the good work
MR+MRS J.R CLARKE,AND MR +MRS I.M BURROWS all the way from sunny Darlington.
Thank you for a wonderful evenings entertainment - I personally enjoyed every moment. We look forward to seeing you back some time in the future.Joan Adaway,
Secretary Chorley Little Theatre
"You are the biggest draw at this place!"
Jim Bowen at The Royal Oak - Hornby
"I Thoroughly enjoyed
Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary)
After performing with the band in Blackburn.
Dear Graham, Bernadette & Band
A belated ‘Thank you’ for the wonderful evening you gave us at my 60th party the other weekend. It is still the talk of the town and everybody who went, bar none, is still raving about the quality of the entertainment.
Thank you for giving us a wonderful
evening and contributing to a most successful charity fundraising event
Dear Graham & All
I am writing on behalf of the committee to thank all of Trouble at' Mill for a wonderful evening -
- We have had tremendously positive feedback & I am confident that we will book you again for a future event.
Treasurer Samlesbury War Memorial Hall