Hot Club Sandwich

By | 17/08/2017

Hot Club Sandwich began in the radio NZ recording studio in Wellington around 1992 with a collaboration between Andrew London and pianist/bass player Terry Crayford. The original repertoire was jazz standards in the 1940s Grappelli/Reinhardt ‘Quintette du Hot Club de France’ style. Terry originally played a split electric keyboard with basin the left hand and a violin sample in the right, but a chance encounter and subsequent short-lived collaboration with Hot Cafe and Warratahs violinist Nik Brown saw Terry move to bass guitar.

Various ‘thirds’ came through the ranks including harmonica player Neil Billington, saxophonists Johnny Lippiet, Nils Olsen and James Tait-Jamieson, violinists Elena, Colleen Trenwith, and Fiona Pears, guitarist Bob heinz, and bass player James Cameron; which of course allowed Terry to switch to piano. As a consequence of this revolving-door personnel policy, the repertoire broadened considerably into bluegrass, country, blues, rockabilly, folk, Western swing  and flat out rock’n’roll.

Andrew began writing quirky original songs around 2000, which were compiled with some that Terry had been sitting on for a few years, into their first album ‘Enjoy Yourself or Get Out’ in 2001. Eight albums and a live DVD followed until they called it a day in 2012. During those dozen years Hot Club Sandwich played every jazz festival in New Zealand multiple times, festivals in Sydney and Norfolk Island, and had been flown to Saudi Arabia by the NZ High Commission’s Social Club in 2010.

A handful of reunion gigs were performed with Andrew, Terry, Neil Billington and James Tait-Jamieson from 2020-2023. Terry is officially retired since 2024.