Friday, 15 November 2013


I was unaware that MENSA had a members publication (possibly an indication of stupidity on my part) but the following review seems to have been published both by them and The Bolton News. The MENSA review has just one added sentence: "Before you say, 'Oh no, not jazz'; just hang on a sec; I thought exactly the same until I listened - and I'm glad I did". I am entirely in agreement. Contemporary jazz (with some honourable exceptions), seems to lack Soul. Music should move rather than impress and I like to feel the hairs stand on my end or experience the joy of life through music when I hear a performance. 'Jazz' quite often seems so intellectual in this country and I wonder if that is part of the English character; that 'stiff upper lip-oh-God-don't-show-your-emotion type thing.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Perhaps it is happenstance that the premiere of 'Blues Maharaja', a documentary examining the life and work of the great New Orleans pianist, James Booker is to be held at The Barbican on November 23rd, but Paul Jones played my tribute to him from the album on his show on Monday night. He said of it, "Splendid - what a fine piano player Louis Vause [is]" which has made my day. Thank you Paul. You can listen to his show here.

Monday, 11 November 2013

John Helling's played 'Manrique' last night on his show. If you would like to listen it was played 22.00 minutes into the show and he was kind enough to say of the album, 'Midnight in Havana' that "All [the tracks] have a justification for shouting 'Me, me, me, play me' because they are all so good" If you read this, John, thank you!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Daily Telegraph published a review of Midnight in Havana, yesterday, Saturday 26th October 2013. A timely reminder that the album is released this Monday - the 28th October.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra will be playing the Madness curated House of Fun Weekender at Butlin's, Minehead, on the afternoon of the 24th November. After the gig I am told to expect a Radio interview with Koast Radio in which I will answer any questions put to me as honestly as I can and play a track or two on the piano (if I can move it fast enough from the stage to the radio tent) At least one of the tracks I play will be from Midnight in Havana. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The new album is now available to pre-order from Amazon and what a bargain - the price of a couple of pints! Or even one Mojito at a high end cocktail bar. I won't mention Christmas yet . . . far too early.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Time to release the second of the videos made to accompany the album Midnight in Havana. It is a tribute to the composer Eric Satie and the title 'Velvet and Absinthe' references the 'green devil', absinthe, and the velvet suits favoured by the composer. The clown make up is based on the traditional french clown character "Pierrot'. The fact that he is on his way to work in the City of London in no way implies that bankers are clowns (ahem). This was directed and edited by my daughter, Melody Cornford. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

I now have it on good authority that Midnight in Havana is to be released on the 28th October 2013 so with that in mind here is the first of the videos we have created to accompany it. It was shot in just an hour and a half at Wilton's Music Hall in London's East End and I chose Wilton's because it has that crumbled magnificence that is so striking in Havana. The title, Bucaneros at O'Reilly's, refers to the excellent local beer which I enjoyed at O'Reilly's in Havana. O'Reilly refers to a man of that name who fought against the English for the Cubans in 1762, and had a street and bar named in his honour. The O'Reilly's in Ireland created their own currency which gave rise to the phrase 'Living the life of Reilly', because if you have the power to create your own currency then - indeed - you are (living the life of Reilly).

Thursday, 22 August 2013


My apologies: 'MEATOPIA' is on the 7th September not the 6th as announced in the previous post.


Time to announce confirmed gigs by The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra this Autumn. I suppose - at a stretch - you could call it a tour.

25th August 2013        Craig Charles' Fantasy Weekender                            Bristol
6th September 2013     Meatopia (please look this up on the internet)            London
2nd October 2013        Concorde                                                                   Brighton
3rd October 2013         Globe                                                                         Cardiff
4th October 2013         Arena                                                                         St Albans
5th October 2013         Waterfront                                                                  Norwich
18th October 2013       Corn Exchange                                                          Ipswich
25th October 2013       Brudenell                                                                   Leeds
31st October 2013       Jazz Cafe                                                                    London
1st November 2013     Komedia                                                                     Bath

And here are a couple of action packed photographs of our performance in Brussels last Friday.

A fantastic evening . . . thank you Brussels.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Re: Michael Curtiz - Hollywood Director

The great director Michael Curtiz - director of many great films including Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood - was notorious for his difficulties with the English language. Came across this today and had to share it. He was berating his subordinates, working himself into a fury and climaxed with:

"You think I know fuck nothing, but I tell you this: I know fuck all!"


Saturday, 29 June 2013


On Sunday 28th July The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra will be playing The Secret Garden Festival near Huntingdon in addition to the July gigs already announced. Time to be confirmed but I heard some murmur that it would be 10.30 in the evening.  We will be there anyway taking in all the joy that an English summer generally brings. See you there!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra will be playing two gigs in July 2013. They are as follows:

06.07.13 Godiva Festival (this is a FREE festival), Coventry

20.07.13 Lambeth Country show, Brockwell Park (this is also a FREE day out), Nr Brixton, London.

I believe our album The Benevolence of Sister Mary Igantius has entered the charts at No. 78. And No. 20 in the Indie Charts. This is thrilling news. I am thrilled.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

SALE "The All New Beginners Guide to Boogie and Blues Piano" DVD

Most people suspect that Fathers Day is some kind of cynical ploy on the part of commercial enterprises to extract hard earned cash from the diligent, hard working folk of the world. And who am I to differ?
We can announce that we are offering the critically acclaimed DVD The All New Beginners Guide To Boogie and Blues Piano at the splendid price of £15.00 (inc. p & p) - this is a saving of £7.50 from the RRP. To learn more, see clips and read press (and happy customer) reviews please follow this link. You too can play like Louis Vause and Seamus Beaghen. And so can your dads! . . . and mums! . . . and children!

The world will be a happier and joyful place. And so will you!

Monday, 10 June 2013


Due to circumstances beyond our control, I am afraid we have had to postpone the release of Midnight in Havana until (probably) September. This is frustrating but hardly the end of the world (or so I tell myself on a daily basis). I have a file of all of those who requested a signed copy and I will post an exact release date as soon as it is finalised. The editing of the videos is nearly complete and all will be revealed soon. In the meantime relax in the gloom/sun/rain/wind with an appropriate cocktail.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


I will be supporting The Near Jazz Experience at the Indo Bar in Whitechapel, East London tonight. If you have never seen the NJE, I can verify that it is indeed an 'experience': unique and entertaining. As for me well - you know - I poodle along. I will have my piano there so . . . let's see.

Thursday, 30 May 2013


The second video we are making for the album is currently being edited. Shot and directed at Wilton's Music Hall (in the Mahogany Bar) by Jeff Baynes it promises to be stunning to look at. Jeff, whose CV is far too extensive to list in full, has worked with most of the big names in popular music including Madness's ground breaking videos in the early eighties. Here is a panoramic photo of the shoot as a taster taken by Gareth Huw Davies, the double bass player on the album. Both videos will be released separately to accompany the album's release. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Radio 4 - DOWN THE LINE - 6.30p.m. Radio 4 Tonight. Wednesday 22nd May.

Tonight I am a character called 'Spud' on Radio 4's Down The Line at 6.30 pm. I will be performing a song about fracking in Morecambe written by myself and Jim Reilly in about ten minutes. Charlie Higson has told me that it is funny but ". . . not in the way you expected." I await the programme with foreboding.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Here are a couple of photos of the video we are making for a track from my forthcoming album, Midnight in Havana. Look out for the finished film which will be released to coincide with the release of the album.

Monday, 13 May 2013


I have been informed that we will be playing the single, Fu Manchu,  LIVE with Bitty McClean and one other track (yet to be confirmed) on the BBC's flagship music show 'LATER'. So set your televisions for BBC2 on Tuesday 21st May. And - furthermore - we will be launching the Album on the 28th May 2013 at the legendary Dublin Castle. See you there!

Thursday, 2 May 2013


STOP PRESS! The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra will be doing an interview and live session on the Robert Elms show between 12 and 3 pm this afternoon. Such a last minute arrangement that the band will be a 'streamlined' version of the whole experience. No doubt we will be madly discussing what to play (and how!) with necessarily restricted instrumental forces. Just another day in the exciting world of show business.

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Here is a view of the cover of the album. This is a sketch taken from my diary of the time I spent in Havana. As the album will be available in both CD and Vinyl form the picture won't be wasted. If you are interested in either edition, signed by me please get in touch; I will be overjoyed to oblige!

Thursday, 18 April 2013


At long last I can announce a release date for my third album, Midnight in Havana. Featuring a stellar cast of musicians it will be released - on CD and Special Edition Vinyl - on the 17th June 2013 by Cadiz Music. We will be shooting a video in early May so look out for further posts!

Saturday, 6 April 2013


The information in the previous post should tell you that the upcoming single featuring Bitty McClean will be Fu Manchu not Ali Baba as stated. I am getting my exoticisms confused (and try saying that five times very quickly)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Time to announce forthcoming gigs from the LEE THOMPSON SKA ORCHESTRA. The mixing of the album is complete and the first single, ALI BABA is to be released in May with guest vocalist Bitty McClean. A sunny sound to herald summer time if the weather doesn't actually manage to do the same.


May 16th     Under The Bridge, Chelsea, London.

May 20th     The Fleece, Bristol.

May 24th     Band on the Wall, Manchester.

May 25th     Hoults, Newcastle

If you come please introduce yourself. I will be the one playing the piano (ahem).

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Welcome all to the site of Louis Vause, pianist, teacher, musician, writer and artist (these latter two hobbies rather than professions but hey . . . who knows?)  Here I will keep you updated as to gigs, events, news, gossip and more. Testing, testing. Are you receiving me?