Bluebird Parade is a genre-defying collective that features an eclectic group of musicians from the East Midlands and beyond, including songwriter Jon Read (former trumpet-player for ska legends The Specials, trumpet-player for Prince Buster, dep for innumerable others). Our songs mix acoustic, electric, and brass instrumentation to craft a sonic landscape against the counterpoint of Ming Nagel’s distinctive vocals.
The band began as bedroom-based Summerhouse in 2001, producing the homespun Ghost Writing and playing a number of gigs in Leicester before retreating into the more mundane aspects of human existence, such as post-graduate qualifications, paid employment, and poultry breeding. Jon, displaced New Yorker Ming, and soulful trombonist Russ Coleman rose from the ashes to form Bluebird Parade in 2006, at that point enlisting the talents of Jon’s old comrade Styx (like the river), who still moonlights as the serenely compelling drummer for folk-punk cult faves Loscoe State Opera. In 2011 we released – or passed on to close friends and intimates – our debut album, The Wednesday Night Island. House-builder extraordinaire and crossword aficionado Will Lindsay took over from Laura Hudson on bass in 2012 in addition to his duties with Leicestershire rude boys and girls the Moderators, and Thure Gade Johansen replaced Mark Price on guitar in 2014, adding to the band’s socialist and cosmopolitan credentials. And because six band members just weren’t enough, in 2015 we poached everyone’s favourite music teacher, the ubiquitous Su Robinson, from ourselves (Kingsize ska band) to add coolness and depth to our wonderful brass section.
In addition to headlining in our own right, Bluebird Parade have had the pleasure of supporting talented artists including The Dandy Warhols, The Men they Couldn’t Hang, Alejandro and the Magic Tombolinos, Declan Bennett, and Jersey Budd. We’ve also been proud contributors to the Specialized Project for the past five years, covering songs by the Specials, the Beat, Madness, The Clash, and Bob Marley in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. Our version of Rock the Casbah was released as a charity single for TCT and Youth Music UK on June 20th, 2015.
Ming Nagel – Lead Vocals
Jon Read – Trumpet, Flugel, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Accordion, Backing Vocals
Russ Coleman – Trombone, Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Toys, Backing Vocals
Su Robinson – Saxophone, Clarinet, Tambourine
Thure Gade Johansen – Lead Guitar
Styx – Drums
Will Lindsay – Bass Guitar
Very special thanks to Sasha Silberman-Hanks for designing our logo.
Styx and Russ’s profile photos reproduced with the kind permission of John Coles.
Ming and Will’s profile photos, and header on Gigs page, reproduced with the kind permission of Philip J Vernon.
Header photos on Home, Band, Music, Links, Gallery, and Contact pages; and Jon’s profile photo reproduced with the kind permission of Haluk Gurer.