“Thank you to your band for a superb gig” – Ian Woolley, QB Productions, May 2019
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When Windlesham keyboard player Ivan Chandler decided to put a new band together, he envisaged an instrumental band based on Booker T. & the MGs and featuring top guest vocalists. What Ivan knew would be a key and essential part was a guitarist with whom he musically clicked and who could “cut it” on every show.
When Ivan walked into a music shop in Camberley in the Spring of 2002, he met the owner Jonathan MacDonald. They immediately jelled, had a similar sense of humour and coincidentally both had the same musical vision.
It wasn’t long before a drummer and bass player were brought in and, after only one rehearsal, the band was launched at Ivan’s birthday party at his house on Saturday August 17th. It was such a great party that the house caught fire!! It was all so crazy that calling the band The True Mentals was perfect.
Since then, the band has played at Jagz in Ascot, The Jazz Cafe at the Madejski Stadium, Reading, 4 of the 5 pubs in Windlesham and an annual feature at the famous Jazz Day, first Sunday in September at The Brickmakers.
In 2009, the band changed its name to Chuck Chandler and the Go Go Five, simplified in 2017 to The Go Go Five, to reflect their explosive mix of ’60s Soul, Jazz, Rock & Blues.
The band prides itself on the calibre of artists who regularly perform. Currently the rhythm section comprises Ed James Jordan on drums and Chris Hampson on bass. Christina Al-Wakil is currently featured as a vocalist who also blows a mean trumpet, flugel horn and flute. The band is also immensely honoured to feature Dunx (James Duncan Byiers), bringing amazing vocals and beautiful guitar playing to the mix. These are the beautiful folk you can see in the picture above.
The brilliant Saxophonist Sean Horsey often appears on stage, as do the bassists Marko Laver and Steve Mills (not at the same time!). Drummers including Tom Compton, Julian Bown and Chris York are regulars, and guest vocalists include Jackie Rawe (ex-Shakatak), from New Zealand we have Rietta Austin, from Australia there is Jo Elms, Sylvia Mason (who Jonathan first saw performing at Glastonbury with The Pet Shop Boys), Rose Kimberley of Tailored, Dorie Jackson, Mandy Bell, Kerry Barnard (Q The Music – James Bond Tribute), David Ribi (star of West End Musicals), Hannah White, Kate Brown (of The Boxettes) Roy Gayle (Hot Gossip and Frank The Cat) and Luddy Samms (of The Drifters).
The Go Go Five often include a Motown Revue as part of their uplifting, inspiring and truly exciting show…but frankly, anything can happen on the night.
”Crazy Jazz Musicians” – 96.4 Eagle Radio
“Astonishing” – Billy Reeves, BBC Radio London