That Bloody Band: Mixed Feelings, Music & Mayhem by Jonathan Nicholls
30th January, 2021
Replaying the eventful past of a triumphant tribute band
That Bloody Band: Mixed Feelings, Music and Mayhem is the riotous memoir by Jonathon Nicholls, author, Bandleader and founding member of a popular tribute band.
Vividly and vibrantly brought to life, That Bloody Band: Mixed Feelings, Music and Mayhem is the captivating story of one boy’s obsession with forming a pop group during the golden music years of the 1960s and onwards into the 21st century. With hilarious yet harrowing tales of getting arrested for attempted murder in Hertfordshire, to bar room brawls in Berlin and beyond. The Bandleader was a serving Metropolitan Police Officer, unable to read music yet amazingly took his band to the highest level of the International Show Band scene.
A joy to read from start to finish, this entertaining book is an enthralling trip down memory lane recalling the days when bands were really ‘live’ during an unbeatable era for music. In his fascinating Foreword to the book, long-term friend and fully-fledged fan of Mixed Feelings, Bradley Walsh encapsulates these magical years, “They were good days and this book certainly fills a niche in music history.”
That Bloody Band is a wonderful record of the band’s formative years with pages of amusing and, at times, shocking anecdotes of when the band played, partied and pushed the boundaries of live performances, as Michael Black, the well-known London Impresario once said, “This Band should carry a Government Health Warning!”
From Nicholls’ piano lessons at the age of 12 to church choir and singing stirring hymns, Nicholls charts his memories as a child growing up in the 1960s to becoming the proud Bandleader of Mixed Feelings and their talented bass player. However, his brilliant book is much more than just a personal journey. Unbelievably, as someone who couldn’t read music he somehow created this hugely successful band before joining the Metropolitan Police, “Although Mixed Feelings never made any records or appeared on Top of the Pops we were one hell of a band. We played everyone else’s music and mainly played what the audience wanted.”
That Bloody Band also recreates the spirit of those early years and how the band’s popularity grew both at home and abroad. Mixed Feelings performed at more than 6,000 major events from the West End to the Middle East, as Nicholls adds, “During the nineties, we were the busiest professional function band in the UK, performing at corporate events, weddings and music festivals, working with many celebrities at home and abroad.”
Well-written and engaging, That Bloody Band is recommended for anyone remotely interested or curious about bands and the entertainment industry from the 1960s onwards.
Like the band, this book has everything from rib-tickling laughs, rude words and riotous stories as Nicholls recounts his finest moments, “bumps and all, through the best part of a lifetime, of making music and having one hell of a lot of fun in doing so.”
Advanced Reader Copies of That Bloody Band: Mixed Feelings, Music and Mayhem and interviews with the author are available on request. Contact us here for details.
Price: £9.99 (Paperback); £2.99 (Kindle Edition)
“[That Bloody Band] kept me up all night! Finished it at 3.30am. There’s a TV Script in there. It’s a very enjoyable and gripping read… there must be another few volumes of stories to come! Thanks for doing that Jon – it’s a great account of all our lives!”
Jamie Hardwick – former member of Mixed Feelings
“Reading this book takes me down memory lane to those days when bands were really ‘live’ and not just playing along to backing tracks. From smoky, Working Men’s clubs and pubs when we hardly earned any money, to posh weddings and parties at The Dorchester and Grosvenor House hotels. It’s all here and loaded with funny anecdotes and more.”
Bradley Walsh – Actor, Comedian, Television Presenter and Singer
“I have played in many bands during my musical career but there was nothing ordinary about this band. It was a British version of ‘Spinal Tap’. Mixed Feelings was a real soap opera – I’ll never be in a band like that again.”
Jez Guest – former Saxophonist of Mixed Feelings
“This band should carry a Government health warning!”
Michael Black – London Impresario
About the Author
Jonathan Nicholls was born in Deanshanger, Northamptonshire in 1948 and now lives in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. He attended Towcester Grammar School and formed his first band in 1964. By 1968, Jonathan joined the Metropolitan Police and following his retirement in 1995, he turned fully professional with his band Mixed Feelings, performing at major events across Europe and the Middle East.
As well as his book That Bloody Band: Mixed Feelings, Music and Mayhem, Jonathan is the acclaimed author of Cheerful Sacrifice, a successful title depicting the 1917 Battle of Arras. Published by Pen & Sword in 1990, Cheerful Sacrifice has nine editions and remains in print today.
Jonathan is also an independent (and much sought after) Battlefield Guide of the Great War 1914-18. During the Centenary 2014-18, he was the principal guide for Travel Editions and the Daily Telegraph. Married with one son and three grandchildren, Jonathon’s hobbies include: supporting Arsenal Football Club, Rugby Football, writing, cooking, the cinema and music. His next book, Fragments of Remembrance is expected to publish in May, 2021 and is about families and private visits to the Cemeteries and Battlefields of Northern France and Belgium.