1920’s and 1930’s hits in character and in costume - wedding bands don’t come better !

1920’s and 1930’s hits in character and in costume - wedding bands don’t come better !


Oscar Bernhardt presents:

The Charleston Charlies! Playing popular hits from the roaring 1920s. Enjoy this visit to an era of wonderful nonsense, quirky original music and cheerful entertainment. Let's misbehave!

Kidnapped by aliens from the Savoy ballroom in 1929, the Charleston Charlies reappeared on the streets of Manchester in 2007 having aged not one jot, still playing their and quirky 1920's hits. The Charleston Charlies are:

Oscar Bernhardt (singer, banjo and trumpet)

Chester Walmsley ( drums)

The Magnificent Eddie Barnstormer (piano)

Burley Martell (double bass)

Milton Colehill (sax and clarinet)

Love us or laugh at us, you'll have to dance to us! Our affectionate 1920's pastiche delights and delects its way through an era of prohibition , speakeasies and mob violence, when the jitterbug was scandalous, flappers bobbed their hair and raised their skirts and a damn good time was to be had by the reckless and young at heart.

Strike up the band! Everything is hotsy totsy now!

One of the best wedding bands available for hire in the UK! One of the best wedding bands based in Manchester and London!

(The writer takes no responsibility for the truth of historical facts, nor do names bear resemblance to other than fictitious characters but the music is damn good!)

Contact us on 07804 373 431  info@charlestoncharlies.co.uk

Bernhardt -Band leader, sings , plays banjo and trumpet - descended from a musical lineage that  includes Sir William Walton and Halle orchestra leader Martin Milner - is a published song writer and recording artist, who has played for Prince Andrew, Phil Neville and Foo Foo Lamar, and performed in a past life on the Old Grey Whistle Test - works frequently for the charity

Music in Hospitals.

About the band members

the band members vary but the standard of musicianship is always first class - these chaps play regularly in The Charleston Charlies -

Mike Hope - tenor sax and clarinet -studied music at Leeds University and won a year’s placement at the University of North Texas. In 1996 he won the Northern Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition and a place in the London finals. Mike also plays the Syd Lawrence Orchestra - has played for  four years on the show "The Rat Pack" including a West End run at the Haymarket and Savoy theatres. He was asked to play at the Olivier awards accompanying Kevin Spacey as he sang "I’ve Got a Crush On You" to Judi Dench.

He  has worked with Jack Jones, Matt Monroe Junior, John Wilson and the Halle Orchestra, and is also a member of the Empress Orchestra which plays for the British and World Dance Championships.


Dr.Robin Dewhurst - pianist -gained a Doctorate in Musical Arts in 2006 and, in 2007, was appointed Honorary Music Advisor to Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Service, a prestigious role last occupied by SIr Malcolm Arnold.  He is Composer in Residence for Stavanger Band (Norway) and a Senior Lecturer in Music and Head of Jazz and Popular Music Performance and Programme Director for the DMA at the University of Salford, England.

Peter Fairclough -drums and percussion - teaches Drum Kit at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Leeds College of Music, Derby University and University Centre Barnsley.

He graduated  from the City of Leeds College of Music with Distinction in Drums and Percussion, -  has performed and/or recorded with Keith Tippett,  Ute Lemper,   Peter King, The Bournemouth Sinfonietta, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and The Theatre Royal Company (York).
In 1995 he was awarded the Peter Whittingham Award.

Mike Hall -

HeadsJazz Studies at the RNCM. He  teaches jazz improvisation, theory, history, saxophone and directs the RNCM Big Band and Jazz Collective.

The teenage Mike played the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Edinburgh Schools Symphony Orchestra.

See him in action in the movies on  our  Blog posts -‘Top UK wedding band at Montgomery Town Hall ‘,Cheryl Cole gigs in Kabul’  and ‘Petra Ecclestone.................”.

More about Mike Hall

Strike up the band !

The Charleston

5 Foot 2 Eyes of Blue


So Right Tonight

Top hat white tie and tails

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The Charleston Charlies

“........really was the highlight of a fantastic event”

Ed Barnwell - Pianist - aged nine, he was awarded a scholarship to the Yehudi Menuhin school, he later got an honours degree in Physics from Durham University –  and completed his musical studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

He has performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and at De Doelen, Rotterdam, as a classical solo pianist. He co-wrote the orchestral score for Imperial Ice Stars' ‘Cinderella on Ice’ which has recently finished a successful world tour, culminating in a week of sellout performances at the Royal Albert Hall.

Jon Thorne - double bass - also plays in and composes for the  trip hop/ drum and bass band  Lamb with whom he has recorded 5 albums, toured in 32 countries and played  at many of the worlds  leading festivals - including Glastonbury, North Sea Jazz and Montreaux Jazz . - Has  performed and recorded with  Donovan, Robert Fripp, Martha Tilson and Matt Nixon.

Jon is featured in several movies on our  blog  posts - ‘Bernhardt and Thorne’s day out’ and ‘Sir William Walton - a tribute.’

More about Jon Thorne

George King - pianist - has performed at The Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Centre, The Southbank Centre, The Alhambra Theatre in Paris, The Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and also performed at The Glastonbury Festival, The Philadelphia Jazz Festival. He has also been awarded for his works The IBLA Grand Prize (Italy) , The Barto Prize (USA) and The Gunther Bialas Prize (Germany).

As a Pianist George has recorded with Jah Wobble , The Piano works of Edwin Roxburgh (NMC) and Joanna Macgregor/Nitin Sawhney.  

Over the next year George will be giving Classical Piano Recitals as well as playing in the London Jazz Festival.

Buster Birch has a degree in music from the University of London and a post-graduate diploma in jazz performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He has performed with The Royal Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

He is professor of jazz at Trinity College of Music, co-director of the Trinity Jazz Summer School and has given lectures at The Royal Academy of Music, Middlesex University, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and West Kent College.

Lord Wetherall of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, pianist , also plays piano with Dominic Halpen and the Honey Bees, and The Casablanca Steps. He composes music for ballet exams and audition pieces for musicals.