Tears of Laughter

(mixed programme)

‘Just fantastic to go and see live’   BBC Radio 3
‘Deliciously uncool’   The Daily Telegraph

Virtuoso mandolin, sensational songs, hot swing fiddle and huge lashings of fun from Britain’s leading ‘hot-fingered mandolin virtuoso’ Simon Mayor, and silver-voiced songstress Hilary James.
It’s probably the diversity of their repertoire that surprises people most: from folk songs to Berlioz, blues, classical mandolin show-stoppers, swing fiddle, and maybe a couple of their own infamous comic songs. Oh, and Hilary might even manage a step dance if the wind’s in the right direction!
Just recently their shows have enjoyed some added literary spice with a pre-concert film and poetic excursions from their new book Of Death And A Banana Skin.
Pepper it all with Simon’s unique brand of off-beat humour and Hilary’s honey-dripping voice for a massively entertaining evening not to be missed.
Serious stuff – but don’t take it too seriously!

‘One of the world’s great mandolin players’   Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3

Poetry and music – live interview and performance with Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3





Listen (not so serious)…

Here are some samples of live humour taken from Simon Mayor & Hilary James shows or with their quartet The Mandolinquents.

     Hear the full sequence

     The man on the plane

     Bird noises


     The parrot joke

     The parrot song (Mayor/James)

     The Russian

     Pizzicato (Leo Delibes)
(all voices and instruments – Simon Mayor & Hilary James.
‘Pizzicato’ performed live by Simon Mayor’s Mandolinquents)

Listen (just a tad more serious)…

     Bolero (Raffaele Calace)

     Melancholy Blues (Bloom / Melrose)

     Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba (Handel arr Mayor)

     When Summer Comes Again (Mayor/James)


Mayor and James 

More from the press…

‘Virtuoso mandolin, elegant vocals, guitar and fiddle wizardry, and a stage show that ranges from witty to hilarious. Expect anything from a Vivaldi concerto, trad folk, jazz standards, Celtic, ragtime, blues, a deadly accurate tribute to Jake Thackray and, of course, that song about the parrot!’

‘A whole stream of mirthful anecdotes, blurry-fingered precision and
sweetly sung blues, standards and folk songs.’

Glasgow Herald

The Dead Sea Dances (composed by Simon Mayor)
live at Association Musique Concertante, Bonnieux, France

The Buttermere Waltz (composed by Simon Mayor)
live at Goderich Celtic Festival, Canada

Down The Road I’ll Go (composed by Hilary James)
live at Goderich Celtic Festival, Canada