Pompey’s Oldest

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The Southsea Skiffle Orchestra meets once a month in the Guildhall’s upstairs lounge and from March will be giving a free live lunchtime performance there from 12 midday – 1pm. Dates confirmed are




SSO was formed from a workshop at Portsmouth’s 60+ Festival in October 2014 and now has around 30 members who play the classic skiffle songs of the mid-1950s and a few others adapted to the style.

Skiffle hit the UK charts exactly 60 years ago in 1956 and to celebrate, the SSO play many of the best-known skiffle songs including “Freight Train”, “Rock Island Line”, “Worried Man”, “Midnight Special”, “Sporting Life” and “Putting on the Style”. Just like Lonnie Donegan, Chas McDevitt, Ken Colyer, the Vipers and all the stars of the 2Is Coffee Bar in Soho, SSO have raided the American past, folk, blues and country, for a range of other tunes – many with ‘singalong’ choruses for the audience to join in.

The Orchestra consists almost entirely of Pompey Pensioners and at full strength have a combined age in excess of 2,000 years! They play all the familiar skiffle instruments – guitars, washboards, string bass, harmonicas, ukelele, mandolin, kazoo and other noisy bashing-type implements. They have a lot of fun and generally their audience does too!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/492962414211006/


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

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