SWARM – From South Africa to Sherfield

Some avid readers of CommunityAd will fondly recall in one of last year’s issues of your community magazine, a story titled From Sherfield to South Africa.

That story concerned itself with keen photographers Tom and Gaye who, armed with cameras, a collection of different lenses and a load of enthusiasm, swapped Sherfield for South Africa in what was a trip of a lifetime. This article is not interested in the wildlife and rare animals that swarm the country of South Africa but the swarm of revellers that head to the fantastic Four Horseshoes to rejoice and dance to the sound of SWARM. The band, which are in every sense more of a family than a band, have done the opposite of Tom and Gaye and swapped South Africa for the joys of Sherfield.

SWARM are the South East’s premier Party Rock Band who boldly claim to be “always copied never rivalled”. There is no doubt when it’s time for a party Sherfield calls on SWARM, the band are regulars at the Christmas parties locally and the after-fete party held at The Four Horseshoes.

Swarm 1996

The band have decades of experience and with the current line-up – which consists of frontman Jason Grimaldi as well as Jason Horsler and occasionally Dave White – have performed for 16 years together, to so many different people. SWARM have developed a distinctly original way of delivering time honoured classics on the dancefloor. From Jazz to Metal there really is no genre this band won’t tackle.

Most recent additions to the band have been an impressive bass player in the form of Jason’s son Cody, and backing vocalist Jesse, his daughter. As aforementioned the band really is more of a family than most, CommunityAd had the pleasure of speaking to SWARM’s manager Sian, who is of course the mother of SWARM’s latest additions and wife of Jason, who tells us “a lot of the pubs like booking us for the real family feel that we bring”. There is absolutely no denying that SWARM brings rocking anthems and a whole new level of keeping it in the family. Asking Sian if she ever fancied joining, perhaps on the triangle, she laughed and stated she’s more than happy watching the band, which is certainly the consensus of the crowds at the Four Horseshoes.

Swarm 1999

SWARM is quite a memorable name, what’s the origin behind it?

Well when Jason started the band in 1995, they wanted a name and were thinking of the crowds of people that would gather round to watch them and they decided on SWARM. It’s a little cheesy but they were only 17 years old, we can forgive them.

The band formed in 1996, how has the band evolved in that time?

Well, lots of changes which is to be expected as the band started in South Africa in 1995 and by 1999, we had relocated to England to try “Make It” in the UK. We quickly got a big following in and around London starting off at the then famous BOK BAR (South African bar in Covent Garden) also having residencies at most of the O’Neill’s Pub chain and other local pubs. We were the runners up and then winners of the Undiscovered Live competitions over the years and as a result got to support the very famous Scouting for Girls.

Cody & Jesse-Jane Grimaldi on stage at Oneills Kingston

Do you recall the band’s first gig?

I do, yeah, it was the Hotel Belle Vista at the age of 17 in 1995 in our small hometown of Warner Beach. We had a huge following in Durban and had an album recorded and published…Jason Grimaldi still writes and produces his own music which he involves his children in now. You can listen at: www.soundcloud.com/swarmuk

If you could recruit anyone to join SWARM, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I think we’d go for George Benson; we love how he uses his voice as an instrument! 

 Desert Island Discs time, if the band could pick three singles to take with you on a desert island?

‘Hotel California’ – Eagles

‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ – Nirvana

‘Islands in the Stream’ – Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers

SWARM Supported Scouting for Girls

How long have you been visiting the fantastic Four Horseshoes?

When Jan Holden and her daughter took over the pub and kindly asked us help to entertain her lovely crowds and community. They really have made us feel a part of the family as we look forward to every single gig there big or small.

What makes Sherfield such a lovely community to be a part of?

Although we don’t live in Sherfield we really wish we did, as it’s so friendly and got a real community spirit that has always welcomed us. The fete is a classic example of the community celebrating together, it’s an event for everyone, something for the whole family.

You can catch SWARM bringing the party to the Fete this summer, if you have an event of your own and you need a bit of family friendly fun then don’t hesitate to get in touch with the band via Facebook: @Theswarmband or email Sian on [email protected]



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