The Half Moon All Stars

The Half Moon All Stars

The Half Moon All Stars are a collection of Oxford-based musicians who meet and play regularly at the Half Moon pub, St Clements, Oxford.  Primarily they’re a James Bell backing band, but they’re also an occasional backing band for other people, including members of the band.

Many met at the Bastard English Session, which you can learn more about by clicking…Here



Featured Video:

Introducing the band:


James Bell

Vocals & Guitar

Instrument: Vocals & guitar
Role: The one who thinks he’s in charge.
Interesting facts: Is actually, technically, an aristocrat, and ‘Bell’ is not his real name.
Why the band loves them: It's in their contract.

‘Mando’ Josh Robson-Hemmings


Instrument: Mandolin, stomp box & vocals
Role: The busy one.
Interesting fact: Doesn't like parsnips.
Why the band loves them: He's a master of the folk scene and helps make us skilfully pretend to be an actual, functioning band.

Hannah Gray

Hannah Gray

Instrument: Flute, Vocals & occasional (reluctant) slap sticks
Role: The busier one.
Interesting fact: Has a strange weakness for the Scottish accent.
Why the band loves them: She is secretly skilled in all sorts of mysterious areas – tap dancing, cup-playing, sheep shearing, gymnastics, nuclear physics…

‘Uke’ Josh Hall

Uke Josh
Uke Josh

Instrument: Ukelele & vocals
Role: The feculent one.
Interesting fact: Once had lunch whilst sat next to Benedict Cumberbatch.
Why the band loves them: No one else can masterfully segue into a pop mashup with quite the same degree of skill and panache.

Samantha Twigg Johnson

Sam Twigg
Sam Twigg

Instrument: Shaky egg, kazoo & vocals
Role: The one who supplied the signature eyewear.
Interesting fact: Knows all the words to 'Grandma's Feather Bed' by John Denver.
Why the band loves them: Usually quietly smiling affectionately at the foolish antics of her bandmates – if The Half Moon All Stars were a novel, Sam would be the narrator.

Vincent Lynch


Instrument: Bass guitar, fiddle & vocals
Role: The one who corrects other members of the band with a look.
Interesting facts: Once filmed by Al Jazeera performing improvised comedy. (They didn't use it.) Once introduced at a conference as a "salsa dancing, ukulele playing doctor of chaos theory". Has broken an automatic door by running into it.
Why the band loves them: He knows the band material better than everyone. Even James, who wrote most of it.

Calum Mitchell


Instrument: Fiddle & vocals
Role: The one from 1908.
Interesting fact: As a teenager, broke into a conference at the United Nations, after being goaded into doing so by a sinister American businessman.
Why the band loves them: His clothes and his English eccentricity suggest that he is very probably one of the Doctors from Doctor Who.

Tracey Rimell


Instrument: Recorder, percussion & vocals
Role: The one with all the puns.
Interesting fact: Distant descendant of Dick Whittington .
Why the band loves them: With consummate skill she can make a desperately cheesy joke, and somehow make it seem like Uke Josh said it.

Laura Theis


Instrument: QChord & vocals
Role: The shy German one.
Interesting facts: Can sing Happy Birthday backwards. Is signed to Chicks On Speed records.
Why the band loves them: Even when singing about the most dark and disturbing subject matter imaginable, she has the warmest and loveliest smile.

Louis Duncan

Louis (pronounced ‘Louie’)

Instrument: His melodeon, your melodeon and any other melodeon he can get his hands on. And occasional vocals.
Role: The Newbie.
Interesting facts: Will regress to the age of twelve if presented with a model train set.
Why the band loves them: How could you not love someone who will regress to the age of twelve if presented with a model train set?

Artwork by Tim Howes (2014).
Artwork by Tim Howes (2014).


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