The Sensational HIT Soul Band evolved from an impromptu performance in 2003 by Pat O’Hare, Robi Hämmig and Jimmy Dorabjee in Melbourne, Australia.
Encouraged by friends they did a few blues numbers with Pat on vocals and harmonica and Robi and Jimmy on guitars. They were subsequently joined by Harry Shapiro on drums and Damon Brogan on bass with Pat on vocal and sax, and the Harm Reduction All Stars were born. They played in Belfast in 2005; at the famous Commodore Theater in Vancouver in 2006; Fabryka Trzciny in Warsaw and The Cavern Club, Liverpool in 2007; Razzamataz in Barcelona in 2008; and the PanAm Bar in Liverpool in 2010.
In 2011 they added a horn section, renamed themselves The Sensational HIT Soul Band, and concentrated on soul music. Grant McNally and Jon Derricott shared vocals. They made an appearance in London under the name, Harry Shapiro’s Elastic Band. From 2013 the line-up has been:
Shona Carmen – vocals
Richard Dykins – vocals/guitar
Robi “Dr Robert” Hämmig – guitar
Jean-Daniel Junod – bass
Harry Shapiro – drums
Martin Smith – trumpet
Saxman Gaffer – baritone sax
Pat O’Hare – tenor sax
They have been joined at various times by Austin Murphy, Bob Whitaker and Seb Silas on tenor saxes; Bart Noorman and Sara Rose Allen on Trumpets; Jeff Lewis and Niall Doherty on trombones; Steven Rawlinson on bass; and Andrew Bennett on guitar.