Hire / Book Eddie Eckstein & the Bats for entertainment at your next conference, corporate function, year end event, awards ceremony, or private event.
Back after twenty years of sabbatical, these guys can still rock with the best of them. With a unique blend of musical skill and great comedy, this act will have your guests toe-tapping and chuckling in their seats.
Comedian Eddie Eckstein, TV personality Paul Ditchfield and blues guitarist Pete Clifford are the original Bats who, along with newcomer, musician Derek Gordon bring a host of musical talents to the stage. They revisit the swinging seventies, playing a range of classics from Elvis to the Shadows and ballads to rock. Combine this with their own hilarious versions of old favourites like Living next door to Hansie, the Sounds of Sirens and Trigger Happy and you’ve got the perfect tonic for your average stressed-out South African audience.
The Bats are:
Edwin Richard Eckstein (Eddie) was born in Johannesburgon 29 November 1939. He completed his (junior and high) schooling at Marist Brothers in Observatory. He joined a banking group as a clerk for five years while moonlighting as a singer in his spare time. He cut his show-business teeth as a Rock ‘n Roll singer with the Al Willox Quartet. He appeared on Rhodesian television regularly in die early sixties with Flippie van Vuuren’s band and later joined the Jimmie Rayson Combo. After the demise of The Bats, Eddie followed a solo career as an actor and comedian. He took the part of Mannie Bloom in John Cundill’s television series Oh George. He then spent one year in Sydney, Australia, where he appeared in I love my Wife. Since returning to South Africa in 1983, his theatre appearances have included starring roles in Little Shop of Horrors, Pyjama Tops, Not Now Darling, Grin and Bear It and What about Love. He also did a Christmas season at the Wild Coast Sun in a show called Cyclone Eddie in December 1989.
Eddie was one of the comedians in the popular show Biltong & Potroast and took part in the first Laugh Aid held in the Sun City Superbowl. In 1991 he did a stint of cabaret in Portugal when one of the hotels on the Algarve ran a Springbok weekend. He was one of the hosts on the hugely successful Telly Fun Quiz on TV. Eddie lives with wife Marie-Louise and their children John, Simone and Christopher in Mondeor,Johannesburg.
Paul Carter Ditchfield was born on 30 December 1938 inManchester,England. When he was eight years old his family emigrated toSouth Africa. He attendedFairfieldandLakeviewPrimary schoolsand completed his high-schooling at Germiston Boys High. He made his debut as a pianist at the age of 13 when he was employed to play for a dancing school. He did a year of B.A. atWitsUniversitybefore joining Barclays Bank, where he spent 6 years. During this period he played weekends with two rock bands, The Vikings and The Magnificent Seven. Paul is an accomplished songwriter and, besides being a piano/keyboard player and bassist, also won the South African Pipe Band Drumming Championships in 1958.
After leaving the Bats in 1979 he recorded two singles with Jessica Jones and a solo single of his song, I Wanna Go to Mauritius. He switched to theatre – playing comedy and farce in, among others, Life Begins at Forty and Sextet. Musicals Paul has appeared in include: I Love My Wife, Hans Christian Anderson, The Jungle Book, Marico Moonshine and Mampoer, The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Pump-Boys and Dinettes, Ticket to Ride, Canterbury Tales and The Buddy Holly Story. For his role as Barnum in the musical of the same name, he won the Gallo/Dalro Award. TV musicals include: On Broadway, The Elton John Song Book, Die lewe is ‘n Maskerbal, ‘n Speeltoneel, ‘n Grenshotel en ‘n Oudedoos, The Big band Beat, Beach Boys go Bananas, Good old gold rush Days, The Trini Lopez special, Summer fun, Caribbean Fun, Jacaranda Sing-along and The British Invasion.
Paul is also a TV anchor-man and game-show host. Television shows he has hosted include Video 2, Basha Kenako, It’s a Knockout, Simba Small Talk, Gilette Numbers Jackpot, Liqui Fruit Chic Chat, Telegames and Revue Plus. He has played in the TV productions of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Tom Stoppard’s Professional Foul. Paul has written three musicals: The Last Drive-In, Another Sherlock Holmes Musical and Cyclone Eddie. He has five children: Tracey-Jane, Warren, Oliver, Keaton and Thomas and is married to actress/singer Judy Broderick. They currently live inJohannesburg.
Peter William Frederick Clifford was born on 10 May 1943 in Whetstone, England. He attended Oakleigh Primary and Holly Park Secondary Modern High School, Whetstone. He made his professional debut as a guitar player at the age of 15 and, as a member of the Echoes, accompanied Dusty Springfield on her tours to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, England, Europe and South Africa. He also backed John Mayall and Gene Pitney in Englandand, after leaving The Echoes, toured with Tom Jones as one of his musicians. Pete came to South Africawith the band 004 in 1965. With Johnny Kongos and some members of 004, Pete formed the band Floribunda Rose and returned to the UK. After recording a single (Linda Loves Linda), Floribunda Rose disbanded. Pete, Johnny Kongos, Doc Watson & Chris Dee formed a new group called Scrugg. After recording three singles the group disbanded, whereupon Pete decided to settle permanently inSouth Africa, where he joined The Bats.
After the demise of The Bats, Pete teamed up with Johnny Noble and Bobby Louw in a comedy act. Following this he toured theSouthCoastas part of a four-piece band called Replay. Pete decided to settle in Pietermaritzburg where he established a guitar school. Besides running his school, he also tutored pupils in guitar atHiltonCollegeand St Anne’s in Pietermaritzburg until 1990. During this period he played for semi-professional gigs and also teamed up for a while with The Statesmen. In the early Nineties, he turned his talents to the culinary world and bought a restaurant in Barbeton, which he currently manages. Pete is still active as a musician and does “one-nighters” all over the lowveld. He has two daughters,Charlotteand Marsha, and a step-daughter, Candy, who lives with him and his wife Helen inBarberton.