Home town:  Bulawayo
Circa:  1955 – 1980

  • Mike Leih – Piano accordian
  • George Low – Guitar
  • Barry Davies – Drums
  • Dennis Gilbert – Keyboard
  • Johan Nel – Bass
  • Mark Janjetich – Concertina
  • Loot Neivenhuis – Hawaiian guitar
  • Graham Nel – Drums
  • Michael Nel – Rhythm guitar
In Full Bloom! The FLAME LILIES. Left – Right: George Low (guitar), Barry Davies (drums), Mike Leih (piano accordian) and Dennis Gilbert (keyboards).

Band leader, Mike Leih, formed his first band in 1955 and continued to appear regularly on the local scene until 1980 when he and his family relocated to South Africa.  He saw his bands, primarily, as dance bands and played a wide repertoire of music refusing to be confined to a particular genre.  If it was dancable, Mike would include it!  As a result his bands were very popular and constantly in demand playing hundreds of gigs over the years.  Demand for their services always peaked over Christmas and New Year’s Eve periods and they played far and wide, from the Wankie Mine club to Lonely Mine, the Plumtree Hotel, Hotel Victoria, Grand Hotel and Hotel Rio.  For two years they had a Sunday residency at the Hotel Lido and his band’s also paid regular visits to Ingutsheni Hospital to perform for the patients.  Understandably there were a number of personnel changes over the many years, however, the band’s character and popularity never changed or waned.

In 1980 Mike and his family moved to South Africa where, sadly, he passed away from cancer in 1984 at the young age of 42.

BIG BAND! Left – Right: John Nel (bass), Mark Janjetich (concertina), Loot Neivenhuis (Hawaiian guitar), Graham Nel (drums), Mike Leih (piano accordian and, Michael Nel (rhythm guitar).