The Temperance Seven were formed at the Royal College of Art during 1957. The band usually had nine members (one over the eight!) and dressed in the style appropriate to the late 1920s ‘white’ jazz they played. This is their Jubilee Year and they were many peoples Rye Festival Favourites. Their appearance at the Thomas Peacocke on Saturday 8 September was a sell out, over 300 people attended and were treated to an evening of pure entertainment. Old songs and even older jokes (the old ones are the best ones) kept the audience tapping their feet and laughing from start to finish.
The original members generally gave themselves fictitious titles. Allan Moody Mitchell used the pseudonym Sheik Wadi El Yadounir and wore a fez. On the first hit numbers vocals were provided by ‘Whispering’ Paul McDowell who was replaced later by Whispering’ Paul McDowell. This tradition has carried on to this day.
The band once appeared in Spike Milligan’s ‘The Bed Sitting Room’ and spawned new interest in the styles of the 1920s
The first half of their programme featured many of the band’s earliest numbers. It opened with ‘Charley My Boy’ and ‘Pasadena’, followed by ‘Chili Bom Bom’, ‘Once In A While’, ‘Louisiana, ‘Ukelele Lady’ (complete with garlands, six nautical hats and a half deflated long balloon!), My Blue Heaven, Hardhearted Hannah, What Are You Waiting For, Mary?, and Everybody Loves My Baby.
The second advanced through the 30s, 40s and 50s. ‘Indeed I do’, ‘Me and Jane in an Aeroplane’ and ‘Tea For Two’. Next came ‘That Certain Party’, ‘Alpine Echoes’ (a sousaphone solo ending in unexpected comedy) ‘Dinah’, ‘Whistling’ Rufus’ and ‘Piping hot’ (both on whistle), ‘Tiger Rag’ accompanied by the roar of box tape being pulled off a roll close to the mike, and ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ and then with the audience shouting “MORE”, this great band came back on stage for ‘Charleston’ and dancers appeared in front of the stage. What an evening, the crowd went home humming songs that were popular fifty, sixty, seventy and even eighty years ago.