THE Temperance Seven were one of the odder products of the popular music scene of the early 1960s – po-faced young men playing the music of the 1920s with mock earnestness.
Multiple personnel changes later, The Temperance Seven is today one of the more eccentric products of the jazz scene – po-faced older men belting out numbers such as Tea for Two, Pasadena, Hard-Hearted Hannah and Ukulele Lady.
The band took to the Marsden Mechanics stage dressed in such attire as tailcoats, correspondents' shoes, smoking jackets and eccentric headgear. As a whole, the musicians looked like the members of a slightly seedy gentlemen's club, circa 1920 or earlier.
The singer and orotund master of ceremonies, Alexander Galloway, is a Gilbertian figure, who sneaks in a certain amount of discreet filth, in the manner of the late Humphrey Lyttleton.
There is a fair amount of knockabout comedy business in the act, which perhaps weakens the irony of the whole concept, but there is no doubting the entertainment value of the Temperance Seven.
Of course, the comical side of things would become rather tedious if it was not backed up by good musicianship and there was certainly plenty of that. The front line instruments all played good jazz solos and there was often a real 1920s period feel, especially in the clarinet and baritone sax playing.
Some creative percussion and lithe banjo kept the pulsethrobbing, and from Chris Buckley there was some sousaphone playing that was little short of superb.