REVIEW:The Temperance Seven, The Concorde, Eastleigh

THEY have been around as long as Eastleigh’s Concorde Club.

In the sixties their unique 1920s jazz style turned them into pop stars with the chart topping You’re Driving Me Crazy single. It was also the first number one for the Beatles legendary producer George Martin.

It is 56 years since that catchy single hit the turntables and now they are back on the road with their diamond jubilee tour.

And they are no strangers to the Stoneham Lane club which is also celebrating its 60 th anniversary.

The Temperance Seven came to popularity during the resurgent trad-jazz era of the early 60s.

It was also the golden age of pop when novelty tunes burst into the charts, playing happily alongside a production line of rock ‘n roll jukebox hits.

Their unique sound, coupled with their musicianship and ingeniously humorous compositions set them apart from their contemporaries.

But the orchestra , which uses bizarre military style stage names, is still delivering that unique brand of music and perfectly timed deadpan humour which drove fans crazy in the early sixties.

Judging from the reaction of The Concorde audience it’s a musical recipe that has clearly stood the test of time.

Vocalist Derek Galloway, known as The Colonel, also acted as the master of ceremonies. His tenure with The Temperance Seven spans nearly 40 years. It did not take him long to fire up the audience with an avalanche of side splitting one liners.

“They are the only orchestra to make a comeback without going anywhere,” he quipped as he launched the first set which included Pasadena, a number four in the UK charts for the Temperance Seven, closely followed by the very upbeat popular 1924 jazz standard, I Love My Chili Bom Bom.

They dug deep into the treasure trove of recordings, paying tribute along the way to those who had laid the foundations for The Temperance Seven, and the lively playlist of 20s and 30s classics included My Blue Heaven, Dinah, It All Depends On You, Everybody Loves My Baby, Once in a While and Hard Hearted Hannah.

There was an hilarious sticky moment when Galloway got into a tangle using Duct tape as a sound effect during Tiger Rag. Adding to the hilarity he pointed out that the tape was available after the gig.

He even managed to get his head trapped in a sousaphone, which is related to the tuba, and was played by the band’s leader “Captain” Chris Buckley.

Musical arrangements don’t come much zanier than this as the orchestra strung garlands around their necks and donned funny hats. In true Monty Python style a plastic parrot perched on the sousaphone.

The scene was set for Ukulele Lady, another George Martin production, which when it was recorded in 1960 featured a vocal refrain from comic and acting genius Peter Sellars.

Behind all their comedy capers, The Temperance Seven are serious musicians and their polished performance matched their sartorial elegance.

Colonel Galloway rallied his troops and polished off his trademark megaphone for You’re Driving Me Crazy as it was time for Temperance Seven fans to hit the road.

Duncan Eaton