The Temperance Seven

The Temperance Seven

The Temperance Seven were a British band specializing in 1920s-style jazz music.


The Temperance Seven were founded at Christmas 1955, although it has been alleged they first "saw the light" in the Pasadena Cocoa Rooms, Ballspond Road, North London, in 1904. The three founder members were Paul McDowell who originally played trombone, Philip Harrison (originally played banjo) and Brian Innes. Gradually the band evolved into a nine-piece ensemble with a light-hearted and humorous performing style, although they were all serious musicians. The name "Temperance Seven" was suggested from Douggie Albert, of the Albert's fame. The Albert's were cult figures in the art scene in the mid 1950's and were fore-runners to the sort of humour that became Monty Python. The Temperance Seven was a subtle play on words — the number seven being "one under the eight". That there were nine members or "one over the eight" implied intemperance.

It was in 1961 that the Temperance Seven achieved national fame with the number 1 hit "You're Driving Me Crazy" Arranged by Frank Skinner, which was produced by George Martin, quickly followed by "Pasadena" which reached No 4 in the charts. They toured Britain widely that year and their performances acquired a set routine beginning with the last few bars of "Pasadena" (which became their signature tune) and ending with the stirring strains of the "Gaumont-British News". By the summer of 1961 their fame was such that they appeared at the London Palladium. During this memorable performance, when opening with the first few bars of "Pasadena" the band members seemed distracted and uneasy: there were only eight of them on stage. It had been rumoured by the host — Bruce Forsyth — that there had been a dressing room fall-out with vocalist Paul MacDowell. Just as the band reached the point of the vocal, a cloud of smoke saw a megaphone-wielding MacDowell propelled upwards via a trapdoor, to begin his refrain bang on cue. The audience was mesmerised only to be further caught out by Pasadena's legendary double false-ending.

The Temperance Seven came to popularity during the resurgent Jazz era of the early 1960s. Their unique sound, coupled with their musicianship and ingeniously humorous compositions, set them apart from their contemporaries; however, they arrived at the cusp of that era and as popular tastes changed with the emergence of Elvis and The Beatles, the Temperance Seven gradually slipped into obscurity although the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band attempted to wear their mantle for several years whilst claiming no affiliation.

The original Temperance Seven were dissolved in the late 1960s, but the band continues to perform with new personnel. From time to time original members make guest appearances. Many members of the original band reunited for a BBC radio programme about the group in 2003.


The Temperance Seven dressed in a manner appropriate to the style of music they played. Some members also went under preposterous pseudonyms emphasised by the wearing of a minor yet conspicuous item of clothing — Colin Bowles a dog-collar and John R. T. Davies a fez. "Josef Kronk", who supposedly arranged "The Temperance Seven 1961" LP, is the collective pseudonym for the band. A partial "early" line-up includes:

* Clifford Bevan (piano, trombone)
* "Canon" Colin Bowles (piano)
* Alan Swainston Cooper (clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, phonofiddle, pedal clarinet, Swanee whistle)
* John R.T. Davies "Sheik Haroun of Wadi el Yadounir" (trombone, second trumpet, alto saxophone)
* Martin Fry (sousaphone) (pseudonym: Franklyn B. Paverty)
* John Gieves-Watson (banjo, spoons)
* Phillip "Fingers" Harrison (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone)
* Cephas Howard "Captain, cashiered" (trumpet, euphonium)
* Brian Innes "Professor Emeritus" (percussion)
* "Whispering" Paul MacDowell (vocal refrains)
* Mac White (clarinet, alto saxophone)
* Ray Whittam (clarinet, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone)

elected discography


* "Miss Elizabeth Brown" / "Crazy" (1958: 7" MCA 1016)
* "You're Driving Me Crazy" / "Charley My Boy" (1961: 7" Parlophone R4757)
* "Pasadena" / "Sugar" (1961: 7" Parlophone R4781)
* "Hard Hearted Hannah" / "Chili Bom Bom" (1961: 7" Parlophone R4823)
* "Charleston" / "Black Bottom" (1961: 7" Parlophone R4851)
* "Sahara" / "Everybody Loves My Baby" (1962: 7" Parlophone R4893)
* "Shake" / "Bye Bye Baby" (1962: 7" Parlophone R4953)
* "Ain't She Sweet" / "Seven And Eleven" (1963: 7" Parlophone R5022)
* "Thanks For The Melody" / "Easy Money" (1963: 7" Parlophone R5048)
* "From Russia With Love" / "PCQ" (1963: 7" Parlophone R5070)
* "Letkiss" / "Tajkaed" (1964: 7" Parlophone R5236)
* "Shepherd of the Hills" (1975: 7" Dick James Music DJS 626)
* "Mach II March" / "Me and Jane in a Plane" (1976: 7" Dick James Music DJS673)
* "Pasadena" / "You're Driving Me Crazy" (EMI EMI2336)


* "The Temperance Seven Inch Record" (1960: EP Argo EAF 14)
* "The Temperance Seven" (1961: EP Parlophone GEP 8840)
* "The Charleston and other selections" (1961: EP Parlophone GEP 8850)


* "One Over The Eight" (1957 LP) (re-released as "The World of the Temperance Seven" 1973 LP: Argo SPA 302)
* "The Temperance Seven + 1" (LP: Argo RG 117)
* "The Temperance Seven 1961" (1961 LP: Parlophone PCS 3021)
* "Family Album" (1964 LP: Parlophone PCS 3059, 1964) (re-released on LP: World Record Club TP 727)
* "Direct from the Ballspond Cocoa Rooms" (LP: Music For Pleasure MFP 1322)
* "The New Temperance Seven" (1970 LP: Hallmark HMA 205)
* "Temperance Seven on Ristic" (1971 LP: Ristic RT7) [Possibly unreleased]
* "The New Temperance Seven in Sweden" (1972 LP: Phillips 6414 303)
* "The Temperance Seven in Hong Kong" (1975 LP: Dick James Records DJSML 2013)
* "21 Years On" (1976 LP: Dick James Records DJM 22043)

* "Tea for Eight" (1989 CD: Upbeat URCD101)
* "33 Not Out" (1990 CD: Upbeat URCD103)
* "The Writing on the Wall" (1992 CD: Upbeat URCD108)
* "Pasadena and the Lost Cylinders: Music from the Archives" (1997 CD: Lake LACD 77) [recorded 1960(1-9), 1961(10-11), 1962(12-19), 1963(20-26), 1967(27-28)]
* "The Parlophone Recordings Vol.1 1960-1962" (2000 CD: Lake LACD 138)
* "The Parlophone Recordings Vol.2 1962-1965" (2001 CD: Lake LACD 142)
* "Those BBC Years" (2002 CD: Upbeat URCD185)

Other appearances

The Temperance Seven also appear on:
* " The Alberts, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, The Temperance Seven" (1971 LP: Starline SRS 5151)
* "By Jingo It's British Rubbish" (1998 CD: HUX 015)


* "It's Trad, Dad!" (1962)
* "Take Me Over" (1963)
* "The Wrong Box" (1966)
* "The Temperance Seven in Hong Kong" (1976)

ee also

* The Pasadena Roof Orchestra


* "The New Musical Express Book of Rock", 1975, Star Books, ISBN 0 352 300744

External links

* [ Official Temperance Seven website]
*imdb name|0970168|The Temperance Seven
* [ Doo Dah Diaries includes John Gieves-Watson's performances with The Bill Posters Will Be Band]

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