Film: 822

Music | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Billy Cotton and his band, tunes include 'Guy From Harlem' and 'My Love Come To You' 1950's

No other titles to give an indication of exact time or location. Very similar performance to can 17257, Harry Roy and his band on 'Cabaret Time'.

Opens on shot of the band on stage, all wearing light-coloured suits. In the front row, are guitarists and brass players. Behind them is a pianist and a drummer, and there is a double bassist on the left of the frame. Close up on a black performer putting on white gloves and a top hat. He jumps from his place in the orchestra and onto the main stage with the conductor (Billy Cotton?). The two half dance and half skip across to centre stage. All the lights dim, leaving the two in a spotlight. Man in white begins to narrate the introduction to his song, tap dancing at regular intervals. A second man from the orchestra (who wears a flat cap) enters and a staged altercation occurs. First man moves across to the violin players and sings. Conductor follows him. Frist man re-enters spotlight alone and tap dances. Long sequence of his dance. Band can be seen very faintly in the background. Parts of the dance resemble very early attempts to breakdance (for those who remember the 80s). Lights come up abruptly and the man returns to his seat and picks up a trombone. He bows to the camera.

Close up of conductor's face. He makes two whistles, as though calling a dog. A band member responds by calling, "yoo hoo!". The conductor asks, "What's that for?". The band man replies in a very gruff voice, "That's for you, you gorgeous creature". Conductor turns his back on the band and they begin a new song. Conductor sings to audience. Three band members leave their seats and stand in a line next to the conductor. They sing in harmony. Man with a small moustache stands and sings a line. Three standing singers reply. Close up of black trombone player. First singer dances over to conductor and thrusts his pelvis towards him. Conductor mock slaps him back into place. All three return to their seats. Different band member skips over to the conductor in a slighly camp yet slow witted manner. He begins to sing the female part of the song in a girly voice, so I assume that the previous perfomance was supposed to resemble a woman. A different man skips past playing a whistle. Conductor skips off stage left. Camp man finishes his part of song and returns to his seat.

Man with large false moustache leaves his place and walks over to the conductor. Conductor pretends to kick him. Trombone player. Stage goes dark. Band member in false whiskers crawls over to conductor and mews like a cat while sitting on his haunches. Cat man claws the conductor's leg. Conductor walks away. Black band member mews the words, "no, not tonight", in response to the first cat bloke. The two have a mewed conversation to music (not as bizarre as it sounds). Black man dons a large pair of whiskers and joins first cat bloke in the spotlight. At end of sequence, second cat man stands up and says, "you tellin' me!". He walks off stage right. Lights come up and the first cat man runs back into position. Conductor faces band. At intervals, each of the former cat impersonators stands and offers a brief "miaow". End of song. Conductor bows and the audience can be heard applauding.

Conductor stands facing the band and they start a new song. A troupe of dancers appears from stage left. They are all female, although they are partnered together and some are dressed in white shirts and black trousers to play the male role. The female women wear white hats, small white bra top type things and small shorts. They tapdance. See audience in a box. See audience in the front row. Dancers' feet tap dancing. Dancers' faces. Lights go out. Man in suit standing at the back of the auditorium watches grimly. People in box. Two seated men in tuxedos, one looks bored, the other amused. Silhouette of dancers and band. Man in suit. Dancers shot from side of stage. Dancers shot from behind, doing high kicks. Dancers shot from side of stage. Abrupt end.

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