Does anyone remember the Excelsior Jazz Band?

SYNCOPATED SOUNDS ... the Excelsior Jazz Band in 1923.
SYNCOPATED SOUNDS ... the Excelsior Jazz Band in 1923.

I’M of the frame of mind at the moment that I could happily kick back and listen to this lot.

I mean, imagine the toe-tapping sounds.

This was the era of the Charleston, Yes We Have No Bananas, Bessie Smith grinding out Down Hearted Blues – all the equivalent of modern chart-toppers when this picture was taken in 1923.

Tin Roof Blues, recorded by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, was another.

This is a wonderful picture from our good friend Kevin Blair but, sadly, there’s not much I can tell you about it.

It shows the South Shields Excelsior Jazz Band and the picture was taken by William Harper, of 25 Green Street in the town.

I can find no record of the band.

The name, Excelsior, did ring bells, however, but I’ve only been able to trace it to the Excelsior Picture Hall.

This was the name of the early cinema that occupied the premises of the old Methodist church in Baring Street that went by the nickname ‘the tin cathedral’ before the First World War.

Could the band have been associated with that? It seems unlikely.

If anyone has come across it before, or recognises any of the players, I’d be pleased to hear from you.