Swing Bands : Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra
The impact of the young orchestra dressed in 8th American Army Air Force uniform, together with the stage dressing and the atmosphere of the occasion so impressed the film's bandleader Greg Francis, that he decided he would keep the orchestra together - as a living memorial to the great American Swing Bands of the 1940's.
After the filming was completed, David Puttnam asked Greg if the band would appear at the Royal Premier of the film in London, before the Duchess of Kent. The band duly appeared, and since that time they have appeared at literally hundreds of events throughout the U.K. including prestigious corporate and private functions, holiday centres, civic centre, theaters and dances, airshows such as the Biggin Hill Airshow and the Royal International Tattoo, hangar dances at many airfields including Duxford Air Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the RAF museum at Hendon, and on worldwide television at least once every year since 1990.
Although the orchestra play a wide selection of favorites, they provide a nice balance between the Glenn Miller hits and the popular hits of Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, Harry Connick Jr. and of course Frank Sinatra hit songs of the era.
The swing orchestra retained the original badges and emblems of the 8th AAF, and the young boys in the band all dress in full AAF style uniform. No long hair, beards or earrings are allowed. They didn't have them in the American Army during the war, and so they are not allowed now.
Always in demand for themed nights this wonderful young vibrant orchestra has captured the hearts and minds of not only the older generation who remember how it was, but also of the younger generation who find jiving and jitterbugging - and the music, a welcome change to what's on offer these days.