Tennis: Wimbledon - Music is food of 40-love

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The Independent Online
AS IF the abundance of Pimms and champagne, boaters and blazers wasn't enough to reassure all visitors that they had indeed arrived at the All England Club, London SW19, an additional dose of old world atmosphere was yesterday laid on in the form of The Red Hot and Blue Orchestra.

It might have been in an attempt to invoke the spirit of a bygone age of British greatness on court that Arthur Deco, or Art Deco to his pals, was asked to get the spectators in the mood by belting out standards from the Twenties and Thirties.

The band has been providing a touch more traditional charm to the championships since 1994. "Every year they have music on the Centre Court prior to the ladies' and men's finals to entertain the people who queue and get to their seats early," Deco said. "We played there four years ago which means I am one of the few British men to have appeared on Centre Court on finals' day for any length of time."

This year the committee have provided the band with a small stage adjacent to the Pimms and champagne tent. Resplendent in their tuxedos, red bow ties and Fred Perry-style slicked back hair, they entertain the throng until play starts on the show courts at 2pm. They can be seen again next Saturday.

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