52 Skidoo are an unlikely collection of drunks, gamblers, misfits and outlaws performing Harlem Swing, a music born out of the 1920’s stride piano style made famous by James P. Johnson and Fats Waller.

They formed after a chance meeting whilst looking for unfinished bottles of wine at a new year’s eve party in 1929. This led to a mass brawl, multiple arrests and ultimately the formation of the band.

Henry 'J.J.' Botham

Howard ‘Dancing Bear’ Jacobs

Tommy Valentine

Henry 'J.J.' Botham
Henry 'J.J.' Botham, (A.K.A. ‘Double J’, A.K.A. ‘Jay Jay’, A.K.A. ‘Two J’s’) pianist, womaniser, heavy drinker, former world heavyweight boxing champion and tickler. J.J. is known for his stunning piano shout and segue skills, while famed for hollaring at audience members in a possessed American drawl "Chillun, perk up your bodies and fill your glasses, let's break out the rum and get to dancin'."

Other Skidoo performers come and go from gig to gig and are chosen based upon sobriety, high speed driving skills, choice of hat and terms of probation. Many are never seen again.

The band are happy to hire themselves out for any occasion as long as there is a free bar, chorus girls, a makeshift shooting range and somewhere to arm wrestle. They have an album of songs and music from the 20’s & 30’s available to purchase and perform their own shows as well as providing live music for ‘Cotton Club Burlesque’, a dance show featuring ‘The Bombshells’. You can find them at vintage/cabaret/speakeasy/1920’s events throughout the UK and beyond.

"Mercy, that's a whole lotta' meat and potato, mama"Fats Waller