- Who is in the band?

The band consists of 18 people who mainly come from south east London. Their ages range from 18 to too-polite-to-ask. We rehearse at the Mick Jagger Centre, in Dartford, where we are also the resident big band.

- How long have you been together?

We had our beginnings in 1998 with the core of the band responding to an advert for like-minded musicians placed in Loot.

- Describe your sound.

Our sound is based around the classic big bands of Buddy Rich, Count Basie and Maynard Fergusson, although our style is very broad and covers the majority of the big band period. Our repertoire includes swing, latin, jazz rock and we also have vocal numbers. The good thing about big band music is it has never stood still and new pieces are being written all the time. This gives a chance for the audience to hear something new alongside the more familiar numbers.

Forthcoming gigs?

Our next gig is at the Old Tigers Head, in Lee. It is a great venue with the added bonus of having the bar open until late. We hope to play there on a regular basis so come along and have a listen to what an 18-piece big band sounds like.

Best gig?

The biggest audience we have ever performed in front of is 25,000 people at the London Marathon. There is a fantastic atmosphere on the day and this will be the fourth year we have been asked back to play at the 23-mile mark outside the Walrus and Carpenter pub. We have also played abroad in Lille and have been invited back later on this year.

Future plans?

Our plans are to play live as much as we can and, if possible, to find a venue where we can perform on a regular basis. We are also looking for a pianist and tenor sax player to join us on a permanent basis.

-- You can see the Ben Beddoes Band at the Old Tigers Head, Lee High Road, Lee, Mar 26, 8.30pm, £4.

If you would like the band to play at your venue call 07939 540359 or email ben@bbeddoes.freeserve.co.uk