|In the early 80ies
a wave of nostalgia washed over many teenagers, manifesting itself in such
diverse movements of the 50ies like the Teds, the Rockabillies, the Jivers
and others; groups which still exist - if sparsely -in our days. In the
last few years it has become obvious that some of these youth groups and
their bands followed British tendencies - mainly from London - developing
their own style towards music of the 40ies like Rhythm 'n' Blues, Jump
'n' Jive and Swing. Lately, a growing interest in music, clothing and culture
of the 30ies and 40ies has been noticed all over Germany and Europe. The
renaissance of dances like Lindy-Hop, Jitterbug, Charleston or Tango have
contributed to this development to no small extent. The world of established
music saw the rise of orchestras such as the Pasadena Roof Orchestra (UK),
the Prague Syncopated Orchestra (CZ), Max Raabe and his Palaceorchestra,
Ulrich Tukur, Robert Kreis, The Blue Angels (Germany), or the Glenn Miller
Revival Orchestra (Dutch), to name but a few. The mass media, too, have
greedily taken advantage of the multitude of approaches towards many topics
that era offers. Already there are movies (Swing Kids, Comedian Harmonists
or Radio Days for example), various documentaries, broadcast contributions,
newspaper articles and exhibitions displaying the spirit of those days.
One possible explanation for this phenomenon is certainly the desire for the 'good ol' days', of law & order, joie de'vivre, lost conventions and values. Or can it even be taken for a countermovement to today's music scene and dance culture, social hierarchy and a lack of orientation in general?
There are similar tendencies in America. Latest surveys even call it a swing revival. Actually it isn't a renaissance of the 'Classic' Era of Swing really (located in the 30ies and early 40ies) but a revival of certain dancing styles (rediscovered 'touch'-dancing) leading to Jump 'n' Jive music of the late 40ies and early 50ies and Neo-Swing! Pity the interest usually covers only the sportive aspect of those dances, in Germany as well as elsewhere.
Despite an undeniably growing (if often only a superficial) interest, there can be no talk of an established 'scene' yet, at least not in Germany. According to our knowledge, there are only a few very small, scattered groups of individuals, both young or 'kept-young-at-heart', who have dealt with the matter for some time now. Trouble is, those individuals remain hidden in the overwhelming majority of people in general - usually due to their lack of information and connections. They cannot be detected as potential 'scene-people' e.g. they seldom dare their environment styled in the fashion of those days. Quite amazing since we believe to live in a tolerant, enlightened age. But: Experience tells that 'two's a company, three's a crowd', and every number up from there is more fun to share one's obsession with! Other groups (for example wannabe-cowboys, middle-age-groups, roleplay-fellowships, Trekkies, etc.) have already lead the way, most often with a terrific engagement and a 'helluvalot' enthusiasm of their members.