A top jive band got Sunderland into the swing of things.
Ahead of a headline gig at the Customs House in South Shields, The Jive Aces performed live jazz and swing in Market Square, Sunderland city centre.
The Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists encouraged the crowd to join in as they performed a number of upbeat songs.
As well as entertaining the crowds, they were supporting the Say No To Drugs campaign.
Lead singer, ukulele and trumpet player, Ian Clarkson, said: “We are playing at the Customs House and are also off to Edinburgh Fringe, so we thought why not play Sunderland on the way.
“We have supported the Say No to Drugs campaign for a long time, we have booklets with us which tell of the harmful effects of drugs and we hope people will read them and make their decision based on that.
“Music is a great way of getting across a serious message. If you are too serious it puts people off, but we do it in a fun way. We say no to drugs, but yes to life. You can have fun and be wacky without drugs.”
The six-piece appeared on hit ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and reached the penultimate stage.
Ian said: “We were already well known in our genre before then, but it opened a lot of doors for us. For a time it was like we were Peter Andre, people would ask to have pictures taken with us in Starbucks.”
The band has been together for more than a decade and have achieved huge success by selling out the Royal Albert Hall, performing for the Queen and working with the likes of Hollywood stars John Travolta and Van Morrison.
They believe in making feel-good music and their song Bring Me Sunshine has even been prescribed by a doctor in Seattle, USA, to cheer up patients suffering with depression.
They are also Scientologists, which they speak openly about.
“There’s a lot of myths around Scientology,” said Ian. “I think it’s because people don’t know many British Scientologists. In the media you only hear about Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
“People ask about it a lot, but we always say the best way to find out what it is is to read L. Ron Hubbard (founder of the church) books and find out for yourself.
“It’s a religious philosophy in the traditional sense, like Buddhism. It gives you practical and spiritual tools you can use in life.”