Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Three (rather special) days in the life of Down for the Count

There is little doubt that one of the best 'perks' of being in a function band is having the opportunity to perform at some extraordinary venues. This summer, we've played at some amazing locations - and so far three have stood out in particular.

On July 15th, we performed at the home of English cricket - Lord's. Not wanting to get too excited, we arrived expecting to be playing in a tiny function room miles from the pitch - so you can imagine our surprise when we were shown to the performance space, the debentures lounge in the Mound Stand.

We had spectacular view of the pitch and the famous Pavilion (just a shame there wasn't any cricket on!) and we were also fed some absolutely delicious Indian food.

The event was a corporate event for InfoSys, in aid of the Make a Wish Foundation – we performed some lounge jazz music as the guests were arriving and having drinks, before launching into a short dancing set to finish off the evening.

A few weeks later, we were booked for Anthony and Becky's wedding at Pinewood Studios, just outside London. This venue was simply amazing - on a quick pre-performance stroll, we got a glimpse of the outdoor stage where they were filming the new Johnny Depp film (rumour has it that Mr. Depp was there himself late in the evening) and the world famous 007 Stage.

We were performing in the ballroom at Heatherden Hall - a Victorian country house in the grounds of the studio, which has been used in hundreds of films including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and From Russia With Love.

We started off performing as a saxophone and piano duo, providing background music during the wedding meal, before three 45-minute sets with our 9-piece function band.

The wedding itself was absolutely superb, and the guests were a pleasure to play for - it was one of those weddings where we felt like part of the party!

Then a week later it was a quick hop up the M40 for a wedding at the world-famous Bodlean Library in Oxford. Mike had spent three years studying at Oxford but had never actually been inside the library!

This wedding also had a special twist - we were asked to recreate the "All You Need Is Love" wedding scene from Love Actually for the bride and groom, complete with some secret musicians hidden amongst the wedding guests ready to jump up and surprise everyone! Simon, Claire, Nicky, and our lovely violinist Rebecca all dressed as wedding guests to blend in and took their seats 15 minutes before the service - armed with cover stories in case any other guests tried to start a conversation! Then as the bride and groom were about to leave, Nicky started singing - with everyone else standing up and joining in for the chorus.

After that we were playing outside in the stunning quadrangle, whilst the guests enjoyed drinks and tours of the library before sitting down to dinner. To celebrate such an early finish to a gig, we headed to a lovely pub for a beer and dinner, to celebrate three successful gigs!

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