With A Very Down for the Count Christmas just a few weeks away, this week Mike takes a look “behind the scenes” at one of our Winslow Public Hall events
Once or twice a year, we host a themed event at Winslow Public Hall to give us an opportunity to perform for friends, family and future clients. It’s also a great chance for us to learn some new songs to add to our ever-expanding repertoire!
In May 2011, inspired by a holiday to New York City, we chose the theme On The Town, with decorations and music inspired by the Big Apple.
Planning these events always starts months beforehand – and the most difficult thing is often finding a date that we are all free!
Having juggled our nine diaries to secure a date, we started planning the decorations. This has always been the domain of Amelia, who always works wonders at transforming the hall on a very limited budget. This time the decorations included making ten hanging chandeliers – giving Mike the perfect excuse to mess around with scissors and spray paint – and wall displays featuring some New York jazz greats.
The next task was selecting and then arranging the new songs. We had chosen songs inspired by New York City, including There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York, Manhattan, Lullaby of Birdland and On The Street Where You Live. Our arrangements are usually done by Mike, and involve hours sat behind a computer and keyboard, writing individual parts for each band member. On the surface Mike complains about having to do this, but secretly he is scarcely happier than when arranging music for the band!
A few weeks before the big day, we met up to practice the new music. Our favourite rehearsal studio is Audio Underground in Stoke Newington, and it was here that we headed once again - spending a whole weekend consuming snacks, drinking our own body weight in tea and coffee, engaging in a not insignificant amount of ‘bandter’, and also doing some playing as well.
This was the time to work on another big aspect of the evening – the feature songs, where each member of the band gets to choose their own piece of music to perform on the night, getting their three minutes of fame.
After a busy and productive weekend, it was time for a quick publicity performance at Winslow Farmer’s Market, and then the final push to sell tickets. On The Town was an extraordinary success, with over 120 tickets sold – smashing our previous record!
Check back soon to find out more about the big day itself…
Our next public performance at Winslow Public Hall is A Very Down for the Count Christmas on Saturday 10th December. Click here to buy your tickets before they sell out!