Monday, 28 January 2013

Top 10 moments of 2012

There is no doubt that 2012 has been by far the best year in Down for the Count history.  As January is a time for reminiscing, we thought we would take a look back and pick our top 10 moments of 2012!

1.        Getting Stuck in the Snow
Our first wedding of 2012 was at the beautiful Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire.  We were performing for Jenny and Dan’s wedding, and it was an absolutely fantastic event – which was just as well, because the journey home was nothing short of treacherous.  The country had been bought to a standstill by snow, and we spent more than five hours stuck on the M40 heading back in to London.  It’s a good job we enjoy each other’s company so much...

2.       Performing at Wembley Stadium
The Wednesday after our snow escapades, we were booked to perform at the D-Link European Annual Conference at Wembley Stadium.  It was a fantastic evening that will stay long in the memory – Steve even had a special message for the crowds....

3.       DFTC Live! At The Crouch End Music Palace
To cap off a busy week at the start of February, we hosted our own evening at The Crouch End Music Palace – a fantastic music venue in North London.  As much as we enjoy performing at weddings and corporate events, it is a different feeling being able to perform in front of friends and family and we had a fantastic evening.  We are heading back to the Music Palace on 8th February 2013 – and we hope to see you there!

4.       Photoshoot with Declan Fleming
In August 2011 we performed at a friend’s wedding in Oxford.  We got chatting to their videographer, Declan Fleming, and when it was time to organise our next photoshoot there was only one person we could call.  We had a fantastic morning at Adrian Pini Studios taking more than 400 shots – posing for photos doesn’t come that easily to most of us (well, there are a few notable exceptions...) but both Declan and Adrian really put us at ease and we were delighted with the results!  Adrian even referred to the girls as “the models,” which they seemed to enjoy...

5.        Christmas Party at Ronnie Scotts
After our photoshoot, we made the most of a rare evening off and headed to Ronnie Scotts for our Christmas party (yes, this was in March – but nevermind).  We never quite manage to organise a Christmas party, so we thought we would go all out on this one!  We had a fantastic evening indulging in champagne and cocktails and watching The Ronnie Scotts All Star Big Band, directed by Pete Long, performing the music of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie.

6.       Working from a Nelson Riddle score
Regular readers of this blog will know how excited we were to perform at Jonathan and Paulette’s wedding, as they had managed to obtain a copy of Nelson Riddle’s original score for Ella Fitzgerald’s All The Things You Are.  They were determined to have this song for their first dance and involved The Library of Congress in Washington DC, The Ella Fitzgerald Foundation and George Washington University in their quest to find the music!

7.       Recording our album at The Limehouse
A highlight of any year for Down for the Count is heading to the studio to record a new album.  In 2012 we returned to The Limehouse Studio in East London for a three-day session.  We’ve written about The Limehouse many times on this blog, mainly because we love it – especially our engineer Joel Davies, who is the unofficial tenth member of Down for the Count (although he doesn’t know that yet).
We were delighted with the results of this recording and released our new album “Downtown” a few months later.

8.       Keep Calm and Carry On Swinging
Probably the highlight of our year, Keep Calm and Carry On Swinging was our swing-themed evening at Winslow Public Hall.  We used the themed as an excuse to dress ourselves in vintage clothing and learn loads of new swing and jive songs great for the dancers we invited along.  We also had Declan along again, who took what we all agree is the best photo of Down for the Count in existence!  It was a fantastic evening and we look forward to returning to Winslow Public Hall in 2013.

9.       Our new mixing desk, and building Tim
OK, you might have to bear with us on this one.  This year we decided to upgrade our sound equipment, and were one of the first bands in the country to buy Mackie’s new DL1608 – a mixing desk that can be controlled wirelessly from an iPad.  The improvement in the sound quality is incredible!
However, we had to find somewhere to keep the new mixing desk, and so Tim (named by our very own Max Fagandini) was born.  He is a little overweight, but holds our mixing desk, lighting dimmers, CD players, microphones and audio cables, and lots of other bits and pieces that might be useful in an emergency.  The only thing he can’t do is make us a cup of tea – but trust us, we’re working on that one.

10.   New Year’s Eve at Harvey Nichols
The final highlight came right at the end of the year.  It is fair to say we were pretty excited about our performance at Harvey Nichols New Year’s Eve Great Gatsby themed party, but we had no idea just how much fun we would have.
The whole event was absolutely spectacular, and Down for the Count went down a storm – our swing set fit perfectly with their 1920s theme, and the dancefloor was absolutely packed during our soul set – in short, it was probably the best New Year’s Eve Down for the Count have ever had.
Oh, and we each got fed a delicious steak...

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