Saturday, 20 April 2013

An Appropriately Seasonal Article

The sunny weather has got trumpeter Max Fagandini thinking about winter again, so he's thoughtfully provided us with an article about our fantastic gig at Harvey Nichols on New Year's Eve!
It's mid-April, and the keen and industrious types among you will know what that means: it's time to start planning your New Year’s Eve party. But how are you going to make sure that this year is the year? That this time, it'll finally live up to those dizzyingly high expectations rather than dashing everyone's hopes on the cruel, jagged rocks of disappointment? That this time, finally, people might refer to it as 'the Harvey Nichols NYE party of [insert location here]'? 
Well, while I can't help you source capoeira troupes or ├ęclairs the size of your own forearm, I can tell you one thing Harvey Nichols got right last December: booking an awesome band.

These guys.
Down for the Count ended up with quite a busy New Year’s Eve, with a jazz trio gig for our friends at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons preceding our other booking: the full 9-piece band playing at the 5th floor bar in Harvey Nichols on Knightsbridge. Swanky doesn’t even begin to cover it, but even before we got inside the building we knew we were in for a treat. Not content with just bringing our errant singer Nicky Dega back into the fold, we were also graced with the bassful antics of our beloved Steve Torpey, who had been taking a little time off from gigs to recover from a medical condition known as ‘playing too much awesome bass’. With special guests Freddie Hosken on alto, Rob Cossins on trumpet and Hugo Fagandini on drums, we were set to deliver a spectacular evening of entertainment.

DftC's red-hot horn section
Now, the music was all well and good, but we actually had a little bit of a gap between putting up all the equipment and launching into our first tune, so the staff set about making us feel at home. Knowing that the way to a band’s heart is through its collective stomach, they directed us to the restaurant. Sadly a couple of our number (who were covering the gig at Le Manoir) couldn’t make it for dinner, so, Kate and Rob, if you’re reading this, please skip to the next paragraph and assume that the food at Harvey Nichols was alright, I guess. Is the coast clear? Great. I’m not ashamed to say that I was sorely tempted to record the agent, Kevin Reynolds, telling us ‘order whatever you want from the menu’, just so I could replay it to myself whenever I felt sad. We gorged ourselves on steak, venison, potatoes and vegetables, all the while weeping silent tears of blissful gratitude (okay, maybe that was just me).

By the time we were joined by the rest of our number, it was time to go on and wow the party-goers with that brand of swing jazz and souly Motown goodness you lovely people have come to expect from us over the years. People were on the dance floor for most of the evening, and when we rang in 2013 at midnight, arms were linked and a hearty chorus of Auld Lang Syne was sung with appropriate gusto. Before we knew it, we were an hour into the new year and we had to wind things down to get our stuff back to the unit. But the festivities didn’t end there, oh no. Starting at approximately 3am, Down for the Count kicked off their own New Year’s Eve celebration that lasted well into the morning. So there you have it folks – not only can you expect some cracking tunes from these guys, but if necessary we can party with the best of them too.

These guys did give us a run for our money though.

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