Monday, 29 July 2013

Keeping It Cool This Summer

We've encouraged Max to sort his life out and come up with a few blog articles for the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for more to come!

We've got a very busy August coming up, but that’s not to say that the last couple of months haven’t had their share of musical excitement for us. In amongst the usual gamut of weddings and parties, we even managed to squeeze in a few public gigs for our loyal fans in London and its surrounds.

Back in mid-June we were invited to play at the Crouch End Festival – naturally we were delighted to accept, even though it was that bane of musicians everywhere: the dreaded Outdoor Gig. ‘But hey,’ we reasoned amiably, ‘what’s the worst that could happen? It’s summer! No doubt there’ll be more of a need for parasols than umbrellas.’

Pictured: summer
OK, so the weather was a little damper than we expected, but we still had a grand old time and trucked through a number of our favourite swing numbers, with dedicated envoys from Swing Patrol Harringay strutting their stuff down in front.

Later in the month, we chanced the wrath of Mother Nature once again as we rolled up to Spitalfields Market for the London Swing Festival. Luckily, the weather was on our side this time and, fresh from a swinging rehearsal the previous week at The Bull’s Head in Barnes, Down for the Count was on top form, working side by side with Swing Patrol once again, who fortified the event with their customary vim and vigour. One gentleman in the audience was so enthused by the event that he even begged us to let him sing ‘all the 60s, 70s and 80s classics’ for us (sadly we had to decline, but if it had been the London 60s, 70s and 80s Festival I'm sure he would have rocked our world).

Artist's rendering

July was a truly momentous month for us: as well as some rebookings at lovely venues such as the East India Club and Lincoln’s Inn, the Down for the Count Swing Orchestra hit the big time, and played at the Ronnie Scott’s Bar. Joining Kai Hoffman and her band for a special 4th July outing of their monthly swing night, Live and Let Jive (geddit?), the band put on their Dixie hats and entertained the crowd with some classic and unreasonably catchy tunes, from the Charleston to band favourite Bourbon Street Parade to old-timey swing renditions of classics like All of Me. In what can only be described as a momentary departure from his senses, Mike even got me on the microphone to sing Alexander’s Ragtime Band (which was extraordinarily fun, but that’s beside the point). Though our set was only about 40 minutes, most of the band stuck around until the end of the night, burning up the dancefloor and loving the high-energy musicality of Kai’s Cats. A great night, from beginning to end.

There's so much dancing going on the camera can hardly keep up!
Yes, it’s been a wild couple of months – other delights included gigs at the Bloomsbury Ballroom and the BlackHorse Inn in Chesham, as well as Mike and myself sneaking off to join the ULU Big Band on tour at the Montreux Jazz Festival – but there’s plenty more to come, don’t fret. Keep an eye on the blog for upcoming gigs in August and September!

Next year we'll be pointing at 'Down for the Count'.

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