Live music at a public event in London, July 2017
On Saturdaly 1st July 2017, Down for the Count were delighted to be involved in a community event in Woolwich Arsenal, South East London, sponsored by Berkeley Homes.
The event took place on a new housing development next to the Crossrail site, and was a completely free public event for everyone in the area to enjoy live entertainment on a relaxed sunny Saturday afternoon.
The event was organised by Peggy Romer, who we met at Notting Hill’s Tabernacle – the venue we use for our live videos and our own swing dance event, Rhythm Junction London. Peggy was very busy all day but always had a smile on her face – some achievement given how much she had to co-ordinate!
We were providing two ensembles for the event. The first live band to take to the stage was our vintage Swing Orchestra, who were performing a set of 1940s big band music. We played music from the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and loved watching people try the Lindy hop to our music - for some people it was the very first time they had danced to vintage music.
We were joined by the fabulous dancers from Swing Patrol London, who took a lesson before the band performed - with many of the new Lindy hop and Charleston moves being put into action during our band sets.
Swing Patrol also performed some amazing routines with stunning aerials and airsteps.
We also had some impromptu jams with the dancers, which ended up with our musicians on the dancefloor in the middle of a jam circle.
The event was held together by the inimitable DJ Pat da Kat – another stalwart of our Rhythm Junction London events – who kept everyone entertained with rock’n’roll and boogie woogie music between band sets.
The other act on the bill was the Tootsie Rollers – a five-piece vocal harmony group who entertained the crowd with two sets of music.
We then changed outfits to take to the stage as our Motown Collective – rounding off the event with a set of soul and Motown music which got everyone up dancing. We played well-known hits from Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse and many more.
At the event there were classic cars and fantastic traders serving local produce. It may not surprise you to hear that our personal favourite was Hop Stuff, a craft brewery based close to the venue, who served delicious craft ales which we all enjoyed (after our performance, of course).
It was a fantastic day and it was wonderful to see hundreds of people enjoying free live entertainment. We hope to be back for other events in future years!