15 Years of Down for the Count in Photos
Down for the Count played our first ever gig on 2nd April, 2005. Today we're celebrating our 15th birthday - it's been a wonderful journey and we're so grateful that we've been able to share our love of live music with you.
Our journey over the past 15 years has seen us perform across the world, including performances at world-famous jazz clubs and fantastic festivals. Here is a selection of 15 photos to celebrate our 15 years!
1. Our first gig
Our first ever gig was a birthday party in Buckinghamshire on 2nd April, 2005. Here’s a younger version of Mike at our very first gig - perhaps the main casualty of more than 1000 gigs since this one is Mike's hair....
2. Performing at Winslow Public Hall
Some of our most memorable gigs have been at Winslow Public Hall, just down the road from where Mike lived when he started the band in 2005. We always used the Winslow Public Hall gigs to work on new ideas and repertoire - such as this event, which we called Keep Calm and Carry On Swinging - one of the first times we performed a set list specifically tailored for Lindy Hop dancers (but certainly not the last!)
3. Twinwood Festival
Twinwood Festival has always been really special to us - it was the first vintage festival we performed at in 2013, and we think we’re right in saying that we’ve only missed one year since then. It’s a huge joy and honour to be invited back year after year and we love performing for the spectators and dancers at this great event. Many people who have seen us at Twinwood, like the dancers from Swingrave, are our biggest fans and drive huge distances to come and see the band perform - we really appreciate your support.
4. Recording sessions
One of the first times we went to a professional studio was in 2010 when we recorded at The Limehouse Studio in London. It was a wonderful experience and some of the most memorable days we've had as a band are those spent creating music in fantastic recording studios in the UK.
5. London Jazz Festival
In 2015 we were invited to perform at Hideaway Streatham for EFG London Jazz Festival - it was a sell-out show to a fantastic audience and we always really look forward to our performances at Hideaway every three months or so. Fran and the team at the club have created something special in South London and it's such a joy to be part of it.
6. Rhythm Junction London
We created our own vintage dance event Rhythm Junction London, and in the past two years we’ve turned it into a Big Band Special featuring our 19-piece big band. At Rhythm Junction London we've worked alongside some fantastic creatives including Nikki Santilli, Pat da Kat, Marcus Charter, Kyle Keegan and Robyn Larsen. We can't wait to see you at the next event in 2021!
7. Performing at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club
In 2018 we were hugely honoured to be invited to perform at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, and have now sold out three shows at the club (even if the third sadly had to be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis). It’s one of the most famous jazz clubs in the whole world and performing there is always a surreal yet fantastic experience.
8. Performing at weddings
We’ve performed at literally hundreds of weddings over the past 15 years. We keep all the thank you cards we receive, and here are just a selection - it’s such a joy to be part of a wedding celebration and we count them amongst some of our most memorable gigs.
9. Winning awards
In 2017 we were delighted to win Best Wedding Entertainment in the National Bridebook Awards and the trophy has sat proudly on our windowsill ever since!
10. Forming The Down for the Count Concert Orchestra
Recently we’ve been putting lots of effort into our Concert Orchestra - our new, 27-piece line up including the marvellous string players of our friends and collaborators The City String Ensemble. In January we recorded the whole ensemble at The Cold Stores Studio in Kent, and we can’t wait to bring you some of the footage from that session in the next few weeks!
11. Filming live videos
Over the years we've recorded four sets of live videos (two of which we've made into live albums) - where we hold an event at a venue such as Aylesbury Waterside Theatre or Notting Hill's Tabernacle, and pull out all the stops for a live fabulous show which we record and film. There's nothing quite like the adrenaline you get from knowing that you have exactly one chance to nail the performance having invested so much time and energy in the prepartion! We're so lucky to work with such talented creatives, such as Kyle Keegan and his videography team from Alive Network Entertainment Agency and our wonderful photographer Marcus Charter. Here we are at the end of one of our live video shoots with our wonderful audience.
12. On tour to Paris
In 2018 we crossed the channel to Paris for a three-night residency at La Caveau de la Huchette in Paris. We had a great time, learning how hard it is to park a van in central Paris but also how wonderful audiences are in this city. We were joined by The Satin Dollz for a couple of nights, and the fabulous Angela Andrews for the others. We hope to return to the club in the future!
13. Make a Song and Dance
Together with our friends and collaborators The Hotfoot Strutters, we created The Vintage Swing Collective - and put on our debut show at Jackson's Lane Theatre in London. A huge amount of work went into the show, a unique collaboration between swing musicians and dancers.
14. Touring the UK
We've loved taking our show on the road recently - performing at theatres throughout the UK, including four nights in Scotland. We've performed in some beautiful auditoriums to wonderfully receptive, appreciative audiences. During this time of lockdown we're working hard on our next theatre tour for late 2020 into 2021 so keep an eye out for some new announcements coming up soon!
15. Recording albums
We've released a total of 12 albums - some recorded live, some in studios, some mixed by us and some by some great engineers we've been lucky enough to work with. Let us know if you think you own all 12 albums!
Photos courtesy of: