Our Story

Who we are

Down for the Count started life in 2005 when a group of friends from a local music centre in Buckinghamshire decided to put their love of jazz, swing and soul music to good use by performing at public and private events.

Over the 16 years since, we have grown into a collective of 30 professional musicians performing in several show-stopping line-ups, and have provided entertainment for well over 1000 events throughout the UK and internationally.

We started out as a wedding band performing swing and soul music - we now call that line-up The Get Downs and we still love bringing the party to any wedding reception, private party or corporate event as one of the UK's most experienced function bands.

In 2013 we also started performing for vintage dance events and festivals. This is the band we now call Down for the Count All-Stars and we've become one of the UK's best known swing bands, performing shows at world-famous jazz clubs such as Ronnie Scotts and prestigious concert halls such as Cadogan Hall.

Our talented musicians also combine in a whole range of different line-ups including string quartetsbrass bandsroaming bandsinstrumental jazz bands and much more.

We started out as a group of friends, although to be honest we'd now describe it more like a family - you can find out about our individual musicians here.

Mike Paul-Smith

“We love live music, and we love sharing it with you - so get in touch today to find out how our live bands can make your event special.”

Mike Paul-Smith

Manager and Musical Director

What we do

Down for the Count offer a great range of bands to hire for any event, from a small family wedding to a huge international corporate event.

With Down for the Count, every note you hear is played live. None of our bands ever use click tracks or backing tracks - giving their performances unrivalled energy and spontaneity, and ensuring that you and your guests have a fantastic party.

We have a wealth of experience, providing entertainment at a huge range of events throughout the UK and internationally. Our list of previous clients now includes Ferrari, Virgin, Cadburys, BMW, Lindt, Dell and Sony, and we have performed at venues such as Wembley Stadium, The Savoy, Claridges Hotel, The Natural History Museum, Royal Ascot, The Eiffel Tower, and La Mamounia Hotel Marrakech.

Our musicians are highly trained at some of the UK's top conservatoires, and have a wealth of experience performing alongside a diverse range of artists including Elton John, Jason Donovan and Jools Holland. Our musicians have also performed at concert halls such as The Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, and at internationally renowned festivals such as The North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Our line-ups and bookings are managed by Mike Paul-Smith, director and founder of Down for the Count. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and have a long list of satisfied clients, many of whom book the band again and again. Two thirds of our work comes from repeat clients or people who have seen the band live - so you can book us with confidence.

  • Deborah Meaden (Dragon's Den)

    "You and your band were fantastic, not just brilliant at the music but also lovely, helpful and a total pleasure to work with. You were exceptional."

    Deborah Meaden (Dragon's Den)

    Private Party, Somerset

  • Ailsa & Will

    As soon as we found Down for the Count we knew we'd struck gold. Mike was amazing, finding a way to incorporate everything we wanted... and the band made our day so special.

    Ailsa & Will

    Wedding reception, Surrey

  • Callum Barr

    "The band were superb and went down really well. Prompt, professional and very talented... we wouldn’t hesitate to book them again and again."

    Callum Barr

    Corporate event, BMW

Our line-ups and entertainment packages

Vintage bands
Down for the Count are known as one of the top swing bands on the UK vintage circuit - regularly performing at top jazz clubs such as Ronnie Scotts, concert halls such as Cadogan Hall, and The London Jazz Festival. Our vintage bands perform in three formats - as a mini big band, a full big band, and our spectacular Orchestra.

View our vintage bands »

Party bands
Over the past 16 years we've performed at parties throughout the world. Our original line-up The Get Downs performs a whole range of swing and soul music; whilst we also have a smaller version The Get Downs Lite. If swing music isn't your thing, check out our premium party band Capital Sounds Showband who just play soul, Motown and pop.

View our party bands »

Jazz bands
Our smaller line-ups are ideal for ambient background music - we can provide the perfect entertainment for any event. Our stylish vocal-led jazz bands Hollywood Jazz Band, Lady Gatsby Jazz Band and The Soul Essentials are the perfect live band hire option for drinks receptions, whilst The Jazz Essentials are great for instrumental background music.

View our drinks reception bands »

Roaming bands
Alternatively, we have three roaming bands - The Vintage Strollers perform acoustic swing and pop music, Alexander's Ragtime Band perform traditional jazz music, and Get Brassy are a New Orleans style brass band covering modern songs in a contemporary style. Get Brassy can also perform in a larger line-up for your party. 

View our roaming bands »

Wedding ceremony music
For wedding ceremony music, check out our amazing string quartet for hire, Down for the Count Strings - who have a huge repertoire of pop, Jewish, Bollywood and classical music - or our wedding pianist, who can play virtually any jazz or pop song to make your ceremony personal to you as a couple.

View our wedding ceremony musicians »

Entertainment packages
You can book multiple line-ups together to make a fully customisable entertainment package. For example, you can book a classical pianist for your wedding ceremony, The Vintage Strollers for your outdoor drinks reception, and round off the evening with two dancing sets from our swing and soul band The Get Downs.

Wedding Music Packages ~ Corporate Event Music Packages ~ Party Music Packages

Find out more by exploring our different band line-ups or drop us an email and we'll go through all the options with you. You can also call us on 07855 488 462 - we'd love to hear from you!

Get in touch