Meet The Band

Down for the Count are not an agency, but a collective of around 30 professional musicians who perform together in a range of exclusive line-ups.

As a group we have been performing together for over 16 years and are now more like a family than a band, bringing our infectious fun, energy and seasoned professionalism to every performance.

You can read more about our collective in the Our Story section and meet the individual musicians below.

Meet Our Musicians

  • Callum Gillies

    Vocals

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Nat Cole, Kurt Elling, My Dad (Stuart Gillies), Jack Black!

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing with Down for the Count at Ronnie's Scotts, and in Trafalgar Square for Pride)

    What is your favourite album?
    The Beautiful Game (Vulfpeck)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Subscriptions, MMA, board games, a good scotch

  • Hannah Castleman

    Vocals

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Aretha Franklin, The Manhattan Transfer

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Billy Joel at Wembley

    What is your favourite album?
    Ella at Juan-Les Pins (Ella Fitzgerald) and Songs In The Attic (Billy Joel). They're both live albums and I couldn't choose between them!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Books, coffee, podcasts, ballet classes (I'm awful but it's fun)

  • Katie Birtill

    Vocals

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park 2016! Gorgeous Day, incredible band, buzzing crowd and Stevie Wonder

    What is your favourite album?
    Ella's Fitzgerald "Gold" - my first Ella CD from Santa.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    On muddy country walks

  • Lydia Bell

    Vocals

    What are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan for singing, Carole King and Joni Mitchell for songwriting

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Earth Wind And Fire Experience headlining Love Supreme Festival 2014 - ultimate disco!

    What is your favourite album?
    Tapestry (Carole King)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Oil painting, walking around the Kent countryside, teaching piano/singing, G&Ts

  • Mike Paul-Smith

    Piano & Band Leader

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Duke Ellington, Nat 'King' Cole, Stevie Wonder

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park

    What is your favourite album?
    Songs for Swingin' Lovers (Frank Sinatra)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    My perfect day starts with a posh coffee, features oven-fresh pizza for lunch, curry and craft beer for dinner, and ends with any sort of live music or swing dancing

  • Alex Western-King

    Saxophone

    What are your top musical influences?
    Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young

    What is your favourite performance that you’ve given?
    My own quartet at Ronnie Scott's Late Show

    What is your favourite album?
    The Bird (Charlie Parker)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Coffee, beer and jazz

  • Amelia Forster

    Keyboards & Cello

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway & Amy Winehouse

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Down for the Count's first performance at Twinwood Festival in 2013

    What is your favourite album?
    The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Hunting for bargains in charity shops or cooking big one-pot meals for my family.

  • Charlie Pyne

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Paul Chambers, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobo Stenson, Chucho Valdes

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing with Down for the Count at Ronnie Scott's

    What is your favourite album?
    Mi Tierra (Gloria Estefan)

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Painting with acrylics or baking tasty pastries! 

  • Dae Hyun Lee

    Drums & Percussion

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Count Basie and His Orchestra, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton.

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Monty Alexander at Ronnie Scott's

    What is your favourite album?
    Sinatra at the Sands

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Service stations

  • Jamie Hone

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    As a saxophonist, Sam Butera for the raucous solos, Gerry Mulligan for the sweet baritone sound, and Lester Young for the gentle tenor.

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    The Cat Empire at The Shepherd's Bush Empire - it was a great gig, but it later turned out I was stood next to my future wife, without even realising it!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Jamie likes trains. The rumours are true.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Keeping the Tube running, or at home eating the tasty food his fiancée cooks!

  • John Rixon

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ray Brown, James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Queueing up for returns at the Barbican to see Oscar Peterson and getting the last ticket available

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Dancing balboa or lindy hop

  • Jack Childs

    Sound

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Angels and Airwaves gig in London - the first gig I ever went to, the sound and lighting for this show was mega! It's where I first found my love for the production side of a show.

    What is your favourite album?
    Swing Into Christmas (Down for the Count)!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    My little home studio and drums drums drums! 

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Swing dancing or mixing

  • James Smith

    Drums

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Bernard Purdie, Steve Jordan, Sonny Payne, Bill Withers

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing with Down for the Count at Ronnie's, or at Twickenham Stadium in front of 82,000 people for the Rugby World Cup finals in 2015

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Swimming and learning Spanish. Also peanut butter is pretty great too.

  • Jonny Wickham

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits, Charles Mingus, Bob Marley

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder (all 4 times...)

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2019

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Fresh guitar strings and oven fresh pizza

  • Kate Edwards

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Snake Davis

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing along to Jurassic Park live at The Royal Albert Hall

    What is your favourite album?
    Dangerous (Michael Jackson)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Food - cooking it AND eating it!

  • Lucy Andrews

    Cello

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Beyoncé, Earth, Wind and Fire, John Williams

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Muse 'Drones' Tour at the O2 Arena.

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing at a celebrity birthday party to many distinguished guests and realising that Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Lord Voldemort himself were all there listening.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Watching movies or F.R.I.E.N.D.S, reading Harry Potter, doing escape rooms, board games and quizzes!

  • Luke Davies

    Trumpet

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Jerry Hey, Stevie Wonder, Lawrence, Tower of Power, Louis Armstrong

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Earth Wind and Fire at Marciac Jazz Festival

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing in Fiddler on the Roof - my first West End show!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Luke likes cars, studio gear and a whole loaf of garlic bread with every meal

  • Luke Pinkstone

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Sam Butera, Dave O'Higgins, Oscar Peterson, Paquito D'Rivera, Metropole Orkest

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Michel Camilo at Ronnie Scott's

    What is your favourite album?
    Night Train (Oscar Peterson)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    A strong coffee and a Pastel de Nata

  • Max Fagandini

    Trumpet

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Bergeron, Lee Morgan

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder, 2016 at British Summer Time in Hyde Park, OR Benny Golson at Ronnies with Mike

    What is your favourite album?
    Songs In The Key Of Life (Stevie Wonder)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Music, a nice beer with friends in a pub, and our dog Pablo

  • Ollie Copeland

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Charles Mingus, Christian McBride, Ray Brown, Carol Kaye, Esperanza Spalding. 

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Playing to a sold out Bridgewater Hall in Manchester with Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez' Firedance UK Tour in March 2020.

    What is your favourite album?
    Ah Um' (Charles Mingus)

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Road cycling, sushi and Mario Kart.

  • Sam Ainslie

    Guitar

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Jimi Hendrix, Adam Rogers, Jim Hall, John Scofield

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    James Taylor at Hyde Park

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing in The Wedding Singer at Daegu Opera House, South Korea

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Arranging music, practicing guitar or working out

  • Simon Joyner

    Trumpet

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Jacob Collier, Benjamin Britten, Debussy

    Favourite gig you've performed at?
    Three consecutive nights at Le Caveau de la Huchette in Paris with Down for the Count - we gave it 100% every night and the place was jumping!

    Random fact?
    I appeared in the fourth Harry Potter film as a trumpet-playing Hogwarts student

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Composing/arranging, painting watercolours, making websites, out on a lovely walk, or in the pub.

  • Sophie Poteratchi

    Violin

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Motown, 70s Disco, Alicia Keys, Celeste, Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing in War of the Worlds tour at a sold-out O2 Arena

    What is your favourite album?
    HERE (Alicia Keys)

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Video-editing, taking portrait photos or appearing as a tv/film supporting artist! 

  • Tom Hutchison

    Percussion

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, Stevie Wonder and Steve... Carell?

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Jon Hiseman Memorial Concert, O2 Shephard's Bush Empire

    What is your favourite album?
    One-Trick Pony (Paul Simon)

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Tinkering in the home studio!

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