Down For The Count

This week we’ve been catching up with pianist Mike Paul-Smith from 9-piece live band Down For The Count

Hi Mike! Welcome to the Oh So Perfect blog, please can you start off by telling us a little bit more about your rather superb band, Down For The Count…?

Hello! We are a 9-piece function band who perform jazz, swing, Rat Pack, soul and Motown music for weddings and corporate events all over the country. We have a large, diverse repertoire, which appeals to all generations and is fantastic for getting people up and dancing.

Wow, 9 live musicians?!  Your clients must require a large venue to be able to accommodate all of you?

Not at all, in addition to our 9-piece band, we also offer smaller function band line ups, small jazz bands for background music (i.e. during dinner or drinks receptions), musicians to perform classical or contemporary music for wedding ceremonies (i.e. a pianist, organist, cellist, trumpeter, singer) and we can use our PA and lighting system for a disco after the band’s performance.  In other words, we can create tailor-made wedding packages, providing all the music a couple needs on their special day.

So there really is something for everyone?

Yes, we can adapt to any style of wedding, as we have a broad repertoire drawing from many styles of music. We have a range of jump jive repertoire, perfect for vintage weddings; a huge range of ballroom music, perfect for couples who love dancing; and a lot more besides!

What sort of couple do you think you’d most likely appeal to?

Ones who appreciate live music, and who realise that a DJ or a solo singer performing to backing tracks, whilst effective, doesn’t have the stage presence and ‘wow factor’ of a 9-piece band.

We’ve seen a couple of videos on your website and you certainly do have the ‘wow’ factor. How would you describe the band in three words…?

I’m never very good at this question…. Versatile, sophisticated, unforgettable.

Ha! That’s a good answer for someone who’s not good at that question! So tell us a bit about your band mates, where are you all from and how did you meet? 

It actually started by accident!  We are first and foremost a group of friends, drawn together through a passion for music.  We played together in a show in Buckinghamshire in 2005, started getting some local gigs for relative’s birthday parties, and it all grew from there!

We have all been playing music since a young age, with examinations, degrees and/or diplomas in music.  We trained around the country, and all have extensive performing experience with other ensembles.

And now you’ve expanded from birthdays to weddings too…

We have performed at well over 100 weddings – we love weddings! – particularly the atmosphere, the wonderful locations and the knowledge that we are playing a key part in making someone’s day special.

6 years later, and you seem to be growing more popular by the day…

Absolutely!  We are with Alive Network, the largest entertainment booking agency in the world, and are listed on their website as the third most popular swing band and fourth most popular soul band.

That’s incredible, congratulations! You’ve achieved so much in such a short time…

Thanks! The band has the perfect blend of youth and experience, with members having performed alongside artists as diverse as Elton John, Russell Watson, KT Tunstall, Michael Ball, Marti Pellow, Suzi Quatro, Il Divo, Barbara Windsor, Stan Sulzmann, Pete Long, Norma Winstone and Frank Ricotti – to name just a few!

Just a few! So will we still catch you around Buckinghamshire predominantly?

We are now based in North London (Crouch End) but we cover the whole country – although we normally require accommodation for events more than 120 miles from N8 9LP.

Do you require your clients to provide you with the accommodation for weddings and events beyond 120 miles? 

We politely ask that the client either arrange this at their own expense, or we are happy to look for and book accommodation – normally in a Travelodge! – and include the cost in the original quotation.

What do you think makes you stand out from other bands similar to Down For The Count – why should an Oh So Perfect couple choose you for their wedding?

Well, we offer:

  • Personalised service – we treat every event separately, listening to a client’s needs and being flexible to meet them.
  • A huge repertoire of music, that is appreciated by people of all ages.  A sample quote from a client: ‘you got all ages on the dancefloor, from age four to ninety!’
  • The ability to provide ceremony music, background jazz music, a function band for dancing, and a disco – covering all the musical aspects of the day.
  • Fantastic feedback from clients, with endorsements from the country’s largest booking agencies.
  • A regular line-up of quality musicians.  Many function bands change musicians all the time (and in fact, many have ‘A’ and ‘B’ line-ups so they can accept more bookings!)  We never do this, our musicians are usually the same from event to event.

OK,  you’ve convinced us! So finally, tell our followers this: What do you think makes a wedding Oh So Perfect?

We’re biased – but we think it’s fantastic, live music throughout the day – from top quality music for the wedding ceremony all the way through to fantastic dancing music to finish off the evening!

Mike, thank you for taking the time to speak to us…

You can find out more about Down For The Count including videos, photos, sound bites, reviews and more information about all the band members on their website www.downforthecount.co.uk

 

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination services and packages.

Would you like to be featured as a recommended supplier? Contact Oh So Perfect – Weddings and Events on enquiries@ohsoperfect.co.uk

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