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Christmas: Lockdown orchestra live in Cambridge

Michael Bublé called them 'awesome': formed in lockdown to lift spirits, The Down for the Count Concert Orchestra is now bringing cheer to Cambridge

They lifted spirits during lockdown with their entertaining and charismatic music videos – and now The Down for the Count Concert Orchestra is bringing Christmas cheer to Cambridge.

Praised by Mr Christmas himself - Michael Bublé – who described their performance as ‘awesome’, the ensemble will take to the West Road Concert Hall stage on December 17.

In their spectacular touring show, Swing Into Christmas, they will present a medley of quintessential festive songs and classic tunes from the swing and big band eras.

The orchestra originally formed at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, performing remotely over social media. Their solo stints were cleverly edited together into quirky, and often hilarious interactions, viewed almost a million times across various online platforms. A full-length album – Lockdown for the Count - was subsequently recorded, raising funds for charities Mind and Refuge.

Prior to the pandemic, the Down for the Count swing band was regularly found performing as a 12 piece ‘mini big band’ at prestigious jazz venues such as Ronnie Scott’s. But when lockdown saw face-to-face concerts cancelled, the band’s artistic director Mike Paul-Smith decided to create a super-sized version of the band, collaborating with various professional musicians as well as City String Ensemble – and voila, The Down for the Count Concert Orchestra was formed.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we released our first lockdown video,” explains Mike Paul-Smith. “We wanted to keep spirits high and continue performing during the early days of the pandemic, so we all got dressed up and filmed ourselves playing Nat King Cole’s Let’s Face the Music and Dance in our living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and bathtubs. Then Sophie Poteratchi, who in addition to leading City String Ensemble, is also a fantastic videographer, did a masterful job of collating everyone’s individual video clips into a joyful three-minute film which got viewed around the world - including by a certain Michael Bublé!”

Down for the Count’s Christmas show promises to be packed with the band’s infectious joie de vivre and irresistible humour, coupled with top class musicianship and sublime vocal performances. It’s bound to get you rocking around the Christmas tree!

For tickets visit cambridgelive.org.uk

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