Big band with strings, with a stunning sound and captivating stage show.

A sonic ride back to the sounds of Capitol Studios in the 1950s

The Down for the Count Orchestra are Mike Paul-Smith’s spectacular big band with strings. 

One of the most popular vintage bands in the UK, they are also available to hire for private events – so if you’re planning a spectacular birthday party, wedding reception or corporate event, get in touch today!

The orchestra have a beautiful vintage sound – recreating the Capitol Studios recordings that catapulted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole and Judy Garland to worldwide fame. The Orchestra also recreate big band with strings repertoire from the 1940s and present their own arrangements of classic jazz standards. 

At private events, the Orchestra can perform a similar set list to our popular party band The Get Downs. We expand the songs performed by that line-up, with the larger horn section and string section packing a huge punch and delivering a sound that needs to be heard to be believed.

The critically-acclaimed orchestra has been described by DownBeat magazine as “a sonic ride back to the sounds of the Capitol Studios in the 1950s”, and Stage Reviews said “you won’t find a better interpretation of these golden tunes anywhere in the UK right now”.

Find out more about the band at

Trusted by:

  • 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


  • I cannot thank you and the band enough. We simply couldn't have been happier with everything you did for us and the feedback has been extraordinary. YOU NAILED IT!

    Emma and Tom
    Wedding Reception, Sussex

Press coverage

“A sonic ride back to the sounds of Capitol Studios in the 1950s”

DownBeat Magazine

“This is awesome!!!”

Michael Bublé
on our lockdown video

“One hellova celebration of vintage music”

TimeOut London

Down for the Count Orchestra: Set List

The Down for the Count Orchestra have a huge repertoire list – here is just a selection!

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
After You’ve Gone
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Ain’t That a Kick in the Head
All The Things You Are
Blue Skies
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Day In, Day Out
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Embraceable You
For All We Know
Georgia On My Mind
Get Me To The Church On Time
Hooray for Hollywood
I Got Plenty of Nuttin’
I Only Have Eyes For You
I’ve Got the World on a String
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
I’ve Heard That Song Before
Just Friends
Let There Be Love
Let’s Face the Music and Dance

Me and My Shadow
Mona Lisa
Mr Bojangles
Mr Paganini
Nature Boy
On the Street Where You Live
On The Sunny Side of the Street
Our Love Is Here To Stay
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
‘S Wonderful
Secret Love
St. Louis Blues
That Ole Devil Called Love
That’s Life
The Folks Who Live On The Hill
The Man That Got Away
The Nearness of You
The Things We Did Last Summer
Theme from New York, New York
When I Fall In Love
You Made Me Love You
You Make Me Feel So Young
You’re Sensational
Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart

  • All our guests made for the dance floor and were thoroughly entertained and I can't recommend them highly enough. Delightful people and they certainly add value to your event!

    Jo Flanerty
    Epilepsy Research UK Charity Ball

Down for the Count Orchestra: Line Ups

Our standard line-up is a 31-piece orchestra, however we can adjust the line-up – making it smaller in some circumstances, or expanding it with additional instrumentalists to match certain briefs or to allow us to play certain repertoire.

31-piece (standard line-up)
x3 vocalists, x3 trumpets, x3 trombones, x4 saxophones/woodwinds, x12 strings, piano, bass, drums, guitar, percussion, conductor

x4 vocalists, x3 trumpets, x3 trombones, x4 saxophones/woodwinds, x16 strings, piano, bass, drums, guitar, x2 percussion, harp, conductor

x4 vocalists, x4 trumpets, x4 trombones, x5 saxophones/woodwinds, x20 strings, piano, bass, drums, guitar, x2 percussion, harp, conductor

Also check out our mini big band The Down for the Count All-Stars, and our Big Band.

  • The set list was fantastic and my feet have just about recovered from all that dancing!!

    Kate Inns
    Private party, Oxfordshire
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