Our Story

Mike Paul-Smith Music is a collective of 30 professional musicians who perform together in a range of line-ups

We started life in 2005 when Mike Paul-Smith formed our original band, Down for the Count, from a group of school friends in Buckinghamshire. We were brought together by a love of jazz, swing and soul music, and decided to put our shared interests to good use by performing at private events in our local area. 

Fast forward 18 years, and we have now performed at well over 1000 events throughout the UK and internationally. We have supported The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in front of 10,000 people at Leeds Castle, performed multiple sell-out shows at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, been invited to perform at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge New Year’s Eve celebrations for two years in a row, have been lucky enough to provide entertainment at stunning venues including The Eiffel Tower and Wembley Stadium, and have travelled to perform in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Along the way, we have created a variety of different band line-ups to suit events of different sizes, themes and budgets. In 2023, Mike launched this website, Mike Paul-Smith Music, to gather together all of the bands that he runs and manages in one place.

Whether you’re looking for a spectacular pop band, a lively roaming band, or sophisticated ambient jazz music, we probably have the right line-up for you. And if we don’t, just get in touch – as we might be able to create a bespoke band just for you!

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 & Musical Director

How we're different

One thing Mike Paul-Smith Music is not is an agency. Each band you see on this website is personally managed and directed by Mike Paul-Smith, who ensures a consistently high level of performance quality and customer service. 

Whilst it may seem like a trivial distinction, we feel it’s a very important one. When you book a band through an agency it’s quite likely that the agent has never seen the band they are recommending perform live, whereas with Mike Paul-Smith Music each aspect of the band’s performance has been carefully considered so you know that you’re getting top quality entertainment.

Another difference between us and many other bands is our commitment to keeping music live – we never use click tracks or backing tracks, instead preferring to keep everything completely live, so that our performances are energetic and spontaneous (and also slightly different each time!).

Our group started out as friends, and now we’re more like a family. And, whilst the family has grown since 2005, we still maintain the core bonds of friendship and camaraderie that we really feel make Mike Paul-Smith Music’s bands stand out from the rest.

Our Values

Mike Paul-Smith Music is a group of musicians brought together by a love of performing live.

Our key commitment is to excellent customer service. Being a small team, we can pay attention to the small details that really matter at your event – we can be flexible and adaptable to meet different briefs, and are happy to give you advice and support in the run up to your event. We’re always at the end of the phone or online, able to answer any questions you may have quickly and efficiently – it’s very rare that you’ll wait more than a few hours to hear from us.

We make sure that every performance is full of energy from the first note to the last – so that our performance is engaging, whether we’re there to get people dancing or to provide ambience at a drinks reception or over dinner.

We also make sure that we look the part (whether on-stage or off) – with our bands looking like they belong whether we’re in the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot or at a small countryside wedding in the middle of nowhere. 

More than anything, we take great pride in what we do – always striving to make sure that our performance is as good as it possibly can be. Getting to perform music in public is a real privilege which we don’t take for granted; we love what we do, and love sharing our passion for live music with audiences.

Our Line-ups and entertainment packages

Mike Paul-Smith Music’s range of bands cover a huge range of styles and sizes of event. You can book our line-ups individually, or as part of an entertainment package.

Party bands

Over the past 18 years we’ve performed at parties throughout the world. 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.

Vintage bands

Our original band, Down for the Count, is now one of the top swing bands in the UK. You’ll often find us at the UK’s top jazz clubs such as Ronnie Scotts Jazz Clubs, prestigious concert halls (Cadogan Hall, London, and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall), and world famous festivals (The London Jazz Festival, Twinwood Festival).

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 The Jazz Hours, 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.

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. 

Wedding ceremony music

For wedding ceremony music, check out our amazing string quartet for hire, Mike Paul-Smith 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.

Vintage and contemporary dancers

For an interactive experience to delight your guests, book a dance troupe to perform alongside the band. If it’s vintage music you’re after The Vintage Swing Collective deliver a unique, immersive experience; whilst our contemporary dancers put on an amazing show next to our soul and pop bands.

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!

Bespoke entertainment packages from Mike Paul-Smith Music

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.

Click on the pictures below to find out more about our music packages.

Whole-day music packages including ceremony music, drinks reception entertainment and evening party bands.

High energy performance of The Horah, sensational Israeli medleys, plus music for the chuppah and drinks reception.

Interactive walkabout acts, award ceremony stings, modern and vintage party bands and much more.

Versatile party bands, vintage swing groups, walkabout entertainment and more.

About Mike Paul-Smith

Mike Paul-Smith, Company Director of Mike Paul-Smith Music at Cadogan Hall, London

Mike Paul-Smith is a musical director and pianist from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. In 2005 Mike formed swing and soul band Down for the Count, a band he runs to this day. Mike also works as a conductor, orchestrator and arranger, and has played keyboards on the UK Tour of Les Misérables. 

In 2023 Mike launched Mike Paul-Smith Music – gathering together all the bands that he runs and manages in one place. Mike Paul-Smith Music is a trading name of Down for the Count Ltd., the parent company of which Mike is the Company Director.

Mike has 18 years experience providing music for private events in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.



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