Mr Swing - Katie & Lucy's Civil Partnership Reception

Amadeus Centre, London - Saturday 4th December 2010

There had been so much snow up in Yorkshire during the week that I was worried the swing band wouldn't make it down for Katie and Lucy's big day but make it we did and I'm so glad.

What a brilliant event! The hospitality of the staff and caterers was second to none and the lighting technician did an amazing job lighting the London swing band venue and the band itself.

The dancefloor was packed from the first dance to the last. One of Mr Swing's members even appeared on the floor at one point having been whisked off his feet by a guest during the final smooch of the evening 'Moonlight Serenade'!

The highlight for me, though, was seeing dozens of party-goers with roses in their mouths, tangoing to 'La Cumparsita' a la Jack Lemmon and 'Oswald' dance from 'Some Like It Hot' while Tony Curtis seduced Marilyn Monroe on Oswald's yacht. Classic!

All in all well worth the weather-related stress, the early morning start and the 5:30am return - we'd even had time to visit the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Beautiful.

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Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra - Centenary Pavilion
Leeds United FC - Wednesday 10th November 2010

Well, where do I start?? Mr Swing had been invited to perform at the prestigious opening evening of Yorkshire's largest conference and events venue and it really lives up to its billing. It can seat up to 1400 people to dinner and truly is a rather swish facility and a truly amazing West Yorkshire swing band venue. For the official write-up go to http://www.leedsunited.com/news/20101111/a-great-asset-is-officially-opened_2247585_2216036

Anyway, on to the gig itself.

Important bods from all across the county and beyond had been invited and well over 200 companies were represented. Mr Swing took centre stage (quite literally as there were three of them!) and was performing in a genuine twenty foot square boxing ring! No joke. Another potential use of the venue it seems.

The guests were entertained during the meal by an up and coming young (10!) comedian, Jack Carroll, who has already appeared on The One Show with Jason Manford. Tenors Unlimited followed each course (stage right), singing popular operatic toons with a bit of Mickey Bubbles thrown in for good measure.

Then it happened.

Some members of Mr Swing are still undergoing counselling.

The Globe Girls arrived.....

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A burlesque dance troop made up of five very trim young ladies........until you looked a bit closer. Suffice it to say that I really can't go into more details on this website.

Mr Swing took over for dancing for the last hour; its musicians shellshocked.....

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Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra - Chris & Gill's Wedding
Ilkley, West Yorkshire - Saturday 11th September 2010


What an amazing venue! With amazing views! And such a welcoming crowd.

I arrived early in the day to get set up in the marquee behind a 'reveal' curtain as Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra was to be a surprise to the guests immediately after the speeches. The big reveal worked well and after the swing band's customary opening of 'Sing Sing Sing', Chris and Gill's first dance, 'Can't take my eyes off you', had the camera bulbs flashing away.

I had noticed various bekilted gentlemen in attendance so slotted 'The Gay Gordons' into the second set, much to the appreciation of the scottish contingent. We had to time its inclusion to coincide with the BBC's coverage of the last night of the Proms switching from BBC2 to BBC1 as it's an instrumental number which gave our BBC employed singer the four minutes he needed on his laptop to ensure the Middlesbrough region made the switch successfully!

Who says swing bands in Yorkshire can't multi-task?!

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Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra - Picnic Concert

Thorp Perrow Arboretum - Saturday 31st July 2010

What a wonderful evening we had at Thorp Perrow Arboretum on Saturday. It was our fourth year of this outdoor event and a friendly and responsive audience tucked into their picnics as Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra entertained them with classic swing band favourites.

As dusk descended and wine flowed the crowd got to their feet to swing their hips and dance the night away. By the end of the third set everybody was singing along to the North Yorkshire swing band's renditions of 'The Candy Man' and 'Things'.

These really are great evenings and we hope to see you all again next year. If you haven't been before, keep an eye on the Public Events page for next year's date.

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Mr Swing plus disco - Barnaby's 21st

Foston, East Yorkshire - Saturday 17th July 2010

What a great night we had!

Lots of family and friends in attendance to witness the birthday boy himself joining the ranks of Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra on 3rd trombone. Unfortunately Barnaby was rather too inebriated to remember how to play the damned thing and complained that the music was 'all fuzzy'!

And what we saw when the kilted man was rowing around the dancefloor to 'Hawaii 5-0' will haunt me forever!

East Yorkshire swing band fans know how to party!


Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra - Guy & Karen's Wedding

York Maze - Saturday 22nd May 2010

Guy and Karen enjoyed wonderful weather for their wedding last weekend along with a great venue for York swing bands in York Maze.

When I arrived to set up, guests had just finished their meal and were engaged in a cricket match in the glorious sunshine whilst the children (and a few adults it must be said) played on a giant inflatable pillow - just one of the attractions York Maze has to offer.

The venue itself is a good sized room with an excellent high and spacious stage, perfect for Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra. Guy and Karen had chosen 'It Had To Be You' as their first dance and we followed this up with a specially rehearsed arrangement of 'My Funny Valentine' for Karen's mum, Anne.

A now customary 'battle of the families' rendition of the Tom Jones classic 'Delilah' was won hands-down by Guy's family and friends, responding to Karen's team's 'My my my Delilah' with a frankly deafening 'Why why why Delilah?'

All the best to the happy couple from all at Mr Swing.

Yorkshire Swing Bands

Mr Swing & Fortissimo - Sam & Stefan's Wedding

York Rugby & Cricket Club - Friday 26th March 2010

When Mr Swing recorded a CD back in 2002, the producer for the week was Alex Browne. This was Alex's sister Sam's wedding and she and her fiancé, Stefan, had gone for a gangster theme.

All the ladies were decked out as gangster's molls or flapper girls, while the gents donned suits and trilbies. There were even a few tommy guns in evidence!

Julie from Fortissimo entertained the guests as they arrived and during the meal before Mr Swing's Dance Orchestra invited Sam and Stefan onto the floor for their first dance, 'We have all the time in the World'. To fit in with the occasion much was made of the gangster-themed 'Bad Bad Leroy Brown' and 'Mack the Knife'. In fact Phil managed to slip in a good many gangster-related comments throughout the evening.

The swing band's three sets ended in traditional style with the bride and groom circled by their friends for 'New York, New York' before leading two congas around the room to 'Amarillo'. The two lines of guests were eventually led out of the venue to wave off the happy couple as they were whisked away to an unknown location in a waiting limo.

What a great night......and the new numbers went down a treat too!

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Mr Swing & Ab Fab Disco – York & Ainsty (North) Hunt Ball

Gt Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate – Sat 27th Feb 2010

Having played before for York & Ainsty (South), members of Mr Swing were looking forward to an appreciative audience at the ‘Northern’ annual ball and weren’t disappointed.

It was rather a late start in the end with the Harrogate swing band playing one long ninety minute set instead of the usual two. After a meal and various formalities and presentations, guests at these events are often itching to get up and dance and this was no exception.

It was very noticeable that some ‘southern’ members had infiltrated the ranks when the customary chant of ‘Mr Bojangles’ was heard ringing out between numbers early on. Thanks for the support guys!

With Ab Fab Disco taking the reins through ‘til 2am, the dance-floor was packed solidly for three hours.