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How to create an authentic wartime menu for your 1940s swing party:

You’re looking for the right big band hire and you’ve ordered your authentic 1940s period costume. All that’s left is the buffet.

Rationing meant people could only buy a very limited amount of food each week during World War II. Even the Royal family used their ration cards. Meat, milk, eggs, materials, and many other household staples were strictly rationed, and the government even encouraged people to grow their own vegetables on public land.

If you want to recreate an authentic 1940s party, here’s what people would have been eating.

Rock cakes

A less coarse, less refined scone. Rock buns use sultanas, mixed spice, flour and baking powder. They’re still popular because the recipe’s so simple, and the modern method includes many of the same 1940s ingredients. If you have some extra ration cards, sprinkle sugar on top or eat with jam.

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Lord Woolton pie

Named after the former head of the Ministry of Food, the very first recipe was printed in the Times in April 1941, described as “economic” and “wholesome fare”. Whilst meat was scarce and vegetables weren’t subject to rationing, people would fill their Lord Woolton pie with swede, carrot, cauliflower and potatoes. If you want your party and big band hire to be super-authentic, this historical recipe is an essential addition to the menu.

Potato floddies

Every cuisine has some kind of fried potato, and this is ours. Roughly grate some potato, season it, sprinkle in some flour so it all binds together, and then spoon dollops into a hot frying pan until golden brown. For a 21st century spin, add some parmesan into the mix or use them as blinis.

Wartime carrot cake

From 1940, sugar was restricted to 8oz a week. Instead, people would use carrot to sweeten cakes, scones and biscuits. With the help of some flour, margarine, and sultanas, you have an authentic wartime carrot cake. Carrot cake is now an afternoon tea essential, and we have rationing to thank.

Coconut cream

Combine desiccated coconut, milk, sugar, and cornflour, and you’ve got a simple but satisfying wartime dessert. If you’re a fan of fancy presentation, a few drops of pink food colouring make this dessert a bit more appealing, even though it’s not entirely rationing-appropriate. Pour it into individual moulds and set in the fridge before serving.

big band hire

Homity pie

A Land Girls’ favourite, Homity Pie is a cheesy pie containing potatoes, leeks, and whatever else was around. More modern equivalents include cream, spinach, and parsley. It’s still just as satisfying as it was in the 1940s, and just as good for using up leftovers.

Good news! Alcohol wasn’t rationed, just hard to come by

Alcohol production and exportation is always affected by wartime. Italian spirits manufacturers were struggling to source their ingredients during World War II, and Hitler even seized French wine for his own army during the occupation. Here in the UK, alcohol wasn’t rationed but the army was given a very limited supply of rum. For those back home, alcohol could be scarce and much more expensive than usual. For the sake of your guests, this little historical detail might have to be forgotten…

Silk Street Swing are an authentic 1940s-style big band for hire for parties. They can play a huge list of swing and jazz classics, which are perfect for dancing and setting the mood of your wartime themed party. They look the part, so just send us a quick message using the form below and see how we can help your guests step back in time.

Make your summer sizzle with swing band Manchester:

As the heatwave continues, a feelgood factor sweeps the nation. The time is ripe for a celebration party! What are you celebrating? Who cares? But, whatever event, party or get-together you are planning, you’ll be needing live entertainment to make it sizzle. That’s why you need swing band Manchester! Silk Street Swing will make your summer event sizzle, even if/when (okay, when) the storm clouds return to the Rainy City.

No Rainy City Blues with Swing Band Manchester

Myth or reality much is made of Manchester’s unofficial title of the Rainy City. However, swing band Manchester will blow the clouds away effortlessly. Manchester is a vibrant city and it’s not short of fantastic venues. There are a wealth of places – large and small – that are the perfect stage for swing band Manchester, Silk Street Swing.

A live swing band is an inspired choice for a wide range of events. Wedding receptions or anniversaries, and champagne receptions or civil ceremonies are perfect for a live swing performance.

If you are throwing a party, it really doesn’t matter what type. Swing band Manchester will rock the joint and get everybody’s dancing shoes on. From 1920s prohibition-inspired gangster parties to Great Gatsby events or a themed birthday party, Silk Street Swing provide a sizzling soundtrack. Furthermore, they are a fitting accompaniment to awards ceremonies, product launches and conference entertainment.

So, as you can see, there really is no excuse. Why not start planning your event today?

Twistin’ my melon, man! Songs to get you swinging

One of the big questions you will ask when you hire any swing band Manchester is: What songs can you play.

Well, ask that question to Silk Street Swing and you’ll be standing there for a long time waiting for us to finish reeling off the list! In fact, it might be better for you to check out our list of songs here. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a flavour of what we do.

What’s more, don’t forget that we always do our very best to accommodate special requests and first dances. With such an extensive list, from swing classics to contemporary tunes given a swing twist, swing band Manchester will have you twistin’ your melon in no time at all.

Don’t take our word for it…

Of course, any swing band Manchester will big itself up and claim to be the bee’s knees. However, the proof is in the pudding. We don’t want you just to take our word for it. In our view, we think our reviews speak for themselves. We should let them do the talking…

“The standard of the band was fabulous” – Vicky

“Wow what a wonderful day we had and the music was absolutely amazing. Everyone had a great time and said how brilliant the music was so thank you so much…” – Sophie

If you have any questions, big or small, about what Silk Street Swing can bring to your event, just get in touch today.

Swing band lineups for every occasion:

Swing band lineups for every occasion. It’s a bold statement but at Silk Street we are confident that this claim stands up to scrutiny. We have 2 piece to 5 piece options available, plus a range of soloist musicians too. Therefore, we’re pretty sure we’ve got all bases covered. Here’s why…

Swing band lineups: 2 piece or 3 piece

Offering a subtle soundtrack of jazz, soul or swing, the Silk Street Jazz Two are the perfect swing band line up choice for a low-key or intimate event. Furthermore, you mix and match too. You choose the combination of musicians you require.  For example, you can opt for sax and guitar, sax and piano, or sax and double bass.

The Jazz Two are ideal for a reception, product launch or party.

Meanwhile, the Jazz Three are perfect for ambient and sophisticated background music. Just imagine smooth sax sounds blending with double bass. Add guitar or piano into the mix and it’s not hard to see why the trio is a particularly popular option.

Swing band lineups: 4 piece or 5 piece

Playing out with well-known blues and jazz standards, the 4-piece ensemble are one of the most popular acts in the Silk Street portfolio. As swing band lineups go, this chic quartet provide perfect chill-out sounds.

Of course, if you want to evoke the sound of the big band era, the 5-piece group is what you need. What’s more, if versatility is a key consideration for you in choosing swing band lineups, Classics from the American songbooks, jazz standards and ballads are what you can expect.

Think ‘Mack The Knife’ and ‘Fly Me To The Moon’. Think packed dancefloor and happy guests!

Swing band lineups: Soloists

No two weddings, corporate events or parties are ever the same. That’s why, we offer even more opportunity to tailor your booking so that is exactly what you need and desire. Therefore, we also have a range of soloist musicians available too.

Firstly, why not hire a vocalist to front the band? Our male vocalist, ‘The Blue Doctor’ is one of the country’s finest. Modern pop to blues and jazz, the Doctor has it all. The result? A packed dance floor.

Our solo guitarist is the perfect addition to all swing band lineups. What do you get? Classics, cool jazz, latin, and contemporary chart hits – all performed by a highly trained and consummate professional.

Our cocktail pianist will add another dimension to proceedings. The solo pianist has a versatile and extensive repertoire. The pianist option complements any occasion with aplomb.

Last but not least is our solo saxophonist. Smooth, sophisticated and seductive. Furthermore, with the added advantage of being totally mobile. Able to wander around – inside and out – our solo saxophonist will serenade your guests and create a fantastic atmosphere at any event.

Check out the lineups section of the Silk Street Swing site to find out more and to listen to sound clips of all the lineup options and soloists. Get in touch if you would like more information or would like to discuss other outstanding entertainment for an event you are planning.

Wedding swing band hire: Silk Street Swing:

You are absolutely spoilt for choice these days when it comes to live entertainment for weddings. Do you go for ambience and atmosphere with a string quartet? Do you opt for the classic sound of a harpist? Or, do you just go for a party band to rip up the dancefloor at the reception? All of these are great choices. However, there is another option. Have you considered wedding swing band hire?

Wedding swing band hire: For the entire day

One of the major advantages of picking wedding swing band hire as your entertainment choice for the big day is versatility. Remember that the average wedding day is a long day. From the arrival of your guests to the venue to the moment you see last guests off, jumping in their taxis as the reception winds down. All in all, that’s a lot of time to fill with entertainment.

And few entertainment choices are suitable for the entire day either. A string quartet beautifully accompanies the signing of the register. However, it’s less effective as a way of keeping everybody on the dancefloor. Although, don’t dismiss that out of hand totally. However, it works the other way too. A party act pumping out floor fillers is ideal for the evening bash. But, less appropriate as a backdrop for the bride walking down the aisle.

However, a wedding swing band hire, such as Silk Street Swing, gives you the best of both worlds.

Welcoming guests

You want your guests to be welcomed in style. Silk Street Swing’s black-suits will ensure they look the part as guests arrive. More importantly, the swinging sounds they produce will be a fitting start to the day

Wedding swing band hire: Let’s celebrate!

Booming swing isn’t the best match for the ritual of the wedding ceremony. However, Silk Street Swing are soon earning their stripes again. The all-important confetti-throwing and photos on the steps will be met by some classy celebratory swing.

A swing band: ideal for the wedding breakfast

Swing music can be as understated as it can bold and brash. For the wedding breakfast, Silk Street Swing can be both. As guests dine, subtle swing in the background is a fitting musical match to the meal. For the speeches, bold, brash, booming – and a dose of humour – is the perfect introduction for those all-important speeches.

Getting the party swinging

Then, of course, we come to the evening reception. Silk Street Swing really swing into action here. Coming into their own with renditions of swing classics, the band is sure to set the place alight. Rest assured, the dancefloor will be the place to be. You won’t be able to get your guests away from it!

So, wedding swing band hire is the ultimate choice for entertainment on the day. Silk Street Swing are seasoned pros when it comes to wedding day bookings, get in touch today to find out more.

How to put on the ultimate awards ceremony:

Rewarding people within a sector, industry or your own organisation is very important. As we move into the back end of the year – awards season – now is a great time to look at how to put on the ultimate awards ceremony.

Whether you want your awards ceremony to lavish, extravagant, and formal – or low-key and informal, these tips will help you make sure that your own awards ceremony should be winning awards!

Awards Ceremony Tips: Know your budget

Your budget doesn’t have to be massive and it is not the most important thing – rewarding your staff and boosting morale is the primary objective – but you do need a production and AV budget. This is, after all, what your guests will remember the most about the event.

Awards Ceremony Tips: Stage Design

A stage will make your awards ceremony look all the more professional. It is also a key place to position branding, logos or information about sponsors – either on rostrums or on screens behind the stage.

Awards Ceremony Tips: Lighting and Music

The event space will be filled with the perfect ambience and atmosphere with carefully selected lighting and music. Lighting can transform and lift a room and make even those guests at the back of the room feel completely involved. Lighting options include the likes of haze machines and uplighters.

Subtle background music and music to accompany walk-ons will add to the atmosphere and create excitement in the room. Of course, this can be recorded music – but for extra impact a live band is ideal.

Swing music may not be the obvious choice for every type of awards ceremony, but there is no denying that it will help to create a sense of cool, class and quality for any event. Some musical interludes or upbeat play-ons will create an evening of drama and link your awards together seemlessly.

Awards Ceremony Tips: Video!

You’re really missing a trick if you don’t capture your awards event for posterity. Photos will tell the story of the night well, but video will do it far better – and it will keep you supplied with material for engaging promotional films and social media posts for months to come.

If you want to make your awards event swing, Silk Street Swing offer a wide variety of line-up options, from the full big band experience to soloists. Get in touch today to see how we can take your awards ceremony to the next level.

Swing Bands For Weddings: 5 Unmissable Performances:

There’s romance in the air, and your wedding planning is probably hotting up… When putting the wheels in motion for your ceremony and reception, you want entertainment that will match the mood and keep guests talking right through to the taxi home. That’s why swing bands for weddings are such an unbeatable choice.

Curious to learn more? We’d like to show you how an act like ours can greet, accompany and electrify your guests at various points of your special day, from dawn till dusk…

1. Welcoming everyone at the venue

As your guests rock up at the chapel or ceremonial venue, you want them to arrive in style. Decked in our customary black suits, silver ties and fedoras, Silk Street Swing will look the part as we stand outside those chapel doors, playing a triumphant tune on our instruments.

2. Jiving to the confetti and photographs

The actual marriage ritual is quite a hushed affair, so we can stay out of everyone’s way whilst it’s taking place. Yet our sax player, guitarist, drummer and bass virtuoso can linger on the steps of the building. When everyone spills outside, we’ll strike up in celebration. The energy will be high as confetti petals hit the floor, and groups are arranged for a photo by the willow tree.

3. Letting you dine on good vibes

After this, typically, you’ll be heading to a dining setup – either indoors or on a beautiful stretch of grass – for some food. It’s your extra-lucky day, because swing bands for weddings can be chilled, if you want them to be, with a steady beat to underscore the chatter and fork clinks. Let us take over a bandstand, or a corner by the champagne table, to trill a light soundtrack to your meal!

4. Playing for the speech-givers

Silk Street Swing can provide a ripe dose of comedy or exuberance – often within the same breath. Our genre is brash, heraldic and full of pizazz, which tags nicely onto any best man/father of the bride speeches. We can introduce each person with a song, and give them an aural exit worth cheering for.

5. Setting the dance floor on fire…

Now, onto the fast and furious capper to your wedding: the night-long reception! Just show us to the stage, and we’ll bust out our biggest, well-known hits from the swing canon. This entertainment doesn’t get more accomplished than four or five expert musicians, all of whom can bounce off each other, taking a classic party sound to the next level. The first dance; shout-outs to the bride and groom’s family… There’s so much we can arrange before hitting the spotlight.

By hiring a swing band, you’ll be able to revel in the midst of timeless, toe-tapping music. That’s why it only makes sense to deploy us whenever you can! Get your money’s worth with a Silk Street Swing booking, and let us court the A to Z of your wedding schedule.

4 Occasions That Swing Bands For Hire Suit Perfectly:

A tipped hat, a mic chord looped like a lasso… Whatever the quirks of swing music, you can’t deny that a full, toe-tapping band has a lot more than high notes to offer. Your event, aiming for glory, could do so with a twinkling grin by choosing swing bands for hire in the UK.

And yet, although the genre can jive to many occasions, we reckon there are at least four that always fit the bill. Join us for a swift ride through the natural territory of a swing performer, and how we’ll make your day a treat.

1. A landmark anniversary

10 years, 25, even 50 – the annual fawning of a marriage is a beautiful thing, but even more so when there’s a quarter or half-century under your belt.

Few music styles conjure the romance, thrill and enduring energy of a relationship better than swing. It’s perfect for big anniversaries, the kind we look back on like those vivid family photographs in the attic. Older couples, in particular, can shake off the cobwebs and get back to the dancefloor, unable to resist the wild, lovelorn lyrics!

2. That premier awards show

“And now, we move onto the ceremonial part of the evening…” Some guests might be creaking in their chairs by this point, stuffed with food and wine, and (even though they knew what was coming) less than enthused about clapping for their co-workers every few minutes.

But swing bands for hire can break up your corporate awards evening, adding a livewire jolt when it’s needed. Book a short half-time set, then a longer performance after the final gong’s been handed out. If you’re going for a high-class theme, nothing delivers it more than smart, jacketed, horn-blowing musicians belting out the hits.

3. An awesome birthday

Arranging the birthday entertainment for someone who fancies themselves a bit of a debonair? Perfect: they’ll have eyes as wide as the table spread when you unveil a swing band like us, pumped up and ready to finger-click our way to your boy or girl’s heart.

There’s the option, potentially, of getting your lucky so-and-so onstage with the group, taking the microphone for a rendition of ‘My Way.’ Cue guffaws from the crowd – but this is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Celebrating the day of your entry into this world with a sound that truly makes you feel alive…

4. The retirement party of your dreams

We spend so long grafting for our livelihood that the end of it – and, really, the start of a new period in one’s existence – deserves a special commemoration. For retirees, swing bands for hire are an excellent choice, seeing as they’re bright, happy, and able to reach across age divides like no other. The younger members of the audience will be sucked into the spirit of the day. Actually, they’ll see that maturity is worth reaching if this is the soundtrack to it!

So, now that we’ve aired some ideas, we’d love to hear a few from your lips too. As one of the most professional swing bands for hire in the country, Silk Street Swing can deal with anything you throw at us – weddings, funerals, the odder stimulants for a knees-up… It’s all in your hands, which is why you should get in touch, and swing when you’re winning with a cool events plan.

Come Fly With Me: Top Themes For Wedding Swing Bands:

Canapes, bow ties, and a fabled ‘old-fashioned on the rocks’… These are some of the signs you’re in a swinging environment. We have a lot of associations with swing performers: their smartness, respectability, charm and ever-lasting joie de vivre are great for your marital ceremony. Yet, what theme can fit wedding swing bands like a glove, we hear you cry?

Well, the glove in question can look very different, depending on how you use a swing booking. Follow us as we reel off some ace imagery and characteristics for your wedding, where a Sinatra-lover will feel right at home…

Preparing for take-off

For some, the glamour of airline travel has pretty much vanished into thin air since the 1950s and 60s. Back then, stewardesses were the peak of fashion, and pilots were seen as heroes by any kid with a toy plane. Those hats, dresses and uniforms could be swooping to the fore of your wedding plan, as you seek to imitate a premier airport lounge.

Swing music, of course, is all about flying high on restless energy. Aside from that particular hit song, there’s a sense of cool, swaggering grace in any swing setlist, made to back your air hostess dance routine!

A night at the movies

Do you ever watch the Academy Awards? It’s a suave template for your reception. There’s the movie-star look, the lights and the drapes, and (of course) the brass band music to play each person off the stage.

Hire a swing band for a film-themed event, and make your guests feel like A-listers. They can transition between speeches, or soundtrack a screen projection of the happy couples’ photos and home videos. And don’t forget the trimmed, smart look the swing band will bring with them – it’ll draw out your evening’s magisterial qualities.

The roaring twenties

We may consider this sort of music de rigueur, as if it’s always been part of our cultural history. But there was a period when swing acts exploded with freshness, daring and charisma. The formative stage of the genre – that is, the 1920s – also happens to be in vogue with wedding planners, or any mastermind who’s seeking a classy, rip-roaring affair.

With flappers, art deco furnishing and lots of black and gold, you can land a stunning impression with this theme. Get a 1920s swing band to replicate the sensation of the age; with jazzy, toe-tapping tunes to blast out, they’ll get everyone in the mood for some 20s style hedonism!

There are as many varieties of wedding swing bands as there are venues, colours and props. Don’t settle for any of the lesser acts, though – you don’t want a sloppy sound to puncture the atmosphere.

Our own experience as the Silk Street Swing Band has helped us realise just what a wedding audience expects, in terms of diversity and commitment. Call us today for a chat about your booking; if you don’t have a theme, we can suggest a few more, and do whatever it takes to get your wedding entertainment in-tune with your concept…

Don’t Wing It: Book A Swing Band For Your Event:

Your event should be glitzy, but it doesn’t have to be glacial too. The mood should be light-hearted, throwing everyone into the fizz of your entertainment. Choosing the right musical act for the main stage will define the energy of your ‘do’ – imperative for a night that sweeps the guests along in its stride. How best to find a group that the young, old and party-going in-betweeners will appreciate? Book a swing band to discover what time-tested charm can do for your celebrations.

Come fly with us as we drift through the perks of swing music, ensuring your prep ain’t a kick in the head…

Loud, jovial songs

For a high energy performance, most event planners gravitate to rock n’ roll or a pop covers duo with perma-blonde wigs. Contemporary tunes are fine, for some, but the swing genre has been lighting people on fire for 80 years or more, which speaks to how much it can lift our spirits.

It’s hectic and rich, with constant fluctuations in the interplay of brass, percussion, bass and piano. With a sneezing chorus of trombones before them, your guests have no choice but to pay attention, bobbing helplessly to the dancefloor.

It helps that swing tracks are, by and large, extremely happy. They have a free-wheeling attitude that can be tender, cheeky and obnoxious, sometimes all at once. That’s a recipe for a wild atmosphere!

Between-song banter

Book a swing band, and get ready for a bright, black-tied helping of personality on your stage. Classic swing singers, like those jostling chums in the Rat Pack, got by as much on their charisma, jokes and sharp suits as their music ability. Dean Martin was an amazing crooner, for sure, yet his legacy also recalls quips and patter delivered behind a whiskey glass.

While we don’t expect any lesser known performers to be quite so hedonistic, they’ll definitely try and emulate the whip-smart cracks of their idols, making everyone laugh before they launch into a fab rendition of ‘Mac The Knife’ or ‘Me & My Shadow’.

A lick of class and style

What do we picture when we imagine the classic swing music backdrop? A bar, perhaps, in New York, where finely dressed women sip cocktails in feather boas? Or how about an old-fashioned ball, the kind with lashings of gold drapes and silver cufflinks peeking out from a tuxedo sleeve?

After you book a swing band, the cat’s in the bag for an elegant affair. Your guests will be transported back to the 30s, 40s and 50s, carrying themselves with a little more finesse than usual. Big band sounds tend to unleash our suave side: conversation tinkles like two champagne flutes, whilst our heads rear a bit higher, admiring the talent that’s crossed generations to reach us.

In terms of some event functions, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing… The Silk Street Swing Band can arrive at your venue, unleashing a huge repertoire of songs over a several-hour-long setlist. Our event entertainment is highly sought after in the UK – we’ll put the brash, jazzy touch on your special evening, getting fingers clicking in no time at all!

Contact us if you have any questions, or want to book our swing band right away.

Acoustic Swing: Slick, smooth, sophisticated:

When you mention swing music it tends to conjure up certain images in your head. We don’t often think of acoustic swing. We think of swing bands or big bands. The emphasis is often on the ‘big’ too. We think of something that is spectacular. Something grand – even grandiose – often springs to mind.

Depending on the party or event you are planning, something of that scale might be exactly what you are looking for. You might want a big band sound to match a big occasion.

But big isn’t always better, is it? Something of this scale might not always be appropriate either. For starters, some venues have noise restrictions. Some have decibel limiters. For smaller venues, the logistics of trying to accommodate a large band, with mics, amps and sound systems in tow might not be practical. It could end up being a big headache – especially for the event organiser.

You might want your wedding, party or event to be more of an intimate occasion anyway. Or you might just be planning a smaller gathering. You might want the music at the event to provide an ambient background and backdrop to proceedings. You might not want a full in-your-face live band.

Well, if swing’s your thing, why not consider an acoustic swing band for hire?

Acoustic swing – perfect if swing is your thing

Silk Street Swing is available for hire with a variety of different line-ups. This means it is easy to choose the option that is best suited to your needs for an event.

Hire a Soloist

If you want a sound that is smooth, slick and seductive then there is no better instrument than the saxophone.

The Silk Street solo saxophonist can perform a mix of Latin favourites, cool jazz melodies and acoustic swing. The sound of the sax is sure to create an atmosphere of pure sophistication for your event.

Hire a 2-piece

A 2-piece line-up offers you another great acoustic swing option. A compact duo is ideal to play in small and intimate performance spaces. A saxophone and double bass duo is a great choice of instruments. The Jazz Two can play a blend of swing, soul and subtle background jazz. These are the sounds that are a superb complement for more intimate occasions, such as a wedding reception or a product launch.

Other line-up options

Silk Street Swing really can meet your every need. Yes, if you want big, we can give you BIG! Larger line-up options will give you a swing sound that will fill any room. From full cabaret-style to cosy and intimate, we can do it all.

You choose just how much you want to scale down the sound. A trio, for example, will give an ambience that is ideally suited for when guests are mingling and munching on canapés or sipping champagne.

If you are planning an event then nothing will make it swing like live music does. Acoustic swing is a great choice for a wide variety of occasions, from champagne receptions to parties in restaurants. Get in touch today to find how we can help your event truly swing.

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