It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that…

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that…


Swing music has its origins in the jazz age, but gained widespread notoriety in 30s and 40s America: danceable big band music with vocal improvisation, best enjoyed live and on your feet in the likes of New York’s Cotton Club.

‘Hot’ swing wasn’t popular with everyone – thanks to the sometimes risque lyrics, fast tempo and frenzied accompanying dances like the Lindy Hop and Jitterbug. But there were ‘sweet’ tunes too, and in its heyday swing could be heard everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Marx Brothers’ A Day at the Races.

For a taste, here Duke Ellington’s Orchestra provides the music, and professional dance troupe Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers the flips, dips and tricks. Can you listen without tapping your toes?

Swing music fell from favour in the 40s, but it’s never really gone away: from nineties ‘neo-swing’ bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers bringing rockabilly and ska influences, the swinging-up of current hits by The Swing Kings, and Electro Swing’s innovative mix of dance and hip hop beats with a vintage feel – such as Birmingham’s very own Electric Swing Circus.

But there’s still plenty of appetite for pure, vintage swing that recreates the feel of the era: pomaded hair, black tie and silk frocks, and microphones the size of a dinner plate.

Alex Mendham & his Orchestra, featuring the Dunlop Sisters, bring effortless Art Deco style to the hot jazz and sweet dance band swing classics of the 1920s and 30s – all with a touch of youthful flair. One of the sisters, Hannah Dunlop, is no stranger to these parts; Hannah graduated with a music degree from the University of Birmingham just this year. Now with a residency at the London’s Savoy Hotel, and a fixture at UK festivals, we’re thrilled to be welcoming them to the Bramall stage on Thursday 19th October.

Find out more and book your tickets for this unmissable live performance online, or call our box office on 0121 414 4414.

Feel free to dress to impress!


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