The final plate has been cleared. The guests sit back, satisfied after a delicious meal. The fizz is flowing and the dance floor stands empty and inviting, ready for the culmination of your celebration: an evening of dancing and laughter. You are ready to party.
A stage stands at the head of the room, tantalising your guests with the promise of what is to come. It boasts a drum set, a saxophone, a keyboard, mic stands and guitars. Each instrument lies in waiting, hinting at a night of live music and incredible entertainment.
The guests discuss what they may be about to experience. They are excited. Little do they know they are about to witness something so special they will talk about this for years to come.
The lights go down, a band walk onto the stage. The musicians are slick, dressed in dapper suits with perfectly coiffed hair. The frontman is sublime. Confidence and charisma oozes from his every pore. The familiar strains of the Rat Pack era have your guests smiling.
The older guests are tapping their feet. But what’s this? The Killers – but not as you’ve heard them before. And then, The Strokes. And it keeps coming. Contemporary tunes played in a swing style, layered amongst infectious jazz classics.
You look around the room. Every guest is dancing, or tapping their feet. They are chatting and laughing, from your young teenage relatives to your hip friends, your grandma to your aunt. Every single guest has been won over by this band – and this incredible front man.
Meet The Swinging Little Big Band that have created this “oh so amazing sound “.
Steve Woods – Vocals
Pete Sellicks – Sax
Richard Gabriel – Bass
Luke Rattenbury – Guitar
Chris Barrett – Keyboards
Chris Heritage – Drums
Playing Rat Pack classics with a mixture of their own take on current masterpieces, this is a band guaranteed to appeal to every generation of a wedding party. And Steve Woods… well, he’s unlike any other front man you’ve ever come across.
“As a band, we take inspiration from 90s Indie groups to the music of Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. But for me, personally, I am intrigued by the legendary front men of the last 50 years,” explains Steve Woods, lead singer of The Swinging Little Big Band.
“I see the likes of David Bowie and Mick Jagger and am inspired by the way they captivate and amaze an audience. They make the audience look at them. They are amazing, and that is what I hope to achieve when I’m on stage myself.”
Steve knows he’s in a special position. And he doesn’t take his role lightly. “It’s a great privilege to perform at a wedding,” he tells us. “We’re invited to play at the best day of someone’s life. We know we’ve got to pull out all the stops every single time. We’re helping shape memories.”
It’s that attitude which makes The Swinging Little Big Band so special. With a stage presence like no other, a repertoire of unique music that captures the heart of audiences time after time, this is also a band who you know will never let you down.
“We’ve never missed a gig,” explains Steve earnestly. “We’ve broken down and been towed to a venue. Our drummer’s been injured and had to be guided onto stage barely being able to see. Whatever is thrown at us, we get there. Always. We absolutely refuse to let a client down. And we’re proud of that.”
The Swinging Little Big Band has enjoyed immense success since forming, with their first ever gig performed at Alexandra Palace in front of a 1,300 strong crowd, they’ve never done things by half.
“We certainly jumped straight in at the deep end,” laughs Steve. “But we knew we had something special. At the beginning we set out to create a band that would play straight Rat Pack music. We had one alternative version of a contemporary song. And it worked, it really worked. That’s when we realised we’d found that special thing that would make us so unique. We’d found our sound.”
Over time, The Swinging Little Big Band have honed their style and expanded their repertoire to develop a punchy set that builds to a crescendo, mirroring the atmosphere and anticipation of the crowd.
As the front man, Steve has carefully crafted his on-stage persona to create a lead singer who has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. He is effortlessly relaxed on stage, with a cool charisma and charm that defies the audience not to be drawn to the stage and dance floor.
“When people see us play, they feel like they’ve stumbled across a little secret,” smiles Steve. “Couples feel they’ve found something their friends will love and guests feel they’ve discovered something to share with everyone who wasn’t at the wedding.”
They look good, sound good and are the ultimate professionals. So it’s no surprise that The Swinging Little Big Band have been discovered outside the world of weddings. “We had some radio play with a single we brought out on impulse last Christmas.” Steve, ever the cool front man is modest about their success.
“It was great, but we have more planned. Our ambitions have developed as the success of the band has continued. Now, we’d love to be playing to a wider audience, bringing our music and our unique slant to new people. We want to be playing festivals next summer and are bringing out a single soon which we hope to get more radio play from. It’s exciting, we’ve got big things planned.”
With a future so bright, it’s clear to see The Swinging Little Big Band won’t remain a secret for much longer. We have no doubt though, secret or no secret, this is a group that will make any wedding party sparkle, creating an electric atmosphere to give your guests tingles as their toes itch towards the dance floor.
The Swinging Little Big Band is something special. And it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world knows it too.
Words by Molly Forbes Tigerlily
Photography & Video The Swinging Little Big Band