Swing is such a popular genre of music - but how do you know you're seeing the best show around?
Jim Pyle discusses the history of swing music, plus how to choose between tribute artists, vocal groups, or a spectacle which is not to be missed.
Spring is finally here! Daffodils are popping their heads out of the ground, birds are tweeting happily, and for the first time in a while, the sunshine came to the South coast today, and shone down on Eastbourne! It's our favourite time of the year, when the clouds disappear and everything seems brighter - March welcomes Spring with open arms! And here at Full Beam Productions, we welcome that change in the seasons with a brand new show, celebrating swing music, a genre which stands the test of time, and leaves every listener in a brilliant mood!
The origins of swing.
Swing music first made an appearance in the 1930's - a product of the Great Depression.
Fed up of feeling low, and of listening to the slow, sad songs of the times, a more feel good approach to music was brought to the forefront, and swing music was born. With the emphasis being on the "off-beat" in the music, swing has a distinctive sound, which you can't help but tap your toes to, and the already popular Big Band style, morphed into some brilliant swing numbers, featuring trumpet and trombone - and eventually saxophone.
Famous swing artists of the time included Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and of course, Glenn Miller.
The Rat Pack era.
During the war, there was a decline in the popularity of swing, and it began to change into more traditional pop music, or a blues/jazz/swing combination. However, in the 50s and 60s, it made a comeback, this time fronted by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Matt Munro and many more.
Their fantastic voices meant that now, emphasis was more on the vocalist, rather than the music, and the easy listening genre which we know and love was created.
Even Peter André has tried his hand at a swing style...
Of course, today, swing music lives on in the form of modern day artists
- there are plenty of singers who have released classic swing albums during their career. Notably, Robbie Williams released Swing When Your Winning
- covering the greatest songs of the genre - before putting together a second swing album a few years later, containing a few modern originals. Westlife, Lady Gaga, and even Peter André have all tried their hand at the swing style - and then, of course, there is Michael Bublé, who creates album after album of classic, modern and new songs for us to enjoy - including his popular Christmas recordings.
Michael Bublé creates album after album of classic, modern and new songs for us to enjoy...
It's no wonder, with it's huge popularity, that people are still wanting to go to the theatre and enjoy a swing show, even today, over 80 years since the birth of swing.
But with such demand, it comes and no surprise that the performance circuit might seem a little saturated - and when choosing to go and watch a swing show, you want to know that you are seeing the best!
A quick Google search brings up artist after artist, covering swing songs from the 1930's to present day. Tribute artists litter your screen, as do Rat Pack groups, plus shows which tip their hats to Sinatra, or Glenn Miller... So much choice can be overwhelming! Some acts try to grab your attention by telling you they are the "youngest swing singer"
or "award winning"
or "the number one act"
... But what does that all really mean?
are performers who research, rehearse, and perfect their acts, so that when you are watching, from the audiences perspective, you should believe you are seeing the real deal. For example, if you book to see a Sinatra tribute, that performer should move like Sinatra, sound like Sinatra and act like him too. Some performers simply sound like the act - a very impressive thing, indeed, as every performer has a unique tone to their voice, and emanating that is a true talent. Close your eyes, and you should be instantly transported! Other acts simply move like the original - like a choreographed routine they have learned, to the specific songs. This is more of a spectacle to view, but could leave you disappointed that it wasn't quite like watching the real person on stage.
Full Beam Productions likes to ensure that our tribute acts sound, and act, like the performer they are portraying!
Rat Pack groups
are lots of fun. Great harmonies, classy looking gentlemen - it's a wonderful night out, and great for easy listening! The Full Beam Team are always looking out for Rat Pack style groups - for example, Jack Pack
, who featured on Britain's Got Talent, were excellent.
A real show, with dancers, singers, costumes and more...
But what about watching a real show? With fantastic swing singers, plus beautiful dancers, fabulous costumes, and plenty of eye catching choreography?
Full Beam Productions have created the perfect package - Swing With a Difference
takes classic swing hits, and throws in new, modern day twists, to create the perfect show!
Our brand new show has already begun it's tour around care homes - yes, we can create a smaller scale version of the production, making it accessible to every type of venue!
- and it's coming to Seaford for the World Premiere
on March 25th 2017.
Swing With a Difference is fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis Trust - so it's all for a good cause!
Starring Swinging Jazz Crooner, Mr Jim Pyle, and fantastic female vocalists Claire Louise, Swing With a Difference is a show not to be missed.
Giving you all the swing that you crave, plus something a little extra, this show promises all of your favourite songs, plus a true spectacle to watch! Our beautiful Beamer dancers, Amy Leonard, Charlotte Hoy, Nicole Allen and Sally Neve, have been hard at work in rehearsals with choreographer, Natalie Bradshaw, making sure that their feathers are fluffed, the toes pointed, and their footwork well and truly swinging - and they are looking fantastic!
Show songs include Ain't That a Kick, I Wanna Be Like You, Feeling Good, Sway, Let Me Entertain Youand so many more.
It's a marathon of fantastic singing and dancing, and what's more, it's for a brilliant cause - Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Find out more about our charity of choice for 2017 here
Book tickets now & see the best show in town!
Why not book tickets, and come and see for yourself?
The show opens on 25th March 2017 at Seaford Head School - Arundel Site, for ONE NIGHT ONLY! Doors open at 6.40pm, and tickets can be purchasedhere.
Use code MOTHERFB for 25% off a full priced adult ticket - and treat you Mum this Mothers Day!
Book the Swinging Jazz Crooner all year round...
Got a party coming up? Celebrating a birthday, wedding, or success? Why not hire the Swinging Jazz Crooner to serenade you on your special day? Jim Pyle is available both as a soloist, or with two gorgeous Beamer dancers, all year round, for any type of event. Singing songs from 1930's onwards, he is the perfect compliment to any occasion - and at affordable, reasonable prices, starting from £75, he is the best swing singer in Sussex!
Eastbourne is playing host to a BRAND NEW singing competition!
We need audience members for Shine Bright Tonight, which is happening on 15th November at TJ's Nightclub, Eastbourne! With six artists from the local area battling it out in front of our panel of three judges, it's set to be an amazing night - with a cash prize up for grabs for the lucky winner! For the audience, it's a night to remember, filled with excellent music from hand selected young performers. You never know, you could be watching a future star! You'll get to hear feedback from our judges, including industry professionals and representatives from BBC, and mingle with owners of some of the biggest businesses in town.
On arrival, there's a complimentary drink, and then to sweeten the deal, all money from the bar on the night goes to Children In Need - supporting an amazing cause!
This is not a night to be missed, but tickets are limited - so make sure you visit the website
to purchase tickets now! See you there!
When myself and Jim decided to approach care homes with activities and entertainment, it was new territory to us both. We had worked hard, for many years, as members of teams at resorts worldwide - working our way up from Animation to Team Leader, to Management - and so we had a good idea as to how to put together performances targeted at certain audience types, but care homes presented a whole new range of obstacles to overcome.
We have been providing activities now for nearly two years, and working closely with some of the biggest care home providers in the UK has certainly helped to shape our business, performers, and the shows we put together - and now, we are pushing forward with putting Full Beam Productions at the head of a new era of care home entertainment; one which comes away from war time classics, and sleepy songs, and instead creates excitement, smiles, laughter and fun for that short hour in which we are invited into the lives of those being cared for.
It's a very rewarding business to be in, but it's also one which needs to be done correctly for it to be effective. Today, I'm breaking down exactly how Full Beam Productions works, and how our approach puts a refreshing new spin on activities, and hopefully takes a step towards shaping the future of entertainment in a care home environment.
Hello, and welcome to our very first Wednesday Wardrobe!
Each week we will be bringing you a different blog post, or video, or both (!), taking you backstage and behind the scenes of our wardrobe department, as we prepare for each of our upcoming shows. Learn with our step by step videos how to create our props and costumes - or follow our tips for how to find the best bargains for specific dance numbers and performances.
We really hope that you find our new blogs interesting and informative - and if you think of anything that you would like to see us talking about, let us know by commenting below! Don't forget to let us know if you try to make your own version of our feature each week too!
In June 2016, Full Beam Productions owners, Natalie Bradshaw & Jim Pyle, were introduced to Nicole Allen - a girl with so much energy, and so much enthusiasm for life, despite suffering from the illness cystic fibrosis.
Nicole travelled around all of the care home performances, and 14 consecutive showings of Miss V & The Beamers throughout Summer, with the company, and the creative team were quick to cast her as the lead role in the James Penguin: Christmas Impossible pantomime that December too - there was nobody better for the tap dancing, Agent P role!
As Jim & Natalie sat down at the end of 2016, to discuss which charity should be chosen for fundraising the next year, it seemed like there was no other option as good as this one - raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust was the first, and final decision.
"Nicole was inspirational throughout the tour - she had completed a month away from home before coming to the final rehearsal, and hitting the road for 14 consecutive shows. She could have told us that it was too much, that she was tired - but she persevered until the very end, and continues to do so even now. She's a true member of the Full Beam Team, and we want to help her - and supporting this charity does exactly that."
2016 has been a whilrlwind year for Full Beam Productions. We sat down this weekend, whilst enjoying a few festive days off, and managed to flick through some of our old photos and videos, from the past year, and we are amazed by how far our little company has come in such a short space of time. So we thought we would make a video, to show you how great it has been, and to say thank you for being there, every step of the way!