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Loving the 1920s. Is it all Down to Downton?

October 2, 2012

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

It was once a pleasant, if trivial, diversion from the hardships and drudgery of modern life, but in the last few years  it’s become big business.  If you are in any doubt about this, next time you’re out shopping keep a tally of how many items you trip over bearing the motto “Keep Calm and Carry On” or variations thereof.

Keep calm, it's another Keep Calm variation

I’m not complaining, you understand.  When I began my one-man-band business singing songs from the early decades of the 20th century I was swimming against the tide somewhat.  But I kept faith, sure that there was a market for the music from the 1920s, 30s and 40s that I loved and slowly it began to feel as if the world was catching up with me.  What had once been dismissed as old fashioned found a new name – vintage – and my songs were in demand once more for weddings, parties and special occasions all over the UK.

Recently my inbox has been awash with enquiries from folk wanting to hear the 1920s end of my repertoire at their events.  I’m sure the sudden increase in emails has an awful lot to do with the airing of series three of ITV’s Sunday night drama “Downton Abbey”.

The cast of ITV's Downton Abbey now in its third series set in the 1920s

Of course this sort of television is nothing new.  Forty years before “Downton” the nation was gripped by the goings on of the wealthy Bellamy family and its servants at 165 Eaton Place in London Weekend Television’s “Upstairs Downstairs”.

"Upstairs Downstairs" 1971

What “Downton Abbey” seems to have done though is tapped into the current mania for all things vintage and created a hugely popular series with a fanatical following.  In the latest series “Downton Abbey” has moved into the 1920s and it’s the style of the show that appeals most to me.

Lord Grantham played by Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey

Lady Edith played by Laura Carmichael in Downton Abbey

Shirley Maclaine as Martha Levinson in Downton Abbey

The ladies of Downton Abbey

It would seem a good many viewers are keen to embrace the fashions of the Roaring Twenties for their wedding day, hence the recent glut of enquiries.

Lady Edith's wedding on "Downton Abbey"

Lady Edith from "Downton Abbey"

There’s no denying that the simplicity and elegance of 1920s fashions make for a stunning wedding and live music from the period adds the perfect finishing touch.  I only hope that the brides who are booking me to sing at their nuptials have happier endings than Downton’s poor Lady Edith!

If you would like to know more about how I can bring authentic vintage entertainment to your 1920s wedding then visit my website here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 2, 2012 1:36 pm

    A delightful summary, Mr Partridge! I can’t get enough of Downton. I was so sad to see Lady Edith jilted on Sunday night. Still, at least we all got to have a good gawp at her beautiful vintage dress and headdress, eh? Personally I hope the love of all things nostalgic, old fashioned and vintage continues. I can’t imagine life any other way, nor do I want to.

    Bring on series 4, that’s what I say. I yelped out loud with glee when I heard Matthew was going to give the fortune to the Earl. Poor Tom didn’t know what had got into me!

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