A TOP WEDDING BAND
Throughout all my years of experience in the wedding market, I would honestly say that the most important part of a wedding day is the entertainment (yes, more than the cake!) and an excellent wedding band will go a long, long way to making it a night to remember. Let’s take a look at the some of the things clients will get from a top wedding band so we can see if really is worth it!
What can you expect from the band?
Gone are the days of a wedding band turning up, sitting in the background and playing some music; the odd couple dancing awkwardly. People nowadays want interaction. They want entertainment and every one of their guests getting involved in the party. They want packed dance floors and they want the look and image of their band to be on point. It is the most important day of their life and the music is going to dictate how the day goes. In starting my wedding band, ‘Off the Wall’, I wanted to take all these things into consideration due to my determination to move with the changing market! So how can it be achieved?
Singers in wedding bands are not just singers these days, they also have to be entertainers and be able to join in the fun with the guests. They have to think off the cuff, spontaneously and really get into the moment. I love it when you see the frontline singers well choreographed and blending well with each other. As well as singing in sync with perfect vocals and harmonies, they are bouncing off each other with energy, charisma and personality and these things, I believe are crucial in helping to create a great musical vibe at a wedding. They have to be all action and get the guests involved. I always direct my singers to get some of the guests up on stage and singing along! It just creates a relaxed party atmosphere and everyone feels at ease to enjoy it better. We have even been known to get the groom up singing to his wife, but in all honesty his voice wasn’t too bad!
Of course, you can’t have great singers, without a great band! Great singers are hard to coax – and the secret of it? They don’t feel comfortable, nor do they enjoy singing with below par musicians. It is true that if something goes wrong during a performance, the audience always turn to look at the singers – like it was their fault, when it might not have been! With a great band, this never happens and it instills confidence in the singers to bring their ‘A game’ to the performance. Being a top keyboard player myself, I know the importance of great musicians who are tight, groove well, bounce off of each other and know when to try the elaborate. They attempt the things that will really stand out from a crowd, like a crazy bass run, or a crazy drum fill. These little moments will often leave the guests open mouthed in awe. Its all about trying the exceptional; something to stand out from the rest of the bands out there and I always try to encourage that in Off The Wall, my top leading wedding and events band.
A top band would probably struggle to sound good if they were playing through a peavey PA system. For those of you who are not in the know, this is the lowest budget kind of system on the market. I wouldn’t recommend this.
If you are hiring a top band, you should be confident in the fact that they can provide a sufficient system to meet the requirements of the room. I have been at many weddings where the sound system will reach the first half of the room – but what happens when there are people at the back of the room? No ‘In-Fills’ have been set up and the speakers at the front are hardly loud enough to fill your living room at home, let alone a 60 foot function room. All of that hard work on your speech, and no one can hear it!
I always make sure that this provides part of the initial conversation upon enquiry and contract. Clients should be able to expect an industry standard quality of sound. Although it might cost a little bit more to get a better, more sufficient sound set up, believe me, it is WELL worth it. After all, you only get married once and the music is the most important thing about the day! I make sure that I only use reputable branded sound systems such as Yamaha and D and B Technologies. It also helps the musicians, in that, if they feel comfortable that their stage sound is better, they will in turn be happier and this will come out in their playing.
As well as using quality equipment, I always make sure that my wedding band goes out with a sound engineer – included in the cost of the package obviously. It is so important to have a great sound engineer with experience in the events field. They will make sure that the sound is at a safe yet comfortable level for the guests and musicians. As well as this, they will set up all the gear, monitor sound throughout the performance, and take care of any mishaps that occur if the band are all playing on stage! I can’t describe how valuable it is to have a trusted sound engineer perform this role. The trouble is, a good sound engineer is almost as rare as a 4-leafed clover! Luckily, over my years of gigging and touring, I have made some very useful contacts indeed and know some fantastic engineers. Even if you don’t use ‘Off the Wall’ as your go to wedding band, I cant stress the importance of having quality sound on your big day.
What is a wedding band good for?
It sounds obvious, but why would you want a wedding band rather than a Pianist for example? A wedding band can really hit the spot by offering a range of genres throughout the whole day. There are so many packages available – for example: music throughout the whole day, including the ceremony, into the reception, into the dinner and throughout the party in the evening. A good wedding band will have the ability to cater for all of these different sections of your big day. They may put a pianist in the ceremony, spice things up with a small acoustic guitar and vocal duo through the drinks reception, have various combinations of trios throughout the dinner and segue into a full blown band for the party set.
A good wedding band will be able to adapt to any genre, any style of music, whatever suits the requirements and needs of the client. If its background jazz you want at the ceremony, or maybe its live lounge style guitar, piano and vocals during the reception, can the band you are booking cater for these needs? Sometimes clients wont want any music during the reception or dinner and just want the band to make a huge impact at the party set. This is also fine, but a top wedding band will be able to adapt to any situation the client requests. I have built up my band ‘Off The Wall’ on that basis and its versatility will always be a strong part of its unique selling point. Any style, any genre, any line up, for any part of your day. Just bare in mind that an acoustic trio for your party set might not work as it can lack in the bass guitar and drums, which really helps to get people dancing.
Sometimes our singers and musicians will interact with the guests during dinner and get in and around them – full on cabaret style. They will sing to them, get the guests singing, you name it, they believe in interaction at the highest level and sometimes everyone in the room will be laughing and singing along at dinner. It just makes for a great atmosphere and adds highlights to the day! Lets hope the videographer gets it all on camera!
The Client Liaison Process
Something that is often neglected is the process of booking and ease to deal with of a band. One thing that I promise to do is provide clients with an excellent level of customer service. I’m not just that guy who appears at your wedding with my band. Far from it, I would spend time building a prior relationship with the client and working out how the band can cater to their needs on the big day. Be that set list ideas, equipment set up, stage wear, first dance, last dance, recommendations of caterers, staging, lighting, etc. the list goes on! A top band promoting their business should be able to address the little things behind the scenes that clients or guests might not see on the night. However, rest assured a lot of preparation and hard work goes into every performance and this doesn’t just happen by magic. My clients regularly comment on such customer service levels and I see it as a vital part of the process.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and don’t forget, if you want any advice on your wedding day music, or you want to hear what I suggest, get in touch now and enquire within my website where I will be happy to talk all things wedding, party and music. It’s what we do!