AN HONEST “YORKSHIRE MAN’S GUIDE” TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT BAND FOR YOUR EVENT

I have been prompted to write in a true “Yorkshire man’s honest terminology”.   As a band, we are in the top five function bands in the North and I see our highest competitors writing similar, because – like us – they are dismayed with how gullible our potential clients are to – at best good marketing  – at worst all out fraud by up and coming bands desperate to earn a few quid at the expense of quality, musicianship and service.  Don’t be gullible, learn from this and get a band to which all your guests will rave about for months to come – read on ;-

Myth buster alert !

Promo videos – all bands have to have them as agencies insist on them.

BUT Less honest bands will tell you that a promo video is their actual live sound and that is how they sound at your wedding/event, Err!!  Lie !     Truth ! – a  promo video is recorded and mimed to studio sound, which can make a mediocre musician amazing ! an amazing musician – fantastic.  Unfortunately, there are far more mediocre musicians than amazing ones.   I learnt this lesson in my teens – Frankie Goes to Hollywood, (yes ! I am that old), played at St Georges’ Hall Bradford in the early 80’s.  They were just terrible live, hardly any of them could play an instrument.  Google them and listen or ask your dad,  Their MTV Videos  were great ! Just like some of the bands you are looking at the moment !

Completely dishonest Promo vids.

Over the last weekend,(31st Feb).  A client got in touch and we had a chat (I like that – called talking – try it – you learn so much rather than email).  I had quoted him for his event and he was polite enough to be in touch to say thank you but another band fitted his budget better (the way of things).  Curious, I enquired and indeed he gave me a link to a four piece band.  OK I thought, they must be fantastic, so I clicked on the Promo video to discover the classic track of “Knock on Wood” (a pre-dominantly horn led soul track) was performed – mimed to of course by the 4 piece band BUT with backing tracks on the video of trumpet, Tenor and Baritone saxophone which will not exist on the clients night !  The video was a complete LIE about itself.  I rang the client back, told him my thoughts, he went away and was in touch an hour later to instruct us for the extra £200 to get a real live band and a real live horn section. Plus an engineer to ensure it is a concert style sound AND a lighting tech ! Bargain !  There is  a lesson to everyone.  You cannot make this stuff up ! I checked and there are hundreds of videos like this out there, all false and dishonest.  Take the advice of the most honest band manager out there – don’t be caught out.  Live sound is as it is – that is why we have live clips on our website.  If in doubt, take the time to be in touch with me and I will happily give you my opinion.   I am nearly fifty, this to me is a crusade for people to have the best band on their special day, I won’t be biased, but expect good “Yorkshire honesty”.  If that scares you then you have your own doubts about the band you are looking at as well. It is a minefield out there – get some help and call or email me.
Kind regards,  Keith,

Vocalist or duo?

SingingSome clients are attracted to instruct a vocalist or duo. For the drinks reception – yes ideal but for a night of dancing as tempting as it is – don’t. A band needs stage presence and importantly to dance you need a strong drum and bass beat. Duo’s etc do not have this unless on backing tracks which is not live sound! False economy. Whilst on that point ensure the band have a PA system which has separate bass subwoofers. These as the name suggests, are for the sub frequencies of the kick drum and bass. As humans, it is that innate trigger of sub sounds providing a “beat”, we respond to by dancing to it. No rocket science in that – everyone knows it.

 

 

3 piece bands

A very popular option due to price. Unless you like the sound of the Fratellis all night – not enough instruments for a rounded sound and repertoire. You have the occasional 3 or 4 piece band that will actually advertise they have as good a sound as a full 7 or 8 piece band because they add backing tracks to their mix! It makes you think what else they add – does the bass player really play bass then since the mix contains backing tracks? What happens if the computer providing them, crashes?

Jazz and Swing bands

Yes amazing and there are some excellent out fits about but that is what they play, jazz and swing. This is of course very specialised and unless you can guarantee all your guests are all fans – it won’t work. If you are catering for a wide audience of all generations, you’ll needs to have a broader repertoire. Get them in for the drinks reception, very cool and creates a great atmosphere, but a gamble for the main event.

Tribute bands

Same applies. Some amazing ones around but for a wedding or special event where the guests only know 2 or 3 of the songs – it has to be a practical “No”, however much you like the band. We have seen so many of these instructed, so unless you know the guests are all fans of a particular band, then disaster beckons.

Consider this, who is your event/function really for?

For weddings in particular, it is about providing entertainment for the most important people in your lives – the guests. You must have your guests talking for months about the entertainment you provided.

Flower Girl DancingFor charity events cheapening the entertainment is self-defeating as you need the guests to come back again, if they are not entertained they tend not to. Furthermore a good band will up the ticket sales. So you must look at all the options and take the time to get it right. Or just instruct us and we will do everything required! Seriously though, take in all your options, short list the bands you are interested in and take time to see them live. Some will say, you can’t so see them at studio where they practice. If they don’t have a studio to practice in, then that saves you time as they can instantly be removed as all bands need studio practice time. Most quality bands like ourselves will perform regular charity gigs. The offshoot of that is the patrons are more than happy to have couples attend to see the bands live.

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