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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Seeing in the New Year in Style at Hotel du Vin, Cheltenham

Something of a regular slot for the CoverUps, Cheltenham’s Hotel du Vin really know how to throw a great party! New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year, and with the backdrop of one of Cheltenham’s classiest hotels the band had the ideal setting to kick into the new year in a big way.

Lively from the Start

The night for the guests always begins with a great meal – and the same was true for us too! The venue treated the band to a slap up sausage and mash, but not just any sausage an mash. This was seriously tasty, cooked to perfection with a rich gravy to die for… A tip from the inside: keep your musicians on side by serving a hearty meal! With this inside us, we were set for a great show.

The first half started around 10:30pm. Despite being filled with all manner of great food, the guests were straight to the dance floor. The bar opposite remained busy throughout the night, which I can only imagine helped a little. Toward the end of the first half we dropped a brand new track for us – Moves Like Jagger. We really felt we’d probably seen the last of Maroon 5, with This Love being on our demo for years a little else being heard by the band. Then there’s Moves Like Jagger: a dance floor filler to match the best of them! It’s a killer vocal line, with a straightforward beat and catchy arrangement. We can see this track becoming something of a regular!

Seeing the New Year In

Our break ended just before midnight to count the audience down to midnight. Singer, Mike, had a feed directly from the atomic clock, so we gave a second-accurate greeting to the new year! Out of the cheers and sound of party poppers came the sound of bagpipes. Traditional themes were riding out across the room – Auld Lang Syne and the like – as everyone wished their loved ones the best for the new year.

When the piper had finished his set, it was back to us, and dancing into the night. It’s great being a party band on such a lively night – never a quiet moment, the audience seemed to love every note – a wonderful feeling. We played to a packed dance floor way beyond the contracted time; having a great time. We capped the night off with our rendition of Don’t Look Back in Anger, as seemed fitting.

A Happy New Year from the CoverUps

So, all that remains is to wish you all a very happy new year from everyone here at CoverUps HQ. We hope to see many of you at a wedding, corporate event or birthday party during the year!

Something of a regular slot for the CoverUps, Cheltenham’s Hotel du Vin really know how to throw a great party! New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year, and with the backdrop of one of Cheltenham’s classiest hotels the band had the ideal setting to kick into […]

31/12/2011

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A Christmas Wedding at the Dovecliff Hall Hotel, Stretton

In our many years playing at weddings across the UK we haven’t often found ourselves as a wedding band in Staffordshire. While only a short distance as the crow flies from the band’s base in Coventry, the journey uses 2 motorways, and a significant stretch of 2 major A roads – whichever route you take!

A Classy Venue Without the Pricetag

Checking out the Dovecliff Hall Hotel website reveals prices as low as £5000 for a complete wedding package. Despite this pricing, you’re treated to some excellent facilities, and really beautiful rooms.

We played in the Orangery, which wasn’t as glassy as it might sound! The acoustics in the room were fine, and we managed to get a great live sound for the band.

Christmas Wedding Band?!

For the last 3 years, The CoverUps have played a wedding every 28th December! It’s a date met with mixed feeling by couples – being as it is directly between Christmas and New Year. This year’s happy couple wholly embraced the spirit of the season, asking specifically for some Christmas songs – which the audience loved!

Next Stop – New Year’s Eve

The next gig is New Year’s Eve at Cheltenham’s Hotel du Vin. We’ve learnt Moves Like Jagger – so it’ll be great to see how that goes!

In our many years playing at weddings across the UK we haven’t often found ourselves as a wedding band in Staffordshire. While only a short distance as the crow flies from the band’s base in Coventry, the journey uses 2 motorways, and a significant stretch of 2 major A roads […]

29/12/2011

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A Wedding with Old Friends at Nunsmere Hall

Another Saturday afternoon on the road for the band, this time up the M6 to Cheshire. Nunsmere Hall is a spectacular venue for a wedding and, as it turns out, a great place for a live band! Tonight’s wedding was for the sister of a groom we had played for a few years back – a groom who had married one of the band’s good friends from their university days.

The Band with Time in Hand

As is often the case, the band arrived with plenty of time in hand – having allowed for the worst case scenarios of the dreaded M6 round the north of Birmingham. The same room inside the hotel was being used for the guests’ meals and the evening entertainment, so the band had a little time to recline in the library and talk over the set list!

Strictly Come First Dancing

After a swift load in a set-up, the band were ready to go. First dance tonight was Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” played from an iPod. Tonight’s surprise was that the couple had taken dancing lessons from some of the Strictly Come Dancing professionals (though we didn’t catch which ones). The bride and groom actually danced really well – the whole of the first dance was elegant, but relaxed – and the lifts really were excellent!

A Packed, Lively Dance Floor

There was simply no let up in the pace all evening. The dance floor remained bustling from the opening tracks (including Mr Jones by the Counting Crows as requested by the happy couple) right through to the midnight curfew and the Beatles’ Hey Jude. The whole band, as the audience, had a great night. Mike Summers on bass brought his particular brand of groovy bass playing to the rhythm section; he and Jack loved the opening of set 2. Valerie, Mercy, Billie Jean, Superstition – it’s a real time to shine for the bass and drums, and tonight it all sat down beautifully.

Definitely a long day, but by the end of it we had given the bride and groom an evening to remember – and that makes it all worth while!

Another Saturday afternoon on the road for the band, this time up the M6 to Cheshire. Nunsmere Hall is a spectacular venue for a wedding and, as it turns out, a great place for a live band! Tonight’s wedding was for the sister of a groom we had played for […]

10/12/2011

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5-Piece Christmas Fun at Horsley Lodge

Last night saw the band playing a Christmas party at Horsley Lodge, Derby. In a change to the norm, the band performed as a 5-piece, leaving lead singer Mike free to move a bit more than he’s usually allowed! Matt, who took on the additional instrumental duties played a fabulous set, with awesome recreation of the keyboard sounds with a variety of virtual instruments and samples.

Horsley Lodge – an Ideal Venue for a Live Band

Our first time at Horsley Lodge we were pleased to bits when Jo showed us around. Load in was direct to the dance floor, and the accommodating staff really went out of their way to make things as easy as they could. Working with great staff really does make a difference to us. Playing week in, week out, we’re well versed in working in a wide variety of situations – from awkward and long load ins to infeasibly tight areas to set up – we really have seen it all. So when things are made easy for us, it really gives us a boost and an excitement about the live part of the evening!

After setting up the client had arranged for us to eat in the hotel restaurant. Food there really was excellent, and we’d heartily recommend popping in if you’re in the area!

A Variety of Entertainment

As is common with these events, the organizers really went to town with the entertainment. The company staff have worked hard all year, and this is a great opportunity for the business to give something back – and they really did! A full 4 courses, close-up magician (Bernie – Magic at Your Fingertips), DJ and Live Band – the guest really were spoilt for choice. As such, the first set err’d naturally toward a more background sound. The great thing about live bands is that whether people are drawn straight to the dance floor, or take their time enjoying the other elements of the night, the band can be appreciated on a number of levels. Despite a quiet dance floor for the first half, the band were embroiled in a number of conversations with guests about the music – all of which showed they’d been loving it from where they were.

A Lively Second Half

As expected, the second half saw guests flocking to the dance floor. Valerie, Mercy, Supersition – the opening tracks really drew the audience in. The highlight for us was almost certainly Just Dance by Lady Ga Ga – and our segue into Back Streets Back. It always takes an audience by surprise, and raises a wry smile or two from the teenagers of the 90s!

Only an hour from home, the band finished the night eager to return to Horsley Lodge.

Last night saw the band playing a Christmas party at Horsley Lodge, Derby. In a change to the norm, the band performed as a 5-piece, leaving lead singer Mike free to move a bit more than he’s usually allowed! Matt, who took on the additional instrumental duties played a fabulous […]

08/12/2011

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The Band Play a Wedding at Wethele Manor

December got off to a great start with the band playing a wedding at Wethele Manor on the first Saturday of the month. Wethele Manor is one of the closest wedding venues to the CoverUps’ HQ in Coventry, so playing there was met by the band with lively anticipation!

The ‘Live Room’ for Bands

The main facility at Wethele Manor is a large marquee, capeable of sitting somewhere over 100 guests. The ‘Live Room’ (as we call it!) is where the evening entertainment usually takes place. It’s a modern room with a traditional feel, and is a great size for a medium sized wedding crowd. Simon, the man in charge, told us all about the sound limiter in the room, which meant keeping the volume curbed – never an issue for us, especially when it is set to a good volume. We did run into a resonance issue at one point in the set, but managed to work around it for the most part!

Lively First Dance Takes Things Higher

The couple’s first dance was Higher and Higher. A widely covered song, the bride and groom pointed us in the direction of the Eric Bibb version for inspiration of arrangement. It’s a lovely version of the song, and a great choice for a first dance – our live rendition ending on an acapella chorus in 3 parts.

The wedding ended with a rapturous response from the audience, and a groom chuffed to bits (if disappointed to have missed Take On Me; he was apparently waylaid in the marquee – so many people to talk to on one’s wedding day!).

December got off to a great start with the band playing a wedding at Wethele Manor on the first Saturday of the month. Wethele Manor is one of the closest wedding venues to the CoverUps’ HQ in Coventry, so playing there was met by the band with lively anticipation! The […]

03/12/2011

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