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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Partying Into The Night At The Elvetham Hotel

Hardly a million miles outside London, The Elvetham Hotel feels like a completely different world! A contemporary of one of our favourite venues, Ettington Park, The Elvetham Hotel in Hook serves as a beautiful location for a wedding. As we arrived in the dark, the bride and groom greeted us on their way to have their photo taken with the hotel as a backdrop – those photos must be pretty special!

New Toys For The Wedding Band

Tonight, our drummer was debuting a brand new toy to use live at weddings; a Roland SPD-SX! It’s a sampler, which means the drummer can trigger all sorts of sounds, effects and loops from the back of the stage. A new addition, we eased the device into service with only a couple of key moments in the set leaning heavily on the pad. Fireflies, early in the first set, was the first track to make the most of the pad – the introduction formed by using a sample of the original track. This free’d our front man up to use a vocoder during the choruses – and made the song generally sound epic! Tracks like this and many other modern tracks rely so heavily on the studio production, that they can, without careful arrangement, fall flat live. It’s great to have this new gadget on board to really fill out the sound (without relying on backing tracks, which we’ve never liked!)

A First Dance, a Second Dance – a Third, Fourth… Fifth?!

The Bride and Groom chose “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli as their first dance. While it’s a track we perform regularly live, the couple decided to perform to the recording as they had rehearsed a dance to it. The dance was lovely, and while the couple weren’t regulars at choreographed dance, the effort they put in really made a lovely moment of the evening.

The second dance was where we came in with “The Wonder of You” by Elvis. This is one of those classic tracks that transcends the original arrangement – with all it’s orchestral backing. Our more straight forward 4-piece arrangement worked particularly well when the audience added in the “Woah-woah-woah” backing lines, and the dance floor was full.

Our usual set then kicked in, and Bride and Groom remained on the dance floor well into the first set. While this doesn’t sound unusual, we often find that with the final formality of the day over the bride and groom will take a moment (probably at the bar!) to regroup, rest, and join the dancing later in the set… These guys were so in the groove they didn’t leave until 5, 6 or 7 songs in!

Dancing into the Night

And so, as you’ll see below, the dance floor remained packed all night! The highlights in our view were probably Moves Like Jagger, Superstition and Don’t Stop Believing… but it’s a hard job to pick on a night where every track is greeted by such an enthusiastic and lively audience.

Live music stopped at midnight, at which point the iPod kicked back in until 1am. In reality the group had worn themselves out on the live set, but it was great to maintain the atmosphere into the night for those staying up in the adjacent bar.

A Narnian Departure

As we left the venue we were greeted by almost Narnian scenes. The Elvetham Hotel was shrouded in a light mist, and their lighting of the venue created a scene that really was spectacular! Hopefully our return to the Elvetham Hotel will be similarly Narnian; returning sooner than we expected!

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Hardly a million miles outside London, The Elvetham Hotel feels like a completely different world! A contemporary of one of our favourite venues, Ettington Park, The Elvetham Hotel in Hook serves as a beautiful location for a wedding. As we arrived in the dark, the bride and groom greeted us […]

28/01/2012

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Carlsberg Don’t Plan Gigs…

… but if they did, they’d probably be a lot like this one! Only 10 mins from the Band’s Coventry HQ, the Windmill Village provided a great venue for tonight’s Nurses Graduation Ball. The audience was an excitable and fun group of guys and girls who were ready to let their hair down after a long 3 years of training – they could hardly have been better!

A Fun Crowd Makes for a Fun Night

We have the great privilege of playing music when people are ready for a good time – and our job is made all the easier by an up-for-it audience! Whether at a wedding, corporate event, birthday party – or any other excuse for a party – if you’re booking a band, you’re probably looking for everyone to have a great night. Tonight hit the mark in every way, and with our compressed, high energy 90 minute set we really gave it everything – and the audience responded as you can see in the photos below!

The People You Meet Along the Way

Tonight’s DJ, Chris Bailey of Ace Face DJs, was an interesting character. Very particular about the sound at the gig (probably the most thorough sound check we’ve seen a DJ do in a long time), he has a remarkably number of strings to his bow! Not only was he DJing at the graduation ball, but moving on to a club later that night. During the week Chris writes songs for people’s first dances at their wedding. Who knows, one day we might play one of them!

Quiet Start to the Year

With January-February quiet months on the wedding and corporate function band calendars we’re looking to spend some time working on some new songs for the new season. Any suggestions?!

… but if they did, they’d probably be a lot like this one! Only 10 mins from the Band’s Coventry HQ, the Windmill Village provided a great venue for tonight’s Nurses Graduation Ball. The audience was an excitable and fun group of guys and girls who were ready to let […]

14/01/2012

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Welcome to the New Year – Wedding Band in London Show Shenanigans!

The first show of the new year saw us making another trip into central London; between Marylebone and Mayfair to be precise! It always feels like being on a monopoly board playing these sorts of venues – but perhaps that’s just us being a West Midlands wedding band, rather than one based in the nation’s capital!

The Age Old Question

Coming into ‘town’ from Coventry there’s always a certain amount of debate over exactly how long it’s likely to take. As any Londoner, or London Wedding Band may well know, traffic within the M25 can be particularly tricky. So close to Westminster we decided to leave more than enough time – and ended up dropping into Westfield Shopping centre on the way through. Better to be 15 mins away and stop for a coffee with an hour in hand, than 15 mins away with only 10 to get to the venue!

Parking Fit for a Wedding Band!

Performances in Central London can be hard work, especially in the parking department. We estimate we carry upwards of 150kg of equipment to and from gigs, so parking as close to the stage as possible is really important to us. Unlike our last Wedding Band London jaunt, we were able to park directly outside the venue. Once inside it was but a short walk down a corridor and round the corner to the place we were playing (the ‘Sandpit’ – apparently!). Ideal.

No First Dance, but a Lively Audience

The couple decided against performing a first dance, feeling that it was just too much to pull in running up to the wedding. We usually suggest having something to get the dancing started, but it’s never a requirement from our point of view. As it was, the bride made herself scarce as we begun, which made it clear that it was time for everyone to just get stuck in!

Once again, Moves Like Jagger had the dance floor hopping; but there was never a quiet moment. The only photos we managed to get were in the early part of the evening – beyond which point the dance floor was too busy for the remote to connect to the camera, which was stationed on the far side of the dance floor.

A Tiring Way to Live – Wedding Bands Get Home Late!

Another successful night – and another fairly long drive home! It was around 4am before we were back in Coventry having made the mistake of using the M1 which still insists on a 50 limit through the night. Next week we’re at a Nurses Graduation Ball in Coventry – which is much more like it!

The first show of the new year saw us making another trip into central London; between Marylebone and Mayfair to be precise! It always feels like being on a monopoly board playing these sorts of venues – but perhaps that’s just us being a West Midlands wedding band, rather than […]

14/01/2012

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Wedding Bands And First Dances

Having a wedding band play your first dance live can add a spark to what is already a special moment in any wedding day. The CoverUps have a large repertoire of songs which may be used as first dances; in this section you’ll find some information about choosing a first dance.

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Choosing A First Dance

There are so many songs out there; so how do you choose the right one for the first dance? Well, in case you’re not completely sure – you as the bride and groom are the leading authority on what you should have! This part of the night marks the end of formal proceedings, and the moment when everyone can let their hair down. As such, there’s no convention, no rules; just pick the right song for you.

Over the years we’ve played a great number of first dances, though it’s not always the right thing for the band to play the first dance. So the first question to ask might be do we want the band to play the first dance live?

Having The First Dance Played By The Wedding Band

Choosing to have the first dance played by the wedding band is often a great way to introduce the band – and once the first dance is finished, the band are ready to start playing the rest of the set. A good place to start in deciding on a first dance played by the wedding band is to look through the band’s repertoire. They may have a song that you really love, and even if not, it will give you an idea of the kinds of songs they play well.

Discuss your first dance with the band. If you don’t have strong views on a particular song you’d love to have, they may have ideas beyond the scope of their usual repertoire. For example, first dances the CoverUps have played in the last few years include:

  • She’s the One: Robbie Williams
  • God Only Knows: The Beach Boys
  • The Wonder of You: Elvis
  • Heaven: Bryan Adams
  • Better Together: Jack Johnson
  • Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing: Aerosmith
  • Everything: Michael Buble
  • Chasing Cars: Snow Patrol

If you’re still struggling for inspiration, check out our 101 First Dances for Live Weddings Bands.

Not Having The First Dance Played By The Wedding Band

Reasons why the first dance might not be best played by the band include:

  • the lead vocalist is of a different gender from the original track
  • there is a particular version of the song you love
  • the track is in a genre outside of the band’s remit (eg. classical)
  • you are learning a choreographed dance and are reliant on cues from the recording

We love playing the first dance for couples – it’s always an emotional moment, and it’s great to be a part of it. Making that moment unique, in the way a live performance by a wedding band does, is a great feeling.

Things To Think About

The first dance is a moment that the whole group of everyone you’ve invited gather together. Evening guest will have arrived, and most of your day guests will last at least this long! As such, there are a few points we’ve noticed that you may wish to consider when choosing your first dance, and how you’d like it to go:

  • Do you want a dance routine, or a slow dance shuffle? Either is absolutely fine – no one will judge either way!
  • Will other guests, traditionally the parent of the bride and groom join you during this song, or in the next song?
  • Does the father of the bride wish to dance with the bride?
  • Does the song contain any swearing?
  • Is the meaning of the song appropriate/what you wish to convey?

On those last two points; firstly, most songs have a ‘clean’ version, or radio edit – it’s just worth making sure you have the right version! And when it comes to the meaning for any given song – the meaning can simply be what it means for you. Sting’s “I’ll be Watching You” is a classic example of a song that, while it’s original meaning was regarding a break up, many people love the song and feel it conveys the emotional intensity of their own relationship.

It’s Your First Dance

At the end of the day, the first dance is a moment for you as a couple. Whatever the song, if you like it – do it! There’s no right or wrong song to have, and the first dance can be as big or small a deal as you want.

Get A Quote

Having a wedding band play your first dance live can add a spark to what is already a special moment in any wedding day. The CoverUps have a large repertoire of songs which may be used as first dances; in this section you’ll find some information about choosing a first dance.

05/01/2012

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5 Tips to Picking Your Wedding Reception Music

Choosing the right music for your wedding reception can make a huge difference to the feel of your day. Often people talk with great anticipation about the evening reception music – and as the last, and least formal part of the day, it’s the part of the day you can have the most fun with!

Here are our 5 tips to choosing the right music for your wedding reception.

1. What Music Do You Love?

Regardless of anything else that may be said on the subject, it’s your wedding day, and it’s your wedding reception. You have to choose the music that you want – that you love. If that means the music will be provided by a Metallica tribute band, then so be it. The wedding reception is your first chance to relax, with nothing left to worry about. With the ceremony, speeches and formal photographs finished, it’s just a case of kicking back and enjoying yourself. So choose the music that you’ll remember for all the right reasons!

2. Think of Your Guests

The evening reception is a great opportunity to entertain and delight your friends and family. Thinking about the range of ages attending your wedding may help you decide what type of evening entertainment you would like. For example, with a wide range of age groups (often nieces and nephews through to grandparents!) it’s worth looking for an act that will cover music from a number of decades. If you expect to have a more narrow tastes – some whole families share a love for bands like Oasis and the Kaiser Chiefs – then it’d be worth hiring a band that has a number of those songs in their repertoire!

3. The Venue’s Bearing on the Music

You may find it helpful to talk to your reception venue about their recommendations for music. Often venues will have bands who have worked well there in the past. This can be particularly key when choosing music for a venue with a strict sound limitation.

In addition, you may decide that something that reflects the elegance of the venue itself. Often at traditional wedding venues, a harpist, string quartet or acoustic act over a drinks reception can work really well.

4. Consider Your Wedding Reception Timings

The timings of your day will have a significant bearing on what you do for entertainment at your wedding reception. For example – an early dinner may give your guests some time to explore the venue some more while a band set up, before returning for your first dance. A later dinner may create an opportunity for a relaxed acoustic set over a drinks reception. Furthermore, a later dinner may actually leave more time for dancing in the evening if it removes the need for an evening buffet.

5. An Eye on the Budget

Wedding budgets invariably run tight – and if the wedding reception music is left as the last thing to book it can make the world of difference to the quality of the act you’re able to afford. No wedding service should be encouraging you to go beyond your means, but if the reception music is important to you it should be reflected in your budget. The cost of quality live evening entertainment starts around £1250 for a 4 piece act. The CoverUps offer a wedding reception music package for £1500 which includes a late afternoon solo acoustic set too!

Wedding Reception Music Summary

We hope that this guide to choosing your wedding reception music has given you some useful things to think about. If you need any further advice, or want to talk things over, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re quite happy to talk to you about any aspect of your wedding day, not just booking the band!

Choosing the right music for your wedding reception can make a huge difference to the feel of your day. Often people talk with great anticipation about the evening reception music – and as the last, and least formal part of the day, it’s the part of the day you can […]

03/01/2012

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