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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Brilliant Wedding at Barnsley House

Tonight we were the wedding reception entertainment for an awesome wedding at the exquisite Cotswold wedding venue – Barnsley House. Always a favourite of ours, the staff at Barnsley House really make every effort to keep every aspect of a wedding day running extremely smoothly; and tonight’s wedding was no exception.

Blessed by Amazing Weather

Since the first weddings the band played all those years ago, it’s always been apparent that the weather is the one thing you can’t buy. All UK wedding venues have excellent indoor facilities just in case the weather’s not all you would hope for, but one of Barnsley House’s real beautiful features are it’s gardens. For the happy couple and all their guests to be able to enjoy the grounds in such glorious sunshine was a real treat; and it certainly put everyone in a great mood.

Live First Dance – See You Soon by Coldplay

The band performed the first dance live tonight. Not a song even the Coldplay fans in the band were familiar with, See You Soon is certainly an alternative to the usuals! A really delicate and poetic song we think probably every listener will derive their own meaning from it; and the bride and groom clearly had a special place in their hearts for it.

On a slightly geeky, technical note – the song is played in an alternative tuning. Usually, retuning guitars significantly in this way is prohibitively time consuming for a live band. Fortunately, we had a Line 6 variax on hand which makes short work of such issues, changing the tuning of the whole guitar in the flick of a switch.

Lively Dance Floor Start to Finish

Throughout the performance tonight the dance floor remained bustling – full to the brim for the most part. There are always moments in any evening when factors conspire to leave the dance floor thinner – tonight this happened to leave the more experienced dancers to the 60s section of the first set. As you can see from the photos though, the thin patches were short lived, and for upwards of 90% of the live playing time, the band were playing to a completely packed dance floor.

Connections and Referrals

We were pleasantly surprised to meet Libby and Will tonight; a couple we played for last summer at their wedding. After much discussion it transpired that a few of the guests at tonight’s wedding were also at their’s last year; though curiously that wasn’t what prompted tonight’s bride and groom to book the band. More than likely this was our experience playing at Barnsley House over recent years, but it’s great to see these connections popping up!

And tonight one guest approached us about a performance for the military in a couple of weeks – so that could be much fun if we can make that work! Until then, we’ll leave you with photos from tonight’s live performance (and some taken beforehand!)

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Tonight we were the wedding reception entertainment for an awesome wedding at the exquisite Cotswold wedding venue – Barnsley House. Always a favourite of ours, the staff at Barnsley House really make every effort to keep every aspect of a wedding day running extremely smoothly; and tonight’s wedding was no […]

26/05/2012

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A Charming Wedding Reception at Warwickshire’s Chesford Grange

Tonight’s wedding was hosted at the charming Chesford Grange. Hardly a mile from the old CoverUps HQ in Leamington Spa, Chesford Grange is actually in Kenilworth – though on the road between Leamington Spa and Kenilworth you’d be forgiven for getting that wrong (as we ourselves only noticed it tonight!)

First Dance – Everything by Michael Buble

Tonight’s first dance was Everything by Michael Buble… not, as we joked with the groom, Michael Buble’s entire back catalogue of songs – just the one song entitled “Everything”. It’s a lovely song to choose for a first dance; a great dancing feel and a lovely sentiment throughout. We love playing this song – our fully live lineup suits it down to the ground and, while it’s a tricky one to get feeling just right, we’ve revelled in the challenge.

Enthusiastic Guest Filled Dance Floor

Start to finish, tonight’s dance floor was packed with wedding guests. From the old school 60s tracks in the first set, right through to the modern pop of the second the audience could hardly have been more appreciative of the live music. The band tonight was complimented by a DJ playing in the intervals. His impressive lighting display supplimented the band’s own rig and helped create a lovely atmosphere on the dance floor. Unfortunately for him, his stints were mostly during the evening buffet, so he didn’t have the same full dance floor to play to.

A Happy Happy Couple

The bride and groom tonight were chuffed to bits with the band’s live performance. Speaking to James after we had finished it turns out he used to frequent the same live music venues around the Leamington Spa scene as we did. As we spent a little time lamenting the demise of some of our favourite haunts it became clear that having a live band play at his wedding really was a highlight, and something that he was clearly looking forward to all day. It’s such a great feeling to know that we’ve been a high point of any bride or groom’s wedding day, and we always appreciate it when they let us know there and then – we then get to leave on a real high ourselves!

Yet Another Favourite Wedding Venue!

We had such a great night tonight at Chesford Grange we’ll be looking forward to our next booking there. The staff were great, the venue was perfectly setup for a live wedding band, and it could hardly be more handy from the band’s Coventry base! Here’s to the next one!

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Tonight’s wedding was hosted at the charming Chesford Grange. Hardly a mile from the old CoverUps HQ in Leamington Spa, Chesford Grange is actually in Kenilworth – though on the road between Leamington Spa and Kenilworth you’d be forgiven for getting that wrong (as we ourselves only noticed it tonight!) […]

19/05/2012

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Crockwell Farm, Daventry – An Excellent Wedding Reception at an Excellent Venue

Crockwell Farm was a new one on us today. The venue, scarcely 30miles from the CoverUps Coventry HQ, sits in undulating countryside. The views from the venue are really something – and well worth the somewhat rally-worth drive!

Old Friends, Colleagues and Classmates

A number of tonight’s guests were connected to the band in curious ways. The key connection was Leighton Joskey – an old friend of the band, and excellent wedding photographer. We played for Leighton a couple of years back at his wedding; as I recall an intimate affair in a local hall. Connected though to Leighton were a number of other Warwick Alumni that Mike (tonight’s front man) went to university with!

The Groom’s Band – Living the Dream!

The evening entertainment actually started with the groom’s band playing a set. This group of musicians rehearse together regularly, but seldom play out live. This was seen as a fitting outing; and for the band, playing the first dance live for their good friend was a lovely gesture. Curiously, the first dance was the self same track as we had performed at a wedding only the night before – the Plain White Tees’ Rhythm of Love… perhaps this will become something of a set regular this summer!

Superior Live Photographs

Leighton generously offered to take some photos of the band with the band’s camera while we performed. It was nice to have something more than the static camera angles we are usually stuck with! While I don’t think they do Leighton much justice (using our unfamiliar, and decidedly more amateurish equipment surely didn’t help!) I think they give a good feel for how lively the room felt!

A Wonderful Venue for Live Music

Crockwell House is a great venue, especially for a live band. The room is setup with a great stage, blackout star cloth curtains adorn the walls, and the space is given a great sense of occasion with these touches. And despite it’s unassuming appearences from the outside, the venue really is special once you enter.

Enjoy these photos (edited versions may appear if we get time over the coming weeks) – and we’ll see you again next week for the next installment!

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Crockwell Farm was a new one on us today. The venue, scarcely 30miles from the CoverUps Coventry HQ, sits in undulating countryside. The views from the venue are really something – and well worth the somewhat rally-worth drive! Old Friends, Colleagues and Classmates A number of tonight’s guests were connected […]

12/05/2012

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Caswell House; the Cotswolds Newest/Oldest Wedding Venue!

The first of this weekend’s weddings took place at Caswell House; a collection of buildings dating back as far as the 1400s. It’s a new one to us – which is unsurprising since the venue only opened 2 years ago! Already turning a busy calendar this season it seems the Cotswolds has a new contender in the wedding venue stakes!

The Cotswold Stone Barn

An afternoon acoustic set was the first request of the day – front man, Mike, arriving ahead of the ceremony to get set up ready for an acoustic set during the drinks reception. It became immediately obvious that this was an excellently well run venue – the wedding coordinator setting out the plan concisely.

The acoustic set is always a great addition to the usual evening entertainment. Live music over a drinks reception creates an atmosphere that guests love – giving slightly more of a focus than the usual background music. After explaining that the band would be back for the evening entertainment, the guests were dismissed for their wedding breakfast.

Live Show in a Lively Room

Unusually for Caswell House, the band set up in a separate room to the area the guests were eating in. It was something of an experiment, but for us worked really well. It gave us a very relaxed time setting up, and a little time experimenting with the sound in what was a very lively room. Of course, when the PA goes live for the first dance, and the room is full of wedding guests things settle down a bit from a sound point of view.

The first dance was the Plain White Tees Rhythm of Love. It’s a new one to us, but a lovely little track, and a great alternative to the usual ballads. The band played the song live, and guests flooded the dance floor during the song to support the couple, for whom the first dance was a necessary part of the day, rather than a moment they were going to relish. The lively guests flocked happily to the dance floor and remaiined there happily through the first set.

A New Favourite Wedding Venue

Caswell House has certainly earned a place as one of the band’s favourite wedding venues. It’s on the first travel boundary, so not too far. The facilities are spot on – beautiful, ancient barns excellently renovated. The staff were excellent, friendly, and really helpful… These things all make such a difference – though often remaining behind the scenes for the happy couple – and help lift the atmosphere of a day.

You can see for yourself how it all went – the only slight sticking point was that the light’s couldn’t be turned off in the room we were playing in… This didn’t seem to deter the guests from dancing, and you can see for yourself in the live photos below!

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The first of this weekend’s weddings took place at Caswell House; a collection of buildings dating back as far as the 1400s. It’s a new one to us – which is unsurprising since the venue only opened 2 years ago! Already turning a busy calendar this season it seems the […]

11/05/2012

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Ham Polo Club Wedding

It seems like scarcely yesterday we were last at the Ham Polo Club in Richmond. That day had been blessed with sunshine, but as with every great UK wedding venue, has excellent indoor facilities – no wedding at the Ham Polo Club is ever a wash out!

Setup with Sampler

Tonight’s gig included a number of songs that used the sampler in a heavy way. The sampler is a great way to add fullness to the sound without losing a live feel. Not only that, it free’s up our front man (the excellent John Wright on this occasion) to deliver his performance unbridled with technology!

First Dance

The first dance on this time was a recording of a beautiful track by the lesser known Raven’s Grace. While it certainly could have been performed live by the band, the recording has a certain quality which was lovely to have just so on the evening.

As usual, the first dance built up over the course of the set to a bustling, lively crescendo at the end of the first set. Mr Brightside is always a favourite of the band and dance floor alike – and this evening didn’t disappoint.

A Little More than a Stone’s Throw

Richmond, and the Ham Polo Club itself is a short step from the band’s Coventry base – but it’s never felt a chore travelling to or from. Perhaps it’s the venue itself – always putting on a great wedding. Perhaps it’s the roads – or just our love of performing? Whichever, we’ll be looking forward to the next time we’re booked for the Ham Polo Club – perhaps for your wedding?!

It seems like scarcely yesterday we were last at the Ham Polo Club in Richmond. That day had been blessed with sunshine, but as with every great UK wedding venue, has excellent indoor facilities – no wedding at the Ham Polo Club is ever a wash out! Setup with Sampler […]

05/05/2012

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Marquee Wedding in Elegant Nottinghamshire Grounds

Harking from relatively humble Coventry dwellings it’s always fairly exciting to be playing at a wedding on the grounds of the bride’s family themselves! A delightful countryside house, surrounded by beautifully well kept gardens, in which the marquee hosting the wedding reception stood. It’s always wonderful to host your wedding somewhere that will have on-going sentiment, and this one had that in buckets.

Arriving Ahead of the Bride

The band usually arrive around 6pm, allowing plenty of time to set up before an evening performance. However, in some circumstances, like when the band’s stage is a centrepiece to the marquee, it’s not desirable for the band to set up amidst the guests. So, our usual arrival was pulled forward by 4 hours, and we had ourselves set and ready by shortly after 3pm – full live sound check complete!

Return to the Wedding Venue

The afternoon was then spent in a local hotel’s bar – taking a leisurely dinner, reading the paper, and getting on with various bits of administration. Lorenzo spent some time editing some tracks that he’s been recording – it’s amazing what you can do these days with a laptop. For the rest of us, it was a case of passing the time, making general chit chat about life in all it’s fullness!

On our return to the venue, we were told by the catering staff that things were, as is often the case, running a little behind time. The evening’s schedule was none too pressed, so we didn’t see this as a problem ourselves. They also told us that the guests had already finished their first barrel of Guiness, and to expect a great reception when we arrived on stage.

Bruno Mars First Dance

Just the way you are – two beautiful songs share this name, and we often have to check when one or other is requested. This time not the Billy Joel song this week, but Bruno Mars’ more recent tune, and a similarly lovely choice. The first dance was played live by the band, and that’s always special.

From there on, the dance floor remained jostling through the slightly truncated first half, until something of a special surprise happened during the interval!

Fireworks!

Inexpertly captured below, the interval was filled with a spectacular fireworks display. Lasting upwards of 10 minutes start to finish the range of effects was amazing. We always enjoy these extravagances on a wedding day; there’s nothing that so accurately portrays the feelings of entering into a marriage.

Sadly, the camera fell off the bass amp during the second half, so we can only show you the earlier part of the last set. Suffice to say, the dance floor steadily got more and more packed until the finale of the set – tonight Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis. Rapturous singing ensued, and the happy couple became centre of attention within a circle of loved ones. A lively night dancing to a live band – it’s always fun to be part of!

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Harking from relatively humble Coventry dwellings it’s always fairly exciting to be playing at a wedding on the grounds of the bride’s family themselves! A delightful countryside house, surrounded by beautifully well kept gardens, in which the marquee hosting the wedding reception stood. It’s always wonderful to host your wedding […]

05/05/2012

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Foo Fighters, Golf Clubs and a Wedding Band – Birmingham’s Perfect Backdrop

It’s not the first place you might picture for a picturesque wedding – Birmingham’s Edgbaston is only a stone’s throw from the city centre. However, on closer inspection, you’ll find the golf club’s grounds provide an ideal venue…

Wedding Breakfasts

The CoverUps are well versed in wedding breakfasts. The band usually arrive during this part of the wedding day, and not infrequently are fed with the same excellent food that the guests are served. On this day, however, our own wedding breakfast was chosen straight from the bar menu – and hearty it was too. From there we were set nicely to do the one of the more physical parts of the day – the set-up!

The load in was tremendous – the cars directly outside a double door leading directly to the stage area! Once tables and chairs were moved from the wedding breakfast, we were set and ready to go. The layout of the room itself gave us an unusually large space to occupy – always a treat, and came in handy during the second half’s stage invasion by one of the more lively wedding guests!

First Dance and On – Everlong

Tonight’s first dance was the Foo Fighter’s Everlong, the acoustic version. While not one of the band’s liveliest songs, it definitely has a place in the hearts of many fans as one of their most tender – and as such it was a fitting choice. The second live song by the band was Aerosmith’s Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (as written by Dionne Warwick for the film Armageddon)… Steve on guitar gave a fitting introduction utilizing his freeze pedal made a definite build into the song, and from there on the dance floor was packed!

Lively Dancing to a Live Band

We frequently find the happy couple to be live music lovers – and this bride and groom were no exception. Our bride spent most of the evening on the dance floor, joined later by her groom as things got rockier and more lively through the night!

It seemed a great night was had by all – particularly wedding guest Tim, who guested on vocals for a few songs toward the end of the night. He certainly held his own and gave rousing vocal performances to the Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire and Bryan Adam’s Summer of ’69. It’s no mean feat to sing that well live, and he did himself proud we’d say (with the odd cue from the band!)

Since we live only half an hour down the road, I can imagine us returning to Edgbaston Golf Club, or one of the other central Birmingham wedding venues in the near future! Until then, you’ll just have to enjoy the photos of this one…

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It’s not the first place you might picture for a picturesque wedding – Birmingham’s Edgbaston is only a stone’s throw from the city centre. However, on closer inspection, you’ll find the golf club’s grounds provide an ideal venue… Wedding Breakfasts The CoverUps are well versed in wedding breakfasts. The band […]

01/05/2012

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