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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Wroxall Abbey Wedding – Familiar But Different!

Tonight’s wedding was at the fabulous Wroxall Abbey. It’s a wonderful wedding venue, one the band have frequented for most of the last decade. It surprised us then to play an area of the venue we’ve never been to in all our years playing weddings at Wroxall Abbey! Time to investigate…

Wroxall Abbey’s Marquee

We’ve always driven in to Wroxall Abbey past the large marquee on the right and assumed that live music must be out of the question for noise reasons – but apparently not! The marquee is cleverly designed. It’s actually huge, capable of seating several hundred to eat – but it can also be segregated for more intimate events such as this one.

Low Key Wedding With All The Right Trimmings

As we talked about in our post about planning a wedding on a budget, not every element possible needs to be included in your own wedding. The important thing is to choose the bits you really want and make them happen. Tonight’s wedding was a relatively simple affair – no large sit down meal, but a great pig roast/barbecue a few drinks and a live band… Oh, and a beautiful cake and dress!

First Dance

It was a pleasure to play Amazed by Lonestar again for a first dance. It’s not a track that we play outside of this context, more is the pity, and it was lovely to see the bride and groom ad libbing a dance routine to a song that speaks so clearly about the love they shared. The bride divulged that her husband had forgotten the routine they had planned – but you wouldn’t have know, the confidence they showed gliding round the dance floor.

From then on it was business as usual. A quick break after the first set for the evening food, but otherwise it was a bustling dance floor and everything the happy couple were hoping for at the end of their wedding day!

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Tonight’s wedding was at the fabulous Wroxall Abbey. It’s a wonderful wedding venue, one the band have frequented for most of the last decade. It surprised us then to play an area of the venue we’ve never been to in all our years playing weddings at Wroxall Abbey! Time to […]

31/05/2013

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5-Piece Band At A Marquee Wedding in Harrogate, Yorkshire

The long trek up to Harrogate was made all the more worthwhile thanks to an afternoon acoustic and the addition of our delightful new female vocalist to the evening set. Views were spectacular (sadly we didn’t manage to capture them on camera) and the sun shone throughout the day… simply a wonderful day in Yorkshire!

Acoustic Set Over Drinks Reception

Thanks to the glorious weather, we were able to set up outside for the acoustic set. It made for quite a picture as people arrived and walked down the elegant white walkway towards the marquee, being serenaded by our very own Mike and his chilled  out acoustic pop and rock tunes.

5-Piece Live Band

Tonight gave us a chance to demonstrate our poppier side with the 5-piece band. Still fully live, our front man was given a chance to rock out on synthesizers making the awesome backing to tracks by Lady Ga Ga, Rihanna, Jessie J, Adele, Katy Perry and many more! The first dance was Hysteria by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs – a great, and unusual choice. It set the tone for the whole night – the dance floor never once waned, packed start to finish.

Late Night – Long Journey Back To Coventry!

The reception went on until well after 1am – revellers still rocking out to the tunes the DJ was pumping out. We remained until the party was over before packing down – giving us something of a late journey home. Always better to be safe than sorry I think we all stopped at one point or other for a quick kip in a service station. The dawn chorus greeted us home, along with our warm beds… Lovely!

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The long trek up to Harrogate was made all the more worthwhile thanks to an afternoon acoustic and the addition of our delightful new female vocalist to the evening set. Views were spectacular (sadly we didn’t manage to capture them on camera) and the sun shone throughout the day… simply […]

25/05/2013

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Rocking 50th Birthday Party In Kenilworth, Warwickshire

This year, more than ever, we’ve been booked for birthday parties – and it’s been great fun! Tonight’s was a rocking 50th – with requests from Mud to Slade – tracks taking us back (to before we were born!) and bringing us right up to date too.

Doing It For The Kids!

In his wisdom, our organiser recommended we played some tracks to get the kids up and dancing first off and that the parents would join once they’d had a drink or two – and he hit the nail right on the head! At weddings almost the opposite logic applies – get the parents of the bride and groom and their friends up first, and the ‘youth’ will follow. But tonight was quite a different audience makeup, and actually, bashing out some McFly, Outkast and Scouting For Girls really got the party started!

Kenilworth – A Great Place For A Coventry Band

It’s always great in this job to know that you’re not 2 hours but 10mins from home! It can often give us a real boost through the gig, and tonight was definitely one of those. We had a lot of fun, especially with a couple of new tracks to us – including Tiger Feet By Mud – it made a really refreshing change from much safer sets that we’ve played in the past!

No photos sadly from this show – time to set the camera up ran away from us… perhaps check out another blog post to see the band in action!

This year, more than ever, we’ve been booked for birthday parties – and it’s been great fun! Tonight’s was a rocking 50th – with requests from Mud to Slade – tracks taking us back (to before we were born!) and bringing us right up to date too. Doing It For […]

18/05/2013

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Charity Ball At Nottinghamshire Golf Club

Nottinghamshire Golf Club sits just outside Nottingham itself and is a great venue. It’s not often we get to see such open expanses ourselves and our drive into the grounds made Gaz’s hands itch to swap a guitar for a golf club and get out on the course! Tonight though, was a charity event for a heart charity, Keep The Beat, not a chance to stretch our legs with a round of golf!

Function Bands Appreciate A Good Function Room

So often access to a venue seems to be the last thing on an architect’s mind when designing the layout for a venue. We regularly carry gear through the whole length of a venue before arriving in the function room we’re playing in. The Nottinghamshire Golf Club however was quite a different matter. Granted, there was a staircase to contend with, but that was it between the cars and the stage. It makes sense that the less energy we spend getting the equipment in and set up, the more we have for performing – and this gave us a great start!

Simple, Straightforward Charity Event

It’s easy to overthink these kinds of events – but tonight’s organisers were spot on! A great meal, raffle and a band, with donations to charity being made at every stage. It makes sense to set a ticket price that makes a profit, but pays for a good night too. Getting a band for free and charging £5 a ticket you might make a couple of hundred pounds… paying for the entertainment and food and charging £50 a ticket you’re likely to make an order of magnitude more!

The show was great fun – as you can see from the photos. We had a good night, and hope to be back in Nottingham soon (sure we will!)

 

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Nottinghamshire Golf Club sits just outside Nottingham itself and is a great venue. It’s not often we get to see such open expanses ourselves and our drive into the grounds made Gaz’s hands itch to swap a guitar for a golf club and get out on the course! Tonight though, […]

17/05/2013

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Wonderful Night At Walton Hall With An Acoustic Set!

This was our first trip to Walton Hall this year – but the venue’s lost none of its charm. Set in beautiful Warwickshire countryside, the venue really has it all as far as looks go! Arriving in the height of the sunny afternoon showed of the lush surroundings – it hardly felt like being at work.

Acoustic Wedding Breakfast Set

Lead vocalist Mike arrived mid afternoon to get set up for an acoustic set over the wedding breakfast. Despite timings being a little fluid, everything was set up in good time for the guests’ arrival and the acoustic guitar struck up as the starters were served.

Our acoustic set is a mixture between purely acoustic and mellow tunes and songs that as a full band might find their way into the evening set. It’s always good fun to give a twist on songs that people know and love, and the acoustic set is a perfect opportunity to do this.

Set Down, Set Up Again!

As is often the case with the afternoon sets, the location was completely different to the evening, meaning everything needed packing up completely before driving round to a different part of the venue and setting back up again. Things are a little stripped down for the acoustic setup, but still, we were more than ready for dinner when that time came!

Elvis Has Entered The Building

The first dance was Elvis’ rendition of Can’t Help Falling In Love. It’s a lovely track, and while the original recording is hard to recreate (there’s a large choir backing him!) our version maintained the feel of the original.

From there the night went on strength to strength. A few fun tracks that hadn’t made appearances lately included Dancing On The Ceiling, Place Your Hands (rocking riff!) and Chelsea Dagger.

We’ll leave you now with some photos of the day and hope to return for another wedding at Walton Hall soon!

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This was our first trip to Walton Hall this year – but the venue’s lost none of its charm. Set in beautiful Warwickshire countryside, the venue really has it all as far as looks go! Arriving in the height of the sunny afternoon showed of the lush surroundings – it […]

11/05/2013

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Top 5 Wedding Budget Tips

In the UK, it’s estimated that the average wedding costs around £20,000. While the picture perfect day is the dream, we believe the marriage itself should be the lasting result of a wedding day: and that you can have an amazing wedding day for less! We often hear of couples putting off the wedding while finances are raised, or spending years paying off the debt. So, what can you do to keep the date in the diary and the budget from breaking the bank? Here’s our top 5 tips:

1. Keep The Important Things Important

Every couple is unique and will have things that are important to them. Make a list, put it in order of priority and stick to it. Knowing what’s most important and agreeing between you on this list will help when making tough decision, especially when the budget comes into play. Here’s a list that might help you to get started thinking about what’s most important to you.

  • Flowers
  • Food
  • Live Music/DJ
  • Ceremony
  • Dress
  • Favours
  • Thank You Presents
  • Venue
  • Invitations
  • Table Decorations
  • Honeymoon
  • Wedding Night Accommodation

It might feel odd to order some of these things, but if you do create a list in order, it can make it easier to make decisions later if things conflict.

If having a great band play out your wedding reception is above an elaborate cake, then ask about and see if anyone can help decorate a small fruit cake from M&S: if having a beautifully decorated top table is more important than fireworks, then send your new brother-in-law to grab a few rockets and set them off as you leave.

2. Set A Wedding Budget – Stick To It!

This bit can be the greatest struggle for any engaged couple.  Whether the money’s coming from savings, parents or loans, deciding on a wedding budget can feel like picking a number out of thin air… but that’s exactly what I’d be inclined to do. Don’t believe the hype – there’s no budget that’s ‘unrealistic’ for getting married. The quoted ‘average’ of £20,000 doesn’t make for an ‘average’ wedding – we’ve been to and played at weddings less than half that budget.  If getting married is the aim you can do it regardless of the budget.

This can be where the above list of what’s important becomes really useful. If a great live band is the way you want to see your wedding day out, then compromise on those things you view as less important. If having your guests entertained throughout the day is key for you, cut back on flowers. If having everyone eat together is important, you might choose simpler food.

3. Be Creative

There’s no right or wrong for your wedding day – you’re the leading authority on your wedding day. Leave your drop-box account details so people can share their candid photos of the day with you. Make or design your own invitations. Hire a village hall for your evening reception, and decorate it with fairy lights. If you want to wear that dress you wore to a ball 3 years ago, rather than buy a new one – crazy though that might sound to many! – it’s your call!

4. Ask For Help

Sometimes being creative takes time – and engaged couples seldom have much of that. As such, it can be a great idea to get other people involved. Whether it’s making invitations, decorating a hall/cake/church, or doing something on the day like playing during the ceremony or DJing in the evening, people love to get involved in a wedding day. Again – keep the important things in place – and get help from friends with the rest!

5. Be Flexible

There aren’t many people for whom money is no object, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome wedding day. If you’re keeping the important things in place, being flexible on the rest can help you not only keep to your budget, but not go mad with the details!

Final Thoughts

Weddings are great fun – we love playing at them – but it’s the marriage which is the lasting part. We hope the above advice helps you in your journey towards marriage. We’d also like to heartily recommend the Marriage Course as part of your wedding preparations. It’s a great way to spend some time investing in your relationship while making the lifelong commitment to one another. For more information, see our page on Marriage.

In the UK, it’s estimated that the average wedding costs around £20,000. While the picture perfect day is the dream, we believe the marriage itself should be the lasting result of a wedding day: and that you can have an amazing wedding day for less! We often hear of couples […]

09/05/2013

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Recording Studio Day In Bath

Keeping our demos and repertoire bang up to date is always a challenge – but one we relish! We headed down to the Rec House Recording Studio in bath to lay down some new tunes!

Live Band

Despite all the technology, recording a live band is definitely an art rather than a science. Today we had a mission to get the instruments down to three songs. It may sound crazy, only 3 minutes a track, surely the whole set could be recorded in a day?! Well, there’s far more than meets the eye getting things to sound just so on a recording, so even drums can take all day!

Experts In Recording

Thankfully the guys at the Rec House knew exactly what they were doing, and thanks to some beautifully tuned drums, setting up took scarcely more than an hour… A couple of runs of the first track and it was time for lunch!

Through the afternoon we spent some time getting the feel of the songs just right, and once drums and bass were down to the three tracks, it was time for Gaz to step up on guitar. Mics were carefully placed in front of his beautiful fender twin, and the volume was cranked suitable to get the elegant drive the amp is so well known for.

Karaoke Tracks

By the end of the day we had the stems to what amounted to 3 Karaoke backing tracks – all the instruments, but no vocals. Vocals would be recorded another day, by the wonder of technology, closer to home at Push Record Studios in Coventry. Watch this space for the finished products – but for now, just enjoy some shots of the guys at work!

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Keeping our demos and repertoire bang up to date is always a challenge – but one we relish! We headed down to the Rec House Recording Studio in bath to lay down some new tunes! Live Band Despite all the technology, recording a live band is definitely an art rather […]

07/05/2013

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30th Birthday Party Near Birmingham

Booking live bands for birthday parties seems to be becoming more and more popular. This, our first 30th birthday party for a while was a pleasure to play. Our birthday girl was in high spirits from start to finish and the intimate pub venue gave us all something of a nostalgic feeling.

A Pub Gig With A Difference

As with so many musicians, we all spent our formative years playing any pub that would have us. So playing the Malt Shovel had a bit of a throwback to our youth… though it’s certainly fair to say that it was a far nicer pub than those we played those few years ago!

Live Party Band

As far as parties go we think there’s nothing to bring them to life like a great live band. It was such a pleasure playing for people who were there to just enjoy being together. A close group of friends, family and colleagues all seemed to know each other in one way or another, so the air in the room was lively and relaxed.

Cue the CoverUps to turn that upbeat feeling into dancing! The first of this night’s 3 sets kicked off with Faith – not too in your face, but lively enough to get people’s foot tapping. The first set remained polite, leaving the rockier tracks for the second and third sets. The birthday girl (should that be lady?!) had been quite selective with her set list – but she had great taste so this made, with a little tidying up from us, for a great night!

Speeches To Finish

There’s no etiquette or formal traditions when it comes to birthday parties, but a speech or two is always a good place to start. Both the birthday girl and her father took to the mic to thank all the guests and make a little more fuss of the lady of the day. It was a lovely finish to a great night. Here’s to her 4th decade!

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Booking live bands for birthday parties seems to be becoming more and more popular. This, our first 30th birthday party for a while was a pleasure to play. Our birthday girl was in high spirits from start to finish and the intimate pub venue gave us all something of a […]

05/05/2013

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Lovely Wedding For Friends At Moxhull Hall

Around a year ago, lead singer Mike went on a coast to coast bike ride for charity and got chatting to another cyclist. It soon transpired that he was getting married, and the plug of The CoverUps wedding entertainment soon lead to a firm booking… and how quickly that year has passed!

Great Relaxed Atmosphere

It’s always lovely to arrive at a relaxed wedding day. We could almost feel it as we made the load in of our gear. Speeches were taking place the other side of a partition, and between the (long!) trips back and forth to the cars we heard substantial laughing and joking. Good humoured speeches and an audience on side boded well for the evening.

Stereophonics Take Us Back

The couple were huge fans of the Stereophonics. Their first dance, You’re My Star had to be from the recording. Kelly Jones has a very distinctive tone and when you know a song so intimately as these guys did, we hold no grudge at not performing it ourselves.

Through the evening a few more Stereophonics tracks made appearances, taking us back to our own youth – Mike hailing from South Wales it was part of the curriculum! Local Boy In The Photograph, Have A Nice Day and Dakota all had the guys crowded on the dance floor and it was great to be able to theme the set in that way for the couple.

Returning To Moxhull Hall

Moxhull Hall is a semi-regular haunt for us. This, our second trip this year, hopefully will bring in a few more at this local venue – always nice to have a short trip home!

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Around a year ago, lead singer Mike went on a coast to coast bike ride for charity and got chatting to another cyclist. It soon transpired that he was getting married, and the plug of The CoverUps wedding entertainment soon lead to a firm booking… and how quickly that year […]

03/05/2013

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