Every year we get the opportunity to play for a friends during the course of the wedding season. Tonight we made the short trip down the A46 to Stratford-Upon-Avon to play in a marquee in the grounds of the bride’s parents – and what a beautiful venue it made!
From time to time the schedule of an evening leads us to arrive nice and early to get set up before things kick off in earnest, and this was one of those occasions. We arrived at the venue just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon just before 3pm, and set about getting our kit onto the ample staging provided. Rather interestingly, the stage was angled into the corner – which worked perfectly with our classic 1-3 band formation!
With the set-up complete around 4pm, we had a little time to kill before the wedding kicked off in earnest later in the evening. Being out in the countryside gave us poor mobile signal – so we took the chance to have a well needed rest in advance of the evening reception!
Live First Dance
The first dance tonight was previously unknown to us: “Solidier” by Gavin Degraw. The military connection was clear from the arrival of the first guests, in full formal military dress It’s always an excellent sight, and we find the military crowds often really know how to party! The first dance went well, the bride and groom dancing elegantly to the 12/8 feel.
The rest of the night was great fun. The first dance was followed by another request by the couple: Mc Fly’s “Love Is Easy”, which is a quaint little pop tune – no mandolin in the line-up, but a high capo did a decent job.
Amongst the highlights for us was I Believe In A Thing Called Love, which has been absent from recent gig, but is always great fun to sing – hitting those high notes is pretty killer, but satisfying to watch a crowd go with you into them! Also recently absent has been Place Your Hands. Tonight showed that it really should make it back into the set a bit more regularly!
Every year we get the opportunity to play for a friends during the course of the wedding season. Tonight we made the short trip down the A46 to Stratford-Upon-Avon to play in a marquee in the grounds of the bride’s parents – and what a beautiful venue it made! Early […]
Today we visited one of the most eccentric venues we’ve played in a while – Maunsel House. The Somerset wedding venue is a beautifully presented 13th Century manor just off the M5, making it surprisingly accessible to the the CoverUps from their Coventry home.
Lock And Load
Load in could scarcely have been easier – directly through a double doors to the performance area. In literally no time, we were set and ready to go!
And so, down to the bar we went to grab some food, when what should we be greeted with, but an arsenal of weapons! Now, we never did get to the bottom of why there we guns, swords and other military paraphernalia adorning the walls of this otherwise elegant venue. We did, however, find that they were available for play – a fact we took full advantage of (check out the photos below!)
Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends, Once More
Full stomachs (see below!) and fun times had, it was time to do what we came to do! The first dance, “You And Me Song” by the Wannadies was a truly lovely choice. The timeless classic from the 90s takes us back to our hazy teenage days, and the upbeat nature of the track gave the bride and groom a chance to do more than shuffle around the dance floor (see Joe Short’s Photos below, courtesy of Casamento).
The dance floor remained bustling through the early first set, and really filled to the brim in the second (as you can see in the photos below).
We stayed until 1am with the recorded music, but before we knew it, it was time to head home. A quick pack down and load out and we were back on the m5 headed for Coventry!
Today we visited one of the most eccentric venues we’ve played in a while – Maunsel House. The Somerset wedding venue is a beautifully presented 13th Century manor just off the M5, making it surprisingly accessible to the the CoverUps from their Coventry home. Lock And Load Load in could scarcely […]
Tonight saw the band making an early trip to the Belfry in Birmingham to set up for a corporate event for Co-op. The stage, as you’ll see below, was set beautifully – the band backed by a massive projector screen and an impressive array of lighting.
Where we usually take and run our own PA, corporate events usually have the PA for the music provided by a production team, and this show was no different. On arrival the array of mics, monitoring and cabling was already set, meaning we could pop our gear into position ready to sound check. As the desk always needs completely resetting this often take longer than when we sound check ourselves, since our desk is pre-set with the setting of the last show.
With an extended period between sound check and the performance, the band had a good chance to sit down tosome lovely dinner in the Belfy’s main bar. And with after a decent break to digest (thanks to the event running over slightly) we were ready to go.
Blame It On The Weatherman
We had the job of being introduced on by Des Coleman (BBC Weather – hence the B*witched reference above) – but sadly, due to the rapid changeover between the awards and performance didn’t have much of a chance to interact.
And so to the dancing. As if often the case with this sort of event, the audience is made up of a large number of small groups – couples and threes generally with award winners and their managers making up a large portion of the crowd. As such it’s not a dynamic given to partying hard. The dance floor certainly bustled throughout, but there was significant appreciation from the non-dancing contingent. Where some might see the band’s job to drag everyone to the dance floor, we’re inclined to allow an audience to join in at a level they feel comfortable, enjoying the music from the bar, their table or the dance floor as they see fit!
The following morning we had this message from the organisers of the event, so a job well done we think!
I just wanted to say thank you for keeping us all entertained last night. We have received many positive comments about you band and how much people enjoyed themselves so I wanted to pass on my thanks.
Thanks once again and I hope to work with you in the future.
Tonight saw the band making an early trip to the Belfry in Birmingham to set up for a corporate event for Co-op. The stage, as you’ll see below, was set beautifully – the band backed by a massive projector screen and an impressive array of lighting. Corporate Fun(ction) Where we […]
Summer is here – apparently! – and so to the season of the summer ball. This time it was a members’ Ball at the well respected Woburn Golf Course. Little over an hour from our HQ in Coventry the venue greeted us with sunshine and a beautiful wooded driveway – a lovely arrival!
Usually when we’re talking about 3 courses, it’s the meal the guests are eating. This time it was 3 full 18 hole golf courses we were surrounded by! Once again itchy to get his clubs out, our guitarist, Gaz, spent much of his time admiring the memorabilia adorning the walls of the club – it seems a great many famous faces, and excellent golfers have walked these courses.
The recommendation for booking the band came from an old client (or fan?!) of ours who booked us not only for his Daughter’s wedding and wife’s 50th, but his son’s wedding next year! Perhaps when you’ve got something that works there’s no need to try to fix it! Suffice to say, it made for a friendly reception for us, and the dance floor very quickly became bustling.
The night was great fun, with golfers, friends and family all enjoying a good excuse to don their finery and have some jolly nice food -and we’re really hoping to return sometime in the future! For now we’ll leave you with the few photos we managed to get of the dance floor.
Summer is here – apparently! – and so to the season of the summer ball. This time it was a members’ Ball at the well respected Woburn Golf Course. Little over an hour from our HQ in Coventry the venue greeted us with sunshine and a beautiful wooded driveway – […]
We certainly feel like we’re getting into the swing of things somewhat at Nottingham’s Riverbank, this being our third visit this year for their Riverbank Rocks Friday night. While we’re only there every other month – first Friday of the even months – we’re enjoying changing things up each time to keep it fresh. This time we had a more energetic opening to the evening with Valerie followed by Scouting For Girls’ She’s So Lovely.
Same Old Same Old?
This being our first go at a residency, we did wonder if things would get tired – but we’re happy to say they haven’t so far! The venue has become steadily busier over the course of the year, which helps, but the key thing is that the people are always different. Whether it’s a group of Graeme Swann’s mates gathered on the dance floor, or a hen party getting the drinks in, it’s never the same night twice at the Riverbank.
That fresh vibe we think comes down to a commitment by the venue to keep things live – hence having live bands twice a week. It makes a huge difference having a live band playing, and we do everything we can ourselves to make sure the show is as energetic this month as it will be on our next visit (3rd August if you’re checking!)
Chance To See The Band Live
We’ve also found that this regular performance has been a great chance for people to come and see the band play live before booking. While in general, we’d suggest that the bands playing regularly in pubs and clubs are those not busy enough with weddings & corporate events, we do recognise that when planning a big event like a wedding you want to be sure of the product you’re getting. I don’t think we’ve yet played the Riverbank and not had a wedding booked off the back of the show, so we must be doing something right!
We certainly feel like we’re getting into the swing of things somewhat at Nottingham’s Riverbank, this being our third visit this year for their Riverbank Rocks Friday night. While we’re only there every other month – first Friday of the even months – we’re enjoying changing things up each time […]
A glorious sunny day greeted us as we arrived at the marquee in Redditch. Views were spectacular and you’d hardly believe you were less than half an hour south Birmingham… It looked from some angles more like a scene from Lord Of The Rings!
The couple were lucky enough to have parents who lived in a spectacular part of the country and made full use of a field just up the road from the bride’s parent’s house. It did feel like driving to the middle of nowhere; and that was certainly a key part of the charm of the venue.
When looking for venues, we think there’s often something to be said for choosing somewhere that has some connection – whether the area or the particular place. Obviously we don’t all have fields with such great views (or fields at all!) but even choosing somewhere that makes you feel at home in another way can be a great way to personalise your day.
The marquee was really lovely. The band end was completely blacked out with a star cloth, which makes a huge difference to the wedding’s atmosphere in the early part of the evening. The dance floor was itself illuminated with stars, making a great surround for the guests when dancing. As you can see from the photos below, it looked great!
Wanted For A First Dance
With their usual dance pop anthems, the Wanted might not be your first stop when choosing a first dance. However, the couple had discovered a Live Lounge arrangement of ‘Forever Gold’ which really fit the bill. The piano and vocal arrangement we augmented with a little accompaniment from the rest of the band, and the lyric sat perfectly to kick of the evening reception of the wedding.
A Whole Night Of Requests
The bride and groom had made a full evening’s worth of requests, stating for each song on our entire repertoire whether they “definitely wanted”, “wanted” or “didn’t want” the song. This is certainly a great way of a couple hearing exactly what they want, and we’ll always aim to give any couple exactly what they want. However, on this occasion there were a few great songs missing. After mentioning this to the couple and getting their “all clear” to play them (it turned out they weren’t dead set against them!) we added them back in the set. Superstition by Stevie Wonder was a real high point of the night, so we’re glad we took the initiative and brought it back in!
A glorious sunny day greeted us as we arrived at the marquee in Redditch. Views were spectacular and you’d hardly believe you were less than half an hour south Birmingham… It looked from some angles more like a scene from Lord Of The Rings! Special Venue The couple were lucky […]