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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #5081
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djdj View Post
    Glad they looked after you, I left instructions with the manager to ensure your trip was a good one, Both lighting desks are a challenge but once mastered can generate some interesting results.
    I am back there this week so you better not have broken anything!!
    Challenge is understating it. I did manage " interesting", but not on purpose. I settled for the ceiling lights on slow fade, rather than constant and blinding. Naff all else responded to pressing the switches, or shouting at it.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  2. #5082
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    Default Giving old kit an airing.

    Other aspects of last night will be aired elsewhere, because they don't cast a favourable light on this " profession". Still, it's an ill wind.

    I picked up a late booking after two people had bailed on the job, one the morning before the gig!! Setup time was alleged to be tight, and so I delved into the recesses of the equipment store, and brought out the Teutonic Powerbar. I'd forgotten how good it is, and how quick. Extend the tripod, plug it in, and hey presto, you have a light show. Two speakers on tripods too, and with two Crossfire XPs on the overhead, I was ready to go.

    I took the 15" Proels out again, after falling in love with them all over again recently. It's always nice when you take old kit out and realise how good it is, and why you bought it. Sadly, in this case, the Maui 11s would have been perfect for the venue, but slower to set up. I'd taken the RCF 710s as backup, and if I hadn't packed them behind the Proels, they would have been perfect. Ah well.

    I was granted access earlier than promised, and got set up in good time. The overall effect was very pleasing, Powerbar and Crossfires worked really well together, I may try this more often. I was heavily overgunned with the PA, but as we all ( should ) know, volume controls can be turned down, as well as up! The guiests took advantage of the weather, and green fields outside the huge glass doors, and dancing wise it was slow, but guests seemed to enjoy it all, whether inside or outside.

    11pm finish, five minutes from the motorway access home, five minutes and thirty seconds from Ronald's coffee, and key in the front door at 12.30 am. Fine by me.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  3. #5083
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    As with the wizened old git above - other aspects will be aired elsewhere to avoid public embarrassment.

    My second birthday of the year (yup....everything else has been weddings and indeed I'm back to weddings next week).

    This one, a joint 50th for a lovely husband and wife in the local golf club. Nice simple setup (the Evolve 50s got a rare of recent weeks outing since I wasn't in a marquee for a change), and a playlist brief I could definitely work with - basically bangers from the 60s to the 90s with some Britpop/Indie thrown in. I had a very small playlist provided of around 20 tracks which I could weave in with no problem.

    Mixed ages in attendance, with a LOT of younger guests (late teens/early 20s). Now here's a riddle - how in the name of all that's sensible do these young-uns know the entire words to every 80s track I played? More to the point....they filled the floor! I'm not complaining in the least - I have a full floor for the duration (oh boy was it a good 'un apart from one unfortunate part which will be discussed privately an hour before the end).

    Twas a good night, and I really should be pleased, but said incident put a sort of damper on proceedings for me and threw me completely out of my rhythm.

    Hey ho - next week is going to be an absolute BELTER! It's an 80s wedding (EVERYTHING including the church at 3pm whilst I'm setting up, the 80s food including Black Forest Gateaux which I'm actually being treated as a guest and having a place at a table, the music and the early exit by the bride and groom is being done the way things used to be done before all these new trends came into being).

    The only "non traditional" bits are that we're having one of the massive American style "Grand Entrances", and more disappointingly, the bride changed her mind a couple of weeks ago from my Retro setup to my white one.

  4. #5084
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    Yesterday was probably the most 'planned' wedding I've been part of. Lots of intricacies that I had to execute - and every song for the day handpicked by the bride and groom. Being an all day wedding, it meant a lot of prep, and really being on the ball on the day itself.

    Sadly, a bit of badly timed rain did mean things needed to change a bit, but didn't cause too many issues.

    For drinks reception entertainment, the following was a first for me (and very impressive)...



    The evening was a slightly strange mix of music - not what I'd typically play for a bride and groom in their late 20s.

    But all went well - a good number of dancers throughout and a great ending. A tiring and long day, but it all came together!


    Kodaline - The One (First Dance)
    Florence + The Machine - Stand By Me (Father/Daughter Dance)
    George Ezra - Shotgun (For Groom's Daughter)
    Isaac Gracie - Running On Empty (Groom/Daughter Dance)
    Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams
    Frankie Valli n The Four Seasons - December 1963 (Oh What A Night)
    Michael Jackson feat. Siedah Garrett - I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Cake Cutting)
    Limahl - Never Ending Story (Bouquet Throw)
    Dolly Parton - Islands In The Stream
    Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Working My Way Back to You
    The Drifters - Save The Last Dance For Me
    Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell
    Van Morrison - Full Force Gale
    UB40 - I Cant Help Falling in Love with You
    Chaka Demus and Pliers - Twist And Shout
    Elvis Presley - Burning Love
    Sha-Na-Na - Born To Hand Jive
    The Coasters - Yakety Yak
    The Beatles - Come Together
    Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
    Blanco Brown - The Git Up
    Darius Rucker - Wagon Wheel
    The T-Birds & The Pink Ladies - Score Tonight
    The Drifters - Saturday Night at the Movies
    Elvis Presley - All Shook Up
    Thurston Harris - Little Bitty Pretty One
    Rupert Holmes - Escape The Pina Colada Song
    George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You
    Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
    Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
    Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth
    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
    Tina Turner - The Best
    The Bluebells - Young At Heart
    CJ Lewis - Sweets For My Sweet
    Pato Banton feat. Ali & Robin Campbell - Baby Come Back
    Ritchie Valens - La Bamba
    Frankie Valli - Grease
    Michelle Pfeiffer - Cool rider
    Dion - Runaround Sue
    Sha-Na-Na - Rock 'N' Roll Is Here To Stay
    Bill Haley & His Comets - Shake, Rattle and Roll
    Bill Haley - Rock around the clock
    Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite
    Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
    Jackie Wilson - Your Love Keeps Lifting Me
    Van Morrison - Bright Side of the Road
    Boyzone - Picture Of You
    Ginuwine - Pony
    The Irish Rovers - Drunken Sailor
    Dubliners - Seven Drunken Nights
    Tina Turner - Proud Mary
    Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait
    The Killers - Human
    Pulp - Common People
    Prince - Kiss
    Jason Donovan - Too Many Broken Hearts
    Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
    ABBA - Dancing Queen
    Candi Staton - Young Hearts Run Free
    David Craig - Rattlin' Bog
    Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
    Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
    Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror
    Kodaline - All I Want
    Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
    The Lumineers - Ho Hey

  5. #5085
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default The 1970s called and asked for their DJ back

    WOW! AWESOME! BRILLIANT!

    Yesterday's wedding was one I'd been looking forward to for a couple of years, and it didn't disappoint.
    I did this young lady's 50th a couple of years back in the local Con Club (full on Retro setup 80s night) - it was one of those nights that could have gone on for ever and a day and even looking back on the photos I took of the night during the past week.....well I started to tingle.

    She and her partner went on holiday after that party and whilst there, he got on one knee. I got a call shortly after they returned asking me to "hold the date" whilst she went about booking the church (yes....I was booked before anything else). That doesn't happen too often in my world

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and we met up in a pub after several long Facebook chats and the like. They and I just hit it off as friends. They were having a traditional white wedding followed by a reception back at the Con Club, just the was things used to be done. The theme was to be loosely 80s based again, but no 80s roadshow this time (she'd seen my LOVE letters and her head couldn't be turned).

    Whilst at the pre-wedding meeting, I was asked if I could run the background music for the afternoon on autopilot, because they'd like to give me a seat at one of the guest tables for the afternoon. It just gets better and better.

    So to today....

    This morning, she was the local radio station's "Bride of the Week" whereby they do a telephone interview during the bridal prep. Yours truly was mentioned as her favourite DJ

    Set up this afternoon in good time (and it's a nightmare load in), and wait for things to start. The background was loaded onto an iPad and played through iTunes via my Maui5 Go (it was easier due to the layout of the room and the fact that I could put it towards the middle of the guests). Music such as Sweet Caroline during the background ensured plenty of singing and dancing between the courses (I like that sort of buy-in from guests )

    The onto cake cut, First Dance, Daddy/Daughter Dance - all executed in good time with lots of thanks believe it or not from the photographer (apparently it' unusual for DJs to work with them on things like lighting). Err? I ALWAYS work with photographers. She was so impressed she took my card

    And then....a big reveal (no not THAT sort of reveal). There was a sweepstake running through the afternoon to guess the honeymoon location with the winner taking the pot. Now, only the Groom knew the location, and that was inside an envelope entrusted to me. It was like doing the Oscars and all helped to add to the excitement for the guests (it's Sri Lanka by the way).

    Then, another big reveal. I got a text at midnight last night from the bride asking me to hide a balloon in a box until needed. She wouldn't say anymore when I texted back other than "no it's not a gender reveal!" (I had to ask). Turns out she's brought the deeds on a binary star in their name. Not a dry eye on the dance floor when that one came out.

    Anyhoo...the music. I was prepared for a LOT of 80s which in truth, didn't do as well as I hoped. So, with the brief having anything between the 60s to the 90s as fair game, I stepped back a decade.

    BOOM! A full hour of 70s disco classics ensured there were a lot of very happy guests that will remember the night

    The last "traditional" bit - B&G decided they were leaving 20 mins before the end. For the first time EVER, I managed to get a human archway from the dance floor to the front door without it being like herding cats....they just got it and did it.

    Of course as is usual when this happens, the guests start to trickle away too. The venue knew what the last song of the night was and halfway through brought the house fluorescents up (a little earlier than I'd have liked but it had the desired effect....this is a venue where "one more" is definitely not allowed)

    I could do with a lot more weddings like this one - it was brilliant.

    Next week, something very similar, except that one's in tents in the middle of Thetford Forest (no sound limiters for that one . )

  6. #5086
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    WOW! AWESOME! BRILLIANT!
    You had a good one, did you?

    Well, so did I. One of those occasions when you can't do anything wrong. Leaving party for a young couple having a year out travelling. Big surprise. The room was in darkness when they came in, I hit the button, and the lights came on, to " Leaving On A Jet Plane". I had a short playlist ( given to me two days before ) with the intention of ending with a load of Tech/House music.

    I got all the weird ones out of the way early, we had the buffet, and then the evening became " let's see how many ways we can disrupt the dancefloor". Once the buffet was done, we got the couple up to the front, and because they would be absent for their birthdays, and NYE, we did Happy Birthday, and Auld Lang Syne.

    I got to work on the dancing, and then we had Fireworks outside. The place emptied for a while, and came back to dance. Until they set up a table on the dancefloor, and proceeded to play beer pong with Sambuca, two bottles of it!!!! That's a first for me. Then we danced until we broke for a group photograph.

    Then it was around an hour to go, and I was pretending to be a real DJ, you know one that puts the headphones over one ear, twiddles knobs, waves his arm aloft and turns the mic off. I think I got away with it, because all the music was so similar, two of the joins were seamless! As I expected, the Over 21s rebelled, and we had requests for YMCA, Sweet Caroline, Time Warp, Proud Mary, and Oops. Having played these to a packed floor, it was time for the final game of Bingo, sorry House.

    Venue staff, who were so laid back they were horizontal had said I could play past my allotted time ( and when they couldn't get the drunken revellers out must have regretted the decision ) which worked perfectly to let me finish the night with the intended House tracks, which had gone up from a steady 125bpm to 130 for the last two. Magic.

    Congratulations from client and guests, reverse the van up to the building, load up, and head for the Motorway, which was all of ten minutes away. Hit the limiter, and just head home at warp factor 9 ( approx 68 mph), eschewing my customary trip to Ronald's in my haste. Great night really.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  7. #5087
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    Another Saturday night and, As I wasn't in Zakynthos, it must be Forest Pines.

    This week was a Golden Wedding Anniversary party which, unbeknown to the "bride" was to be interrupted by her and her husband of 50 years renewing their Wedding vows. The only people in the know was the "groom", their son and daughter (and other halves) me and Emily form the hotel. All the other guests were simply there on the premise of free nosh and a knees up.

    So, with the room laid out for a party, save for a single table placed alongside the dancefloor, the happy couple, along with their immediate family duly arrived at 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Guests had been asked to arrive before 7.30, at which time speeches, presentations and the like would take place. Buffet was timed for 8.30pm.

    What they didn't know was, hiding in a cupboard somewhere, were the Superintendant Registrar and her assistant, a bridal bouquet for the bride and buttonhile for the groom. Daughter came over to me and filled me in with some more detail. She had composed a small speech, at the end of which, she would spill the beans and tell her mother and assembled guests what exactly was going on.

    Son was tasked with making sure that guests were in and seated for 7.40pm in readiness for the ceremony at 7.45pm. To his credit he did just that but of course, there's always one who HAS to talk to the happy couple about their entire life since they last met, which was probably at the original wedding.

    SO, daughter did her piece and announced to one and all that dad had decided that this would be the ideal opportunity to renew their wedding vows. Cue sharp intake of breath from 50 or so guests, so much so that I began to feel faint through lack of oxygen. I did look at the old girl, to make sure that the shock hadn't killed her! After a few seconds, the silence was broken by cheering and applause and a tsunami of tears, mostly from the "bride".

    So, everyone in the room then decided to clamour round to offer congratulations to the happy couple and seemed oblivious to the two registrars waiting patiently to do their stuff. I had been asked to play Gerry and the Pacemakers - Walk hand in hand once the announcement had been made, while the couple walked down the aisle to the aforementioned table, at which the two registrars were now located.

    Two things spring to mind here. One, the song was about 2.5 minutes long and, given that they couldn't get away from their seats for ages, I decided to hold fire until they actually set sail. I managed to catch the eye of daughter who sensed what I was doing and looked to be in agreement. She later thanked me for that.

    Secondly, the bride was actually in a wheelchair, but had transferred to a normal chair. Nevertheless, up she got and with husband and daughter's help off she went towards the table. Unfortunately, that proved to be very strenuous, and I could see it going wrong when the registrar suddenly motioned her to stop and summoned two chairs from the nearest table for them both to sit on.

    A lovely ceremony then followed, vows were exchanged and they were, once again declared "husband and wife". I had another Gerry and the Pacemakers track ready to play as they walked away but, again, photographs and well wishers determined that that had to wait. Eventually, that was done and all's well in the world.

    By now it was 8.20, so we held fire as the buffet was brought out and opened. You'd think that the guests had been fasting for a fortnight the speed they moved once I had said the words "the buffet is now op....". The lovely groom immediately came over to me to say thank you and told me to make sure that I got something to eat. Thank you sir.

    About 15 minutes later, it was realised that they had a cake to cut, so I had to summon the guests to order while this was done. I had The Anniversary Waltz playing in the background whilst this went on.

    Food eating was still going strong at around 9.15 but I was beginning to turn my thoughts to pressing the start button. Then I noticed the barman with two trays of champagne flutes being filled, so I asked what was going on. These are for a toast he said. News to me then.

    So with glasses distributed, groom decided he ought to make a speech, so I handed him a mic and he stood on the dancefloor with son and daughter and made a very interesting, poignant and, in the right places, amusing speech. Turned out that they had been engaged three times, both having broken it off once each, before the tie-breaker. He never got either of the rings back, so she had three engagement rings!

    He finished his speech, but no toast was proffered by anybody. So, I decided that I'd better do it. Picking up my mic, I thanked John for his speech, offered my congratulations to the happy couple and asked that guests be upstanding. "The bride and groom". Applause, applause.

    I decided not to invite the couple for a First Dance given the circumstances, but, once we were under way, bride was up and away on the dancefloor. Mainly oldies was the rule of the night, given the age group, but daughter did ask for 90's and "chart" music but, as usual, sat down after one track was played from this century. A request for Gangnam Style from the grandson brought 6 more to the danceflor who just about managed to remember one move each from the dance. I decided to expand the theme with Cha Cha Slide, Macarena etc. and very soon most of the guests had plugged themselves in and were up and running.

    I was asked for Rod Stewart - You're in my heart for the groom from all of his family, so I took the opportunity to create a slowdown so as not to kill off any guests, many of which were over 70.

    Back to it then and daughter once again asked for (unspecified) 90's, you know, like DJ Sammy who, of course, was not heard of until 2003. So out came some more 90's, which flopped. DJ Sammy's Heaven was introduced, to which she danced alone and I decided to follow it with some similar stuff from the mid 2000's. Well, as soon as I started up Sunset Strippers - Falling Stars, she sat down, so I decided that was it for the night. Soul Banana was introduced and whoosh.... on they came.

    Pretty much full on for the rest of the night and at 1220 (finish was 1230), the B&G were seen leaving, so, with only 10 left in the room, I offered my congratulations and goodnights and they took the hint. All 10 offered thank yous and a round of applause and toddled off into the night.

    A happy chappie was I. Even better, the two cars parked right next to the loading door had gone, so I moved mine over, saving me a few minutes on the load.

    The car temperature-ometer said 6 degrees, so I remembered where the heater was and fired it up Car loaded up, windows demisted and Ana Matronic on the radio, I embarked on the 45 minute ride home along the M180 which, apart from the lane ongoing closures, was open (for a change), so the sights of Scunthorpe were not to be enjoyed this time.

  8. #5088
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattydj50 View Post
    I embarked on the 45 minute ride home along the M180 which, apart from the lane ongoing closures, was open (for a change), so the sights of Scunthorpe were not to be enjoyed this time.
    Sadly, once you've enjoyed a motoring tour of Scunthorpe to get a coffee from Ronald, it still brings you on to the motorway before the closures. They usually advertise the road as being closed, when it's normally just lane closures and speed restrictions.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  9. #5089
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Sadly, once you've enjoyed a motoring tour of Scunthorpe to get a coffee from Ronald, it still brings you on to the motorway before the closures. They usually advertise the road as being closed, when it's normally just lane closures and speed restrictions.
    Except the night when it was advertised as closed and was open, or the night when it was advertised as open, but was closed. No signs in advance though, I just usually get kicked off at J3, so its just as easy to swing right out of the hotel and go along the A18.

  10. #5090
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    Default Well that was different!

    Where do I start? I was due to be in Germany now , visiting my daughter, but events put a stop to that. Serendipity found me a gig tonight, public function in a rugby club in Worksop. Upstairs, and that means the big case of dmx controllers and radio mics isn't going. I agonised over which speakers to take out of the van, and settled for the big Proels. Hmmm. For eleven guests? Turns out there are similar functions on in Skegness and Mansfield, so that explains numbers.

    Now here's the bit I was confused by . I thought I'd been booked for a Soul/Disco/Funk night, populated by Soulies. That's what my client, the promoter had ordered. Gizza job, I can do that . Well, actually, it's an over thirties night, with no stated music policy, and of the eleven guests, six would prefer rock and electronic. But they're not paying me. Ah, the eternal conundrum, play to the crowd, or the paymaster?

    Fortunately, the funds were already resting in my account, so it wasn't the problem it might have been. Biggest problem was apparently that my lights were bright enough to show the wrinkles on lady guests. ( Well one in particular, anyway ). And my booth wasn't big enough. My card has been well and truly marked for next time by this Lady. The odds on a next time are slim, as I'm dearer than the guy who let him down, but even such an exorbitant fee wouldn't tempt me on a regular basis. I'm not even sure there will be one next month, after this. Ah well.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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