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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4861
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim - Scotland's Party DJ View Post
    I hope I'm wrong but this one has all the makings of a terrible night and that's if we even get going in the first place.
    Oooooh, you little tease!! Come on, we want all the gory details.

    Tell you what, I'll show you mine, if you show us yours, oo er missus!

    Saturday last week was a Blue Ball ( no rest from the double entendres, sorry ) at a local golf club. My son quizzes with the organiser, and it seems last years's DJ left something to be desired, let's say.

    So, SuperDad to the rescue, and even though it's upstairs, a passably large show went out. Fortunately, there's a service lift handy, so access wasn't the big downside. The building design however was, lamentable. If you imagine a capital W, the dining room is at one extremity, the dance area is at the far one, and bar, raffle and all else is in between. Who designs these places?

    So, I'm ridiculously early, which is good, cos so were the guests. All set up, and prepared to wait for a full three course meal to take place. Anyhoo, it ends, and it's time for me to do my thang. I may have pushed the faders up a tad more than usual on the desk, but nothing beyond the pale, as I wanted to attract guests from the far side. Two songs in, the female manager from downstairs comes up with a face like thunder! " Too loud, man " as Stan Freberg would have said.

    OK, what management wants, management gets, so we're now running at a low level. Thunderstruck doesn't have quite the same effect played quietly, as when the faders are up at eleven.

    Half an hour later, the male manager from upstairs comes across and asks it I've been asked to turn it down? " Oh yuss " says I, and names the guilty party. " Well turn it back up then, I'll go and have a word with her ".

    Volume levels increase to something more reasonable, and despite the management's prophesies of doom that everyone will leave shortly after eleven, we're rocking and rolling a full floor all the way till midnight, and a large round of applause.

    Job done, and as my son is cadging a lift home, I get a hand out with the kit. Go on Jim, your turn now.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  2. #4862
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default If Carlsberg did functions......................................... ..

    They wouldn't be any more fun than this one. A function I'd looked forward to eagerly actually exceeded expectations, after an inauspicious start.

    The third year of a fundraising Soul and Motown night organised by a couple, who had decided they really needed a disco to keep the flow going while the live band, the excellent Soul Intention, took a break. Wise move.

    The instrumentalists from the band, the sound crew and the disco all arrived very early, and jovially set about preparing for the evening. I set up in a leisurely and relaxed manner, and knowing a band was on, had originally decided to take the full subs and tops rig. Plans changed at the last minute, when I took possession of a 15" Studiomaster active sub from Andy Neen, for a different purpose, which will be explained elsewhere. It seemed only sensible to press it into service for this, as a trial of its capabilities.

    So, I had the Equinox 4ft Booth, with hadrons on poles, the Stingers on tripods, sub under the booth, and powerbar on a tripod behind me. In all honesty, the powerbar was a bit surplus to requirements, but I took it in case the band needed a bit more light. ( Which they didn't ). As I was fighting against a somewhat unusual combination of QTX subs, and RCF 715 tops, I didn't use the high pass on the sub, to even things up a bit.

    The band seemed to arrive in dribs and drabs, and when I came back into the room just before start time, they were having a sound check with the four female vocalists. That's when it got interesting. We had officially passed the start time while the soundcheck was happening, and the sound crew were homing in on a workable setup when oops! No sound, no power, and not many lights. Something had tripped somewhere, and in common with many venues, there seemed to be multiple circuits. The far side of the room had some power, mine had none. The technocrats were on the case, and restored power to me, while they surveyed the damage. Since my PA hadn't actually been running, it was OK, but the monitors on the stage hadn't fared so well. Eventually, one was removed, and I don't know if it was the cause of the problem, or collateral damage.

    I started playing a bit of music as fill, until everything was back to near normal. I then raised the volume a little, and started in earnest, to fairly low key reaction, ie foot tapping and jigging about, but no requests, and a handful of dancers. And then, I put on a bit of Doo Wop, gentle Rock and Roll, and got a request for Temptations and Four Tops. The floor was nicely busy at the announcement of the supper ( a lovely lasagne, which the band and I were included in ) and then guests realised that not only did I have a lot of music at my disposal, but musical knowledge and taste as well.

    The band's set list was a stunner, including loads I'd have played on a regular basis, fairly mainstream, which let me venture into the requests, which took us deep into Northern Soul for quite a while, to a full floor. A number of disco classics, a bit of Rock and Roll, and between me and the band, the floor never emptied till midnight, when I closed the night. All in all, a truly fabulous evening, and I'm already looking forward to next year!
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  3. #4863
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    Apart from the fact everyone danced and enjoyed themselves the past 2 wedding I have done couldn’t be more different in brides attitudes

    Saturdays wedding was over-running big time. 6pm start and I never even got into the room till just before 8pm. Bride came straight over full of apologies and was genuinely concerned she had put me out in some way. She said not to rush setting up and even came over whilst setting up to tell me to take my time as they realise it is their fault the wedding was so late.

    Long story short, 15 minutes from van to sound and flashy lights. Brilliant night, bar tab just for me (soft drinks of course) and more food than I could eat brought over at buffet time as people kept dancing throughout. End of the night loads of thanks, which I have to be honest is a rarity especially on the better nights.

    Tonight I was only booked from 8.30pm till 11pm. This wedding was running early. 7.45 I was setup ready to go, background music on and during the first song people were up dancing.

    Automix pressed and off to offer my congratualtions and double check timings with the bride. Instead of being thanked for starting early I was criticised for playing a few requests so early in the night and told these must be repeated later.

    Another great night with everyone joining in, however Mrs Bride was constantly telling me off for playing requests too early. Moved to non-request songs and she was then over asking when the requests would be played. And the cycle repeated itself all night long.

    End of the night, groom came over to thank me as did both sets of parents, best man and a few guests – this is becoming a regular occurance.

    Bride came over asking why I missed out 2 requests she made. Well, look at the playlist history and there they are, to which the reply was ‘I mustn’t have been in the room, you should have checked I was here when you were playing them’

    Oh well, can’t win them all
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  4. #4864
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppentertainments View Post
    ...Bride came over asking why I missed out 2 requests she made. Well, look at the playlist history and there they are, to which the reply was ‘I mustn’t have been in the room, you should have checked I was here when you were playing them’...
    Did the Groom have a thumbprint on the top of his head? If not, he will do soon!

    --------------

    Anyway, one for the 'Good Gig'... Saturday night was a night I wasn't looking forward to; two staircases, sound limiter, 18st Birthday (explain that bit in a mo'), 8:30 start and an 12:30 finish.

    When I arrived the Steward [of the club] says to me, "If you're still playing any music whatsoever at one second past 12:30 I will turn the stage power off. And we go by my watch, not yours". He thought I was taking the p**s when I asked if I could set my watch to his. This looked like it was going to be one of those nights! Nothing could have been further from the truth. The party was for all the older members of the family, his actual 18th was last Wednesday, his "proper" (as he told me) 18th is taking place with his mates and younger members of the family this weekend.

    I'd arrived early, lugged everything up the two lots of stairs and was ready to go for 8:30. I didn't start any music until 8:30 on the dot. Unfortunately my childish humour of doing that had gone straight over the Steward's head! Family arrived by 9, waiting for the buffet at 9:15. Up until then I'd been playing some 80's and 90's commercial house stuff as asked for by the birthday boy, as that's what his Dad used to listen to. The buffet would have fed the five thousand, but there was only about 50 people there, so birthday boy's Mum comes over and says, "Grab yourself whatever you want, and tell this lot to go around again". So I did both. While going round the buffet a few people asked for some Motown and Northern Soul, Funk and Disco and some Ska and Reggae.

    So at 9:30, with a plate full, I headed back to the raised bit in the corner, (as you couldn't really call it a stage!), and started off with Al Wilson's The Snake. The dance floor was full before the vocals kicked in. From that moment on the dance floor stayed full until 12:29. People would dance, go to the bar, go to the buffet, back to dance and repeat all night. It was one of those nights that I could do no wrong. Songs were 'cheered' as they started, people sang along and they all seemed to be having a great time. I'd called last orders at 12, (with the bar closing at 12:15, on the dot, obviously!), and turned to some reggae, all classic of course, and the singing and dancing continued. UB40 was the last 'proper' song of the night and I said goodnight at that point, playing-out with a request from who I think was Great Grandad in the form of the theme from The Dukes of Hazzard! The singalong carried on for that... including the Steward! I got a round of applause and a cheer from the crowd.

    I actually turned the music off at 12:31, ('cuz I'm a bit of a rebel!), at which point I turned things off and started the usual pack down. Several people came over to say thank you, delaying the pack down, but the last person to come over was the Steward who thanked me for the night and said I could have let it go on longer, (you can't please some people!), and that he'd turned the limiter off at about 9ish as it "looked like I could be trusted". He also asked if I wanted some more work... don't think they'll all be like that though.

  5. #4865
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Almost soul destroying

    You know when you're at a wedding where the guests have been there since mid-morning, it's a huge long room in a big posh hotel with the bar at the opposite end to you, nothing you play works as you'd expect and then the fire alarms go off an hour before the end?

    Yup - that was my night.

    Let's go back to the beginning of this tale of woe....'twas the wedding of the owners of my local hostelry tying the knot. They'd originally got a friend spinning the platters that matter....until the hotel insisted on PAT and PLI certification. That's where I come in (I have said documentation, he didn't)

    Turned up at said hotel instantly regretting that I'd forgotten to insert a Babel Fish behind my ear before leaving home. It would seem the entire establishment is staffed by either Spanish or Portuguese (I could recognise that much)....and I don't even remotely speak the lingo.

    I'm set up at one end of a 100ft room, with the bar at the other end. The guests' tables started about half way down the room from me - they seemed miles away.

    So, the brief was for 80s, 90s and current but with nothing that involves action dances. No problemo - should be a good night thinks I.
    We were also to do the Mr & Mrs game - hoorah. I like doing this because it normally gets a few laughs and puts the guests at ease. I say normally......I knew the guests were there because I could hear them breathing. Oh well....

    First dance mid flow I invite the assembled guests to join the happy couple on the dance floor....4 partook.
    And that was the way of the night. I repeatedly asked for requests, not many were forthcoming apart from those from the bride. At most, there were a dozen on my dance floor.

    The buffet comes out at 9pm and as is tradition.....kills proceedings somewhat. From then on, folk decided it'd been a long day and started saying their goodbyes. The room was looking rather sparse.

    11pm, my power goes off (which was confusing for a while because the Freedom sticks were still on.....well they would be wouldn't they). It took a couple of seconds to register that the fire alarms were going off. I immediately seek out the DM and ask whether we're evacuating....the answer....yes.

    So, it falls to me to announce (without mics) that we need to get out of the building to the car park because the staff didn't seem to know quite what to do. The guests weren't too happy about that one, especially as they could see hotel guests still in their rooms on the upper floors. Ten minutes later, we're allowed back in after the hotel had established somebody on the third floor had decided to start vaping in their room...DOH!

    By now, the B&G had decided they'd had a long enough day and said their goodnights.

    From there, it went downhill very quickly and I'm left with the customary single table of guests who are content to just chat. The venue are clearing up around them and they're really not taking the hint very quickly until at 11:40....they suddenly decided to go.

    It's a shame - I was really looking forward to this one especially since I know the couple personally. But, sometimes it's how it goes and despite throwing the kitchen sink, washing machine and dishwasher at it....there wasn't a lot more I could do.

    It's now time for a week in sunny Devon to recharge the batteries and prepare for two gigs in the same hall next weekend....an Anglo-French wedding (which are normally fun) on Saturday , and a massive kids Halloween party for around 150 local nippers on the Sunday

  6. #4866
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default If only................................

    Sorry to hear your tale of woe, Wayne, I think we've all been there at some time.

    My weekend was " interesting".
    Friday had been in the diary for many months at a Hotel where a forum member has the residency. He also wanted me for Saturday, but that had been in the diary for even longer.

    Sooo, my client for Saturday cancelled the planned gig, but immediately replaced it with one in a different venue, so effectively no change. All good.

    Except, it wasn't.

    The Hotel are struggling with the concept of a diary, and when Matthew checked details for Friday, it transpired that Friday didn't exist for me, but was actually on Saturday. Had we found that out early enough, it wouldn't have been terrible, because my Saturday had been cancelled yet again!! Thus, I would have been able to cover it.

    Except, I'd posted availability on Facebook, and got a walk in for a wedding a few miles from where I'd originally expected to be, so couldn't do it! Thankfully, Matthew sourced cover by the skin of his teeth, so no tears there after all.


    My walk in? Easy to find, lovely venue, really friendly staff, and a really friendly lad I was working on behalf of. Perfect, eh? You're ahead of me, aren't you?
    I swapped the CD players/mixer combo for my trusty VMS4, and I was ready to Rock and Roll. First dance was Ed Sheeran-Perfect, and could I play mainly modern, Lionel Richie and Bon Jovi? Shouldn't be beyond the wit of man/ tired Old DJ.

    The lighting didn't have a wash effect available, and the venue shut down all the house lights for the first dance. Still, the Photographer ( a lovely fella also ) was happy enough with what the Swarm 4s could do, so therefore so was I.
    Like Wayne's, my crowd were having a long day, and with a lot of young children, numbers soon dwindled. The Modern tracks didn't do a lot for the dancefloor, but strangely enough, the Anthems/Cheese/Motown/Disco which I and the bridesmaids favoured was dong good business. Strange, that.

    Reassuringly enough, the last hour and a half hit paydirt,with some Indie, Hip Hop and Chart and I finished the night with all the remaining twenty guests on the floor, to a round of applause.

    Guess that equates over all to a satisfactory result, after many possible disaster scenarios. Phew!
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  7. #4867
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Sorry to hear your tale of woe, Wayne, I think we've all been there at some time.

    My weekend was " interesting".
    Friday had been in the diary for many months at a Hotel where a forum member has the residency. He also wanted me for Saturday, but that had been in the diary for even longer.

    Sooo, my client for Saturday cancelled the planned gig, but immediately replaced it with one in a different venue, so effectively no change. All good.

    Except, it wasn't.

    The Hotel are struggling with the concept of a diary, and when Matthew checked details for Friday, it transpired that Friday didn't exist for me, but was actually on Saturday. Had we found that out early enough, it wouldn't have been terrible, because my Saturday had been cancelled yet again!! Thus, I would have been able to cover it.

    Except, I'd posted availability on Facebook, and got a walk in for a wedding a few miles from where I'd originally expected to be, so couldn't do it! Thankfully, Matthew sourced cover by the skin of his teeth, so no tears there after all.
    Oh, it got better. So I posted the fiasco on the Facey Bookey and was able to source an able sub sub for Saturday. I had received the playlist on Wednesday when I had got the dreaded news that the hotel had cocked up. 6 sheets of A4, pleasantly marked "no Drake, or any other rap, mumbly rubbish. But there were unlawful lot on there that I simply didn't recognise. There was a rider that we don't have to play everything, so why the long list then, which worked out at roughly twelve and a half hours worth. Anyway, the sub sub DJ came and I greeted him with the news they were over running by an hour, so with a start time of 7pm, an eventual access of 6.55pm was testing him somewhat. Not a bad night by all accounts and another contact in the book should I heed him again.

    My night was made when I turned up at 5pm for a 7pm start to be told I could get straight in and set up. With a band for company, I was central and they were to the side, by the door, which made filer an easy entrance when they came and an easier exit when they finished. Band weren't much of it and probably caused some guests to leave, and I was left with around 20 from 1030. But they wanted to party, so we did, minus the action songs, which the bride had banned. So she came over and asked me for Cha Cha Slide. Indeed. B&G toddler off to bed at 1210, leaving me with 5, so a quick "last orders" and a quick chat and we wound up at 1225. Just as the last song was playing, we were gatecrashed by 6 lady golfers from the bar upstairs, who took liking to the cup cakes left, the chair sashes and the Mr & Mrs signs. Music off, lights on and eviction notice served. Big thank you from the B&G before they let a, and from the final 5 made the night.

    Back to Friday then and I got an email at 1015am telling me that I would be given a USB stick with some Greek music on to play. So I got it, checked out the stick and, no matter where I stuck it, I got a formatting error message. Now, this was at 7.20pm and the start was 7pm (another overrun) and the bride was insisting the first dance was to be at 7.30. Er, no, sorry. When it came to it, they had disappeared, before reappearing at 7.55 and walked straight onto the floor expecting their music to start. Nope. I did my usual introduction and invited guests to reach for their cameras before pushing the green button.

    So back to the USB stick and I'm now being presented with a phone to connect. Into what, says I. Then a Bluetooth device appears. Sorry, no. Now I'll try what I can, but apparently this stick has over 500 Greek songs on it so, even if it had worked, I wouldn't k n ow which to play anyway.

    Later, a cunning plan was hatched, where the said phone was connected to some speakers they found and Party One with me finished at 12 and Party Two started with the Greek music. I decided to leave the lights goingwhile I packed the sounds etc away while the Greek guests decided which tunes to play. Often one tune would last 30 seconds before it got stopped and something else found. Oh, those long silences. But didit matter, as all the dances looked the same.

    End of the night at 1am and they moved into the covered lobby and I heard "normal" music being played. We had shut the door at 1am, so they were on there own. I packed the rest up and left.

    Even the venue staff said they had been right pains all day.

    So, now to phone the venue in the morning and find out what is going on there. Communication and admin. is diabolical.

  8. #4868
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    A couple of firsts for me last Saturday.

    1. First repeat private booking.
    2. First ever post wedding party.

    I'd played for this customer before for her 50th birthday party last year so she booked me for her son's wedding reception. The couple got married abroad earlier this year & were planning a party in a local social club. Lovely easy loadin, a stage at a good height & nicely laid out venue. Pity about the tacky LED colour changing pelmet lights though!

    I was supplied a request list that wasn't too onerous & got busy setting up. As the actual wedding was abroad they wanted to play a short video just before the buffet so I had to set my gear back from the stage front to allow space for the screen to come down. No problem at all though it did rather limit the throw of my wash system.

    Basically my role was to play background music until after the buffet (and lots of Little Mix for the kids..). Short speeches preceded the video & after the buffet it was time to cut the wedding cake & have the first dance.

    Nothing out of the ordinary so far, until I came to announce the first dance. Barely a soul paid any attention. So, I sent the music bed I use around another time, cranked it & stopped it abruptly. Aha! That got em. Then the introduction itself.. I adopted more of a wrestling announcer tone than I usually allow (or DJ Barr, if you've seen him MCing on YouTube)... Rapturous applause & hollering from the crowd. The look on the couple's faces - both because I wasn't willing to let them go in on a whimper from the guests and at the final reaction... That'll stay with me for a while for sure. It annoys me when guests pay so little attention to what are very important stages for the couple. They've fed you, maybe watered you as well the very least you can do is put your blimmin phones down for 4 minutes! I'd have been tempted to take them to task had my strategy not worked. Coming out of the first dance they needed absolutely no encouragement though.

    From there, sporadic dancing but mostly from the groom's side... That was pretty much it & I was a bit disappointed. Until the end that is, when I was congratulated on giving them an amazing time & promised all their future family occasion bookings.

    After catching up with my social media posts the next day even more good feedback came in. Just goes to show it's not all about people dancing eh.Name:  IMG_20181020_185531.jpg
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    The kitchen sink: 2x ADJ Quad Phase HP. Equinox gigabar, chauvet washfx (booth back light), 2x Equinox Quad Pix Battens. 4x Marq Gesture Spots. 2x Alto TS115A 1x dB Stage Opera 41.15.QTX FH1500 hazer.

    Setup time Inc loadin: 35 mins. Teardown & load out time 25 mins.

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