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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #5091
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default I've done it again

    I seem to be lucky at the moment and my marketing is hitting the right people - yet another relaxed wedding in a tent for me this weekend with a music policy of pretty much anything but we'd prefer it to be before the turn of the century.

    Okey dokey then

    I actually met the bride a couple of weeks ago for this one. Lovely lady who's been through the mill over the past couple of years. Her and her partner just want an enjoyable day.....and they certainly got that.

    The venue? We call it Thetford Forest round these parts. I kid you not.....TWO MILES down a forest track into a field in the middle of nowhere. You could almost here Cpt. Mainwairing shouting at pt Pike to stop being a stupid boy (most of Dad's Army was filmed in these parts).

    Eventually the track opens out onto an open field with a huge tent, one of the biggest generators I've ever seen, and a parking spot right next to a convenient access flap where I was to set up . I'm liking this one more and more. Full rustic rig was in and working in under 30 minutes!

    Because I was early, I was invited to go and watch the ceremony itself (I wasn't doing that part - they'd got a friend who's an acoustic guitarist doing that part), so it was nice to actually watch proceedings without the stress of managing them.

    I've been to a few ceremonies in my time but this one was absolutely flipping amazing. The whole thing is conducted in a clearing in the forest! They have a permanent structure for the official signing bit, but the rest is completely open air and very refreshing! It's actually a bit "hippy". Absolutely gorgeous.

    Background music for the next 90 minutes whilst the guests tucked in. I was offered, but declined as I'd already been and got mine en-route and with the ridiculously stubborn man-flu I've had for the past week, wasn't that fussed about eating anyway.

    Fathers of the bride and groom speeches done (the groom came later), it's time to start the party side of things. During our meeting, I'd been promised mainly 80s fayre and indeed had been given a loose list of favourites to play. The only modern tracks being those of Sigala, because his parents were in attendance.

    Halfway through, we stopped the music for the groom to make his speech (yup, I thought it strange but it's their day and if that's what they want to do). I was given instructions to play One Step Beyond and go into a Ska set at the end of the speech because he thought it'd get the gentlemen onto the floor....he wasn't wrong!

    Not for the first time recently the likes of Mr Bronski fell flat on his face in favour of 70s disco and a massive 90s club set (God that was hard work but very rewarding). I was blessed with a full floor until around 30 minutes before the end (it was getting chilly and being in the middle of absolutely nowhere, people had started heading for home).

    Big finish on BoRap and it's time to shove the gear back through the flap into the van just a couple of feet away and navigate the windy roads home - with a massive grin on my chops after another job well done.

    Couple of weeks off now (not by choice sadly). I'm planning on honing in on what makes these particular couples choose me (because I LOVE this sort of wedding) and then looking for ways to exploit whatever it is because I'm not quite feeling this whole "2020" phenomenon that others are bragging about yet......

  2. #5092
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    I seem to be lucky at the moment and my marketing is hitting the right people - yet another relaxed wedding in a tent for me this weekend with a music policy of pretty much anything but we'd prefer it to be before the turn of the century.
    Lucky you. Mine seems to be hitting the people who want to help me hit the right people, and separate me from my wonga for the priveledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Couple of weeks off now (not by choice sadly). I'm planning on honing in on what makes these particular couples choose me (because I LOVE this sort of wedding)
    I would have to concur with my hairy Southern friend on this. Me too.

    OK, my gig. Well, covering for a local operator ( who seems to have a very large operation and widespread working area. Whether I can or indeed wish to tap into this, I'm not sure. ) at a venue I'd not been to before.

    Except, when I turned off the motorway with less than ten miles to go, certain bits appeared eerily familiar. The road I'd vowed never to use again! sat navs! Rather than sit serenely with my foot planted on the throttle, it decides to save me about a mile by taking me along some frightening single track roads. Grrr. Going home, I took the major roads, and my progress was smooth and unhindered.

    The gig. It was in a wedding anniversary in a barn on a farm which has diversified into catering and ice cream. Lovely hosts, and I was on with a band. Very very young ( under eighteen I'd say, before some wit says under sixty ) and could soon be very good. They lack experience and stagecraft, but that will surely come. Anyway, I'd arrived early to find the band had snagged most of the available space ( they'd already been told not to squeeze up a bit, as they'd originally nicked my bit as well ) and most of the power earmarked for me. Bands, eh?

    I did the first hour as guests arrived to chat, and the band took up the baton from me. Cue an upset guest rollocking me for the band being too loud! He seemed genuinely amazed and disgusted that I couldn't turn the blighters down. Look mate, my involvement with them extends solely of introducing them, and pointing some of my lights in their direction, cos they don't have any!

    Band's first set over, and it's food/ice cream time for the guests. Sporadic dancing breaks out, and I juggle the music to suit, requests vary from Chemical Brothers to Abba, both equally well received! ( But not by the same guests). Band do a second set with a reduced line up ( must have been past their bedtime for some of them, I'd guess ) and overstay their welcome a tad, ending aimlessly with a mumbled hand over back to me. Like I said, stagecraft will come. Less than an hour to fill for me, crowd are straining at the leash for their portion of cheese, and it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Finish with Waterloo ( told you they liked Abba ) and switch off on the dot of midnight. Job done, everybody happy.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  3. #5093
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    because I'm not quite feeling this whole "2020" phenomenon that others are bragging about yet......
    Neither am I, but talking to truthful venues and suppliers I don't think it is going to become a reality
    North East and Cumbria NADJ Chairman

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  4. #5094
    Resident Antagonist Benny Smyth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppentertainments View Post
    Neither am I, but talking to truthful venues and suppliers I don't think it is going to become a reality
    It will. In January/February. Over the last 6 weeks, I have taken more bookings for 2021 than I have for 2020 but I think that January in 2020 is going to be a 'glued to your computer' month.

  5. #5095
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    It will. In January/February. Over the last 6 weeks, I have taken more bookings for 2021 than I have for 2020 but I think that January in 2020 is going to be a 'glued to your computer' month.
    I certainly hope so.

    That said, I've had a real flurry of enquiries today. Why oh why do they always come in on a Sunday morning when you're still dead from the night before and really don't feel like getting enthusiastic about any type of party

  6. #5096
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    After 2 honkers in August - 1 an alcoholic couple who were an absolute nightmare to deal with, the other the daughter of an ex colleague with a rather strange new husband and friend group, my last few have been great.

    Saturday I was in a castle in the borders.

    I just about managed to get my drone up with the wind going (managed to break my car door getting it caught in a gust but that's another story )

    A guy from the Singing Kettle (big Scottish kids show from back in the day) was going to do 'a bit' turned out to be well over an hour of him doing ceilidh, playing accordion and doing songs from the show that everyone knows but chucking in family members names - I wasn't too sure how it would work but he was brilliant and everyone had a ball.

    I crack on about 9, don't bother turning down for the buffet because I've only just started and it's in another room anyway, and smash it through to Midnight.

    Tiny room so small rig means I'm out and on the road 20 minutes after finishing up. Home for half 2, bottle of wine in the hot tub, stay up for the boxing and then fall asleep as soon as Fury starts his ring walk

    I'm getting more and more into the filming side of things and thinking about rolling this out as a sideline for other DJs and bands as I now have my Permission for Commercial Operations with the drone. Anyone think it'd take off? (no pun intended!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gs6nwpbpws&t=61s

    Or even just a really cool drone based intro for their own media
    Last edited by Excalibur; 17-09-2019 at 06:21 AM. Reason: Merged posts

  7. #5097
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    Default Don't take first impressions for granted

    I don’t often post about gigs as to be honest most are a bit of a blur by the time Monday morning comes around, but I did have 1 memorable weekend not so long ago that has really taught me a big lesson about first impressions.

    I turned up at a venue for an all-day wedding, setup as normal but did notice a lot more tables/chairs than normal. Turns out numbers just kept increasing – to the stage there was too many in the room.

    The wedding coordinator came in with some news “We have just found out it is in fact a gypsy wedding”. Prior to this alarm bells never sounded as the usual signs (pay in cash, demanding etc) weren’t there – but alarm bells were suddenly very active.

    They arrived for reception drinks – bringing own drink in, smoking inside, kids running riot – you get the picture and I was worried I have to admit. Made necessary precautionary measures (ie a very quick get out if needed) and then tried to put it to the back of my mind. I was worried that I had my Starcloth, uplighting etc in but they had paid for it so nothing I could do.

    Into the room they came and they were having a buffet instead of sit down meal and wanted it table by table. Oh jees, no chance I thought.

    Anyway to jump to the result – they were really polite, no problems (one fight outside but nothing major). The buffet ran as smooth as you could imagine and in record time, any requests were finished with a please, one request I couldn’t find was met with “no problem at all you are doing a great job”. Yes I was hammered with requests but don’t mind that and everyone had a great time.

    Move onto the next day and I had 42 people, B&G in their 60s, not many kids and a very nice venue.

    The result – a fight at the end of the night and the police called out.

    Would never believe it haha
    North East and Cumbria NADJ Chairman

    www.premierweddingdj.co.uk
    www.ultimateweddingdj.co.uk

  8. #5098
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    A very enjoyable Saturday night for the North Lincs branch of The Stroke Association, helping their fundraiser amass just under £1,000 on the night.

    I'd been aware of this function at my resident venue since early June, but had not been booked by the venue, so assumed that the client had made their own arrangements. I did enquire of the venue, asking if they would like me, as my brother-in-law unfortunately suffered a stroke earlier this year and thought it would be nice to be involved. So nothing was the reply!

    Then, 3 weeks ago, while I was away in Greece, I got an SOS from the venue asking me if I could cover the night. Apparently, the band they had booked were also providing the disco, but had been let down. I'd already been booked for a wedding there, so I rang a tried and trusted colleague, who was otherwise engaged. Another number off the list proved successful, so I responded to the venue in the affirmative, switching myself to the Stroke function and leaving Shaun the wedding.
    So, on to Saturday then and, as it was a charity function, with all the trimmings, raffle, band, photo stand etc., I decided to arrive nice and early to pick my spot.

    On arrival, I encountered the biggest raffle table I had ever seen which, by the time all of the 37 prizes were put on it, was groaning under the weight. At least they did't have the BMW Car on it for the BMW Experience that they were raffling separately.

    Luckily, Sean from the venue was also early, so we consulted each other to formulate a plan. He gave me the news that there was no band mentioned on his sheet, just little old me. Never to be told twice, I started to set up centre stage (with no stage) and sod the band (who never turned up anyway). I was done and dusted over an hour later, so took the eopportunity to visit the other room there and catch up with my colleague.

    Back in for around 6.15pm the organisers started arriving, two lovely ladies, Sarah and Ingrid who told me that they had actually left the entertainment for the evening in the care of a third member of their team who, with 3 weeks to go, still hadn't contacted the band she was promising to get. So the other two pulled rank and said no and contacted the hotel for my availability. They were very grateful that I was there and invited me to dine with them at their table. In almost 50 years, I can count the number of times that's happend on the thumbs of one hand.

    Food was delicious (I'd probably got to have a left over dinner anyway) and we sorted ot the running order. Couple of speeches at 9pm, raffle at 9.15, BMW raffle at 9.30 then over to me.

    They had put pre-printed request cards on the tables for guests to write on (but hadn't thought of pens of course). I was gathering quite a collection, of which 3 were for Rod Stewart's "Sailing". That'll be a teaser, finding a slot for that. Turns out that they use that in rehabilitation in that people can sing and sway their arms around. Given that there were 6 stroke survivors there, that was a master stro.... ah, very good idea.

    So on we went and everything ran late of course, with the 37 prize raffle taking well over half an hour despite best intentions. As there were only 59 guests, they might as well have got a few more and given everyone one prize each.

    Still the requests came, so, while the raffle was going on, I took to selecting the songs to create a working playing order. There were a few that didn't fit with others, Robbie's "Angels", Nickleback's "Rockstar", Tina Turner "What's love got to do with it" so I held on to them, knowing that something would come along. I wasn't disappointed. There were several cheese fests too, with the usual Cha Cha Slide, Gangnam Style and Time Warp, plus others, so that was half an hour or so where I didn't have to think. At the end of then ighgt, I counted 42 requests and I missed 2 out, mainly because I knew that the requestees had gone home early!

    Virtually full dancefloor all night - I do allow then some down time, don't want to kill anybody! I did wonder whether we would make 1am, but we did, with all 12 still dancing away. At the end of the night, there was a big round of applause and every one of the twelve came over to thank me personally. Saa said to me that I had been "absolutely brilliant" and that I "had made the evening the best". Not bad for a substitute, said I. Oh, no she said, I'm so pleased we didn't have the band, and it will be you next time too. And it will be in the same location next year they said. If we can get the numbers up, it will be even better.

    Thank you Stroke Association for giving me an easy and most enjoyable night. Now, who would like to help me pack down...?

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