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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4871
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Two out of two - back of the net :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Did our friends from across the water imbibe a or two?
    In short - LOTS!

    The only problem was, it was plonk which was brought in so the bar didn't do a lot of business on the day (to explain why this matters....I'm the secretary of the trustees that run this hall and we're looking into all of our charges at the moment....we only charge £1 corkage which is nothing like enough).

    Anyhoo.....today's shenanigans....

    Same venue (the kit was left there overnight, so a nice easy setup today ), completely different crowd.
    In less than 24 hours I went from 150 Anglo-French guests to 100 under 12's.....EEEEK!

    Regular followers will know that I don't do kids parties these days (and haven't done them for about 4 years), with the exception of this one and the stuff I do for the local primary school. I've got nothing against the tiddlers......apart from their music choices and the fact that I have to interact and entertain rather than press play and hit the sync button every now and then

    This one then, was for my local Scout Group (of which I'm the longest serving leader these days although I work with the older ones....not this age group). I do this one for free every year because it's our biggest fundraiser (it costs a hell of a lot to run a Scout group), and every single penny counts.

    It's our 5th year of doing this (why oh why did I mention it during a boozy leader's meeting in the pub all those years ago? ) and it goes from strength to strength every year....in fact we have quite a following now. So much so that we sold out of tickets well in advance of today (we normally have at least a couple on the door....not this year!).

    So, 100 kiddies ranging from babes in arms to 12 years old, their parents, more nylon and greasepaint than I felt safe with around electricity, and we have a party that hopefully the little ones will remember for a long time. Lots of the silly dances, lots of games and indoor snow (it's now the only party the snow machine gets used for....must remember to empty and clean it out tomorrow).

    Oh....and yours truly completely covered in green makeup which now won't scrub off!

    There were two benefits to this one.
    The obvious one in that we raised over £500 for the Scout Group (not too shabby....in fact it's the biggest profit ever and will go a long way). I also gave out several business cards, not as you'd expect for kids parties (because as already mentioned....I don't do them anymore), but for adult retro nights (I wasn't even using the retro kit for this one!). Unfortunately I've already had to decline one of those due to already being booked for their party date

    So.....it would appear that "exposure" really does work

    Just the one next week, my last wedding of the year in my most visited venue (I still have several more elsewhere) where the theme is ties around heads for "classic rock". And THIS is where I'm showing my age.....

    To my mind, "classic rock" involves Quo, Queen, Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Motorhead....you get the idea. To the happy couple (who are in their late 20's/early 30's), classic rock is Greenday, Fallout Boy and Smashmouth (sigh)

    Happily, I got to this afternoon's party early and gave the DXR15s a damned good thrashing to test out the re-bracing work I've done on them....they passed with flying colours

  2. #4872
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Very unusual wedding, midweek Halloween. It's the anniversary of when the couple met, and was held in the fabulous pavilion in the grounds of the park where they met. Venue was decorated in true Halloween fashion, with Ghoulies and Ghosties, Cobwebs and pumpkins, and everything else you'd expect. Playlist reflected this to a great extent, with Ghostbusters, Thriller, Monster Mash, Zombie- Cranberries, Feed my Frankenstein-Alice Cooper and others.

    There was a lot of very leftfield music on my playlist, including many of the less obvious tracks from Kiss, Ramones, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Eagles of Death Metal, Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Throw in a bit of Grunge, Barbie Girl, Ballroom Blitz, and you had a change from the old routine. Coincidentally, my next two don't feature a lot of The Usual Suspects either, must be the season for it.

    The wedding ceremony was held in the same venue, in fact the same room. Once we'd had that, the meal was next, and I got stuck into the playlist. Over the night, I got through ninety of the one hundred tracks on it, as well as requests, so not bad, I feel. It was hard work keeping the floor filled with tracks that just weren't dancefloor friendly, and the requests for the more standard wedding fare did fill it.

    Bride and groom were delighted with the whole event, and I got a significant bonus in respect of the extra work I put in over the initial agreement.

    I can't praise the venue staff enough, they regarded the DJ as a member of the team, and treated me accordingly, I was given everything guests got, including sitting down to a three course meal with the photographer, up on the top level. If only all venues had staff like this.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  3. #4873
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Engagement party on Friday, in Hull. Somewhat amusing and confusing, as Wednesday was for Bride Sophie, and Saturday is for engagement Sophie. Under stress, I called Friday's engagement Jessica by the name Sophie, in an email exchange. This was the cause for much hilarity and jesting as we started on Friday.

    It's a doddle of a load in at this hotel, ( once you've fought your way through Friday rush hour traffic in Hull. It's on the main route out of Hull heading to the coast, and the docks. ) technically access is through a building firm next door, but you get to park next to the fire doors, straight into the room. I have to say it's one of the best thought out function rooms, as it has moodlighting in all directions on the walls and pillars, very effective.

    It's a big room, with a low ceiling, and I have had PA systems struggle in there, but the 15" Proels coped easily. Ideally, it merited 15" subs and 12" tops, but since we expected under 75 guests, and Saturday's rig will be considerably smaller, I decided to take the easy way out, even with the help of my trusty native guide and Roadie, John Brown.

    The evening never saw a packed dancefloor, but it was nicely filled at the end, and a couple of guests came up as they left to say they had seen some really poor* DJs at functions lately, and it was nice to see good ones at work. Aw, shucks.


    * Other more colourful adjectives are available.

    Hey ho, across to Wakefield for another engagement, with more help from The Sounds Lads, Dave and Matty. They're working a couple of miles away from mine, and offered to help with a tight timetable for setup. Thanks lads, much appreciated.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  4. #4874
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Another engagement party, this time in a lovely little cricket club in the West Riding. I had a playlist of Indie, R&Bilge, and a few classics. It actually worked very very well, and the floor never really emptied. The night went well, after a chaotic access scenario, and I managed to find enough room in the corner for a much smaller rig than Friday night. The Micron booth seems to constantly offer new ways to hang lights from it, and I managed to get a Vbar between the uprights for a colour wash. Worked well, and has sparked ideas.

    Huge thanks to Dave and Mattysounds for their invaluable help in setting up and taking down. The lads are absolute stars.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  5. #4875
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Awesome

    OK - I went into this evening with more than a little trepidation following on from the events of last week (paid up members will have seen the disasters which beset my rig at my last wedding....not pretty).

    So, much of this week has been spent testing, backing up, testing again.....after the bashing the kit got....I was worried. So much so that I took a THIRD laptop with me, just in case the hard drives in the two main play outs decided they'd had enough (new drives arrive on Monday)

    I needn't have worried (too much).

    A lovely couple with very polar opinions in musical taste (as I learned when I met up with them a couple of weeks ago). He - very hard core metal etc. (we're talking Rammenstein here!), she....just wanted a party with cheese. A tricky mix to pull off (but of course yours truly did what he does and shone).

    Twas a very small affair with only about 40 in attendance for the evening. For a change, not too boozy either, in fact a refreshing change. I even had the best photographer I think I've EVER had the opportunity to work with. We actually got on, worked together with how things like cake cutting and first dances were going to pan out, how the lighting should be.....brilliant

    Yes, I was nervous. Despite my best efforts the Denon didn't want to play ball initially (somehow the settings had managed to change in VDJ but caused a bit of a squeak in the trouser department for a moment). I was also permanently on edge every time somebody danced too close to the booth (I was on the same level as the guests this week....no stage). And then, my shiny new mics (the only bit of kit I had to physically replace)....stopped working (a quick dash to the van to collect my wired Sennheiser in the pouring rain sorted that one out). Turns out the adapter hadn't been properly in the extension lead behind the mixer....doh! (don't worry Andy....it appears to be working now ).

    And then there was always the worry that it wasn't going to get going. It was a slow burner to say the least but once they decided to get out of the bar and onto my dance floor....boom!

    So - one very happy (if mentally shattered) DJ so far this weekend.

    Tomorrow....the furthest journey of the year with an hour's drive each way. I've not met the couple (or even spoken to them....just didn't happen despite numerous attempts). The playlist is entirely prescribed with no requests allowed and I've got to do my thang for an hour before the Ceilidh and then for three hours at the end. I may be pleasantly surprised.......more on that tomorrow night

  6. #4876
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default Communication, communication, communication!

    Wayne, the microphones are cordless, but the receiver has to be plugged in! You ( I suspect, nay know I've done worse. )

    OK, to my Friday. Evening of something for a local swimming club. Effectively all I knew were times and venue, which was a shame, as it was quite a complicated event. It comprised a quiz, games, food by burger van outside, dessert table inside, fireworks, and large raffle.

    I wasn't really given information on how this would all pan out, just that they would magically occur, and I'd be guided by the organisers, this year's swim team captains. ( Combined age a lot less than forty, I'd say with confidence).

    Guests ranged from five to seventy five, I'd say, and the younger end wanted immense amount of ( Disney ? ) film soundtracks, Little Mix, and the like. Older ones were more reticent about requesting stuff.

    The quiz was one where guests filled it out through the night, no need for any help there. Sheets were simply handed out to participants, and they got on with it.

    Ten to eight, fella reminds me fireworks are outside in ten minutes, so I try to get the crowd outside for this. Eventually, most get their coats on and leave, but the hoped for eight pm start drifts back a while. Well worth waiting for though, fabulous display.

    Back into the hall, and next is food. Hmmm. Burger vans can not cope with seventy plus guests simultaneously, so I was sending them out in relays. It sort of worked, kind of. I think guests were eating faster than the burger van was cooking, so there were sporadic hiccups in supply.

    More dancing, and then we have the quiz results, and raffle. Hand over a mic, stand back, simples. When that's over, I've got about a good hour to fill, the promised games never materialise, the video presentation doesn't either, so it's just little old me.

    Organisers and guests are delighted, I'm paid, so technically, that's a result. With a little information, I could have added so much more. Ah well.

    Tonight, a last minute cover in Hull to replace a cancelled in January/ Rebooked for November/ Cancelled two days before the November date Legslappers gig. None of us are very happy about that one, and we suspect we will already be be booked if they want to go for third time lucky.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  7. #4877
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Default Why can't all midweek weddings be like this?

    A small intimate venue for me last Thursday for a wedding of two brides. The initial plan was to play from 3pm-10pm with 10 being their big send off in a taxi whisking them off on their honeymoon but on waking up on the day I noticed I had an email. Is it possible to start half an hour earlier? Sure, no problem & shortly afterwards I found more money had been deposited in my account. Talk about swift!

    I arrived at the venue to find my reserved parking space hadn't yet been allocated (I was very early with it being a venue new to me) but got parked no problem. Loading in was slightly tricky with a step to get in the building & there was a narrowish step just outside the function room doors inside I had to navigate my trolley across. No drama though & it took only 30 minutes to get in & set up. With it being such an intimate venue kit was fairly minimal - 2 tops on tripods, booth, 2 movers on shelves and my erstwhile Gigabar on a gravity stand (I wish I'd bought that ages ago!).

    I was way ahead of time which was just as well because guests started to arrive at 2.15pm. No matter & I kept my eyes peeled for the brides' arrival. They absolutely didn't need any announcing or introduction - the guests burst into a rapturous reception all by themselves at 2.45.

    Timing was very much 'play it all by ear' & that plan worked great. First dance was some time around 4.30pm & from there it was packed floor pretty much all the way til 10. We took in a lot of music, old & new... mostly very very new which was a refreshing change. Some of the usual suspects made an appearance & the cheesiest the music got was a request for Saturday Night, which everybody Macarena'd to til I took it off after 2 minutes or so to launch into a bit of a 90s dance set.

    10pm came, everybody joined the brides on the dancefloor for a round of This Girl by Kungs (as planned) & armed with sparklers everyone headed outside to form a sparkler tunnel for the brides to get to their waiting taxi.

    When I took the booking I had qualms about the times but looking at how smoothly, and how the pace of the day went overall it was absolute genius. It was absolutely awesome. More like this please!

    As I was leaving the bar manager asked for a card & asked me which clubs I currently DJ at. Eh? Oh haha no, I'm only a mobile DJ. "Really? Never heard a mobile DJ who can do what you did here today it was brilliant!".

  8. #4878
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    Turned up tonight at 5pm to set up for a combined anniversary / birthday party to find the room with tables, chairs and dancefloor and nothing else. No staff around, but the notice outside told me I was in the right place. Oh well, I went to the store room to drag a table out (its usually ready and waiting, saves me time and carrying a stand with me) set it in the usual space, aligned with the middle of the dancefloor and carried on fetching in. Stahds up, lights mounted, speakers connected. Not even 6pm yet. The events manager arrived and just made social chat. Obviously nothing out of the ordinary, thought I as she left me to it.

    Then, bang bang bang on the fire exit door (Peter's secret entrance). I opened it, to find 3 men and a trailer. You must be the DJ says they, we're the band. Er, OK then, where are you going to set up then? Ah, usually where you are. As I explained to them, I had no idea there was a band on the way, so we shifted a guest table and they set up to one side. Manager reappeared and I asked her if she knew there was a band coming. Oh yes she said, but you were already in and set up, so she wasn't going to ask me to move. That's a first I thought.

    So, from looking at a 6 hour shift (7 to 1), its turned out to ne 7.30 to 8.30 with background music. Band on at 8.30 to 9.15 when they just stopped and told me that the buffet was ready! Thanks guys. Buffet then until 10.00 when the band came back on and they are still going until 1045 or 1100 if they feel like it. The birthday / anniversary boy said I would then play until midnight when they will all be off. News to everybody, including the manager and bar staff, and me, who all thought it was a 1am finish. Well, I suppose it still might be, but we won't be advertising it!!

    So, here I type, feet up, scoffing burgers off the buffet, which I was invited (more like implored) to partake. There's enough left to feed them all again I reckon.

    What's the time.......? Better think about it then.

  9. #4879
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Tomorrow....the furthest journey of the year with an hour's drive each way. I've not met the couple (or even spoken to them....just didn't happen despite numerous attempts). The playlist is entirely prescribed with no requests allowed and I've got to do my thang for an hour before the Ceilidh and then for three hours at the end. I may be pleasantly surprised.......more on that tomorrow night
    So it would appear I wasn't the only one with very little communication from the happy couple before the event on this one (a very nice couple I might add).

    The photographer, videographer, Ceilidh band and even the VENUE had been struggling to make contact. Everybody was winging it...I kid you not.

    Got in (luckily I found a space right near the door....the venue has no parking and it's on-street only), and straight into the lift. There's a small stage at the end and that's where the venue said I should set up. Not acres of space, but more than ample for my stick rig.

    I'd never been to this venue before (it's well and truly off my "patch" but I'd been referred both from a previous wedding and by a now retired DJ friend who lives over that way). I immediately regretted turning up with the Evolves.....the room was HUGE and there were 120 names on the seating plan.....eeek!

    Setup complete and all plugged in and working....the Ceilidh band arrive. Now bear in mind I'd been setting up in full view of the guests I was a little bit surprised to learn that the band were supposed to be sharing the stage (they were more than happy to go to one side but it wasn't to be). So.....rig shifted back as far as it'll go whilst still allowing me to breath and they setup their kit in front of me.

    Arranged with the best men to move the cake to the middle of the dance floor from the corner it was stuck in (the photographer didn't know what was supposed to be happening with this), and took charge of the introduction, the cake cut (yes....we did a countdown with a LOT of whooping and cheering), and then straight into the first dance. This is where it all became AWESOME!

    First dance song? Praise You by Fat Boy Slim. Around the point where the beat drops in, I invited the assembled guests onto the floor. I've NEVER seen a first dance where the guests have their arms aloft and are bouncing along.....absolutely BRILLIANT!

    Then - it's an hour's rest as the Ceilidh band do their thing (a well earned cool down - it was boiling up in the function room!).

    Ceilidh done....yours truly takes the reigns.

    I've already mentioned I'd regretted taking the Evolves.....pah! They more than handled it (only saw them peak once and that was due to the gain being wrongly stored in VDJ). They're a damned site more capable than I'd ever imagined (and on a stage they don't half thump!).

    As mentioned last night, I had a set list. Not in the way that I had to play songs in a certain order (well not quite....they wanted me to go from old to new and end up on Hip Hop stuff before ending properly on Hey Jude.....how the hell do you make that transition?????

    I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I'd got a list of around 4 hours of music for a 3 hour slot, and some of it was never going to work, so I went through picking what I thought would work on the fly (some track being changed literally seconds before the previous one faded). Every single one was a banger! The dance floor quite literally NEVER emptied

    In the end, I got the timings a little wrong and overjudged how long the hip hop section was going to last....it finished 20 minutes early . So, seeing a few club hits left on the list, went into those. Yup.....arms in the air again, and the Bride and Groom held aloft on the guests' shoulders!

    Hey Jude faded in along with my good nights. The were still singing long after I'd powered down!

    That was my last wedding of the 2018 season, and my God it was the best one yet. I'd hoped to finish the season with a bang....mission accomplished

    Time for around 4 hours sleep now....as a Scout Leader I've got to do the whole Remembrance thing early doors. Think I might be napping in the pews
    Last edited by Imagine; 11-11-2018 at 02:57 AM.

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