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Sheldon Conrich - Singing guitarist and DJ

Book A Musician and DJ – Bespoke Wedding Music

Book A Musician and DJ – The Bespoke Wedding

Sheldon Conrich - Singing guitarist and DJ

The modern wedding is very different to that of even a few years ago. I’ve been performing as a wedding musician for over ten years but I have seen a shift in the last few years. Couples are looking for much more creative control of their wedding music. Gone are the days where a band or musician can have a set repertoire list and the couple leave all to the band’s discretion. These days couples have a lot more knowledge of music and what they want. Maybe this is because of the emergence of Spotify or because weddings were becoming very similar musically.

After performing for eight years in a DJ live band – a blend of DJing and live music – I realised that this format was the way forward. So for a period of years I worked hard crafting my Djing skills so that I could offer clients both a musician and DJ for their wedding.

The modern wedding musician

So with my large acoustic knowledge and now growing DJ party music knowledge it was time to let clients know what they could expect at their wedding. The fact that I could offer a wide range of acoustic music for the wedding ceremony, reception drinks and dinner was not enough. But now I could take this to clients and offer them my Djing services for the party. I found once the musician and and DJ option was on the table clients were a lot more interested in my services. I think this is because of what I mentioned before, the idea that couples can completely bespoke their wedding music and it’s changed the game.

Book your wedding music today or carrying reading to find out more musical options.

More Wedding Music Options

Before I was DJing at weddings I offered a duo and trio set up for the acoustic elements of a day. Often I would perform an instrumental jazz set with my saxophonist and a modern poppy acoustic vocal set with the added percussionist during reception and dinner. Going out as a musician and DJ, plus having a duo and trio option, couples were again having even greater ability to create a bespoke wedding. I was also finding couples asking my musicians to stick around for the DJ sets to jam along with the tracks – giving a DJ live feel to the party. Again this has been a new development to find it’s way into the wedding scene over the past few years. Giving the sense of a big party with a live element but with fewer musicians has giving couples a much more affordable wedding in regards to their music. I pride myself on offering the best deal I can for my clients and always try to stick within their budgets.

Book your wedding musicians or read on to learn about the first dance.

The First Dance – The Magical Moment

Musician and DJ - Sheldon Conrich

A couples first dance is always a magical moment and is something that will be remembered for the rest of the their lives. So you would think it would be an important decision, both what song is chosen and how it is performed. Some couples choose a song that is extremely special to them. They want the original song played by the original artist – just like when they first heard it. Other couples want to hear their first dance sung to them live to bring a completely intimate and one off moment for them. Traditionally this can pose a problem for a DJ – who can’t perform a live track – and a band – who can’t perform with the original artist. With myself being a musician and DJ, this has been a great advantage for couples. It has meant they can choose whichever option they want for their first dance. If they need an acoustic performance then I’ll grab my guitar, learn their song and perform it live. If they want the original artist version, I’ll make sure it’s queued on the decks before I DJ the rest of the party. It really has been a great option to add to my services.

Book your musician and DJ today or read on to find out about my function band.

A Full Live Function Band

https://youtu.be/qa1chrbtcbc

The only thing I found that was missing from my services was the ability to provide a full wedding function band. If I was to truly offer a bespoke wedding service then I needed all options covered. And this meant I had to start putting together a function band option. After 2 years of work, the Cocktails and Dreams band was born. With my full live function band armed and ready I could now offer clients the widest set of musical options for their wedding. I can now offer couples the following options for music at their wedding – a solo guitarist/DJ, duo, trio and full live function band (up to 7 piece including sax and percussion).

Your Bespoke Wedding Musician and DJ

So the modern wedding is one of unique, individual moments, that have a mixture of live and DJ’ed music. I feel fortunate enough to have been able to have recognised this, develop new skills and offer a truly bespoke wedding to all couples. If you are looking for a musician and DJ at your wedding, or maybe something larger like a duo, trio or full band feel free to get in touch.

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Sheldon Conrich - Singing guitarist and DJ

Weddings, Videos and A New Function Band

Weddings, YouTube and My New Function Band

The past few months have been very busy for many reasons. Firstly I became a dad and that has been amazing, scary and time consuming all at the same time. It’s also coincided with the busiest time of the year for a musician performing at weddings and events. The summer is notorious for celebrating weddings and the British summer has not let us down.

On top of that I’ve been working hard putting together a music video, collection of audio and photos for my new function band – Cocktails & Dreams. There’s actually a lot of work that goes in to showing the general public what a function band does if they haven’t seen you live. It’s very difficult to capture the feel of a live performance when adrenalin is flying and everyone is high on life at a wedding. But we’ve done our best to put together some cool material for everyone.

Wedding Music

Wedding musician in France and new function band

It’s been a busy wedding season so far and I’ve been travelling about the UK which has been great. I even had a little wedding stop off in a small town called Trets in France. It has some beautiful picturesque views from the Vineyard venue I performed at. Granted I was insanely tired after very little sleep – tends to happen being a new dad – but it was still fun to adventure out of the UK.

Some of the highlights over the past couple of months have been performing at Andy Murray’s hotel, Cromlix, in Dunblane with The Function Band. I’d had very little sleep up until that wedding but we drove for 10 hours in a double decker tour bus with bunk beds. So I actually slept there and back. The wedding was also beautiful but the memory is sleep at this moment.

I also enjoyed performing at the Arts Club in Dover street. It’s a pretty cool place with a basement club. I think the couple were a little surprised to hear their Jewish Israeli dancing music performed at 11.30 in the evening but they certainly went for it. And the highlight for that wedding was our acoustic set where all the guests during their dinner got onto the dance floor, surrounded us and sang along to every song we performed. What a buzz.

YouTube Videos

So I’ve continued performing various themed videos for my YouTube channel. This includes Masters of solo, masters of the riff, Guitar tip of the week, Acoustic cover challenge and Short solos for a year. All of these playlists feature me demonstrating the various things I do on the guitar. As I was once called Sheldon ‘The Encyclopedia’ Conrich because of my song knowledge. I wanted to demonstrate this both on a soloing level and on a riff based level. So I’ve been performing some of my favourite riffs and solos which I hope you are enjoying. It’s been a lot of fun recording them and hopefully I’ll reach maybe 100 videos for those two playlists in the years to come.

I continue to give free guitar tips to budding guitarists trying to improve their guitar skills. Obviously as a guitar teacher, you’re only getting a scratching of the surface in each video. So if you want to reallllly learn, then do come and have some guitar lessons with me. But in the meantime enjoy the guitar tips each week.

I’ve also embarked on a journey to improve my soloing ability and general ability around the guitar. So this will be an ongoing project to record solos every week for a year. The aim is by the end of the year my soloing will have transformed from the first to the last video. Let’s see.

New Function Band

https://youtu.be/qa1chrbtcbc

As mentioned Cocktails & Dreams are a new function band I’ve put together with some great musicians. We’re all about having fun and enjoying ourselves at the events we perform at. We do play a lot of party songs for people to dance to on the dance floor, but I’ve also introduced my DJing skills to the set up. So in between live band sets, couples will continue to be entertained with me Djing their favourite songs. So it’s been great to finally get this new function band on the road and start performing at events. We do have a regular venue we play at each month called the Ranelagh. Should you want to see the band then feel free to come down and check us out.

That’s all folks

So that’s really it for the moment but I’ll write another update blog in probably another few months when I get five minutes to myself. In the meantime, have a great rest of your week.

 

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Sheldon Conrich - New YouTube Videos

February – Weddings and YouTube Videos

February – Weddings and YouTube Videos

In my last blog post I talked about all the projects I am excited to be involved in and will be part of over the course of 2017. It’s been a month or so since I last posted and a lot has happened since then. So this blog is really to share with you what’s been going on in my world and to invite you to become vocal and interactive in the content I’m sharing. I’ve been creating and sharing YouTube videos and performing at some great weddings.

New YouTube Videos – Song Intros

I started this little game to test myself on what I could play and to test you lot on your musical knowledge. The concept has been to play the intros to various famous and obscure songs and for you to guess them. But really what has come out of it has been a lot of fun performing some of my favourite songs. And I’ve now been given a nickname by my fellow musicians ‘The encyclopedia’ which I’m taking as a compliment. I’ve recorded all of these intros and turned them into YouTube videos for you to watch.
My encyclopedic knowledge of music was tested at a recent function when I was asked to jam along to some songs the guests were singing without any pre warning of the songs or keys. I love these sorts of challenges. It’s part of the reason I love being a musician – testing my skills and musical ability every day.

New YouTube Videos – Famous Guitar Solos

This next project I’ve been sharing with you is based on famous acoustic and electric solos. I don’t think up until this point anyone has really seen what my soloing ability is like and who has influenced it. So before I start to perform my own solos I wanted to record a load of solos that have made me the lead guitarist I am today. There have been over twenty solos recorded so far, so watch out for these over the coming weeks. But I seriously love this stuff. And if you have any suggestions for me, let me know. I aim to add more YouTube videos over the next month so just keep checking out the playlist.

New YouTube Videos – Guitar Tips of the Week

As well as being a gigging musician for weddings and events I am also a guitar and piano teacher. I was talking to my wife and she mentioned that people might be interested in short simple tips that will dramatically improve their guitar playing. I thought, ok this could be fun. So I’ve started recording and posting a bunch of guitar tip YouTube videos for those of you who want to improve your guitar playing. Eventually this playlist will cover anything from simple chord changes and strumming to advanced soloing techniques and theory knowledge. I guess in some way this playlist will be my legacy for my children to watch when I’m old and grey!

Weddings weddings weddings

Duo musicians and DJ for weddings

It’s been a busy month or so with both weddings and events. I was fortunate enough to provide live music at Nick and Laura’s wedding which was a lot of fun. I’ve also performed a classic acoustic set at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel, gigged at the O2 with the Cocktails and Dreams band and most recently headed to Leeds to perform with the Function Band. Playing at weddings and functions is what I love to do so I’m very fortunate to be able to do it so regularly.

What’s Next?

So what’s coming next? Well I’m a performing musician both as a singing guitarist and DJ and with other musical set ups. So next up for you, I’ll be recording a playlist of cover songs I would usually play at events so you get a sense of what I do every week. You may have to wait a few weeks before this starts to materialise but I’m up for it and I hope you’re keen on watching it too. I’m also sharing a load of photos and videos on my instagram account. If you haven’t seen them then check them out. Do you have any suggestions of new YouTube videos I could post? Get in touch.

So that’s it for this month’s blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching and listening to me play and I look forward to updating you all over the next few months about other things going on in my world. But for now, ciao.

P.s. If you have any questions, enquiries or just want to chat feel free to contact me.

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New to 2017 – Musical Projects and Performances in 2017

New to 2017 – Musical Projects and Performances

Over the course of the next year I’ll be putting more time into new musical projects and developing older ones. I’ve been very fortunate to have had some great fun over the years with various artists, bands and teaching set ups. For me this year feels different. There is something in my playing and general understanding of music that has evolved over the past few years. And this development has brought me here, to my starting place in music. To many of you that may seem strange. I’ve been learning an instrument of some sort since the age of 7. But the way I see it, you build up a musical identity over years and years of practise and listening.

Listening is really the key element here. When you first start out you listen to music in a particular way for particular things. But as you become more exposed to new ideas, rhythms, influences you start to listen for these in all forms of music. And invariably this takes you on a whirlwind musical journey that really is never ending. I feel I was wiping my feet on the matt before the start of the ‘yellow big musical road’ and I’m taking my first steps on it this year.

So to my musical projects of 2017..

The Jazz Duo

Duo and Trio for events - Sheldon Conrich

I plan to put more time into developing my instrumental jazz duo. I feel we’re at the very start of something interesting. Whilst we have performed a lot over the years pulling out jazz standards arranged for acoustic guitar and saxophone, we’ll be looking to freshen up our sound, look and performance levels.

Che Bello

Che Bello - Italian Music Duo for events

‘Che Bello’ is my first attempt at learning and mastering traditional and modern Italian songs. There’s a lot of jazz, soul and pop in the Italian genres. So it’s been fun doing this with Alice Edun’s cracking vocals. So watch this space over 2017.

Chord Melody Guitar

One of my core passions is guitar chord melody. This involves adapting and performing instrumental versions on my guitar of songs I like. It takes a fair bit of chord and melody knowledge to be under your fingers before you can just let go and see your own style emerge. This has been a big transition for me and I’m excited to arrange and record a load of material that will go on my YouTube Playlist.

DJ Shel

sheldon-conrich-dj-for-events

It’s been quite a year of learning and improving. And something I’ve really spent time on this year is DJing. This really has been born out of trying to make lives easier for clients at events who want the mix of acoustic music and DJing. As my DJing experience and catalogue has grown I’ve been able to offer clients more and more and save them time and stress looking for separate musical entities. So I look forward to DJing a lot more in 2017.

Guess The Intro

Guess the intro is just a fun little game I’ve been playing for the past few months. I’ll record literally the intro of a song and you the public must guess what I’m trying to play. Some songs are obscure and some quite current. So it’s been a good learning experience for me. I’ve had to test my musical knowledge and I look forward to posting new videos of this every week.

Cocktails and Dreams Band

Sheldon Conrich - Full band

This is really a small side project I’ve been involved with for the past year. A 5 – 6 piece function band, this musical project really allows me to play around with party pop tunes and keep in touch with what the kids are listening to these days. As a serious musician you can sometimes go long periods without listening to the modern pop charts. So bands like Cocktails and Dreams keep me fresh on the scene.

The Function Band

Wedding ideas on a budget - DJ Live

As always and ever present I’ll be performing with The Function Band over the coming months at weddings, corporate events, private parties, Bar Mitzvahs and many more. This musical project has been part of my staple music diet for the past ten years and I feel very lucky to be involved with the DRE team.

So there you have it, my 2017. And to add to that I have a little mini me on the way, yipeee. See you at an event real soon.

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Live Entertainment – My Musical Summer

Live Entertainment – My musical summer

I’ve had a very busy summer this year and I’ve been lucky enough to provide live entertainment for a lot of different types of events. In this blog I wanted to share some of my summer experiences through the photos and stories I’ve been a part of.

Summer of Elaborate Staging

This summer I’ve performed a lot with the Function Band and they have gone all out with their staging and light production. I took the photo above when we provided live entertainment for a corporate dentist awards show. We had an absolute blast.

The Trio in full force

The trio has been quite busy this summer and we managed to venture recently to Richmond to perform at Bridget and Ali’s wedding. What I like about the live entertainment we provide as a trio is how much we can do in a day. We can start both acoustically and instrumentally. Then work our way into an acoustic vocal trio. And finally throw in our backing tracks to get people on the dance floor for a party. It’s a lot of fun.

Guitar Repairs

Occasionally when prodiving live entertainment accidents happen. And at a gig in Stoke Newington my guitar was knocked over which lead to me meeting the lovely guys from LA guitars. They managed to fix the guitar in one day and saved my life as I was performing the following day at a big event.

A month of amazing views

I am very fortunate that as a musician I get to travel to some unbelievably scenic destinations on a weekly basis. I mean drop dead gorgeous! The photo above was taken at Quendon Hall and the day could not have been better. The sun was beaming, the guests were dressed to impress and it really was a beautiful wedding.

So many cakes

I think the photo above wins the most original cake design. It really does show the difference between the couple getting married but it also shows what marriage is all about – COMPROMISE! This was taken at the same wedding that the couple swooped in on helicopters to greet their guests.

Lights, Camera, Live entertainment

The summer was also when I decided to take myself, the duo and trio to the O2 for a video shoot. With the help of a great team I was able to showcase my solo, duo, trio, DJ live and DJ set ups. It was a really fun experience and actually really interesting. I learnt about all the various types of lenses and shots that go into making a video. We did a lot, I mean a lot of takes to get the perfect angles but it was well worth it. You can see the full promo video below.

So that’s been my summer of live entertainment. I am very fortunate to do something that I love and wouldn’t choose to do anything else. I hope to see you at an event real soon. If you’re looking to book a musician for your event whether it’s solo, duo, triio, DJ or something else feel free to get in touch.

 

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DJ live and DJ for events - Sheldon Conrich

What makes a great Wedding DJ?

What Makes a great wedding DJ?

When looking for a wedding DJ it is important to find the right person for your day. But with a sea of DJ’s out there who do you choose? What are the factors that will affect your decision? Where should you look and what makes a great wedding DJ? I will hopefully answer a few of these questions for you.

A Wedding DJ with Experience

It’s very important to be able to trust that your wedding DJ knows what he or she is doing. A lot of the time, great musical decisions come from years of experience DJing at weddings and events. A wedding DJ is very different to a club DJ. And a wedding DJ is also very different to a friend who always picks really cool songs at parties. Experienced wedding DJs always think about two things – energy levels and who’s on the dance floor. Those two factors will make a big difference to the songs chosen at that moment in time.

A Wedding DJ with mixing skills

There are a lot of DJs out there who can mix from one song to the next which is great. There is a skill in being able to match the beats of songs and blend them together. But with modern technology it’s the latter part that the real skill of a wedding DJ can be found. Finding the right time in a track to mix the next song is key. Also how the track has been mixed in is very important. A good wedding DJ will need to decide on some of the following mixing factors – how long the blend will take, whether or not to use any special fx, what eq tricks to use, sampling, looping tricks, key matching etc. All of these are very subtle but it makes for a much smoother and ultimately better experience for guests on the dance floor.

Genre and song repertoire

If you’re at a wedding there will likely be a range of guest ages. Each of these groups of people will have different tastes, likes and dislikes in music. Yet the goal of the wedding DJ is to get all these people on the dance floor for as long as possible to create a great atmosphere. So the key to any great wedding DJ is down to their large repertoire of songs. If you have a DJ who can mix pop to r&b, to swing, to house, to drum n bass to indie etc it will give your guests the greatest chance of all enjoying themselves throughout the evening. Just having these songs on their playlist will not be enough. It’s about knowing which of these songs work well after each other and reading when to play them through out the day.

How to find a great wedding DJ

Well this is a very tricky one because how many weddings does the average person go to in their life? Not as many as you think. So how do you find a good wedding DJ if you’re not at a lot of weddings? Well some of the work will be done by approaching music agencies who can provide you with a list of recommended and experienced DJs. Other options include asking friends for recommendations from events they’ve been to. If you’ve got the time and good ears then it may be the case to keep a listen out as you go to bars, clubs etc. You may potentially catch a gem of a DJ and can grab his or her number.

Book a Wedding DJ

 

Wedding DJ Sheldon Conrich

If you are looking for a wedding DJ and need some advice feel free to get in touch. As a musician and DJ I’ve been performing at events for over ten years and have vast experience in this area. I’d be happy to chat about anything musical you need for your special day.

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Solo Musician For Events - Sheldon Conrich

Recommended Music Agents – Booking Musicians

6 Recommended Music Agents

When you’re putting on an event it’s important to have a chat with people who know a bit about music. Your first call should be to some recommended music agents. Music agents tend to have a large network of musicians and performers which will ultimately make your life much easier. With their years of experience they’ll know exactly which musicians will be perfect for you. If you’re organising a drinks reception, looking for wedding music, running a live music night or organising a private party it’s worth perusing through some music agents rosters.

Below are 6 music agents I’ve worked with in the past and continue to work with. I would definitely recommend having a chat with them.

Dan Rosen Entertainment
Freak Music

Book on Headliner
Essence Music Agency
Lastminutemusicians

If you have any questions about music agents, hiring a musician, organising music for your event or anything else feel free to contact me. As a musician I’ve been performing at events for over ten years. I have a lot of knowledge about what you need to know before hiring a musician.

Feel free to listen to my sound cloud tracks or click on my solo, duo and trio showcase videos below.

If you are thinking of using a music agent for your wedding and would like to ask any questions

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Weddings abroad - Flights

Getting Married Abroad – Things to know

Getting Married Abroad – Things to know

If you’re planning on getting married abroad over the next year you may be at the early stages of planning. There are several things you will need to know if you want everything to go smooth sailing. Amazingly it can actually be a lot easier to plan a wedding than if you live in the same country. But only if you do it right. Here are some things to think about.

Choosing your destination

Getting Married Abroad

When thinking about where to get married abroad it’s important to have a good balance. This balance needs to be between your ideal wedding destination and what’s affordable for your guests. If you’re getting married abroad then you will have to factor in travel and hotel costs for yourself and your guests. So if you live in the UK and decide you’d like to get married in Thailand you may find very few of your friends being able to take the time off work and being able to afford the trip. For those in the UK there are many great wedding destinations in Europe. Though with Brexit looming I’d book it as early as you can before freedom to travel around Europe becomes an issue.

Book your travel arrangements early

Weddings abroad - Flights

It’s important to make sure you give your guests plenty of time to book their flights or mode of transport. I would suggest that at least six months is a large enough time to allow everyone to find cheap flights or train tickets. Also making it clear to your guests which airport is closest to your wedding destination will be greatly appreciated. Especially if there are multiple airports around the city like London has (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, City).

Find a local Wedding Planner

You may want to plan all of your wedding from top to bottom and that’s great. But if you don’t live in your wedding destination then you need to liaise with a local wedding planner. There are many reasons for this. One is that they can go to the various places in person and talk to the vendors in the local language. Generally these wedding planners will have knowledge of local suppliers and will be able to get a good deal for you. Also a local wedding planner will save you a bundle of money in travel costs as you won’t have to fly back and fourth too much before the wedding.

Ideally book a hotel package

The Marriot

If you can I would recommend finding a hotel package that covers the following: Dedicated ceremony area, in house catering, in house PA system, hotel room deals for wedding guests, hotel shuttle to and from airport and a wedding planner. The more elements that are covered by the hotel when getting married abroad the less things you have to deal with. Believe me when I say planning a wedding is very stressful. Largely because the small things take up so much of your free time. Add into the equation of getting married abroad and you can see that it’s a potential mixing bowl of stress. So do your homework and find out what your wedding hotel can offer you and your guests before booking.

Booking your wedding musicians

Sheldon Conrich - Full band

This is a tricky one for a few reasons. It is much easier to view wedding musicians from your own country as they will be local to you. It’s also easier to communicate with musicians from your own country because they will speak the same language as you and will likely be able to perform your favourite songs. But it is important to remember that if you book musicians from your own country then you will need to pay for their flights, accommodation and food throughout their stay. You will also most likely have to hire in a local PA and lighting rig as you won’t want to ship those over. Local musicians obviously will be cheaper for you but as mentioned it will be harder to view them, communicate with them and request specific native language music. One very important thing to remember if you book a musician from your own country is to give them as many contact numbers and email addresses as possible. The musicians need to communicate with the hotel, wedding planner, local sound engineer/PA company and airport.

Plan Away

I hope this has helped you if you’re planning on getting married abroad. If you would like any more help or advice just drop me an email. If you’re looking for a musician or group of musicians to perform at your wedding abroad, feel free to get in touch. My team of musicians are very experienced in performing at weddings abroad and will work to give you the best musical experience possible.

 

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Kew Gardens Wedding - Peakcocks

Stunning Kew Gardens Wedding

Have a Stunning Kew Gardens Wedding

Kew Gardens Wedding - Peakcocks

This weekend whilst viewing a July wedding venue in Richmond, my wife and I decided it would be a good idea to head to Kew Gardens. The only other times I’ve been to Kew are for music festivals and gigs so it was the first time I could venture around. We decided to take the train ride around the seven stops to get a feel of the place and then jump off to explore. We learnt that Kew gardens is 300 acres and was built on concrete. Despite being built on concrete they have managed to grow a mini paradise in the middle of busy Kew.

The Wedding Ceremony

Kew Gardens Weddings - Civil ceremony

As we wandered around the grounds I realised that on a hot summer’s day, having a Kew Gardens wedding would be a stunning affair. We found an impressive civil ceremony glass conservatory which was set up for the day’s wedding. You can see it has a lot of space so perfect for large weddings, and brings in loads of light so it’s great for photos.

Stunning Photo Opportunities

Kew Gardens - Japanese    Kew Garden Statue

If you do decide to have a Kew gardens wedding then it is clear you’re likely to have some great photo opportunities. Literally in every direction there are amazing views. We headed over to the Japanese quarter to look at their dedicated Japanese garden. If you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding feel free to get in touch with one my team of wedding photographers. Fiona and Alice are happy to chat with you about your photography needs.

Kew Gardens Wedding Music

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Obviously a place like this with such beautiful scenery would not be complete without music. There are several dedicated venues within Kew Gardens for the party element of the wedding. If you do have a Kew Gardens wedding coming up and need some music for the day feel free to get in touch. My dedicated team of musicians will be happy to provide you with exactly what you’re looking for. Though by the looks of those drums above they might be in a bit of pain by the end of the night!! If you want to check out what’s going on at Kew Gardens just click on the link.

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Sheldon Conrich - Full band

Music For Weddings and Events

Performing Music for Weddings and Events

Over the past week I have performed in a number of musical set ups including solo, quartet, full band and DJ live. Each event was completely different to the next including a corporate do, a 70th birthday, a Bat Mitzvah and a wedding. Each event was located at different venues from Oxfordshire to Rickmansworth and each client was looking for different things. So how is it possible to get the music just right for weddings and events?

What does the client want?

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For me, it’s about finding out exactly what the clients are looking for. My initial meeting and the follow up call a month prior to the event are really important for understanding a client’s needs. In those meetings I try to find out what sort of guests will be at the event – age and personality, how large the venue is and what they want from the me.

For example at Gillian’s 70th birthday, I was asked to perform a mix of ambient background music to create a relaxed mood for her friends and family. The venue was a small hotel in Rickmansworth and I was asked to perform in their restaurant. The size of this room was relatively small and for the 30 guests of ages between 65 and 85 it was important I played appropriate music to their taste. Because I had all of this information I could prepare a mix of jazz, motown and acoustic songs to set the right mood.

Also it was important to allow her friends and family to talk without having to shout over the music. Often singers and musicians have their volume way up as they want everyone to hear them. But this can be detrimental to the ambience of a room and can heavily backfire if you need to perform background music.

Knowing the venue

Soho Farmhouse - Oxfordshire. Weddings and Events

It really helps to know what a venue is like. I mean this in size, shape and equipment provided. On the weekend I performed with the function band DJ live at the Northbrook Parking Wedding Venue in Surrey. Because I had performed there before I was aware of things like sound limiters, sound restrictions for music in their courtyard, where to park for loading, how long it would take to get there etc. Having this knowledge before performing at weddings and events is so helpful. If I haven’t played at a venue before I will often do a reckie of the site. It helps not to have surprises on the day of the event.

Being able to Improvise

Some times things happen at weddings and events that you’re not expecting. When this happen it’s important to be able to improvise and think on your feet. Two examples of this happened at the two other events I performed at over the past week. The first was a quartet at Soho Farmhouse with a great bunch of musicians. The client had decided that during our second set she wanted to set up a karaoke machine for her co workers to sing to. We were asked to join in and help the singers out. What actually happened was the words came up but the music couldn’t be heard. And so as a band we turned ourselves into a live karaoke machine performing requests with the guests. Luckily we knew the songs thrown at us and the night went well.

At the Bat Mitzvah there was a delay to the food coming out which meant that the client asked us to extend our Israeli set. It was then down to us to keep watch for a signal as to when the food would be ready so we could wrap up the music and let the guests sit down for lunch. Having a good group of musicians around you is really important when these sorts of things happen.

Highlights of the week

Soho Farmhouse - Helicopter

Some of the highlights of this week’s events include:

  • A helicopter taking off during the middle of an acoustic set – 50 yards away from us
  • Performing live karaoke
  • Finding and playing a song for a guest who had been searching for it for over 15 years
  • Having a great gig with the Cocktails and Dreams band
  • Inviting an 85 year old man to join the Function Band Dj Live on stage to sing ‘Mack the Knife’
  • Bumping into Northbrook Park’s resident peacocks

Northbrook Park Peacock - Weddings and Events

I look forward to this weekend’s weddings and events and I’m sure they too will throw in their own surprises. If you are looking for a musician for your wedding or event fee free to get in touch.