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Wedding Band Showcase, 19th March

We’re hosting a wedding band showcase on Thursday the 19th of March at The Regent Hotel, Doncaster – all forms of our bands will be strutting their stuff on the night and it’s free entry! We’ve got space for 100 people, so whether you’re looking to book, or you’ve already booked, get yourself down there for some sweet live music!

Doors open at 7:30pm and music begins at 8:30pm.

The Regent Hotel
Regent Square
Doncaster
DN1 2DS

There’s free parking at Regent Square, or if that fills up you’ll find a free space on Roman Road, just a 60 second walk away.

We’ll be taking booking fees on the night, so if you’d like to secure your date before anyone else gets in there you’ll be able to do so.

Everyone is welcome, so feel free to bring your friends and family. The bar at Regent will be open until 10:30pm.

Give us a call on 01302 288 244 or drop us an email at info@bandfactory.co.uk if you’ve got any questions about the night!

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Stag Do and Hen Do Ideas for Music Lovers

So, you’ve been given the pleasure and privilege of being the best man/maid of honour on your closest friend/family member’s big day, but wait! The wedding has crept up on you and now you don’t know what you’re going to do for their last big show down before they’re married?! The pressure is on… It’s got to be good. It’s got to be fun! It’s like New Year’s Eve all over again, except this time there’s someone to please! Well, we might be able to lend a hand to anyone who’s into their music. Maybe we’re biased, but we think a music-based stag or hen do would be pretty bloomin’ awesome!

1. Rock up to a gig by your Bride/Groom’s favourite band

This might be playing it safe, but being taken to see your favourite band with your best mates is surely not going to disappoint anyone – doubly so if they’ve never actually seen the band they love live! Book tickets for you and your friends, maybe hit up a restaurant beforehand (you’ll need something to soak up the alcohol), and pop along to the show. Don’t forget to book taxis for your trip into town afterwards – that gig’s probably going to end a bit early to be the end of the night!

2. Book a recording studio for the day

If there are any musicians in your group, swinging by a professional recording studio for the day could be a pretty cool surprise for your bride/groom, and it’s not necessarily as expensive as you might think. Even if you can only just knock out the power chords to Smoke On The Water, you’re going to have a lot of fun laying your attempt down on tape, even if you can hear your friends laughing in the background! And if you don’t play anything, why not lay down some vocal tracks over your favourite songs? If you can sing, that’s awesome. If you can’t, the outtakes are going to be pretty damn funny. And potentially very embarrassing  (also potentially funny) if played loudly in front of the wedding guests on the big day.

3. Go for the festival vibe with acoustic guitars, singalongs, and a roasting camp fire

Everybody knows someone who can play the acoustic guitar – that’s a given! If your stag or hen do is in the summer, why not head over to a camping hotspot or a cozy beach when the sun goes down, gather round a campfire and wile away the night singing along to your favourite songs at the top of your voice. Don’t forget the marshmallows, and maybe a didgeridoo or two!

4. Visit a famous musical destination

This one’s for the true music fans (possibly obsessed). A stag do or hen do in Liverpool, for instance, would be a great time to visit John Lennon’s childhood home, catch a gig at the famous Cavern club, and finish your night off with a stay at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel, just around the corner. Any true Beatles fan would call that a pretty magical weekend!

 5. Go to see a musical in the west end

There are some seriously impressive shows in the west end that make for a fantastic night out or weekend away. Musicals like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Let It Be’ come to mind for the music lovers – a tirade of musical talent that any music fan would be able to appreciate. ‘Once’ is also currently showing in the west end, a great show based on the film of the same name – definitely another one for the music fans out there. Don’t be put off if your bride/groom is a bit of a hipster and will only listen to the coolest bands out there. You might have to drag them kicking and screaming into the theatre but I guarantee they’ll come out saying ‘holy crap, that was awesome!’

So that’s 5 ideas for a stag do or hen do for music lovers. You’ve always got paintballing, go-karting, or a night on the town, but making it personal for your bride/groom definitely adds that special element. If they’ve ever uttered the words ‘I’m into music’ then I’m sure any of the options above would be a winner. Maybe you could top it off with some guitar lessons for a wedding present? Maybe that one’s for serious contenders only… nevertheless, a wedding day is all about the wedding couple, and making sure their stag do or hen do is all about something they love is a sure fire way of making it a memorable day for them… before the alcohol starts flowing, at least!

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What Can Go Wrong When You Hire a Wedding Band?

It’s a valid question, so let’s not beat around the bush! What if something goes wrong on the day of your wedding? There are a few things that can turn upside down when you hire a wedding band – the kind of stuff that makes us musicians wake up in a cold sweat! To help us sleep at night, we’ve spent time putting precautions in place so that when you hire one of our bands, things go off without a hitch, no matter what.

Time for some theoretical third-party questions…

What if you break down on the way to my wedding?

This one’s basically a worst case scenario, but we have to put precautions in place, just in case! All of our musicians travel to gigs in our band vans, which are all covered by two breakdown policies. One with onward travel, so we can get towed TO your wedding, and one to call afterwards to take us home. We wouldn’t be able to guarantee our arrival any other way. So no matter what, we can get there, basically!

What if a band member is ill?

We purposely make sure all our bands play a certain amount of the same songs, so any one of our musicians can stand-in for another when necessary. Saying that, we’ve actually only had to do this a total of 3 times since we started our first band. It’s extremely rare for someone to be so ill that they can’t perform.

What if your equipment stops working?

There are really only two pieces of equipment that a band can’t perform without. That’s a PA system and a mixing desk. That’s why we keep a spares for both at our office, which are exactly the same high quality as our bands use at every gig, and can be delivered to your wedding by one of our members of staff at any time. When it comes to guitars, amps and microphones etc. we’ve done enough gigs to know we need spares on hand at every gig, so they’re always with us… That’s some experience talking there!

What if you get stuck in traffic and you’re late?

We set off just under an hour early to every event, even earlier if it’s is over 2 hours away. These are time frames we’ve come up with after years of gigging and we know they get us everywhere we need to go, on time. With this extra time allowed, we really can’t say we’ve ever been more than a few minutes late, even after some really bad motorway traffic. This extra time also means that we avoid rush hour, because really – who wants to be involved in that?!

What if *anything* goes wrong?

We always have a spare member of staff on call whenever our bands are gigging. They are all multi-instrumentalists who can drive all our vans, and can deliver replacement equipment to any gig. Essentially, they can do almost everything you could ever think of needing cover for.

So, if something goes wrong, chances are we’ve already thought of it and we’ve got it covered! Saying that, if we suddenly become surrounded by the worst flood in history, or if we get caught in the eye of a tornado, there’s a chance we might be forced to reluctantly admit defeat (although it would have to be a damn strong tornado!), but for absolutely anything else – and we mean anything else – we’ll always do our absolute best to make sure you’re never left without entertainment on the day of your wedding. Seriously, we wouldn’t be able to sleep otherwise.

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10 Tips to Make Your Wedding More Fun

You’ve got the perfect venue, THE dress and the tastiest canapés this side of the Atlantic, but all that might well be forgotten if nobody has much fun! Could there be anything worse than guests yawning and checking their watches halfway through the night? Keep your guests awake and talking about your wedding for years to come with these top tips!

1. Use social media

At a wedding we recently played at, the couple set up a hashtag for their wedding, asking guests to tag their photos during the night on Instagram and Twitter. This is a modern uptake on the disposable camera, and one that definitely made for a fun lot of photos that everyone could enjoy! Why not set up a Facebook group for your guests a few weeks before the wedding, your guests can start getting to know each other, cutting out all the awkward introductions on the day. Get everyone to upload their photos and by the end you’ll have a great album to really remember the day, plus possibly some beautiful new friendships!

2. Mix up your first dance

One of our favourite first dances started with a little known Wolfmother song before transitioning into… wait for it… R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’! It was a strange mix to work with, but a lot of fun to learn and perform, and the crowd LOVED it! Prepare something that your guests won’t expect and get the fun going right from the start.

3. Provide something for the kids

A wedding isn’t always a fun place for children, it’s a long day filled with adults talking! Keep the little ones entertained with a designated kids table filled with crafts and toys. If you have the extra space at your venue, provide a separate playroom with video games, movies or even a magician (though be prepared for some of your ‘adult’ guests to spend the night playing games as well!).

4. Have a cocktail station

A grown up version of the ever popular sweet table. Have a mixologist on hand to teach your (adult) guests the art of mixing cocktails. It’ll be a talking point as guests compare their concoctions, and they might even go home with a new skill!

5. Go pyrotechnic

End the night with a bang with a fireworks display choreographed to ‘your’ song. Having a big finale to your wedding will keep your guests partying right until the end and make it a night to remember! For a little extra flair, give sparklers to all your guests for some beautiful long exposure photographs.

6. Get creative with your centrepieces

Make your table centrepieces part of the fun by using retro games instead of flowers. As well as getting the group laughing and getting to know each other, it’ll keep everyone entertained whilst they wait for the next course! Keep it lighthearted with Jenga or Kerplunk (don’t make your guests fall out over Monopoly!).

7. Hire a band

Okay, we’re definitely biased on this one, but it’s fair to say weddings with a band are the most fun! Hiring a band for your wedding gets all your guests up and dancing, and there’s nothing better than a full dance floor. Most of our clients tell us how glad they are they booked a band, and how much their guests enjoyed the party atmosphere.

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7 Things You Should Never Say to a Professional Musician

We’ve heard all sorts of strange and wonderful post-gig questions from guests at events in recent months – it was about time we wrote some of them down! The following list is just a few of the things that get said to our bands on a near gig-to-gig basis. Some of them from drunken people, some of them from sober people, most of them accidentally offensive to a musician in some form or another, but all said in good fun (we think?!).

1. You should go on X-Factor!

Ooh, no – it’s not even possible! X-Factor is for solo singers and girl/boy bands – not live bands with instruments, amps, drums, pedal boards, cables, and a microphone for every voice, amp and drum kit piece. It wouldn’t go down well if a group walked on stage at live auditions and said “Simon, it’s going to take us about an hour to setup our gear, don’t go anywhere!” Not that anyone of us would dare speak to Simon in that way. He could probably erase anyone’s music career with a click of his fingers!

2. What’s your real job?

This is probably the most accidentally offensive of all questions so I had to get it in there early. This answer is this… Between weekly rehearsals and a 3 gig weekend, a working week for a professional musician often equates to around 30-40 hours on the job. And a lot of musicians teach their instrument for around 10 hours per week as well. So the answer to that question – if not a very good answer – is usually just “this”. Boring, isn’t it?!

3. How old are you? You look about 12!

Believe it or not this is probably the most common thing that gets said to our bands! They might look pretty young for the most part but you can probably put that down to the beautiful lighting as much as anything else… Their average age is actually around 25 – often the same age, if not older than the person asking the question.

4. Are you guys students?

This one is pretty much a combination of the two questions above packaged into a quick jab in the ribs. It’s another accidentally offensive question to be asked when you’re 25 and half way through a 12 hour work day. To be fair, some professional musicians might be music students, but I’d hope most folks could tell the difference between them at the age of 19 and the age of 25!

5. Can you put ‘insert song here’ on?

A band might be able to play your song request on the spot, but they’ll have spent hours in the rehearsal room committing it to memory, so asking them to ‘put a song on’ like they’re dropping a needle on a record player is something that’s a bit offensive to a musician.

6. Can I sing a song with you?

It’s usually a drunken guest at a wedding that asks this one. First of all, it’s a bit lazy for a band to let someone else do their job! Secondly, standing on stage with a live band is a very loud place to be, so much so that you can’t actually hear yourself sing, nor can you can’t hear your voice coming out of the speakers because you’re standing behind them, so imagine how bad a wobbly drunken chap singing without being able to himself sounds… It’s usually not good!

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