FAQ

Why a swing AND Soul band?

Because the success of any party relies on a band’s ability to be flexible and vary the music with dance floor fillers that appeal to all generations, e.g. not just one style. Nevertheless, if your event is themed swing, rat pack or 20’s/hollywood etc., then we’ll be delighted to play swing all night!An ideal party formula is to set a sophisticated, upbeat mood in the first part of the evening with Swing and Rat Pack classics,  bridge with some rock n’ roll jive, followed by high energy Classic Pop and Soul dance floor fillers to really get things cooking!

 

How do you get the "Mini Big Band" sound??

We play from arrangements written specially for us as a smaller band line up, whilst remaining faithful to the style of the original big band arrangers such as Nelson Riddle and Billy May. These arrangements are designed to simulate a big swing band, and when there are 2 or more horn instruments they phrase together to give rich brass harmonies, e.g. a “mini big band” (Think Glen Miller, combined with Earth, Wind & Fire!).

 

How long does the band play for?

The band plays 2 sets of 50 minutes, or the equivalent.

How long does the band play for?

The band plays 2 sets of 50 minutes, or the equivalent.

Can we choose song requests?

Any suggestions you have are welcome and we’re happy for you to take a look through our listed repertoire and point out your favourites. However, we never agree complete set lists in advance, mainly because, the band needs the flexibility to play songs that work well together and to respond to the audience based on the atmosphere of the event and the mood of the crowd. Please trust us – this is what we do!

What do I need to provide for the band?

A designated room to get changed in and store our personal belongings, proper hot meals prior to performance + soft drinks for the duration. We also require parking for the band’s vehicles.

We don’t expect a slap up meal, just a decent one. We work long days and late nights to give the best entertainment possible, so fast food or sandwiches are not an option and the subsistence you provide will only serve to fuel the best performance possible! A happy and well looked after band will always result in the best performances!

Does the band require a stage, and how much space is needed?

The band does not specifically require a stage, and we are perfectly happy to play on ground level.  Generally speaking a space of between 10 feet deep by 16-18 feet wide will accommodate the band, this will depend on which line up you book, and we will advise at time of booking.

Do you provide your own PA and lights?

We have our own high quality PA for up to 200 persons and small lighting units for band and dance floor areas. We also have our own sound engineer to ensure you get the best live sound throughout your event and whatever the venue.

We can provide the PA and lighting rig for larger events, or provide a Techspec for your production company.

What about insurance and health and safety requirements?

We have public liability insurance of £5M, and all equipment is PAT tested and approved for health and safety requirements to comply with venue’s requirements.

What is the booking process?

Simply fill in our contact form or call us and we’ll get back to you to make an introduction and discuss your ideas and requirements.

Your booking is confirmed following receipt of the booking contract and a 20% deposit payment, with the balance 14 days before the event.

We will talk with you in detail about your event and log all details you are able to confirm at the time. We will then contact you no later than 3 weeks prior to your event to confirm final details. Between these two points Stirling is available 24/7 for you to contact should you have anything you wish to discus

How long does the band need to set up?

On the day we will typically arrive anytime from 5pm to begin set up. This usually takes between 60-90 minutes including a quick sound check. Set up times are usually dictated by whether your event is running to schedule, ease of access both to the venue and the performance area and performance area readiness.

What about music when the band isn’t playing?

If you are not booking a DJ then pre-recorded music can be played through our PA during band breaks – we bring along an iPad and have different background/dancing playlists already made up.

However, you can plug your own laptop, mp3 player or iPod into our PA system so that you have complete control over the songs played.

This is free of charge between sets – if you want the disco to go on for longer, just contact us for a quote.

Can you play at our ceremony/drinks reception as well?

Yes, this is something we do regularly. You can have a smaller group perform earlier in the day (i.e. pianist for the ceremony, and a sax/double bass duo during the reception) and have the full band play in the evening.

Could you learn a song not in your repertoire?

It’s possible..it all depends on the song and whether it is suitable for our instrumentation and vocalists.If the musical arrangement needs to be specially written this may involve a charge.

Why book a professional function band?

A large proportion of the many function bands listed online are actually hobby musicians with shiny website images and studio produced demos. At first glance this may look great, but in reality the musicianship varies greatly. It does not mean that they are accomplished live performers, or that they know how to play to a crowd or manage a room, and what you experience on the day can be disappointing.

We are all experienced and reliable full time music professionals, with the ability to deliver a consistently great sound.

We understand how events work and whats involved behind the scenes as well as on stage to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Will you travel anywhere?

 

Yes.

Is it possible to see the band live before booking?

Most performances are at private events, so it’s rarely possible since clients/hosts dont always feel comfortable having others along to see us.

Because we appreciate that you need to be 100% sure that we are the right band for you, we have recorded a large selection of videos which are a true representation of the bands live performance. There are no overdubs or extra instruments added, no miming, no backing tracks. We sound even better live!

We understand how events work and whats involved behind the scenes as well as on stage to ensure everything runs smoothly.

1st Dance: Any suggestions?What about lessons?

The band plays many songs that are appropriate for a first dance, so if you have a specific song you would like, then please mention to us in case we know it already. The band can’t promise to learn any song as it may not fit the instrumentation, however we’ve played a lot of special first dances over the years, covering all different styles and artists. Let us know what you’re thinking ofwe’ll be happy to try and accommodate any special request.

The band works in partnership with Taina Kortelainen, a well known dance champion, teacher & choreographer, who can prepare you for your very special first dance. Her website is http://www.wouldyoudance.com

Do you have the same band for all performances?

Stirling is always booked as your main vocalist and works with a regular roster of freelance professional musicians, all of whom are chosen for their consistent ability as top level performers(hence different faces on some videos) as well as being as close to your location as possible which helps keep travel and accommodation costs to a minimum.

Added female vocalists vary based on location and availability.

Unlike some bands, we never put out different unsupervised line-ups under the same name on the same night, so the high quality of vocals and musicianship you see on the videos is what you will get.

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