Warning: Band Rant Imminent – those of a sensitive disposition should click away now…
I read somewhere recently that the problem with hiring bands for your wedding was that they only played for 45 minutes then they wanted to take a break. In addition they wanted to take their breaks all at the same time, and you should ask them to stagger their breaks to ensure that you got continuous music throughout your evening. It made me wince, it made me angry, it made me think. Then it inspired me to write this blog…
OK, so what is really wrong with this suggestion? Let me try to explain. Tactfully:
A band is not really a collection of individual musicians (and maybe a drummer), it is a musical entity in its own right. Each member brings a unique contribution, to the sound, to the visual and to the dynamic of the group. Yes, you know what I’m going to say: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Think Bez in the Happy Mondays – no Bez, no Happy Mondays. (OK, weird example, let’s try again…) You would not hire a string quartet and expect the members to nip off one by one while the others kept playing, so why would you think this could work with a band? It’s absurd. There, I said it.
Yes, we look like we’re having a good time, and we usually are, but the more fun we look like we are having, the harder we are actually working.
Weddings can be tough gigs for bands: People are tired, emotional, drunk.., You imagine standing in front of this audience for 45 minutes giving your high-energy, word-perfect presentation. You’d need a break before you carried on for another 45 minutes, right? We’re human; we need to eat, we need to drink, pee and recuperate. We are a team, countless hours of rehearsals have gone into learning songs, perfecting arrangements, balancing the instruments, vocal harmonising… We need to interact with our comrades to keep the chemistry and mutual understanding going that works so well on stage, we need to be allowed to go up and come down.
In short, the downtime is necessary to ensure the quality of the performance.
Playing and singing is really hard work, physically, mentally and often emotionally. Don’t believe me? Just you try it! What’s not to get?
I did say I’d try to be tactful.
Rant over. xx