Frequently Asked Questions ....

 

 

  .... can't find the answer you want ... contact us!

Planning & Details

 

Booking agreement / invoice - do you send one out?

Certificates - PAT Test and Public Liability?

Contact - how do I contact you?

Drinks & food - do you require any?

Events - how much experience do you have?

Health & safety - what evidence do you have?

Lighting - do you bring any?

Money - how much do you charge & how do I pay?

Oops - what if something goes wrong or you are ill?

Outside - can you play in the open air?

Reviews - do you have any reviews of the band?

Setting up - how does unloading and setting-up work?

Space - how much room do you need?

Venues  - which venues have you played in?

Weddings - do you play at ceremonies and receptions?

 

 

 

Sound & Music

 

Band line-up - can I choose any band line-up I want?

Contemporary songs - do you play any modern stuff?

Disco - can you arrange a disco or background music?

Electro-swing - do you do electro-swing?

Equipment - what do you bring?

First dance - can I discuss the first dance?

Guest singers - could a guest sing with the band?

Listen - can I listen to some of your music?

Musicians - how good is the band?

New songs - can you learn a song for me?

Song list - can I see a song list and/or design the set list?

Sound system - can I use it  for my recorded music?

Speeches - can I use the sound system for speeches?

Video - can I see some video of you?

Vintage events - do you do vintage music?

 

 

 

Booking agreement / invoice - do you send one out?  

 

Yes we do.  It has all the information in it including when we arrive, the band line-up, playing times, deposit details and payment details - you will be emailed this before you pay any money.  We require your home address and a contact telephone but all information on you and your agreement with us is kept private and we ensure that only one person in the band is party to information apart from specific details on the venue and timings.

 

 

Certificates - PAT Test and Public Liability?

 

We can supply a PAT electrical test certificate if you or the venue require it and we can also supply a Public Liability insurance certificate - we are pleased to say we have never had an issue with either of these yet and long may it continue!

 

 

Contact - how do I contact you?  

 

If you click on 'contact' at the top of the page it will take you to three options - our online form, our email or Nick, the band leader's phone - unless he is busy he will usually be able to deal with calls between 10am and 10pm any day of the week.  Nick will usually be your main point of contact and is pretty speedy at getting in touch.

 

 

Drinks & food - do you require any?

 

Yes please.  As a minimum we ask for complimentary soft drinks but we may also request limited alcoholic drinks and some nibbles.  Most of the band drive so they drink very little but if you can supply a couple of alcoholic drinks each it makes them feel loved which is always a good thing.  In terms of food, the band will usually ask for some nibbles at some point in the day - particularly if it is an evening event and they have had to leave home prior to 7pm and aren't getting in until after 11pm.  It is surprisingly tiring playing music so some carbohydrates or a little bit of buffet in the break is always much appreciated and helps keep energy levels up.

 

 

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Events - how much experience do you have?

 

We have played at events from small birthdays, to care homes, to product launches to film premieres to awards ceremonies for large international companies - there is more information on corporate events here.

 

 

Health & safety - what do you have to think about?

 

We have a PAT electrical test certificate we can send you along with a Public Liability insurance certificate.  We also have a risk assessment document if required.

 

 

Lighting - do you bring any?

 

We usually discuss this with you in advance but for evening events we tend to bring a small amount to give an ambient light for the band and to help create an atmosphere.  If you need more then speak to us.

 

 

Money - how much do you charge & how do I pay?

 

There is a link to our prices at the top of the page.  Prices depend on a variety of factors including time of year, time of day, distance, how long we are with you, equipment required, etc.  We will put a bespoke price together for you.  We typically take a 50% deposit - cash, cheque or bank transfer and will also state how the balance will be paid.  You will be told all this in advance in the booking agreement / invoice which we email to you.

 

 

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Oops - what if something goes wrong or you are ill?

 

We try to build in contingencies for things going wrong where we can.  This includes giving ourselves enough time to get to your event with some time to spare.  It also includes having something to fall back on  if there was a problem with the sound system.  In 8 years no-one has ever been ill - which would be remarkable except .... Nick the singer had a bad cold and lost his voice for the first time for a week over the summer .... he had a wedding where he was singing a first dance .... he was extremely worried and called all the other guys who sometimes sing with the band and any other contacts he had .... luckily his colleague James re-arranged his evening plans in order to join the band with Nick leading the band on guitar .... annoyingly for Nick, James sang the first dance better than Nick ever would have and did two brilliant sets with the band .... the bride and groom were completely happy with the evening.  However, there may well be a time where a motorway is closed or something bad happens but the band will always do what they can - if for some reason any band members couldn't make it then there would be a refund of whatever they would have been paid and the same would happen if the whole band were kidnapped or something.  As a general note, it may be worth you considering wedding or event insurance if you feel that you want a safety net in case something happens to you or your venue or you or a family member is really ill.

 

 

Outside - can you play in the open air?

 

Yes we are very happy to play outside.  You or the venue would need to ensure we had access to a typical 13amp plug socket within 2m of the band as we usually require electricity - we can sometimes do without so ask us if you need to.  We would also need the ground to be dry and the air to be dry - moisture is not kind to instruments and does not mix well with electricity.  And we would also need shelter if it was a hot day - it is hard sitting or standing in bright sunshine for a couple of hours playing music and also any equipment tends to get unreliable.

We have played many events outside so do ask if that is what you would like.

 

 

Reviews - do you have any reviews of the band?

 

We haven't yet had any bad reviews and have a lovely collection of very good ones here.

 

 

Setting up - how does unloading and setting-up work?

 

A duo or trio takes around 20 minutes to set up, larger bands take around 45 minutes.  We often bring up to 3 vehicles and it is helpful if we have easy access to where we are playing.  We set up relatively quietly and efficiently and we do not do any loud soundchecks as we know how the band will sound in 99% or rooms.  Do think about whether or not we can start setting up when we arrive of whether this might be a problem because of delays caused by things like speeches over-running.  It is great if you can sort out parking for the band.  At the end we pack up very quickly and efficiently and get out of your way.

 

 

Space - how much room do you need?

 

It is great if a duo can have a minimum of 2m x 2m, a trio 2m x 3m and a quintet 3m x 5m.  We can play in less space, more is good, ask us about it.

 

 

Venues  - which venues have you played in?

 

Too many to mention, far and wide, large and small, from lounges to bars, to hotels to Glastonbury Festival - a little more information here.

 

 

Weddings - do you play at ceremonies and receptions?

 

We are very experienced at playing at drinks receptions and evening receptions.  Increasingly we are being asked to play before and during the ceremony too.  Nick, the band leader, organised his own wedding with his wife three years ago and obviously has played at many wedding too - ask him about what works well, timings, hints, tips, etc.  There are few ideas on weddings here.

 

 

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Band line-up - can I choose any band line-up I want?

 

Pretty much, yes.  We will advise you as to what might work best - for example if you want a duo for dancing in the evening then it wouldn't really work.   We offer anything from a solo pianist to a 7-piece band and we can arrange different line-ups for different events and different times of the day.  Just ask or click on 'musicians' at the top of the page.

 

 

Contemporary songs - do you play any modern stuff?

 

The main music we play is that which was popular from the 1920s to the 1960s but the band also love many things which are  funky & groovy - this includes tunes by the likes of Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Chic, Prince, Daft Punk, and Pharrell.  We only choose modern stuff which fits in with the rest of what we do as we don't want to become another sad function band playing pop hits!  Check out some of our contemporary tunes here.

 

 

Disco - can you arrange a disco or background music?

 

Yes we can.  Background music in the band's break for up to an hour we will supply for free.  For the disco there are three options:  firstly we can arrange a disco and liaise with you on your taste in music so you get what you want; secondly, the cheaper option is that the band bring extra sound equipment and some extra lights and put a great selection of MP3s which is loud but not as loud as a full disco; thirdly, we do the second option but you plug in your own music.  Ask us about the options and prices of these.

 

 

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Electro-swing - do you do electro-swing?

 

Electro-swing is recognisable for having a more contemporary dance quality with repetitive riffs and beats.  Yes we can do this and we have a great electro-swing set.  Ask us about it.

 

 

Equipment - what do you bring, is the piano real?

 

It depends on the event and the band line-up.  The piano sounds real but it is what's called a digital piano so it has a perfect piano sound of a very expensive piano but it is a portable keyboard which sounds and plays the same as a piano.  We would usually have a double bass - an instrument which can cost upwards of 10,000.  Also possibly a saxophone or trumpet.  Our vocalist uses an industry-standard professional  microphone.  We have 3 sound systems we typically use one is very small and portable, the second is a compact but has a brilliant sound - it is suitable for events in a small room up to events with 100 people.  We have a bigger sound system for larger events or can hire equipment in if required.  We may also have a drum kit, depending on what you have booked - this can be played quietly or loudly.

 

 

First dance - can I discuss the first dance?

 

Please do.  We have an extensive song list here.  You can pick pretty much any tune from it as a first dance and we can perform most of them in any style, at any tempo and for any amount of time (you may want it extra-long or extra-short!).  We sometimes get asked to learn new songs and will always consider them - we will learn and perform them if we think we can do a good job.  If not, you can use our sound system for the original.

 

 

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Guest singers - could a guest sing with the band?

 

In principle yes, but ..... we like to have prior knowledge so that we can discuss the song with them along with the key and the style.  The last thing we want is for anyone to look embarrassed on the day.

 

 

Listen - can I listen to some of your music?

 

Yes indeed - just click on 'music' at the top of the page and you will find MP3 samples there.  There is also video available.  Can't find the style you want?  Ask us - we may have other recordings.

 

 

Musicians - how good is the band?

 

In short, great.  All of us are highly trained with an excellent ability in a range of musical styles.  We are all good friends and incredibly experienced with events including Glastonbury Festival and some of us having worked with the likes of Joss Stone, Noel Gallagher and many more.  Find out more by clicking on 'musicians' at the top of the page. 

 

 

New songs - can you learn a song for me?

 

We will always consider it but it will depend on whether we can do a good job as we have very high standards.  We are always looking for new material so do mention it.

 

 

Noise - how loud are you?

 

We can be loud or we can be quiet.  We are happy for you to tell us and we are very experienced at judging a room.  We do not like to see people having to shout if they are there to have a relaxed chat.  Some venues have noise limiters - these can be tricky for a band with drums so do mention it and we can discuss it.

 

 

Song list - can I see a song list and/or design the set list?

 

Our song list is here.  You can download a Word document and edit it if you wish.  What works best is if you give us 10 songs you love and then we choose the set which works best around those but do have a chat with us as we aim to please!  On average we will get through up to 25 songs at an event.

 

 

Sound system - can I use it  for my recorded music?

 

Yes you can.  Background music in the band's break for up to an hour we will supply for free.  For the disco there are three options:  firstly we can arrange a full disco and liaise with you on your taste in music so you get what you want; secondly, the cheaper option is that the band bring extra sound equipment and some extra lights and put a great selection of MP3s which is loud but not as loud as a full disco; thirdly, we do the second option but you plug in your own music.  Ask us about the options and prices of these.

 

 

Speeches - can I use the sound system for speeches?

 

Yes you can.  If it is during our break then you can do it for free.  Check with us on timings.

 

 

Video - can I see some video of you?

 

If you click on 'music' at the top then you will see a range of videos.  There are more on YouTube.  If there is something particular you would like to see then please ask.

 

 

Vintage events - do you do vintage music?

 

Yes, we do.  Gatsby, gangsters, 1920s and 1930s, 1940s, jive, Hollywood, glamour - just ask.  More here.

 

 

 

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As recommended by www.BristolandBathJazz.co.uk

As recommended by www.BristolandBathWeddings.co.uk

The Hipcats are proud to work with www.HotandCoolMusic.co.uk

Other great sites for music www.EBJC.co.uk , www.NLA.me.uk , www.NickLangston.com and www.newBristoljazz.co.uk

The Hipcats - the UK's finest