Wedding Band Storm Kettering!!
Turning my Caro Emerald Tribute into a wedding band has been on my mind for quite some time now and when the opportunity arose, with a booking in February 2014, I jumped at the chance!! The booking was for a lovely wedding at the Kettering Park Hotel & Spa on June 28th so I knew that I had plenty of time to move the show from solo to full live wedding band.
I began by advertising for band members on JoinMyBand and the response was very good. An events company, named Mode For , who we are to collaborate with us, also advertised with their contacts. After reviewing the applicants skills, talents, experience and commitments I selected who I thought were the most suitable members. We arranged to meet and try some songs and it sounded great! But it wasn’t meant to be! Before the 2nd rehearsal the guitarist, bassist and drummer all decided they couldn’t commit to the project, which left me with just my key board player Jonathan, who I am pleased to say is still with the band!! After a second round of advertisements I finally found the right members with the right passion, drive and commitment to this project.
Time had somehow managed to fast forward to the end of April and finding rehearsal time was difficult, especially as my super talented drummer,Danny Wares, was facing 27 end of year recitals at the Leeds College of Music! Finally, at the end of May we were all able to be able be in the same room and make some beautiful noise together!! Jonathan had been working hard to make backing tracks to help us make our 6 piece line up sound like a full 10 piece band, so everyone had rehearsed their own parts at home with the tracks. I’ll be absolutely honest now….rehearsals were slow and it felt like we were riding a static exercise bike in terms of progress!! However I had complete reassurance that all would be well due to the great combined talent of my band members.
Two weeks prior to our Caro Emerald Tribute wedding band debut, disaster struck!!! A text from my keyboard player at 05.30 on a Saturday morning, I knew would not spell great news. It began: “We have a big problem”…… The PA system and lights, along with a whole load of other musical related equipment and work had been stolen whilst my keyboard player was out at a gig! I wasn’t sure if this would sentence us to not be able to carry out the wedding band gig. However after much consideration and sheer determination I decided that I wasn’t going to succumb to defeat and I was going to MAKE this wedding band gig happen! I set about calling upon some friends and contacts where I eventually managed to hire a PA system from Vernon at Coast to Coast and lights from Simon at Discotechnology. That part was sorted!! Nothing would get in our way!
There was still one problem! Our backing tracks had been stolen along with everything else which meant we had to re learn our set again with just two weeks to go! Arrangements had to be changed and we had some serious work to do!! I must admit that my stress levels were raised and I was unsure if we could really make it happen, but my talented band reassured me all would be ‘alright on the night’!
Our final week of rehearsals were intense and long and I recall seeing my bass player, Seb, saying at one point “I want to go home now”!! I think he was tired!! Our final rehearsal two days before the wedding, went very well and I could feel a surge of confidence suddenly present itself! This wedding band was going to go and do the job and do it well, despite the many obstacles that we had had to steer around!
Saturday 28th June arrived and the nerves were definitely there!!
The day began early for me at 07.30 to take my own children to compete in dance competitions. After my motherly commitments were over it was time to put my band leader hat on and set about dropping off PA and picking up my guitarist Jamie and Bassist Seb. Jonathan, Danny and Alec (dep saxophonist) were to travel in the van along with the PA. The M1 South was flowing well, Seb was playing some interesting tunes and all were in good spirits. A great song was coming to an end and I thought to myself “that’s an interesting instrument playing in the back of the outro”……. The song stopped and the noise continued, it wasn’t the song, it was my car!!! Another disaster! The accelerater seemed to lose power so we diverted off of the motorway. It turned out the turbo had gone on my car and once again I was left wondering if this wedding band would ever get to the gig!! We decided to attempt to carry on and fortunately the M1 South is filled with 50mph speed limits meaning the lack of power the car could create wasnt much of an issue.
We arrived on time at 17.30 with great relief! The van arrived just afterwards and we knew the next challenge was to try put together a PA and monitoring system that none of us had ever worked with before. Jonathan opened the back of the van, I then realised that we were probably more equipped to perform at a festival as opposed to the small function room that we were to play in!! The van was full to the brim with PA!! It took some time to get the equipment into the venue, past the kitchens, up in thelift and down two corridors, but we did it!! Thankfully Jonathan has great experience with PA systems and we eventually managed to unravel the volumes of equipment that we had. It took nearly two hours, so it was a rush to get ready for our first set at 20.15.
The first set began and it became suddenly apparent that the layout of our small performing area meant that my band members couldn’t all hear Danny shouting the count in to the songs, however we managed! The first set went well with an impromptu embrace from the bride and groom to me!! We had dancers for some of the set however guests were extremely talkitive at this point in the evening which is usual at wedding gigs. After an hour break our second set began and the dance floor filled up and stayed that way until the very end with shouts for encores at the end! Our live arrangements were a complete hit with spaces for saxophone solos and cool musical interludes! The key change at the end of “That Man” finished the show with a bang!
The wedding band had done it!! There was a sense of relief among us and we knew the only thing left to do was to pack down the huge amounts of PA that we had and drive home. The comments from the bride and groom were awesome: “Your performance exceeded our expectations”, “What a fantastic band, worth every penny”, “Just like Caro Emerald”. Audience members said: “Best wedding band I have ever seen” and “Absolutely outstanding, cool mix of songs, amazing voice”. These comments really were an amazing end to a gig that had presented more than a handful of challenges! With more wedding band gigs in the diary we are looking forward to a much smoother ride for the future of providing high quality wedding entertainment!!
Please get in touch via the Contact Me page to enquire about having the Caro Emerald Tribute Wedding Band on your big day!