Here is Dom from the Yorkshire wedding band rock my reception and a light-heated look at life as a professional musician……
Stretched Limo-check, Lear Jet-check, Private Helicopter + personal R.A.F trained pilot-check. These are the par for the course methods of transport associated with the mega-rich pampered pop stars. Mothered by P.A.’s, chaperoned by burly security guards and escorted to their next destination in comfort of royal proportions, the rich and famous have little to worry about regarding the logistics of their tour. Everything from the booking of venues, to sound equipment shipment, to getting everyone from a to b has been organised with military precision by an army of people who’s main concern it is to carry out these duties. The diva popstars job is to look pretty, sing all the right notes- hopefully in the right order and try not to anything bigoted or racist.
For the jobbing musician, however it’s a slightly different story. If you’re an unsigned band or solo musician working independently it is your responsibility to sort out the transport, fuel for transport, pick up equipment from storage ,directions to venue, check in and performance times at venue. Then there’s the staying over if it’s a long distance gig. Checking in and out times at the hotel or B & B: all these fine details are vital to the smooth running of the gigging machine, and there’s no Brian Epstein or Alan McGee to hold your hand on the way.
Many are the horror stories over the years concerning musicians and bands ineptitude when carrying out the most simplest of tasks. One example of this is when a band were recording their demo in a studio. The guitarist was due to lay down his track when it was decided he needed some new strings, so he headed of to the nearest music shop to buy some. After two hours had passed the guitarist still hadn’t returned and all the other musicians were starting to get slightly irritable; time meaning a shed-load of money. Finally, the engineer walked in saying he had just bumped into the guitarist who said he’d just nipped home to make some lunch, have a beer and iron his jeans. By now the band members were at the end of their tether and when the guitarist finally walked in, nonchalantly-without the strings, questions needed answers. “What the hell took you?”. “Well, the first shop down the road was shut so I had to go onto the next town, the shop there didn’t have Rotosounds so I went to the shop next door and…”
“But you just DIDNT! Tony said he’s just seen you and you told him you went home, made your dinner, had a beer and ironed your jeans!!!”
The guitarist paused and looked sheepish-obviously caught out, he finally conceded;
“Alright, yeah.. I did go home… I did have dinner…and I did have a beer………..but I definitely didn’t iron my jeans”.
At Rock My Reception we realise the misconceptions and stereotypes people have regarding musicians, and some not entirely unjustified. It still amazes me that some bands still find it acceptable to cancel a wedding engagement at the eleventh hour with pityfully poor excuses: ‘The drummers goldfish died’, ‘The guitar player cut his thumb’, ‘The singer quit the band yesterday’, etc. Come hell or high water, we always ensure we arrive at a wedding punctually- sometimes if it’s a long distance wedding checking into a hotel the day before so as to avoid any potential traffic jams. We consider the quickest route to the venue and always keep an I-phone, I-pad and good old fashioned road map to assist us on the way: Google Maps being particularly efficient. We also have full breakdown cover incase of emergencies so even in the worst case scenario we will get there! All our equipment has been PAT safety tested and rock my reception have public liability insurance in the eventuality a venue may insist on them. Obviously every gig is important to us, whether it be a birthday party, a corporate event or a pub gig, but a wedding is paramount: it is a day that the wedding couple will never forget. It is our job to get our bit right!