The Nocturnal side of the acoustic wedding band rock my reception….
It’s only Rock n Roll, but I like it! So sang the rubber-lipped, chamois leather-faced Mick Jagger extolling the virtues of, not only Rock music in general, but the whole ethos of the hard living, hedonistic lifestyle which Rock n Roll entails. Indeed, when we think of rock-stars, or even musicians in general, probably one of the first things they’re synonymous with is their nocturnal habits. Like a lad on an 18-30 holiday, the idea of waking up before midday is a definite no-go and the party rarely gets started till at least 9pm.
The same can often apply to the musician. You’re there to entertain the masses and keep the party in full swing till the last reveller has staggered out of the door at 2:30 am. It’s what you’re contracted to do-so you simply do it. Some bands may imbibe as much as their audience, in which case it is up to designated driver/bum-wiper to gather them up at the end of the night and ship them off to their homes,hotels or even after-show party.
Been a wedding singer with Rock My Reception we don’t have the luxury of a designated driver or chauffeur? And how does this nocturnal existence affect your day-to-day life?
To an outsider, a musicians lifestyle may seem a peculiar existence. While everyone is gearing up for the end of the week and their weekend shenanigans the musician is preparing for their busiest part of the week: Pubs, Parties and Weddings. By Saturday evening while many people may have their feet up in front of Strictly Come Dancing the musician will be sound checking and making last minute checks for the evenings music. Sometimes the night can carry on into the wee-early hours of the morning and after a final encore and the customary polite chats with the guests to thank them for being such a great audience you can be looking at 2am: this is before you’ve even packed down your equipment-you still may have a 3 hour journey home up the M1 to make!
Unless there are two or more of you in the car, a journey home from a gig can be a solitary experience. The sound of the crowd and your own speakers-the sound you, yourself have generated still ringing in your ears. Some people choose to have the radio for company on the way home, then some people prefer silence. Motorways are often empty, save for the other few nocturnal workers such as lorry drivers, taxis and highway maintenance vehicles. It can be quite a romantic and warm image knowing that as you’re zipping up through the countries many arteries, most of the population are tucked up and fast asleep.
Driving through towns from a venue to the motorway can be an eye-opener to say the least. Saturday night, post-midnight in any town in Britain can seem like a wierd twilight zone affair. You’re sober yet 99% of the people in the streets are, to a varying degree, spannered, save for the few emergency services trying to assemble some form of calm and tending to the walking-wounded or passed out. Inhibitions fallen by the wayside as frontal lobes of the brain stew under several hours of heavy-drinking. All extremes of emotions can be viewed from the safety of your vehicle; arguing couples, crying girls, fighting lads, spewing, hysterical laughter and the obligatory zombie like vacant expressions. Their wallets emptied-yours filled.
Once you’re back at base, vehicle emptied of equipment to a safe lock-up, it’s time to relax, unwind and get off to bed. Sometimes you may take a good half hour to acclimatise. Ears still ringing and motorway lights flashing before your eyes. If you’re lucky you may have the luxury of a lie-in in the morning, dependant on whether you’ve got another function to play the day after, or indeed if you have kids to wake you up no sooner your head has hit the pillow! As with many other jobs which involve working in the early hours such as shift workers the experience can leave you feeling somewhat jet-lagged, a little jaded, but only temporarily. It is certainly an alternative to the standard 9am to 5pm model of working and certainly an enjoyable one.
Morning all….I’m hitting the hay!