2014: What a year it’s been for Yorkshire wedding band Rock My Reception. We started off with a bang, winning the coveted Wedding Industry Award for Best Newcomer, on the strength of this success and surrounding publicity we saw a high increase of wedding bookings taking us to some of the finest venues this country has to offer. We’ve had the pleasure of working with the mind-boggling talents of photographer Paul Crowther of Revolver Photo and wedding film maker Ollie Bostock, both possessing an abundance of ideas and originality in their work, providing us with successful, eye-catching publicity shots and popular YouTube footage.
This year has not only come full circle by us winning the north-east region in TWIA’s final heats, but has also been bookended fantastically by us having the honour of being asked to provide the music for proceeding finals to announce winners on to the stage to collect their awards. Very rarely is acoustic music used at such events, therefore it was it was an opportunity we jumped at. One more opportunity that took
us completely by surprise came in the form of a phone call from Liam, a researcher at BBC Radio Leeds, no less! He’d seen our recent press coverage of our success at TWIA and would we like to come in to the studios in Leeds to chat on the Liz Green breakfast show? Not arf’ we would!!!
Publicity certainly breeds publicity. In this case a spread in the local Huddersfield Examiner had led to even more valuable regional exposure on a breakfast slot. It was important that we give this our all! We arranged to meet at the studio at 6am. A time many musicians maybe more accustomed to going to bed! We were met by Liam and was immediately put at ease with the offer of an early morning coffee and a lowdown of what Liz Green would be chatting to us about. We thought we’d up the ante a little and mentioned to Liam that we often take requests from our audiences. He agreed that this would be great to mention to the listeners and perhaps get them to request on air a song they’d like us to play. We don’t do things by halves at Rock My Reception!
We’d obviously anticipated that we would be asked to play a song or two so we’d brought along our guitars (and the Ukelele- just to be on the safe side!). After a few cups of tea and coffee to warm our voices we were eventually guided through to Liz’s studio and got ready for the interview. Liz was great fun and really put us at ease. She began by asking us about the award and if it had brought us any success. Soon after, we launched into our strident version of Valerie. Listeners had already begun ringing in with requests. Sadly, due to time constraints, we could only pick a handful and were limited to playing edited down versions of these songs. Some of the requests were bizarre to say the least, for example Status Quo’s ‘In the army now’! A great treat was in store when Huddersfield Giants player Earl Crabtree, who we’d recently met at a wedding function, rang in and requested us to play Chuck Berry’s ‘Teenage Wedding’, made famous in the film Pulp Fiction. This concluded our part in the show perfectly and were pleased to hear from Liam that they had recieved many complimentary tweets from listeners, including one bride-to-be who had already booked us for her wedding next year!
2014, as well as being the year we’ve begun to really achieve serious success with Rock My Reception, is also 20 years from when myself and Kieran started our first rock band. Throughout the following years we would go through several rites of passages, learning experiences- experiences that would shape how we work today. We may have transformed from teenage/twenty-something aspiring rock-stars to thirty-something acoustic wedding band performers. The one constant has been our enthusiasm in our work, coupled with a lack of fear putting ourselves out there. In the words of indie band Cast, “You’ll never know unless you try- youve got to fly”.
Incidentally, a few days after our performance on Radio Leeds, we were once again contacted by Liam who asked if we would be available to play on the 19th of December. This is what is known as ‘Mad Friday’, the Friday before Christmas when many companies, businesses and schools break up for the Christmas holidays. So listeners, please tune in to the Liz Green show on Friday 19th of December, 6:00-9:00, and get those Christmas requests sent in!