frequently asked questions
WHY BOOK THE LONDON SWING AND SOUL BAND?
Good Question. We appreciate there are many bands out there. Its possible we are not the right band for you. If you are looking for an Indie Band or a pure Rock band, we are not for you. Where we do excel is in the following area;
- Variety: Classic Swing, Soul, Motown, Jazz, Funk, Rock n Roll as well as the best of contemporary Chart Music, inc. Bruno Mars, Adele, Pharrell, Amy, Kings of Leon, Ed Sheeran, etc. - Flexibility: If you prefer only a small selection of this repertoire eg. just Swing, Soul and Rock n Roll, we are very happy to oblige. Some clients are not keen on modern sounds, some are not keen on Jazz, some love the whole mix!
- More Variety: The founder of the Band has lived and travelled thru countless countries and cultures and picked up many languages on the way. Songs have been sung with the band in English, French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Greek, Sinhala and Japanese.
- Quality: Being rooted in London, the band is extremely well connected with the best of London's Jazz and Soul Musicians who play regularly at the Jazz Nights and Jam Sessions all over the capital. 4 of the key members of the band have regular Jazz Jam residencies.
- Adaptability: As well as taking care to learn your favourite first dance song, we are always on hand before and during the event to help with specific requests for MCing, DJing and cueing starts and stops with the venue/catering managers. If you require background music between key moments, just leave that to us, we will either follow instructions or be happy to use our experience of over 1000 events and intuition to guide the evening thru seamlessly.
- Friendly: Instead of leaving you with a flat, precise 2x60m presentation of music, the musicians and singers of the band are always ready to entertain on the spot. The main song list repertoire is interspersed with improvisation, rapping, invitation to dance competitions, air-guitar competitions, impersonations and much much more.
- Ownership: The allocated bandleader will make sure that every aspect of organisation and set up is completed to the highest level. He will be your single point of contact on the day.
- End-to-End: We can take care of everything music and entertainment related if you so desire. That means the entire sound infrastructure for the band, DJing, Lighting, MCing and we can also arrange dance floor and stage area from our contacts.
- Reputation: We are the preferred suppliers of Heythrop, Cruise London, RAC Club and The Royal Horseguards Hotel. Having played at over 100 Wedding and Function venues across the UK, its in our interest to impress you, the client, as well as establish and excellent professional relationship with the venues who often provide us with more event bookings. We also have a deep pool of enthusiastic testimonials from which to draw, if you would like more reassurance.
WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC LIABILITY AND PAT-TESTING?
All our equipment is PAT-Tested and we possess individually Public Liability insurance for up to £10m
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE THE BAND FOR THE EVENING?
Unfortunately, its difficult to give an exact cost without knowing several details. The following factors will influence cost:
Location / Timing Number of Sets / Length of Performances / Styles Required Number of Special Requests Size of Venue / Audience Whether the Band supply own sound system or not Peak / Off-Peak: Weekdends are more expensive than Weekdays; December is more expensive than January etc. If you make an enquiry, please include as much of this info as possible so that we can come back with an accurate quote
HOW BIG OR SMALL IS YOUR BAND?
We believe every event is different. Some will require a very standard 6 piece party band to play for 2 hours after dinner. Some may benefit from having 2 afternoon musicians, 4 dinner musicians, a 6 piece band for one evening jazz set and a larger band later on for a really big soul sound with several singers. The most common size nowadays is a 7 piece to include one guest soul singer, 2 brass and the standard ‘core’ band of keys/guitar/drums/bass. With band-sizes of 6 or more, we can cover almost any style: Swing, Soul, Motown, Rock, Reggae, Funk, Jazz, RnB, World, Jewish, Latin.
WHO DECIDES THE REPERTOIRE?
The best way of deciding repertoire is for the client to give us either 1. Their must-have favourite (first dance song) to learn if we dont already know it; 2. An indication of their favourite styles: for instance: Swing, Soul and Motown; 3. See our repertoire list and pick out favourites; or 4. Leave it entirely up to us, with just one note for a must have and a must have not!
WHAT KINDS OF EVENTS DO YOU PLAY AT?
Majority Weddings! But also Corporate Events, Bar/Bat-mitzvahs, Birthday Parties, XMAS events, Annual balls, Charity events, Jazz and Blues Festivals, Engagements and Wedding Anniversaries.
WHO IS THE LEAD SINGER?
4 of the musicians of the band (Daniel – keys, Matt – guitar, George – trombone and Jordan – bass) perform lead and backing vocals while they are playing their instrument.We usually have at least one guest singer to perform as well: either Davinia, Janine, Dana, Gaby, Naz, Jessica or Vilija. Based on their availability we welcome you to request a singer that appeals to you to join the band for your special day.
We also work with some fantastic independent guest Male Vocalists, Swing and Soul, but we have not always been able to capture their performances on video for demonstration.
Different combinations with different singers are shown in this compilation:
HOW LONG DO YOU NORMALLY PLAY FOR?
Most commonly we are asked to perform 2x60m sets in the evening for dancing, but we are often asked to play background music at drinks reception or dinner.
CAN THE BAND MOVE / BE FLEXIBLE AND PLAY IN SEPARATE PLACES?
Yes, its possible, but we need to factor in time required to set up.
WHAT TIME WILL THE BAND ARRIVE?
The Band will usually arrive and set-up from 5:30pm-6pm onwards. For Weddings, this means they are ready to set up as soon as the wedding breakfast and speeches are finished. With corporate and charity events, the band will always set up and sound check before guests arrive. If you require the band to set up earlier in the day an additional fee may be required.
WILL THE BAND LEARN A SPECIFIC SONG TO BE PLAYED AT OUR EVENT / WEDDING?
Yes, we are happy to learn your first dance song as part of every booking.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU PROVIDE OTHER THAN LIVE MUSIC?
All our own instruments, PA system, mixer, monitors (all PAT tested) Wired / Wireless microphones (you can use for speeches etc) Disco Lights / DJ services before, between and after live music Aside from the main band sets, we can organise solo/duo/trio acoustic sets.
WHAT IS EXCLUDED?
Dancefloor / Stage (as often the venue supply these) but we can help. Gazebos should the event be outside.
DO YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VENUES AND OTHER SERVICES?
Yes, but it depends on the part of the country and what your schedule/budget looks like!
HOW DO YOU COORDINATE WITH THE VENUE WE HAVE SELECTED?
About a month before the event it is sensible for one of the bandleaders to call or visit the venue. Much can be decided on the phone or by reviewing photos. Usually, the venue will advise on loading, parking, noise limiting, timing, access, etc. The client usually authorises the venue to provide the band with an evening meal and sometimes the venue is large enough to provide a “Green Room” for the band to relax after set up, before and between performances.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU REQUIRE FOR THE BAND
Approx 6m (wide) x 4m (deep)
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SET UP?
It takes about 90 minutes to set up a 7 piece band.
CAN WE CHOOSE THE SET LIST?
You’re welcome to send over a list of your favourite songs from the bands repertoire and the band will try to include these in their set. Bear in mind that we may will alter their set to suit the audience reaction.
DOES THE BAND PROVIDE MUSIC BETWEEN AND BEFORE SETS?
Yes, our bands are happy to provide music via an iPod between sets. This is usually a pre-mixed playlist. If you have particular songs in mind, you’re also welcome to create your own iPod playlists which can be played through the PA system.
WHAT WILL THE BAND WEAR?
Standard attire is black suit white tie black tie.
HOW DO I CONFIRM A BOOKING?
After we agree on a final price, you can pay a 10% deposit, then 50% of balance one month before the event and 50% of the balance a day before the event.
DOES THE PRICE QUOTED INCLUDE TRAVEL COSTS AND EXPENSES?
Yes, all quotes include travel expenses.
WHAT IF THE BAND OR MEMBER OF THE BAND CAN’T MAKE IT ON THE DAY?
If a member of the band is unable to attend on the day of the event, the band will use a suitable replacement. Most bands have a number of backup musicians for this kind of scenario. Out of about 500 gigs, this has happened about twice. However as the core of the band is still working the overall effect is negligible. It is better to have a replacement than have a sick person perform.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM POWER REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BAND?
We require at least 2-3 independent 13 amp sockets. This can vary depending on the size of the band and sound system.