4 February 2008

To Band or not Band?

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My Fiancé and I have recently been having a discussion over whether to have a band or a DJ at our wedding.

I want a band as I think they provide a better atmosphere and entertainment + I really don’t see the value in paying someone $650+ to bring in a glorified iPod and play selected songs for the night. At $100+ per hour I think that’s disgusting. I would be willing to pay that kind of money for a band as I think the talent & skill they provide is w

She doesn’t like the idea of a band as she thinks the music will be to generic and they won’t have an eclectic range of songs.

In trying to convince her otherwise I want to take her to see a couple of cover bands to see what she thinks, however I have been out of the live music scene for awhile and don’t know any current/good cover bands in the ACT.

Can anybody suggest a good band that might be worth listening to and where they are playing?

They must be a cover band with wide range of music choice.

Also what is everyone’s opinion on a band vs DJ for a wedding?

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Hi there,

Its nice to see alot of people trying to help out with your wedding entertainment regardless of the fact that there seems to be alot of extremly inexpreienced and randomly unthoughtout comments and opinions there, especially the one about having an origionals band for your wedding.

The best advice anyone in the know can give is to ask any local entertainment agent like ACT Entertainment or any venue that has cover bands of note playing there regularly such as King Omalleys or The Mawson Club etc and you will only get the name of one band locally that will make yours and has made so many weddings in the past such an unbelievable evening…….The Remnants.

They have a website that has upcoming gigs, repitoire, pics testimonials etc http://www.theremnants.au.com. They played at a function i organised not long ago and i attended a wedding they played at and they are second to none in the cover band scene anywhere i have been let alone locally.

I hope this helps.

Also – live bands don’t have a flexible a volume control as an iPod; you might be ok with a solo artist or a jazz trio but anything more and you’ll have to understand it’s going to get uncomfortably loud.

Unless everyone attending the thing has a very similar taste in music, it has to be recorded music. (That said, this town has some very fine covers bands, some of which have been around for a very long time. They mostly have great range and are pretty skilled but are not the original artists, are not infinitely versatile and can get tired). Do not, under any circumstances, use country music, for any purpose other than mockery. Some blues is fine (in fact a brilliant choice, given the way most weddings go).

As an alternative to the DJ, use a teenager with an agreed playlist, including some stuff that’s suitable as music to eat by and some that will quieten the crowd down before the speeches. Allow a bit of latitude for requests. Make sure it’s full recording, not tinny MP3.

Just make sure if you get a band they can play Dead Kennedy’s. Nothing better than the bridal couple leaving at the end of the night to the strains of ‘Too Drunk to Fuck’.

For an agent, try http://www.letscreate.com.au – wide range of bands and styles. Hired a band for a party last year through them and it all went smoothly – OK from the artist side of the equasion as well.

Hope no DJs wander in here … they’ll leave feeling very … unloved

we like our music manned, not canned.

Oh and Ardanien also supplied bubble emachine and multimedia projection device for videos and pictures from the wedding earlier.

Remember that if you get a band you have to feed and drink them as well.

We got a DJ from Ardanien Entertainment(Found them at the wedding fair) or something like that – they were really cheap and played the part of MC as well – taking the stress off all the attendees. We have an exhaustive consultative process and outlined what songs we do and do not want.

Special mention to them for playing True by Spandau Ballet – one of my fave songs.

Great guys and really helped make our night special

MAS Entertainment
A.C.T Entertainment Agency
Peter Funnel Entertainment

Big Boss Groove is always the best band in Canberra to get for a wedding. I’ve seen them everywhere and done music bits between them.

Exactly when did a cover band become acceptable for a wedding? Allow me to vomit a little bit.

You dont want your wedding memories to be corny, so get a band you like (as long as its not metal or something) and you should be sweet

I *love* live bands (had the boys from Escape Sydnrom play in our lounge room last year for my 35th which was KIN AWESOME).

But.. here’s another option – supply *your own* mp3 playlist on a lappie & use the receptions projector for free and enjoy $0 cost for your wedding entertainment. Perhaps get a pre-arranged m8 to wrangle it to make sure it doesn’t mangled by drunken guests.

you get to hear the music list you both have arranged without anyone else playing crap you don’t want to hear on your special day.

Oh, if the recpetion venue is giving you a PA for free to just plug into it.

is gunna work for us… and the money saved will buy about an extra billion cocktails on the honeymoon 😉

It’s so overpriced for a DJ.

I own a DJ company and we only charge $300 for the whole wedding. We don’t use iPods eaither… Just old fashioned CD’s with a dual DJ CD Mixer. We usually do the Canberra Club functions like the “Dirty Dicks” after entertainment and other functions.

I won’t answer your question to save bias….

Get a piano player or an acoustic guitar for dinner music. Acoustic guitar is cool because they can wander from table to table, guests love that stuff.

And a covers band for dancing after – much more fun than a DJ, and well worth the money. It’s kind of nice to go see your wedding band when you notice they’re playing nearby on Saturday night, and relive great memories of the wedding party. Nobody remembers a DJ, but people will talk about a good band for years after. Pick the right band and you could even use their CD as bonboniere for the guests.

http://www.tonymagee.com.au is who I used as a booking agent. Everything was handled professionally, and the band were fantastic.

Don’t get a DJ. There’s nothing worse than seeing people (namely your parents or anyone over the age of 50) dance to KC and the Sunshine band, Gloria Gaynor or The Viallage People!

Do you think your mother in law would hate you forever if you arranged Los Capitanes to play ?

That’d be worth thousands…

Agreed Thumper, although an original band is always good, unfortunately they’re not suitable for a wedding.

Niftydog, I had already thought about that & yes I was planning to play songs through an MP3/Stereo. EG, while dinner is on you don’t really want or need a band.

I thought about using a stereo/MP3 player at the start of the reception and during the meal, and then have the band start when the meals are finished.

Unfortunately I think I’m losing this battle, I might drag her along to the RSL on Friday to see Mick’s band. Maybe that will help convince her. Her main concern is the band will be unable to play the music she wants or that they will not have enough range.

I’d recommend The Tullys: http://www.thetullys.com.au for live band – covers & original material.

Does the venue have it’s own sound system or will you be expecting the band or DJ to provide one, and a band’s then think about what you’ll use to play your mp3 player over once the band has packed up and gone home … unless you ask them to stick around just to use their gear.

If the venue has a sound system and aren’t used to having iPods and the like used with it, you might need to bring your own 1/8″ stereo TRS to RCA adapter or cable.

better off finding an original, local band you like and asking them to do your wedding… then it won’t be way cheesy like all cover bands are.

I’m going to shamelessly plug my cover band, The Drop Bears .
We have played a wedding and got great feedback (can use as reference). We also play live venues in and around Canberra with 2 this coming weekend. Friday at the Civic RSL and Saturday at Walsh’s Hotel in Queanbeyan.
We can learn anything you would like (ie. Wedding Dances, special songs) and we can hook up an iPod for in between music as well.
Feel free to drop me an email at thedropbears@gmail.com

A band can’t/won’t play all night solid, so mix it up! Get yourself an MP3 player and load up all your favourite songs – have the band connect it to their PA system and ask that they turn it up whenever they take a break. Keep it on random repeat and you’ll always have music on tap ready to go at the drop of a hat.

But whatever you do, DON’T wait until the day to test out the connection to the PA! Make sure you’ve tried it before the big day, and that you’ve tested it at high volume for that early-morning groove session after the bands gone home!

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