We have our fair share of cover bands here at Soundlab rolling through the doors on a weekly basis. Songs of all sorts and sounds filling the air. may be a fair bit of Bruno mars it seems recently, but still a good bit of Abba or some old rockers blasting Free's alright now.
The music world is going through some changes at the moment at these cover bands are some of the few musicians actually getting paid to go out and do their thing.
Now i am going to waffle at you today a bit about the wedding band. I play in a silly band that plays a few weddings and as i said above, we get an awful lot of cover bands in here too, plus the fact that i am getting married next year i think starts to make me a bit of an expert on the wedding band topic!
As soon as that word "Wedding" is thrown anywhere... it's like the price get's doubled, the expectations are far higher and the pressure is on. The band can't be turning up all scruffy and half cut, unrehearsed. This is someones special day here and they are probably parting with a figure over £1000 to hear those cheesey songs you have been working away learning. Slick and professional is the name of the game in the wedding band business.... Totally un rock n roll! but it pays well!
Things that people forget about are the key ingredients to success in any business. Good communication is so vital! the bride and groom will want to know that everything is booked and checked and confirmed and booked again! Any flakiness and delay in responding will just irate them and make them look elsewhere for more reliable musicians (No easy task to find).
being punctual, this isn't a turn up 5 mins before you play kinda gig down the local boozer. you may have to go and set up hours before when the guests aren't all milling around. Remember it's not your day and you have to do what you can to keep that Bridezilla off your back!
Equipment! Needs to be checked and rechecked, most wedding venues will ask for PAT testing on your gear, and it's important you don't have that crackly amp, a guitar that slips out of tune, simple things like a drum matt to make sure the drummer isn't chasing his kick drum round the room. if your equipment is shit, it's more than likely your sound will be shit and your performance will suck, you will get bottled off stage and boo'ed all the way home with no payment!
Practice and organisation. This kinda goes without saying. Know your parts! Know the songs! It's amazing how many cover bands i see who try and "wing it" when song structures go all wrong, solo's go on for twice as long and everyone in the band starts looking at each other. practice! Be tight! Be good at what you do! other wise what really is the point. if your product is pants, that means your business sucks, your going to ruin someones big day, and get no more work.... great! .... Jog on mate!
Read that crowd and play to them! There is a good chance that, that slipknot song you have been jamming with the band probably won't go down too well at a nice wedding (Altho is some cases it might) Make sure you have a plan of songs to appease most audiences and be able to switch the set about. Bring out your ropey songs and filler when it's buffet time and everyone is leaving the dance floor!
But really there is a lot of money and good times to be had being a good wedding band, playing once or twice a week can give you a great income and support any other music you would want to do. Take it seriously and it will pay you seriously!