Last Wednesday, I provided a full day programme of Bartle Hall wedding entertainment for a very special couple. Irene and Tony had contacted me after searching for a wedding pianist on the internet.
At our initial meeting, we decided on the program. First of all, I would perform for the ceremony with a piano keyboard in one room. In addition, I would set up my white baby grand piano and lights in the main room ready for the evening function.
The couple’s choice of ceremony music was as follows: Pachelbel’s Canon (processional). I Giorni (Einaudi) and Butterfly Waltz (Brian Crane’s PS I Love You) for signing of the register. You’ve Got A Friend In Me (Toy Story soundtrack) to walk out into married life having a bit of fun.
I introduced the evening reception with Tony and Irene’s first dance Come Rain Or Come Shine. After a first set of dancing, guests were quite happy to chat and have a drink at the tables. The team had set out the tables around the piano like a small jazz bar. As a result, I was able to chat with most guests as everyone was fairly close. I was therefore able to take requests and have a singsong with guests throughout the evening.
However, towards the end of the night, I played a long medley of “slowies”: Lady In Red, The Last Waltz, you get the picture… Before we knew it, it was midnight with only time to reflect on what had been a fantastic wedding day surrounded by friends and family. Well that and a cuppa and a slice of wedding cake!
This was my first wedding at Bartle Hall. Big shout out to Hannah and new manager Stu and the team. They took care of everything without a hitch.
Having taken another booking from a guest on the night, I look forward to seeing the happy couple again in a few months’ time. Happy days indeed! x
Wirral wedding band 40 Thieves performed at Jacqui and Phil’s wedding at West Tower last Saturday. Jacqui & Phil contacted me in March last year when they started looking for wedding entertainment.
They wanted me to perform during the day on piano & vocals and my live band for the evening. They were planning their 2013 wedding at top Lancashire wedding venue West Tower.
Happily, they decided to go with solo piano and vocals sets to cover the drinks reception and wedding breakfast. After turnaround, that fine Wirral wedding band The 40 Thieves (trio) would provide their evening entertainment. We also decided to rely on the Ipad to mix their chosen playlist between the live band sets to keep the party going throughout the evening.
Our regular bass player Mark was unavailable so we offered the alternative trio with sax: I played piano & vocals, bass keyboard and drum loops with Jon on guitar & vocals and Geni on sax, flute & vocals. It’s a great format and a great sound. Jacqui and Phil had decided against the 4-piece format with our drummer to limit the overall volume and space taken up by the band.
After their first dance “Greatest Day“, we kept everyone up on the dancefloor for the rest of the night as promised. We played quite a few chart requests and plenty of rock n roll. One of the best dancers on the night was a very young 90 years old. How about that! Since our success at West Tower, two of their guests have already booked the same format for next year. Yay!
Unless you have a particular set theme, your wedding entertainment should offer something for everyone. We have been playing together on and off since we were at school. An accomplished, live wedding band who are intent on having fun are going to wow your guests and guarantee a great night. Now, isn’t that what weddings are all about?
Just like at any wedding, at West Tower wedding entertainment is a key ingredient on the day. On Sunday, I was back at my favourite Lancashire wedding venue for Chris and Cat’s big day.
I was singing and playing piano during the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. At West Tower, this takes place over 2 separate floors. As a result, I have to set up the piano upstairs and a piano keyboard downstairs in the Cellar Bar.
For the arrival of guests and the actual wedding ceremony, I prepared some special pieces for bride Cat:
Bella’s Lullaby The Meadow (from the Twilight soundtracks); Love Letters from the Sex & The City soundtrack which I had first played at another wedding at West Tower just the week before… On the day, Cat actually walked in to my piano version of Something by the Beatles. She looked absolutely stunning.
After the ceremony, the team ushered guests downstairs for the drinks reception. I had set up the piano keyboard near the steps and started with some Rat Pack. A few guests were up for some Christmas carols. Apparently, Santa Claus is coming to town…
Even before the mistletoe appeared, the Prosecco was flowing and everyone was in great spirits. I love Christmas. Almost before we knew it, it was time to head upstairs for the wedding breakfast.
Firstly, I played the newlyweds in with That’s Amore. I had the guests waving their napkins in the air as Chris and Cat walked down. It never fails!
After a long and raucous wedding breakfast, I finished up with All You Need Is Love. In summary, a great day of singing and laughter in fantastic company.
Epilogue: As the party moved on to speeches, I was more than ready for a bite to eat. I’ve been providing West Tower wedding entertainment for some years now. I have to say the chef does very possibly the best roast and gravy reduction I have ever tasted! Oh my! While it is very often brought out unexpectedly, it is much appreciated.
So thank you to Chris and Cat for letting me be such a part of your special day. Thank you to the team at West Tower for looking after me. And thank you for reading. Merry Christmas! xx
I had met Mike and Liz at a wedding fayre at Scarisbrick Hall in 2010. On the day, I set up the baby grand in ready for the wedding breakfast. Speeches were made before the food was served and then I began playing and taking requests from top table and guests including Can’t Take My Eyes Off You… “I love you baby…!”.
Thanks to guest special Dave for letting me have some images from the day. This one – I’m not sure if I’m going for a high note or the piano lid’s just come down on my fingers:
I had great fun at a corporate event for QVC held at West Tower Exclusive Venue in Aughton on Wednesday. It was to pay tribute to QVC staff who had been working for the company for over 5 years. There were many members who had been there for much longer too so staff loyalty is obviously something that is appreciated and encouraged there.
The men and women at the dinner all had a great evening with some more than keen to join in the singing!! Congratulations to QVC for devolping such a great relationship with staff and thank you West Tower for putting on another great event!
Having played at another short wedding at Inglewood Manor earlier in the day, I was keen to make good time to perform at Andy and Louise’s wedding at Ryecroft Hall last night. I managed to get the baby grand up to the first floor function room in the lift and performed a first set solo before the other 4 members of the band joined me for the first dance: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac as both the bride and groom are mad F1 fans.
From the first dance on we kept everyone on the floor. Songs that went down particularly well were Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Suspicious Minds where drummer Carl played an absolute blinder! We’d forgotten he used to play in an Elvis Vegas band and nailed all the breaks with untamed aggression! A great night!
On Saturday, I performed at Tammy and Dave’s wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel in Aughton – undoubtedly, one of my favourite venues. Tammy had contacted me initially from Azerbaijan where she and Dave live and after discussing options had decided that I should set up a piano keyboard outside for the drinks reception and the white baby grand inside for the subsequent wedding breakfast.
Dave was a fan of Robbie Williams and particulalry the swing material he’d covered so the likes of Have You Met Miss Jones, Mack The Knife and Mr Bojangles were definitely on the playlist. Tammy was keen to hear some new versions of Beatles classics while they were home in Liverpool.
The weather on the day was great so everything went according to plan. With an abundance of real characters amongst the guest, a full-on sing song was guaranteed and a good time was had by one and all.
I may meet up for the invitational golf classic they organise in Dubai as I am performing in Dubai at the end of October but in the meantime I wish them both all the best!