How Good Was This Band?

How Good Was This Band?

Back in 1987, I joined a band called “Melodious Thunk”. It was the brainchild of Scott Saunders, who later went on to great success with “DIG” in the 1990’s. I played trombone in the horn section. 

How Good Was This Band - jump back jack
Scott Saunders

In the second half of 1987, we shared a Thursday night residency at The Harbourside Brasserie with the legendary Sydney band “Jump Back Jack”, led by the late bass guitar virtuoso, Jackie Orszaczky. 

How Good Was This Band - jump back jack
Jackie Orszaczky

I was already a huge fan of this band. Back in 1986, I followed them around town and must have watched them play weekly. As a young trombone player, any band in Sydney with a horn section was a “must see” and Jump Back Jack’s horn section were exemplary. James Greening was on trombone, with Mike Bukowsky and Linda Bacon on trumpets, along with Mark Simmons on tenor saxophone.  All were seasons jazz musicians, but here they were assembled to play funk. I would typically stand right in front of James Greening’s trombone slide, his fat notes and short stabs filling me with insecurities about my own trombone playing.

Two drummers on stage together was an extraordinary feature of the band.  It’s very rare to see a band with two drummers as it obviously leads to many complications, but the two drummers in Jump Back Jack, Phillip Campbell and Hamish Stewart, were perfectly synchronised.  

Guitarist Rick Morrison was so understated. I never saw him take a guitar solo. He just grooved without soloing, which was something rare for a guitarist in the 1980’s.

Jackie Orszaczky

Fronting Jump Back Jack was Jackie Orszaczky. He’d be playing complicated and syncopated bass lines while singing over the top. His bass playing was effortless, as if it required no concentration. His singing was like a Hungarian James Brown. I was mesmerised.

Sydney Music Scene in the 1980’s

Yes, we all know that the live music scene in Sydney was pumping in the 1980’s.  You could go out any night of the week and watch a band play.  In addition to the live scene, their were also many opportunities for singers and musicians to work on television. There was The Midday Show based in Sydney, Steve Vizard’s nightly show coming out of Melbourne, plus shows like “The Don Lane Show”.

“Jump Back Jack” On The Don Lane Show

Watch this live performance by Jump Back Jack on the Don Lane Show. This is the original line-up, so it must have gone to air in 1986. The line-up later had a few changes, but (as they say), here’s the original and the best… check it out!

What Is The Best Day To Have My Wedding And Reception?

What Is The Best Day To Have My Wedding?

You’ve been proposed to and you’ve said “yes”.

Or…

You’ve made your proposal, and the answer was “yes”.

What next?

Planning the “BIG DAY”.

What is the best day to have my wedding and reception?

Think outside of the box.

Most couples start with looking at Saturday nights in spring or autumn, and then find out that most venues have already been booked for the next three years.

It’s time to think outside of the box.

Begin With The End In Mind

If you’ve ever read Stephan Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, you will be familiar with his second habit, “Begin With The End In Mind”.

Now, think ahead to celebrating your 10 year wedding anniversary. 

How would you like to celebrate this?

For most people, it’s get up and go to work, just like any other day. Maybe you will go out for dinner in the evening, after a tiring and stressful day at work. That’s hardly a romantic way to spend you anniversary.

Wouldn’t You Prefer An Annual Holiday To Mark Your Anniversary?

Do you ever feel that your birthday comes and goes each year without any ado? This is the day that you were born, yet it slips by as just another insignificant date on the calendar. 

Your wedding anniversary doesn’t have to have the same insignificance. You have a choice. With a tiny amount of foresight and planning, your wedding anniversary can be made so much more special by being marked with an annual holiday. You will feel like the King and Queen, having the day set aside in your honour.

Why Be Like Everybody Else

Rather than the typical scenario most couples face of waking up on their wedding anniversary and having to face the usual grind of waking up, getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school and facing peak hour traffic, consider this alternative. You could wake up next to the one you love, knowing it’s your anniversary and also knowing that you can snuggle up, getting up when you please.

How Do You Do This?

There are two public holidays every year that don’t move.

  1. Australia Day – 26th January
  2. Anzac Day – 25th April

Simply plan your wedding for either of these two dates and it’s a guarantee that you’ll always get the day off for your anniversary.

Anzac Day

My personal preference is for Anzac Day. The obvious concern people have is that it may be considered disrespectful to the fallen. I would counter this concern with the fact that their are no veterans left from the First World War, and that there are virtually none still alive from the Second World War.

What is the best day to have my wedding and reception?

Australia Day

Also a good choice, especially as it typically marks the end of the summer holiday season.

What is the best day to have my wedding and reception?

FOR WEDDING INQUIRIES, CLICK HERE

Marriage Equality- Yes, We Are Open For Business

Marriage Equality- Yes We Are Open For Business

The Slide McBride band would like to congratulate Australia for voting for marriage equality. The members of my band and my family anxiously anticipated the results from the marriage equality plebiscite and then as the bill passed the Upper and finally through the Lower House. It was a wonderful moment to know that the majority of Australians support the LGBTQI community and recognise that everyone has the right to marry the person that they love.

Same Sex Mariage

I have had the pleasure, throughout my career, prior to the passing of the marriage equality act, to have the honour of performing at many same-sex commitment ceremonies. It was privilege to witness the courage and commitment of same sex couples to openly commit to each despite the fact that they were being discriminated against by Australian law. It was evident to everyone present how much these people loved each other. It was also obvious how unfair and discriminatory the then marriage act was to the LGBTQI community.

The Slide McBride Band would like to say we support same-sex marriages and are excited to entertain and perform at many in the future. Congratulating to the LBTQI community and congratulations to Australia for supporting same sex marriage and equality.

Same Sex Marriage

The Slide McBride Band- Proud supporters of Marriage Equality.

Non discriminatory suppliers of great wedding entertainment

Using An Ipod Playlist For Your Wedding

Using An Ipod Playlist For Your Wedding

Using and Ipod playlist at your wedding reception seems like such a sensible option. You check out the option of hiring a band, and they all seem so expensive. You look into hiring a  DJ. They are so much cheaper, but then how do you know that they will actually play the songs you like? Why not consider doing it yourself? You know the songs you like. You have them all on your computer. Why pay money for someone else to play the songs you already have on you phone or Ipod? You pay $11.99 per month to Spotify, so why not simply make up your playlists on Spotify?

I have played (with my band) at a countless number of wedding receptions. The standard response I get from brides and grooms at the end of each and every wedding is, “Every one of our guests is talking about the band”, or “Wow, you guys really made the wedding so much fun”!

(To take  a look at the typical emails I have receive from brides and grooms, follow this link – http://slidemcbride.com/sydney-wedding-band-testimonials/ )

I have heard people who have gone to a wedding make complementary remarks about the DJ, but

I have NEVER EVER heard anyone say, “The Ipod playlist was amazing”. 

I’m still waiting to hear, “The Ipod playlist had everyone up and dancing”.

I don’t ever expect to hear, “Their Ipod playlist made the night”.

This is what I have seen…

I have played at weddings where we (the band) finish playing and then the Ipod gets plugged into a speaker to keep the party going. What I usually see is this. A bossy drunk person decides that they know which songs will keep the party powering along. A few people will dance, but numbers on the dance floor will start dropping off. Then a different bossy drunk person with a different opinion will decide to take over. They will put on something “really cool” (which is generally something totally weird and off-beat).  Half a song is played before the next person decides to get involved in the choice of songs. It becomes the battle of the drunk amateur DJ’s. By this stage, I’ve packed up my gear and hastily exit the party. 

Contempt For Your Guests

Using an Ipod playlist is cheap and is ultimately the most contemptuous act of indifference to your guests that you can make. If you consider the effort some of your guests have made to get to your wedding, using an Ipod playlist is a disgrace. Typically, some people will have travelled from overseas. Other will have come from interstate. You have asked them to share with you one of the most significant days of your life.  The least you can do in return is to give your guests some half-decent entertainment. Think of it as a gift back to the people you love and have asked to share the day with you.

Your Thoughts

Ask around. If you have (or if you know of someone who has) ever been to a wedding reception or party where the Ipod playlist has been amazing and MADE the party, I want to hear about it. Please post a comment and share your story with me.

 

What Other Sydney Wedding Band Gets Reviews Like This?

sydney's best wedding band

What Other Sydney Wedding Band Gets Reviews Like This?

We play at lots of weddings. I commonly get “thanks you” messages, either by email or text message. Occasionally I get hand written thank you letters. My question is, what other Sydney wedding bands gets reviews like this?

Good Evening Slide,

I just want to thank you again for the fabulous job you did entertaining the guests at Katie and Tim’s wedding.  I’m so thankful we engaged a band with such a diverse musical repertoire and also has the  intelligence to select appropriate music for various points in a function.

We have had great feedback from all the guests particularly the New Zealand contingent.  Everyone was so impressed with your musical talent, your energy and how you didn’t break the whole night with one song leading immediately into the next.

Slide we hope that some time in the future we have the opportunity to ask you to another function and we will certainly recommend you to family and friends.

Kind regards,

Catherine Metcalfe

sydney wedding band
Actual email

Catherine is the mother of the bride.  The bride (Katie) married Tim (the groom).

sydney wedding band
Bride and Groom -Katie and Tim

Katie’s Dad is originally from New Zealand, so there were a certain number of Kiwis who had journeyed from ‘across the ditch’ to attend the wedding.

New Zealanders always love the band. We should tour there. They definitely seem to ‘get’ what we’re about.

Here’s some footage from the night…

The venue was Athol Hall in Mosman. I must have played at this venue about one hundred times over the years.

One of the things about being in Sydney’s best wedding band is that you get to play in all the best venues around town. What we love about Athol Hall is the simplicity. The building has rustic charm and fits in perfectly with our pre-dinner drinks music. Here’s an example…

Photos by Milton Gan

I meet many photographers at the many weddings we play at. One of the best around has to be Milton Gan.

For more on Milton Gan… 

 
 
 
 
Phone: 0424 531 368

Do I Really Need Any Speeches At My Wedding Reception?

Do I Really Need Any Speeches At My Wedding Reception?

On the October long-weekend we played at two weddings. The unusual thing with both weddings were the absence of speeches. I’ve played at an abundance of weddings and have seen many variations of what makes a truly memorable reception. It’s rare to see people skip speeches as part of their reception, but having observed this twice in one weekend, I now think it’s an excellent option to consider.

 

On the Saturday, we played at David and Kelly’s wedding reception.

sydney wedding band
Selfie with David and Kelly

On Sunday, we played at Gary and Cara’s wedding reception.

Sydney Wedding Band
Selfie with Gary and Cara

 

Both wedding receptions actually had two things in common.  Firstly, neither wedding reception had any speeches. Secondly, they were both held at surf clubs on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

David and Kelly had their ceremony and reception at South Curl Curl Surf Club, while Gary and Cara had their ceremony and reception at Narrabeen Surf Club.

David and Kelly – South Curl Curl Surf Club

David and Kelly had their ceremony on the balcony of the surf club overlooking Curl Curl Beach. Immediately after they were pronounced ‘man and wife’, they had about twenty minutes of informal speeches. The reception then followed straight after these, inside the surf club.

The reception was a cocktail-style affair with a relaxed ambiance.  David and Kelly did their bridal dance to the second song we played. This encouraged their guests to dance which they did throughout our first set. Dinner was served about an hour into the reception, so we pulled back the intensity of the music to allow for eating and dinner conversation. After guests had eaten, the party really got going! Without the interruption of speeches we played solidly, performing five sets over the five hour reception.

Gary and Cara – Narrabeen Surf Club

Gary and Cara’s ceremony was outdoors on the grass area between the club house and the beach. Celebratory drinks were served immediately following the ceremony. During these drinks, we played in our roving acoustic format.

Here is a clip of us playing during this part of the reception

Dinner was then served inside the surf club which was followed by dancing. There were no speeches and there was no bridal dance. Often, guests won’t dance until after the ‘bridal dance’, but this was not the case with Gary and Cara’s guests. Everyone danced with very little encouragement. They were a very receptive crowd. Gary and Cara did actually dance. They simply chose not to do a formal bridal dance.

Planning Your Wedding – Do What You Want

I’ve played at hundreds of weddings. My one word of advice is…

Do what you want and do it your own way.

There are no rules when planning your wedding. If you are not into speeches, don’t have any. If you really don’t want to do a bridal dance, then don’t. If you want something informal, book a surf club. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on flowers or theming, then don’t.

 

 

Tim and Rosy’s Wedding in Port Douglas

Tim and Rosy’s Wedding in Port Douglas

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

On Sunday, 4th September we flew up to Port Douglas to play at Tim and Rosy’s wedding.

Guests had flown in from all over Australia to attend this tropical wedding. Most turned Tim and Rosy’s “destination wedding” into an opportunity for a short holiday.

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

We flew up on Sunday morning. Thankfully, everything ran smoothly and exactly to plan.

The venue was Sugarwharf, which had breathtaking views across the water.

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

We always fly with Virgin, as they offer superior service for musicians and bands.

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

Also, the staff are always so friendly and accommodating.

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

Tim (the groom) played a wonderful version of the Hunters and Collectors’ classic, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”.

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

We were very fortunate to have Mark Williams from Pacific Music in Cairns provide the PA, lighting, amplifiers and drum kit. If you are ever in the need of backline up in Cairns or Port Douglas, Mark Williams is highly recommended. He is a thorough professional. For more information on Pacific Music, please refer to their website – http://www.pacificmusic.com.au/

Tim and Rosy's wedding in Port Douglas, Queensland

Siobhan and Mike’s Wedding at Zest, Point Piper

Sydney Wedding Band

Siobhan and Mike’s Wedding at Zest, Point Piper

On Friday, 12th August we played at Siobhan and Mike’s wedding and reception.

Siobhan & Mike

The ceremony was at Blackburn Gardens, and the reception followed shortly afterwards at Zest, Point Piper (Royal Motor Yacht Club).

I’ve played at this venue many times over the years, and it never fails to impress. It features stunning views across Rose Bay, but also boasts great food and impeccable service.

For more on this venue, please refer to their website – http://zest.net.au/

Mike (the groom) is originally from U.S.A. His mother, father and siblings all flew out from America to attend the wedding. They all loved the band.

photo

The photographer for the wedding was the talented Emma Hampton. She was kind enough to send me through some of her photographs from the ceremony and the reception. For more information on Emma and her work, please refer to her website – https://emmahamptonphotography.com.au/

Sydney Wedding Band
Photo courtesy of Emma Hampton
Sydney Wedding Band
Photograph courtesy of Emma Hampton
Sydney Wedding Band
Photograph courtesy of Emma Hampton
Photo courtesy of Emma Hampton
Photo courtesy of Emma Hampton

 

Andy and Jessica’s Wedding at Balmoral Bathers Pavilion

Andy Jessica's Wedding Balmoral Bathers Pavilion

Andy and Jessica’s Wedding at Balmoral Bathers Pavilion

Sydney wedding band

We had the pleasure of performing at Andy and Jessica’s wedding at The Balmoral Bathers Pavilion on Saturday, 20th August.

This venue  is one of my favourite places to play in Sydney. This renowned restaurant has a function room upstairs with an adjoining balcony. This area is superb for pre-dinner drinks, and is also a sublime place to have a wedding ceremony.

To find out more information about The Bathers  Pavilion, please refer to their website – http://batherspavilion.com.au/

Andy and Jessica utilized the balcony for their ceremony. They made their ceremony unique with their wedding vows. These were personally composed by the bride and groom. They were  sincere, personal yet humorous, and many tears were shed by friends and family.

We performed at the ceremony as a duo (i.e. me with Blake, my guitarist). I learned a song for Jessica to walk down the aisle to. The song was, “I’ll Be Seeing You”. A rendition of this song by Michael Buble was used in the film, “The Notebook”.

After the ceremony, the rest of the band joined us to play throughout pre-dinner drinks out on the balcony. The balcony has spectacular views that look straight out across the water through Sydney Heads. In between songs, the guests did a trivia quiz with questions about the bride and groom.

Later on, we played throughout dinner, and then for dancing. Immediately prior to  dancing was the bridal dance. Andy and Jessica put an original spin on this, by actually performing a song by themselves. Andy (the groom) is originally from Scotland. He dabbles in playing guitar. Jessica (the bride) is Australian and loves to sing. In reference to Andy being from Scotland, they performed the song “500 Miles”, originally recorded by the Scottish band, “The Proclaimers”. After their “un-plugged” rendition of the song, the band performed the song again with full amplification. Dancing then continued until the end of the night.

For this wedding, I wore my kilt. Considering that the groom was originally from Scotland, I anticipated that there would be plenty of men wearing kilts. Alas, I arrived to find that I was the only person wearing one.