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…

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.

 

 

Alex and Sarah’s Wedding at Aqua Dining

Alex and Sarah’s Wedding at Aqua Dining

Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band

We played at Alex and Sarah’s wedding reception on Friday, 26th August.

Their venue was Aqua Ding at Milson’s Point. This venue has spectacular view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is nestled in between North Sydney Pool and Luna Park.

Their reception was a cocktail style event. This is my favourite format for wedding receptions.

For more details on this remarkable venue, please refer to their website – http://www.aquadining.com.au/

The photographer for the event was James Rose from Rose Photos.

For more information on Rose Photos, please go to this website – http://rosephotos.com.au/

James was generous enough to share some images of the night with me. Here are some selected images.

Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/
Alex and Sarah's Wedding at Aqua Dining - Slide McBride Band
This photo courtesy of James Rose from Rose Photos – http://rosephotos.com.au/

 

 

Alison and Andy’s Wedding at Gunners Barracks

Alison and Andy’s Wedding at Gunners Barracks

Alison and Andy's Wedding at Gunners Barracks

On Saturday, 27th August we played at Alison and Andy’s wedding at The Gunners Barracks, Mosman.

This venue is like a second home to us. We are a popular choice for The Gunners Barracks because we fit in perfectly with the unique layout of the venue.

For more information on this venue, please refer to their website – http://www.gunnersbarracks.com.au/

Alison and Andy’s wedding and reception were during the day. Blake and I played at the ceremony (at 10:30am) and then the rest of the band joined us from 11am. The reception ran until 3pm.

The ceremony was held in the courtyard. Pre-lunch drinks and canapes were also in the courtyard. After drinks, all guests were seated for lunch out on the balcony. The main room was kept clear and used as the dancing area. This arrangement worked perfectly, especially for a daytime wedding.

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

Sydney Wedding Bands

Wedding band, live band - Slide McBride - Sydney, New South Wales

Sydney Wedding Bands

Get out your phone, tablet or computer, go to Google and search for “Sydney Wedding Bands”. The result will show page upon page of bands spruiking themselves as being “Sydney’s Premier Wedding Band”. The impression it gives is that every musician and singer wants to play in a wedding band, yet it wasn’t that long ago that bands were embarrassed to categorise themselves as a “wedding band”.

Musicians used to view playing in a wedding band as a sign of failure. A classic thing you would hear musicians say was, “Yeah, I’m just playing a few weddings until my original project takes off”. The focus and ambition used to be to play the music you believed in and thought would make you famous. Nowadays, the ambition seems to be playing cover versions of Ed Sherin and Justin Beiber songs, along with a few classic disco songs from the 70’s.

What Happened To The Dream?

The dream used to be sex and drugs and rock and roll. What happened? Now the dream seems to be white dresses, reception venues and wedding cake.

The dream used to be touring the world and smashing up hotel rooms. Now the dream seems to be keeping the wedding planner happy, getting some free drinks and hopefully a bread roll with your ‘crew meal’.

The dream used to be getting laid by one or more groupies after the gig. Now the dream seems to be exchanging business cards with the photographer, catching up with some musicians you haven’t worked with in a while and maybe getting some of the left over flowers to take home to your wife or girlfriend.

My Personal Wedding Story

Being born with the surname “McBride”, it seems like it’s  always been my destiny to play at weddings. I don’t know anyone who has played more weddings than I have. Over the years I’ve seen many changes to what is a typical wedding reception. I’ve also seen venues come and go, photography change from analog to digital and photobooths become a “must have” addition to the night. I’ve seen many changes, but I never anticipated how competitive it would become to get couples to hire you to play at their wedding.

The Wedding “Industry”

About fifteen years ago, I first started seeing the term “wedding industry”. I’ve never been fond of the term, but the harsh reality is that the business of weddings is seen as a recession-proof cash-cow. Young couples are happy to blow tens of thousands of dollars on one day. Wedding industry suppliers are all vying for a piece of this.

Wedding Planning By “Google”

Meanwhile, the inexperienced young couples open up their phone or laptop and put their wedding planning in the hands of Google. Whichever businesses have the biggest budget to spend on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will appear on Google’s ‘page one’ and will be front runners for a booking. It’s a sign of the times that Google has such a strong influence on weddings. Consider that I’ve heard hundreds of wedding speeches, and what is very common is hearing, “I wasn’t sure what I should say in my speech, so I went to Google…”. I wouldn’t be surprise if young couples are consulting with Google about consummating their wedding.

The New Dream

The old dream used to be having a top 10 hit with an accompanying video clip.  The new dream is about making page one on Google for the search term “Sydney Wedding Band”. My song writing has been replaced by working on and optimising my website.

Yes, I’ve only gotten better at making weddings totally memorable with my band, but without the credibility of Google I have no apparent value.

Photo courtesy of Milton Gan Photography - http://miltongan.com/
Photo courtesy of Milton Gan Photography – http://miltongan.com/

 

Live Band Performance Tips – Competing With Mobile Phones

Live Band Performance Tips –

How To Compete With Mobile Phones

A couple of months ago I went to see Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, “Hateful Eight”. Tarantino’s film is a conceptual experience designed to give the movie-goer an experience similar to seeing a film at the cinema in the late 50’s/early 60’s. Two notable parts of the experience were (i) that the film was in two parts (with an interval in between), and (ii) there was a musical overture prior to each of these two sections.

The Experience

I had my “cinematic experience” at the Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne. Another notable part of the experience was that there was no advertising or film trailers prior to “Hateful Eight”. Instead, a massive organ came up out of the floor and we were entertained by the masterful musician, Neil Jensen, a true maestro of the organ.

For those who don’t know much about organ playing, the amazing thing is that an organist uses four limbs simultaneously, that is two hands and two feet. The left foot is playing the bass lines. The right foot is controlling volume swells. The left hand is playing chords. The right hand is playing melodies. On top of this, hands are darting up and making changes to instrument and sound selections.

Being a musician, I was mesmerised. This is multi-tasking on steroids! The brain is being split into four parts. It’s like a four musicians coming out of one human brain.

In between being mesmerised by the organist’s performance, I looked around the cinema to see if people were as in awe as I was. I was shocked and dismayed to see that approximately half the cinema’s patrons had their phones out and were (I guess) either texting, checking emails or were on Facebook.

The Message

This brought home a very clear message to me. If you are giving a musical performance, you can’t afford to be static. The number one aim must be to be engaging. Also, sitting down during one’s performance is something to avoided at all costs. Something I am wtnessing more and more of is younger singers not only performing seated, but also using an ipad (which has become a replacement for the music stand and song book).  I am appalled. How do you expect to engage an audience sitting down and staring at an ipad? This is simply laziness on behalf of the singer, and shows contempt for the audience. We wouldn’t accept going to the theatre and watching the actors walking around with a script in hand, so don’t bring this lame practice to the band-stand unless you want your audience ignoring you and playing on their phones.

No iphones here – These 2 photographs courtesy of Dean Dampney – CloudFace

Sydney Wedding Band
Photo courtesy of Dean Dampney from CloudFace Photography

 

Sydney Wedding Band
Photo courtesy of Dean Dampney from CloudFace Photography

These two photographs are courtesy of Dean Dampney from CloudFace Photography

For more details on Dean Dampney and CloudFace, go to http://www.cloudface.com.au

 

Same Sex Marriage and Band Hire

Same Sex Marriage and Band Hire

Last Saturday night we played at a post wedding celebration for Daniel and Damon. There wedding was in New York, U.S.A. last year. Obviously, the wedding was wasn’t in Australia, because that can’t happen here, yet.

Same sex marriage after party

Damon (one of the grooms) is from America. Daniel (the other groom) is Australian. The party was at Icebergs at Bondi Beach. It was a cocktail styled function (a particular format of which I am a big fan). Cocktail style styled functions are wonderful because guests aren’t stuck sitting between two people for half the night. They are free to mingle and move around. The ambiance is far more relaxed. Also, generally people tend to dance more at this type of function.

Icebergs, Bondi Beach

While we have never played at a same sex “wedding“, we have played at three same sex “commitment ceremonies”. These have been exactly like weddings, except that Australian Law doesn’t recognise the marriage as being legal.

I am mostly extremely proud to be Australian, but I must admit a little embarrassment that Australia is so far behind so many other countries around the world when it comes to marriage equality. Hopefully, our country’s leaders with cease stalling on this matter.

In an era where marriage has moved away from the old notion of “until death do us part”, and become more like a “legal partnership”, the current government’s procrastination on this matter is antiquated to say the least.

For your information, here is a list of countries that recognise same sex marriages;

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Uruguay

To read more about same sex marriages, you might like to click on these links;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage

http://www.freedomtomarry.org/landscape/entry/c/international

http://www.pinkfamilies.com/same-sex-marriage-how-many-countries-allow-gay-marriage/

And finally… here’s some footage from the night!

Memorable Events – How Hiring A Band Can Help

should i hire a band for my 40th

Memorable Events – How Hiring a Band Can Help

Our lives are made up of memories. The more amazing they are, the better our lives have been.

Last week I drove past The Albion Park Aerodrome (just south of Wollongong). I had a flash back to the only time in my life that I have ever been up in a small four-seater light aeroplane.
A family friend (who I used to call Uncle John) had a passion for flying and had a licence to fly light aircraft. As a treat one day, he took his his son, my brother and me up for about an hour flying over the Illawarra District. I must have been around 11 or 12 years of age, yet the memory is still strong in my mind. And, every time I drive south along Princes Highway and go past the little Albion Park Aerodrome, I recall the experience. That was a long times ago, but it’s a memory that I always remember and cherish. ‘Uncle John’ died about twenty years ago, and his son has also recently passed away, yet the memory of that hour long flight remains with me.
Similarly, whenever I play with my band at a function, whether it be a wedding, birthday party or ball, I am aware of how significant these special events are in people’s lives. These are occasions and milestones that always stay with us, so it’s important to make sure you remember them as exceptional experiences and not as regrets.
At almost every function we play at, the organiser  has employed a photographer. They are there to capture the ‘memories’ in photographs. We (the band) are there to create the memories. The guys in my band are sick of hearing me say this, as it’s become my mantra whenever playing at private functions…

“Come on guys, let’s create some memories!”

Memorable Events - How Hiring A Band Can Help

 

Memorable Events - How Hiring A Band Can Help
Party time!

Jacqui & Kieran – Centennial Park Dining

Jacqui and Kieran –

Centennial Park Dining, 11th July, 2015

On Saturday, 11th July, 2015 we played at Jacqui and Kieran’s wedding reception at Centennial Park Dining. *(For more information on this venue, please refer to their website – http://www.cpdining.com.au/  )

Jacqui and Kieran are a great couple with heaps of friends and family members who love to dance.

Jacqui is a high school music teacher. One of her close friends is Natalie. She is also a high school music teacher. The two of them met while studying music at University of New South Wales. At the wedding, Natalie was one of Jacqui’s bridesmaids, and as a special treat, Natalie actually sang the song for the bridal dance. The song was “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, (originally recorded by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons). Here’s a short piece of footage of Natalie singing this song with the band, while Kieran and Jacqui dance their bridal dance.

 

I managed to get an awesome collection of photographs from the evening.

This is me and the groom, Kieran.

Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining

 

Here I am with the bride, Jacqui

Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining

 

Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining

Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining

Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining Keiran and Jacqui at Centennial Park Dining