About the Jazz Soul Boogie Band
Money quotes & contracts
Setting up & technical stuff
How much space does the band need?
Will you liaise with the venue before the day?
How long does it take to set up?
Do you have your own P.A. System / Disco Lights / Staging / Cd player or iPod?
What are your electricity requirements?
Are you insured?
Do you have an electrical equipment safety certificate (Portable Appliance Testing, PAT)?
On the day
Are you a music agent?
No, as a professional musician I manage, rehearse and play in my ensembles which are known as the ‘Jazz Soul Boogie Band’, or as a solo performer.
Yes, there are true horror stories of agents who charge far more than they should on top of a band’s hire fee (I have recently heard of an agent who charged a 70% management fee!).
Unfortunately these things are not regulated in any way, so quite often it’s very difficult to know how much a band is being paid when going through an agent.
As I manage my own band, 10% of the fee will cover admin and management costs such as rehearsal time, admin, equipment maintenance and advertising.
Many clients who have hired the Jazz Soul Boogie Band say that it is easier and more effective to communicate directly with the band rather than through a third party agent. In fact, most agents worth their salt will direct the client straight to the band once they have received their enquiry. The client can then make a more informed decision as to whether the band are indeed what they are looking for.
We also enjoy working and coordinating with events professionals including photographers, MCs and DJs.
Do you only play for weddings?
Wedding reception celebrations do form a large proportion of our gigs. However, we play at a variety of events over the course of a typical year. These include birthday parties, corporate events, parties, charity events and Christmas celebrations.
We’re happy as long as people are enjoying our music, whether we’re background or for dancing.
Where in the UK do you perform?
Generally, we prefer to play within 60-ish miles of Aylesbury, so that the journey home in the wee small hours is do-able! So that includes Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and possibly some of Surrey and West London.
How much do you charge?
Ah, the one million dollar question! Contact me and I will send you an exact quote for suitable band options for your event.
Please remember that the Jazz Soul Boogie Band uses only professional musicians.
Our quoted fee includes the extra expenses of:
- Instrument costs
- PA equipment and lighting
- Rehearsal time
- Arranging music
- Public liability insurance
- Administration and advertising costs
- Equipment repair/renew/hire
…and so on, not forgetting the years of training and study that was needed to attain our musicians’ qualifications and professional standard of musicianship.
There maybe cheaper bands around that say they offer a similar service.
My advice for hiring any band would be to check them out thoroughly and the best way to do this is to go and listen to them at a gig, rehearsal or through personal recommendation.
Remember that you get what you pay for.
Do you need a deposit?
Yes, to book the Jazz Soul Boogie Band for your event, we ask for a non-refundable deposit of £100, depending on the size of band, together with the signed contract.
When do I have to pay the balance?
On the day of the event, or preferably the week before please.
Practically, it’s a lot easier for you, and also for us if we can settle the finances a few days before the event. It also means that I can pay my musicians promptly so they can feed their families…
We pride ourselves on having an unblemished record for delivering our promised services and have not let anyone down yet! It is surprising how many event organisers ‘forget’ about paying the band on the day, and it’s a little embarrassing on both sides if I have to chase them up when we’ve finished!
However, we completely understand if you would rather pay us on the day, either cash, cheque or bank transfer.
Do you use a booking contract?
Yes, this is so that both parties know what to expect. It’s nothing fancy – just straight forward agreements like:
- Agreed fee
- The band’s meal and drinks
- What would happen in the event of cancellation or if the world ends.
- Performance times, setting up times, location at venue
- Contact details for the day etc.
Have we ever failed a client? Absolutely not – so far, we have performed at 100% of all the gigs we have been booked for!
Are there any extra costs?
If you would like to use our PA system to play cd/ipod music (with lighting) after we’ve finished performing, then we charge an extra £100 for each hour, with a lastest finish at midnight.
Do I need to plan a playlist?
No, but if you do have a few favourite songs from our song list please feel free to let me know and we will do our best to include them.
If there are any particular songs that you would rather we DIDN’T perform, then please let us know that too!
If your event features dancing, we will keep the flow of the evening going so that there are no awkward pauses in between songs whilst folks are having a good time on the dance floor.
Will I need a DJ?
We often work alongside a DJ at events from weddings to corporate parties. The Jazz Soul Boogie Band usually performs up to 2 hours of music in 2 sets during a typical evening function. Remember that our finish time is 11pm.
For events going beyond 11pm, we recommend that you hire a DJ or your own lights and PA system connected to an iPod. You should easily be able to pick up a medium PA and lights for hire from around £150.
If you really want to continue the party using our own equipment (PA and lights), then we charge an hourly rate up to midnight, which would be agreed in the original contract (see ‘Are there any extra costs‘).
For how long do you play?
Our standard playing times are usually 2 sets of 1 hour (which is the most popular), with a break in-between.
For an evening reception, typical timings might be 8:30-9:30pm and 10-11pm. Our latest finish time (‘last note played’) is 11pm.
If you would like the dancing to go on beyond 11pm, we’re happy to provide music via our PA system until midnight for an extra cost. Alternatively, many people like to combine both a live band and a DJ who ‘takes over’ after our last set.
Wedding first dances – what are the options?
It is usually no problem for us to learn a special song to play live for you. Others prefer to play a favourite CD track on our CD player or iPod which is linked to the P.A. system.
To give you an idea, here are just some of the first dances that we’ve played live in the past:
|Fly me to the moon (Frank Sinatra)||L.O.V.E. (Nat King Cole)|
|Truly (Lionel Richie)||Just the two of us (Bill Withers)|
|Can’t take my eyes off you (Andy Williams)||This guy’s in love (Harry Connick Jr)|
|Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)||Come fly with me (Frank Sinatra)|
|When you say nothing at all (Ronan Keating)||It had to be you (from ‘When Harry met Sally’)|
|Better together (Jack Johnson)||Moondance (Van Morrison)|
|You do something to me (Paul Weller)||Pencil Full of Lead (Paulo Nutini)|
|For once in my life (Stevie Wonder)||Have I told you lately (Rod Stewart)|
|I'm glad you're mine (Al Green)||At last (Etta James)|
|How sweet it is to be loved by you (James Taylor)||Your Song (Elton John)|
|Everything (Michael Buble)||Isn't she lovely (Stevie Wonder)|
|Let's stay together (Al Green)||What a difference a day made (Dinah Washington)|
Alternatively, why not browse through the Song Lists and pick a song that you like!
Please contact me to discuss your choice in more detail.
How much space does the band need?
Although we don’t supply our own staging, we’re happy to play on any staging that is sturdy and level. Here are some guideline space requirements for our different band sizes:
|Solo||2m (6.5')||1m (3.5')|
|Duo||2.5m (8')||2m (6.5')|
|Trio||4m (13')||2m (6.5')|
|Quartet||4m (13')||3m (10')|
|Quintet||4m (13')||3m (10')|
|Sextet||4.5m (15')||3m (10')|
Will you liaise with the venue before the day?
If you would like us to do so, then of course! However, at a majority of venues we play, we tend to meet the person in charge (e.g. the duty manager) when we arrive and discuss any important points then.
The most important things that the venue should know before the day are:
- Our arrival, setting up and playing times
- Our electricity, space and overhead cover requirements (e.g. if we’re playing outside).
- Our agreed meal time
How long does it take the band to set up?
We usually need at least 1 hour to set up and sound check. This keeps the stress levels low and makes for a top quality show!
For small background events, a 30-45 minutes ‘get-in’ and set up time works well.
When we perform at wedding receptions and other similar events where guests are present (e.g. dining) beforehand, then there are usually two ways to go about the setting up process:
- If we’re performing in a separate area to the guests, then we will arrive 1-2 hours before the guests are due to move onto the dancefloor area (some venues have a screened-off area which rolls back to reveal the band when we’re all set up). This option assumes that we have separate access to the performing area without having to move equipment through the guests.
- If we’re performing in the same area as the guests, or if access is difficult once the guests have arrived, then it is better that we set up the bulkier equipment (PA, lights, drums and electric piano) before the guests arrive. However, sometimes the venue layout and event timings mean that we have to set up as discretely as possible with the guests present. In this case, you’ll find that the Jazz Soul Boogie Band members will set up quietly and quickly, ready to play for your first number.
Do you have your own P.A. system / Disco Lights / Staging / Cd player or iPod?
Oh yes, life is sooo much easier when familiar and reliable equipment is used. For background events we use our own discreet PA system which suits a variety of venues.
For weddings and celebrations where people want to dance, we bring along a bigger P.A. system which is suitable for venues no larger than medium sized marquees and small halls. For these functions we also have a sound technician taking care of the sound level and quality. This means we can focus all our energies on the music and audience to deliver a top show.
For dancing events, we also bring a small lighting rig which will get those feet on the dance floor! If you would like more lighting effects then it may be best to hire a more elaborate rig from your local sound and light store.
We very often use a CD player / iPod to play through the PA during our breaks. Some folks like to compile their own cds or iPod for us to play or just let us know the kind of ‘vibe’ you would like (e.g. easy listening / jazz / R ‘n’ B / pop / disco…)
We do not bring staging with us.
You are also welcome to use one of the microphones for making announcements, speeches etc. Just ask, and we’ll make the arrangements.
What are your electricity requirements?
Two normal mains 240V sockets (nearby within 10m) is adequate.
The PA system and amplifiers draw about 6 amps maximum and the lighting system not much more than 2 amps. All in all, our electrical requirement for a full band set-up with lights is usually smaller than a standard 2kW kettle, so a domestic 240V electricity ring main should be absolutely fine.
Are you insured?
Yes. I am a member of the Musician’s Union and therefore covered by public liability insurance. Please email me and I will send you the latest copy of the certificate.
Do you have an electrical equipment safety certificate
(Portable Appliance Testing certificate, PAT)?
Indeed we do! Please contact me and I will send you the latest copy of the certificate.
Will the band need drinks and a hot meal?
If we’re playing in the evening, then yes please – a hot and healthy meal either before we play or during a break will mean that your musicians will be able to pour 100% of their talents into your event!
Q: How do you depress a musician?
A: Give them a meal of cling-film wrapped sandwiches (fillings unidentifiable) and a side order of fatty chips and crisps. Just to make sure, make them buy their own soft drinks.
Performing takes a lot of physical and mental effort, so a well fed band means a happy band which means a great performance, happy guests and a top event!
Performing is also thirsty work. However, contrary to popular belief, most professional function musicians are very light alcohol drinkers. After all, we have to be sharp in our performances and drive home at the end of the night. If you are able to arrange a small bar tab for the band (not more than £20 – £30, even if it’s just for soft drinks) that would be greatly appreciated.
What car parking arrangements do you need?
Generally, each of our musicians drives to the gig, so it’s always a pleasure to be able to park near the venue so that we can unload heavy equipment.
Sometimes it’s just not possible and we have to find somewhere else to park, perhaps on the road or in a car park. This can increase set-up times.
London and other cities are a particular problem, but if there are spaces available that you can organise with the venue, we’d be very grateful and it would help to make your event run more smoothly.
Storage for cases and bags?
The Jazz Soul Boogie Band takes great pride in presenting a neat stage appearance! Being able to store our cases and bags in a nearby storage area is useful.
Sometimes, however, it’s just not possible to stow cases away entirely, e.g. on a river cruise. However, in these circumstances we’ll do our very best to ‘compact’ everything so it looks neat and presentable.
Worried about volume levels?
We are very sensitive to the issue of sound levels and make an extra special effort to get the ‘right’ volume for our clients and for the venue.
So what is the ‘right’ volume level?
Hearing safety is the first priority and we will always endeavour to keep the music at a safe hearing level (for more information on safe listening levels, see www.hearingprotection.co.uk).
Alongside hearing safety, we want people to enjoy our music! Whether we are playing background jazz or as a full-on disco band, if you think we are too loud (or too quiet!), please let us know – have a quick chat to our sound technician and we’ll make the change!