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Clients like you said:

“Thank you so so much for playing at our wedding and making it a night we'll never forget. You guys were amazing and all of our guests have commented on how fantastic you were. You even got the groom up dancing and that rarely happens. We would highly recommend Funk Conspiracy - absolutely awesome band!”

Samantha and David Clappison, South Causey Inn,
Sept 2014.

Who are the best Wedding Band in the North East?

Your wedding is perhaps the most important day of your life, so (budget permitting) you want it to be the best it can possibly be.

Quality is paramount and assuming you are new to organising weddings this is probably the first time you have had to search for wedding suppliers.

But alas, you are overwhelmed with so many appealing choices, how can you sort the wheat from the chaff and find the band that is really the best for you?

Superlatives

I have been running a wedding band in the North East since the year 2000. I have seen a lot of bands come and go. Also I have witnessed many different attempts for people to market bands to couples, plus I have been promoting my own band for a long time.

Something I used to do when I started out was to use the superlative, claiming that we were "the best" band in the region. Ok I was young and naive, I thought hmmm, people are looking for the best band, so let's tell them we are the best band and they will book us!

After a while I realised that lot's of other bands were doing the same thing. Plus we had no proof of being the best anyway, so it was meaningless.

Even today I still see bands claiming to be the best band, the leading band, the No.1 band!

It's ridiculous, how can they all be the best? One band even has an award saying they are the best, but what most people don't realise is that often industry awards are awareness building tools for the organisation who create the award. They encourage bands to canvas the public to get votes, so the band who works hardest to promote the magazine or website wins!

That kind of thing isn't an objective analysis of all the bands on offer, or a vote from the actual customers. So back to square one, how can you actually work out whether a band is hot or not?

(Actually I have to confess that the Funk Conspiracy site uses a superlative too, "the ultimate atmosphere for your special occasion" but I thought that it was more creative, original and it is definitely our intention. But is there an atmosphere review board out there who can verify it, well...)

Testimonials

Testimonials are a fairly good sign that a band has a good track record. If couples are sending them gushing emails full of praise then the band is doing something right.

Gigs and Demos

I always suggest that couples be wary of bands with studio demos i.e ones that are not recorded live. Therefore they could have been edited and overdubbed significantly to hide a poor level of performance. Live recordings are a more honest representation. They may be mixed in a studio but you want to make sure that you can hear how they actually play.

Showcase gigs are the bane of many bands lives, they can be low paid and take up valuable evenings that could clash with potential wedding or function work. Also as a band leader I often find potential clients aren't free on the one night a month we showcase anyway, which is frustrating.

Some people say to always see a band live before booking them. I say that is not often practical and the busiest bands are likely to be the ones you can't find doing regular public gigs. Don't let it be a deal breaker!

Agents

Sometimes agents claim to be able to minimise the confusion by pre-qualifying or recommending bands.

However bear in mind that there is often a hefty commission involved. This often means the band having to reduce it's prices to work with the agent. Think about it logically, what kind of bands are going to be happy reducing their prices to get work? Is it the best ones? Probably not! It is more likely the less experienced or less in-demand bands.

Also be especially aware that some agents aren't really genuine objective agents at all. Often people who run bands themselves start agencies. But that means a conflict of interests, they are most likely to hand the work to their own band first, then give left overs to others. If an agent is recommending a specific band, ask yourself why? Then ask them what their real connection is to the band, you might be surprised!

The Answer

Perhaps you haven't got the simple answer you hoped for in this article. But basically there isn't one best band out there. Anyone can claim to be the best.

Obviously it's down to you to decide what is most important to you. Perhaps it is style of music? Or the sound of the singer? Or a specific instument you love?

Whatever it is that you like, I hope this article has helped to make you a better informed and more savvy consumer when looking for a wedding band.

Written by Richard Owen.

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