Well some recent events have been from one extreme to the other.
Last weekend I did a wedding in Cornwall at the Rosevine hotel in Portscatho. A beautiful hotel with stunning views and with the tropical weather we experienced it was almost like being in the Bahamas!
The wedding was for Kim & Steve and the dancing was started off with Rod Stewart – Someone Like You as the first dance. It was a very small affair with generally a crowd of over 50’s and thus the music tended to be from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, with not so many recent hits. It was a long drive there and back but a very enjoyable weekend.
Then this weekend it got closer and closer to home… on Friday I was at Cannizaro House in Wimbledon for the wedding of Vanessa & Clark. Again a very nice venue and with a younger crowd than the previous weekend and they seemed to enjoy every music genre, as the dancefloor was packed to Motown, 80’s, R&B, Indie, Rock, Dance, Disco and current hits. Only problem though was that this venue has a dreaded sound limiter!
For those not familiar with the term, it is a device that cuts the power for 5 seconds when the sound goes above a certain decibel level. When they are set correctly they are not too much of a problem, however some of them aren’t set properly and are a real nightmare, such was the case here. The scene was set right from the first dance- as I announced the first dance the power was cut!! and 5 seconds of silence… or not, luckily I had just called Vanessa & Clarke to the dance floor and they were still walking towards the floor with the crowd cheering so no one noticed and by the time they reached the floor the power had returned and I was able to play their first dance track which was Etta James – At Last. Over the next few hours the power was cut a further 5 times and so I had to set the volume lower and lower until it was so low that you could hear conversations on the dancefloor above the music! One of the biggest problems is that generally the crowd don’t know why the sound suddenly stops and many assume the DJ has made a mistake and even though you explain what is happening, not everyone hears. This made it very difficult to concentrate on programming the music and watching the crowds reactions to the songs I was playing, because instead I spent most of the night keeping an eye on the sound limiters read-out which was located in the lefthand corner of the room, and watching it to try to keep the lights from going into the red (which then cuts the power). When a sound limiter is set correctly if the sound goes into the red it doesn’t cut the power instantly, because music can often peak for a second or two and then reduce again and so a properly set limiter will allow the music to go into the red for a few seconds before cutting the power. With this one though as soon as the sound went into the red the power was cut!
It was a very nice crowd and a lovely bride and groom but I was very thankful when the night ended.
Then Saturday night it would’ve been difficult to be much closer to home as I was at a venue 1 mile away from my house; the Grims Dyke Hotel in Old Redding for the wedding of Gemma & Richard. This was the opposite of the previous Saturday because as well as being around the corner from my house as opposed to 300 miles away, it was the opposite in terms of age; the bride and groom were half the age of Kim & Steve and the guests were generally in their 20’s and early 30’s. The first dance this time was another Rod Stewart track – Til’ There Was You, which was also the first dance when Gemma’s mum and dad got married. Music-wise there was a lot of current dance, R&B and pop hits played that was rocking the dancefloor and also Indie, 80’s, 90’s plus a little cheese.
This was a real party crowd and the dancefloor was absolutely heaving literally from the start until the very last song, with the bride and groom being on the dancefloor for most of the night also.
Time to chill again now and looking forward to some meetings this week with an upmarket wedding planner and a couple of new venues.