By somewhere between 7pm and 9pm at most weddings, the ceremony will have taken place, often followed by photographs, a possible change of location for the reception, drinks, more photographs, then into the wedding breakfast & speeches (perhaps not in this order), then maybe the cutting of the cake. What should happen next?
The wedding couple, their families and their guests will certainly have eaten enough, chatted a lot and caught up with each other, most likely had a reasonably amount to drink, and sat listening to the humorous and highly entertaining speeches. Some activity is needed.
I was at wedding last Saturday, where at this point everyone was ushered outside for a tug-of-war. Certainly an inventive and unique, if slightly unconventional way of getting your guests out of their seats – fortunately the weather was such that not too many expensive suits were ruined (it did seem to be a slightly male-dominated activity). A more tried-and-tested option for entertaining your friends and families would be with music, either from a DJ or a live wedding band.
A good live band never fails to make a wedding. Real musicians in the same room moving the air with real instruments, and live singers that interact with the audience and get everybody onto the dance floor having a fantastic time. The band is often one of the most prominent memories that guests take away with them, and as such it is important to pick the right one.
We all have different tastes in music, and probably a varied list of favourite bands / artists / albums that we like to listen to depending on our mood, or what we are doing (working, cooking, driving…). At a wedding reception, we want to hear music that is going to make us hit the dance floor and have a good old boogie. Music we recognise and can sing along to. Music that will appeal to guests of all ages, backgrounds and tastes.
A very safe bet is a band that that performs classic soul, Motown, funk & disco. These genres span from the 1960s pretty much to the present day – for example: “Soul Man” (Sam & Dave, 1967); “Respect” (Aretha Franklin, 1967); “Sir Duke” (Stevie Wonder, 1976); “Play That Funky Music” (Wild Cherry, 1976); “Celebration” (Kool & The Gang, 1980); “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson, 1983); “All Night Long” (Lionel Richie, 1983)… and there is no shortage of current or recent music courtesy of artists such as Amy Winehouse (RIP), Duffy, Cee Lo Green, The Scissor Sisters, Jamiroquai, that features prominent characteristics of these earlier genres, and as such fit perfectly into the set list of a funk / soul covers band. The result: A set of music that spans five decades that all shares the common characteristics of dance-floor-filling grooves and sing-along melodies.
People who would previously have sworn to have no interest in these styles of music are regularly witnessed taking to the wedding dance floor and having the time of their lives. Some of us have plenty of funk & soul in our record collection – some do not. Either way, hearing, seeing, and bopping to it when performed by a live wedding band is an altogether different experience!