How a party band really works

Here is where we’ll give you some honest and hopefully interesting information about how we run our band.

Each member is a professional musician. They make their living from music be it live work (including wedding/party/function playing, touring bands and artist work), session recording or teaching.

Many bands have easily interchangeable musicians because they are playing a limited range of songs in a fairly loose style. An advantage of this is that the band is easier to run and you – or actually usually the agency or bandleader – are able to save money because there is no shortage of musicians happy to play a standard repertoire. Most of us have done ‘pick-up’ gigs with these types of bands and they can work well. There are some very hard-working bands out there who have a range of players to call on, many of whom do a great job.

It has to be said though that increasingly there are wedding bands – presented by some leading agencies – that actually barely exist. In other words, there is a website, there are high quality photos and recordings and even testimonials, but you book through an agency and the guys who show up to your event are not the guys in the photo and in some cases are actually strangers to each other. In that they’ve never met, let alone played together. Some of the players will have attended a not-particularly rigorous audition process at some point but often the truth is that the band have been thrown together, packed into a hired van with a postcode, a budget PA system and a couple of cheap lights from Maplins, and told get on with it. Some can be found in the top results on Google.

Price-wise, usually you’re looking at four figures for a four-piece band like this and in some cases less than half of that is paid to the musicians. Why is this relevant to the client? Because at that money – what actually makes it back to the musicians – you’re often not hiring professionals, you’re hiring students and part-time, even hobby players. Don’t blame the musicians, they’re hard-working and usually do their best.

There are also bands where the calibre of musicians and equipment is higher, and they are able to put on a good – if in some cases a little dated – show. They will usually cost considerably more, into multiple thousands (a large chunk of which again goes to the agency).

So where does MonkeySelfie fit in?

We do occasionally use dep (replacement) musicians. These tend to be high calibre, international touring standard musicians who we know and have worked with – they get a recording of the live party band set and lots of information so that the show is never compromised. The guys in the band are in-demand professional musicians and diary clashes do happen, but we try to minimise this and wherever possible we stick to our regular lineup.

We do more than just play the songs. It’s easy to learn a bunch of songs, write out a setlist, and plough on – what MonkeySelfie does is create a SHOW, based on some great songs that people will be expecting and looking forward to, as well as some incredible tunes that might seem less obvious but that take our audiences on a journey into the night… It’s musically exciting, technically excellent, and bag and BAGS of grins and fun. We do put on an energetic show, and have created a great lighting setup that changes with the feel of the music, building towards exciting visual crescendos. Party band setlist

There’s just too much going on in a MonkeySelfie show for us to use amateur musicians or blag it. We’re not the cheapest band about but you’re getting five top, dedicated professionals, a vibrant and meticulously planned show, a high end sound system and great lighting that can elevate your wedding reception, party, or corporate event to something truly special.