Jump to content
Dj's United

Recommended Posts

I am a regular contributor to a forum for brides and they recently asked me for my honest opinion on this topic. Here's my response (where at the start I made it clear that I was bias). So did I miss anything, was I over-zealous, unfair or did I sell us short?

  • A band can be great entertainment as it's something to watch as well as listen to
  • Most bands play too loud at wedding receptions
  • They are limited in what they can play to a fixed list of maybe 50 songs
  • Some bands concentrate on 1 or 2 genres which can be monotonous after a couple of hours
  • Some bands take a break during the evening whereas a DJ will provide a continuous set
  • Some bands even seem to take a break between each song whilst they debate what to play next!!
  • There are good bands out there but you can't beat the sound of the original recording
  • A DJ can react to the mood of the guests faster than a band
  • If you do have a band you'll probably need a DJ too
  • Some specialist bands (eg Ceilidh/Swing) can make a big difference & be fun
  • Many bands (understandably) will not learn a new song just for your 1st dance
  • Expect to pay over £1,000 for a really good & popular wedding band
  • Bands with lights normally have them focused on themselves - DJs have them on the dancers
  • If you have both you may need a break during the evening whilst they swop over equipment

End of quote- so what do you think. Did I do us as DJs a dis-service, did I over-state our case, did I miss something, should I go back to playing bass guitar in a band with 50 songs? What should I have included, what should I have omitted ... the choice is yours.

Link to post
Share on other sites
>
  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Ive probably done 3 events where there has been me as a dj and a band.

 

In all cases I personally felt it killed the night. People didn't dance for the one band who were shocking and were playing songs that i'd never heard of. I think that a band no matter how good feels a bit samey after a few songs and ultimately cant play the new one by the Sugababes lol

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I echo your point about ceilidh bands.

 

I have done a couple of weddings preceded by a ceilidh band. In each case the audience was warmed up and raring to go when I came on.

 

I have been on with some really good bands but, equally, I have been surprised and disappointed at the poor quality of others. Generally the really good ones are those without "attitude".

 

Certainly it's true that a decent band will cost at least £1K.

Edited by spinner
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked with bands a few times and had some really good nights, and I have to say imho, live music has an atmosphere all of it's own which is different to a disco. However, I can't imagine anybody wanting a band without a disco, most bands are at best going to provide a couple of hours of music, and there's a good chance that a number of people won't be into what they are doing anyway.

 

With the experiences I've had it's normally a case of the disco playing second fiddle to the "big event" of the band, warming up and introducing them, and then playing out the gig afterwards. However, I think in every case I've done, I've ended up having the last laugh, as the dance floor seems to be packed for the last hour or so, and people seem to appreciate you even more when following on from a band.

Edited by old soul

Neil B

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are about right Paul.

 

Bands usually have a break of about 30 mins between each 1 hour set. Therefore, it's silence inbetween or hand over to the DJ.

 

I actually think that ceildiah bands don't work for longer than about half an hour. The problem is that it's the same type party dances, people get fed up with it and the second sets usuallly falls flat.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I have worked with a band they have comandeered the stage and have been late starting so I've started playing at 11.30 lol by which time the blandness of them had sent most people home or to sleep lol

 

I turn down anything if it means working with a band, mainly because i hate the hanging around, i.e get set up for half seven start playing at ten

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just edited my initial post to clarify what I'm trying to ask :wacko:

 

Taking into account the points I made are there any you would take out and are there any you would add (keeping them in the same context as those already made). Also take into account that this was a generalistic post and specific references to one gig of band vs DJ wouldn't fit in with the initial question.

 

Let me also clarify that I'm not trying to start a debate on how much better we are (which we always seem to win smile icon ). Put yourselves in my size 8s - you are a member of a bridal forum and you are asked the question -

Heres one for Paul. What would you prefer at your wedding a band or a DJ? what are you having?

 

Did you find a band was too expensive?

Do you prefer the sound of a DJ?

Perhaps you think both are too expensive but you have picked one anyway?

 

What do you think.

 

My answer is as above - would yours differ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with your list.

 

In my experience most live acts play one or two sets with a long break. Singers in particular will not sing all evening. It tends to be disco- background /early, band, Disco-break, band, then disco until end.

 

Let's face it, when you go to a live show you have supporting acts before the star(s). Very few acts fill a whole evening, with the odd exception of a one-man show.

 

Most dedicated wedding venues provide a small band (quartet or similar) for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, then offer a mix for the evening.

You want me to play what?

 

Secretary of NADJ, Member of SEDA

 

Magic Moments.. making your moment magic

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a regular contributor to a forum for brides and they recently asked me for my honest opinion on this topic. Here's my response (where at the start I made it clear that I was bias). So did I miss anything, was I over-zealous, unfair or did I sell us short?

  • A band can be great entertainment as it's something to watch as well as listen to
  • Most bands play too loud at wedding receptions
  • They are limited in what they can play to a fixed list of maybe 50 songs
  • Some bands concentrate on 1 or 2 genres which can be monotonous after a couple of hours
  • Some bands take a break during the evening whereas a DJ will provide a continuous set
  • Some bands even seem to take a break between each song whilst they debate what to play next!!
  • There are good bands out there but you can't beat the sound of the original recording
  • A DJ can react to the mood of the guests faster than a band
  • If you do have a band you'll probably need a DJ too
  • Some specialist bands (eg Ceilidh/Swing) can make a big difference & be fun
  • Many bands (understandably) will not learn a new song just for your 1st dance
  • Expect to pay over £1,000 for a really good & popular wedding band
  • Bands with lights normally have them focused on themselves - DJs have them on the dancers
  • If you have both you may need a break during the evening whilst they swop over equipment
End of quote- so what do you think. Did I do us as DJs a dis-service, did I over-state our case, did I miss something, should I go back to playing bass guitar in a band with 50 songs? What should I have included, what should I have omitted ... the choice is yours.

 

Think you come across as a dj trying to diss bands so that you get more work to be honest. I think if you were being constructive you would also critisise the djs too by bringing up points like, "usualy have really irritating flashing lights focused on your guests", or "no matter what dj you hire he more or less plays the same music". Or maybe a " will try and hog the limelight of your big day by making pointless inane comments through a microphone" or how about " will be rude and sulk if asked to play something unusual and thinks he is an artiste and needs to be treated accordingly" tongue out icon

I think you should be brave enough to write positive things about djs and bands and not focus on the negative sides.

 

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with all the points however I do enjoy working with and watching a `good` band. As with a band or a DJ? There is no chance imo that a band could do a full night on their own. Paul as highlighted all the points why.

 

The prospective brides should be asking a DJ, or a band with the DJ.

Steve

 

5 European cups and 18 leagues, that`s what we call history.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Think you come across as a dj trying to diss bands so that you get more work to be honest. I think if you were being constructive you would also critisise the djs too by bringing up points like, "usualy have really irritating flashing lights focused on your guests", or "no matter what dj you hire he more or less plays the same music". Or maybe a " will try and hog the limelight of your big day by making pointless inane comments through a microphone" or how about " will be rude and sulk if asked to play something unusual and thinks he is an artiste and needs to be treated accordingly" tongue out icon

I think you should be brave enough to write positive things about djs and bands and not focus on the negative sides.

 

This whole thread to me smacks of some of the above. We all have our place in the entertainment field bands DJs or any combination. It all depends on the variables, the type and quality of the band matched to the type and appreciation of the audience. A band can fall flat on its face if matched to the wrong crowd as can a disco.

 

As some one who works on both side of the fence I love live music IMHO you cant beat it if its done well. A band is a spectacle. If you think a load of flashing lights are such a great spectacle then I guess you spend many a happy time in blackpool..

 

The band should have the stage when on with a disco, again they are a focal point not you... Would you as a DJ like to have a large group of people sitting watching you and clapping after every tune?

 

A band can be watched and enjoyed a disco can be tolerated or ok as background music if your not into dancing. I have worked with bands that will learn a first dance and any no of tunes that you may want for your event.

 

A band is more expensive than a disco because by its very nature it is more expensive to run and operate, band members deserve fair payment also.

 

Any form of entertainment is good when matched to the right event and the opersite of both is also true. As I said above we all have our place in the entertainment industry and I dont think it is constructive for either side to run down the other and we should all do our best to make the event we are co working on go as smoothly as possible for our clients.

 

Nik

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Paul's post was spot on. He does point out positive things about bands/bands & DJs. And I don't see why he would make the crass generalisations about bad DJs that are listed in a previous post as they are not true of most of us, and it only feeds the pre-conceptions people have.

 

No-one is trying to slag off live music, quite the opposite in fact. We are all lovers of music, that's why we do this job, and we can all appreciate talented musicians. But the fact is, broadly speaking, DJs are looked down on as a lesser form of entertainment and many people believe what we do requires no skill or effort. If musicians had the same respect for us as we have for them perhaps we wouldn't be looked at as the poor relations of the entertainment family.

 

Paul explained his natural bias before posting and put forward a very balanced and considered response from a DJs perspective.

Edited by deejaymitch

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Paul's post was spot on. He does point out positive things about bands/bands & DJs. And I don't see why he would make the crass generalisations about bad DJs that are listed in a previous post as they are not true of most of us, and it only feeds the pre-conceptions people have.

 

No-one is trying to slag off live music, quite the opposite in fact. We are all lovers of music, that's why we do this job, and we can all appreciate talented musicians. But the fact is, broadly speaking, DJs are looked down on as a lesser form of entertainment and many people believe what we do requires no skill or effort. If musicians had the same respect for us as we have for them perhaps we wouldn't be looked at as the poor relations of the entertainment family.

 

Paul explained his natural bias before posting and put forward a very balanced and considered response from a DJs perspective.

 

Sorry if you thought I was saying Paul or anyone was slagging off live music... I agree with much Paul put in his post but some of the responces come across as in my above thread. IMO CS hit the target with his post.

 

As to your quote "as they are not true of most of us", I think your wrong. I think most disco's are bad look at the membership here quite small for how many DJs there are in the UK. Most of the people on here are in the minority of DJs or Discos that want to provide a better service, where as the majority want to make a fast buck.

 

It is these people that make us a poor relation. I treat bands with respect and 9 times out of 10 have had respect given back. DJs with the attitude, "I want to be on the stage my speakers and lights must go here" are not helping.

 

I have even offered the band the option of going through my PA this helps on the amount of kit on the stage and so makes the night flow better. As a DJ I dont mind where in the room I set up. Infact most of the big corporate gigs I do I'm not even in view. This makes it easier for the tech crews who dont have to muck about changing stage sets to fit me in.....

 

At the end of the day as I have said above, we are all there to provide a service and give the client an event to remember, and remember for the right reasons.

 

Also food for thought when your working remember your not working for that gig your working for the next one not yet in your diary. Who knows it could be from the band you just helped out by saying you have the stage guys....

 

Nik

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another point to add is that a band can take a considerable amount of space up in a function room, limiting space available for a dj and also for function guests. This is more of a problem in the evening where usually the number evenimgs guests increases compared to those invited during the daytime.

Link to post
Share on other sites
A band is more expensive than a disco because by its very nature it is more expensive to run and operate, band members deserve fair payment also.

 

I don't quite understand that statement? If anything, it should be the other way round, as a DJ is usually a one man band (excuse the pun) whereas a band has usually 4-5 members to split the running costs between.

 

I do agree that a band is always going to be more expensive, simply because there are more people to pay. Divide a bands rate between the number of members and I we still compare favourably!

 

Paul, I thought that was a good summary. You can't really have a band without a DJ as well (although some bands offer to leave music on, or provide a "DJ" too), but you can have a DJ without a band!

 

I do disagree with this though..

 

There are good bands out there but you can't beat the sound of the original recording

 

A live band, if good, can often sound alot better than the original recording, due to the fact that whatever source we're playing from, the track will have been compressed, mastered etc. so loses alot of the energy that you get when its played live.

Edited by Danno13

Revolution Discos - Covering Midlands and the Cotswolds - 01386 898 113 - 07791 261 263

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the point is missed here.

 

Band members are usually responsible for their own equipment. Iit might be that there will be some general costs eg lighting and transport. I assume those costs are simply prorated.

 

A DJ is one person . A band is probably anything between 2 to 10 people. If the DJ charges say £250, and assumes say a £150 profit element, then the band members who probably might have lower overheads would expect to clear say £100 per head.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the point is missed here.

 

Band members are usually responsible for their own equipment. Iit might be that there will be some general costs eg lighting and transport. I assume those costs are simply prorated.

 

A DJ is one person . A band is probably anything between 2 to 10 people. If the DJ charges say £250, and assumes say a £150 profit element, then the band members who probably might have lower overheads would expect to clear say £100 per head.

 

I dissagre and why should a musician get paid less than a DJ??? Do you hire a hall twice a week to practice?

 

There is an expence that most if not all DJs dont have to encure...

 

I don't quite understand that statement? If anything, it should be the other way round, as a DJ is usually a one man band (excuse the pun) whereas a band has usually 4-5 members to split the running costs between.

 

Much more equipment is involved with a quality band compared to a Disco. Maybe even costume changes etc that cost money. One Tribute I worked with (Queen On Fire) The singer had to get his jeans from the US as he could not get them from the UK. As I have said above bands have to rehurse, They may travel in more than one vehicle. Or need a bigger vehicle than an average disco. another band I work with Have two vans on the road when they do a gig.

 

Hope that helps you understand my point....

Edited by UKHero
Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree and why should a musician get paid less than a DJ??? Do you hire a hall twice a week to pactice?

 

There is an expence that most if not all DJs dont have to encure...

Much more equipment is involved with a quality band compared to a Disco. Maybe even costume changes etc that cost money. One Tribute I worked with (Queen On Fire) The singer had to get his jeans from the US as he could not get them from the UK. As I have said above bands have to rehurse, They may travel in more than one vehicle. Or need a bigger vehicle than an average disco. another band I work with Have two vans on the road when they do a gig.

 

Hope that helps you understand my point....

 

Sorry UK Hero, but i don't really see where where you are coming from here, and Paul's original posting is heading off-track. The point was that DJ's tend to foot the bill for the total outgoings of their roadshow compared to band who might spread the costs and try and keep the cost per head lower, but an argument about that is not adding anything to what Paul is after.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Q)

What would you prefer at your wedding a band or a DJ? what are you having?

 

Did you find a band was too expensive?

Do you prefer the sound of a DJ?

Perhaps you think both are too expensive but you have picked one anyway?

 

What do you think.

 

I would have prefered both but actually had a disco at our Wedding. Cost was not the issue as the band I would have liked for the night were unavailable. The other half prefered disco...so we had disco!

 

My 3d worth is personally, I feel DJs are simply nothing without bands. We need and rely on bands for our content. I take my hat off to anyone prepared to pick-up an instrument and put the time and dedication into the practice and effort of performance. In the same breath, we must not forget some DJs use 'decks' as instruments these days. smile icon

Obviously, there are good bands and not so good bands. Same for DJs. tongue out icon

 

From my experience, when someone hires both services for a wedding, the band tends to be the 'centre stage' entertainment and the DJ will be to the side, filling in the gaps in the program, making required announcements, band introductions, thank-you's and of course closing the night, encouraging the reception guests to boogie on down - disco time! Not always the case, but I've found to be more often than not!

 

I haven't personally been treated by the client any different to a band for a wedding reception. If anything, I'll have a lot of contact and discussion with the clients prior to the day whereas (from what I understand) bands are booked and expected to do their performance as expected...unless the band are known to the clients.

Have also found most bands to be very down to earth and pleasant. Only a handful of 'bands' have ever been ignorant or arrogant but you'll find people like that in all fields of work and life really!

 

When there is a limited amount of room to set-up, I've found that the band will just get on with it and set-up their gear as best they can. Same for me too.

The only time I've experienced 'a clash' is when I have had to set-up prior to the arrival of the band and the B&G have specifically requested that I set-up in a particular area - having pointed out that the room will be a tight squeeze and will not be able to easily move the gear once set up!!

 

When one band I performed alongside with arrived (late I'll add) and one member started moaning at me without even a hello, I politely asked them to see the B&G - it wasn't my problem about the work area, but I still offered to help and assist once they had spoken to them first...

The bands 90 minute set before 10pm was really good and I even had an apology from 'the moaner' in the band - but I didn't have a problem with any of that. I was simply working until 1.00am and in order to meet the B&Gs requirements, the disco gear had to be set-up in the early afternoon. The type of set-up I had and work area allocated was not ideal to dissassemble and re-assemble, especially in a matter of minutes.

 

On other points, yes, live music can be loud but so can recorded! :rolleyes:

Very rarely have I experienced a client be specific about lighting but on a couple of occasions, the requirement was requested to be very minimal.

 

I'd say that if a couple are undecided on who to hire for the wedding then good points for a DJ would be that they can be interactive with the audience and pretty versatile, the variety of recorded music available at the DJs fingertips will be far greater than that of a performing bands repertoire. Music tracks can be requested by the audience (if desired by the B&G) and the DJ will be available for the duration of the reception as opposed to the limitation of the bands material. Additional services may be available as part of the DJs service.

 

If they choose to hire a band, then with live music and vocals, the sound will be rich and ambient. The band can also be audience-interactive and accept audience requests - bearing in mind that the request may or may not be within the bands repertoire! Of course thats not to assume that a band only has a limited number of songs to perform but from experience, the more numbers the band can play, the higher their fee!!!

Sure, the atmosphere of live music to that of a disco has a charm all in itself…just like a disco has it's own charm.

 

Of course, all musical services are for entertainment - I've seen people get up and dance when the band were truly awful and likewise, have seen people dance to music requested during a disco which I personally felt was utterly :cense:

During a wedding function, I've seen no-one wish to dance to either entertainment, so I would suggest that the client knows exactly how the invited will respond!

When the audience wishes to participate and enjoy the occasion along with the B&G then any entertainment will find it easier to perform.

Naturally, not everyone likes live music or disco but inclusin for all is one of those many keys to the success of the function in my book.

 

I would agree that a good band can easily be from £1,000+ A tribute band will usually be more.

A good wedding DJ is priceless.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Much more equipment is involved with a quality band compared to a Disco. Maybe even costume changes etc that cost money. One Tribute I worked with (Queen On Fire) The singer had to get his jeans from the US as he could not get them from the UK. As I have said above bands have to rehurse, They may travel in more than one vehicle. Or need a bigger vehicle than an average disco. another band I work with Have two vans on the road when they do a gig.

 

Hope that helps you understand my point....

 

I've never worked with a band who've had a PA worth more than my own... and thats not to brag or anything, its just that they nearly always have something mid range like peavey, with one amp and a cheap PA mixer. And again, split between 5 people, they'd have to have some serious gear to equal the investment of even an average DJ setup.

 

Ok, they're bound to have expenses that we don't, but I imagine I spend more on music, than they do on rehersal studios each year.

 

Not to mention, most bands work through agencies, so running costs like stanionery, web hosting, telephone etc. etc. aren't an issue.

Edited by Danno13

Revolution Discos - Covering Midlands and the Cotswolds - 01386 898 113 - 07791 261 263

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you've summed it all up pretty well there Paul.

 

I must admit ive done a few weddings, and theres been a band there also. I found that people sat down to listen to the band and then danced when i played my sets.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

From a DJs point of view, you can't really go wrong when working with a band...

 

If they're rubbish, people are releived when you come on and are desperate to get up and dance.

 

If they're good, you're left with a full floor to go from!

Revolution Discos - Covering Midlands and the Cotswolds - 01386 898 113 - 07791 261 263

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always enjoyed bookings where a band are involved as well. And UKHero I accept the points you've made. I just feel that some of the posts on here are assuming that most bands are great and most DJs are cr*p. There are a lot of 'bands' charging a fortune to turn up and sing over karaoke discs whilst pretending to play keyboards. Yet they often get more respect (and always get more money) than a quality DJ.

 

IMO having both is great but if you had to plump for one to entertain a crowd of mixed ages/backgrounds (eg a wedding) all night, it has to be a DJ.

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry UK Hero, but i don't really see where where you are coming from here, and Paul's original posting is heading off-track. The point was that DJ's tend to foot the bill for the total outgoings of their roadshow compared to band who might spread the costs and try and keep the cost per head lower, but an argument about that is not adding anything to what Paul is after.

 

I was answering points made in this thread... I thought that was the idea of debate sorry if im wrong....

 

I've never worked with a band who've had a PA worth more than my own... and thats not to brag or anything, its just that they nearly always have something mid range like peavey, with one amp and a cheap PA mixer. And again, split between 5 people, they'd have to have some serious gear to equal the investment of even an average DJ setup.

 

Ok, they're bound to have expenses that we don't, but I imagine I spend more on music, than they do on rehersal studios each year.

 

Not to mention, most bands work through agencies, so running costs like stanionery, web hosting, telephone etc. etc. aren't an issue.

 

Well one band I work with spent £23,000 on equipment last year, and I have worked with many Discos that dont even use peavey but use skytec and the like.... Other expenses a band has to put up with is food and hotel bills... If you over night after a gig one mouth to feed one bed to sleep in a 7 piece well you do the math.... I agree there are good and bad in both camps, But if were talking about quality gigs then on the whole were talking about quality DJs and bands.... IMHO a mediocre band will still be better than a mediocre DJ and sometimes even better than a good DJ... As I say this is My POV I just like live music more and I do work on both sides of the fence so see it from both sides, I would suggest that most of you dont...

 

Nik

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...