Here are a few of the questions that I get asked all the time. The answers should provide lots of info but please don't hesitate to get in touch via the contact page if you need any help.
How much do you need as a deposit, and when do I pay the balance?
I ask for a £45 deposit for all bookings (payable by cheque or bank transfer) and I also ask my clients to sign a contract to secure their date. The balance can then be paid either by cheque or bank transfer any time up to 14 days in advance, or alternatively clients can pay in cash on the day if they would rather.
Can we choose what songs you play?
I don't ask my clients to write my entire set list for me in advance, as a lot of my skill is in knowing which songs to play for which audience at which time. I would definitely ask you to highlight a handful of songs from my repertoire that you especially like and point out a few that you don't like so much, as this gives me a really great idea of what you had hoped for when you booked. If any songs or styles especially stand out then let me know and I'll definitely aim to include them.
Can we choose songs that aren't in your repertoire?
In most cases it is possible to learn one or more new songs specially for a particular booking. 'Special requests' are subject to approval and an additional charge (typically around £20 per request) as a contribution towards the time and cost involved in finding a backing track and memorising each song. I do reserve the right to perform special requests at other events as well.
I've already made a booking but I've just noticed that the package I booked has been changed! What's happened?
I altered my package options slightly in March 2018, to respond to changes I was noticing in what clients were asking for. If you made a booking before these changes occurred then don't worry, you'll still get exactly what you asked for! Equally, if you feel that one of the new versions would have been better for you then please let me know and we'll switch it over.
Do you provide your own equipment?
Absolutely, but I will usually need access to a plug socket at the venue. I have a 40m extension lead but I will obviously need to be able to run it safely (avoiding trip hazards, etc.). Please check with the venue if you're unsure about this. I do also have a battery powered speaker which is ideal for wedding ceremonies and other small performances, especially where mains power isn't easily available.
Do you have the necessary paperwork?
Yes, all my equipment is PAT tested where necessary and I am fully insured. I'm also a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.
Can we use your sound equipment for other things?
Unfortunately the answer is usually "no", as I tend to set up my equipment shortly before I begin playing and pack it away again immediately after. Most venues and DJs will provide microphones for speeches as standard so it might be worth checking with them first.
Do you play outside?
Yes, so long as I have safe access to power (or I can use my battery powered speaker), but please understand that I wont risk exposing my equipment to rain or high winds. Please make sure you have a "plan B" as bad weather would not be considered grounds for cancelling your contract.
We'd like you to play during our ceremony and our reception but they're in different places. Is this possible?
Anything's possible! My equipment setup is extremely versatile but there may still be a short delay whilst I pack away at one location and travel to the second so we'll need to look carefully at timings. Please get in touch!
Do you travel outside Kent?
I do indeed, but I usually have to charge more to cover travel expenses and time. Please email me with the date, times and venue details, and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.