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 we pay the balance?
I don't ask for deposits but I do ask my clients to sign a contract to secure their booking. Payment can be made either by cheque or bank transfer so long as it's received at least 14 days in advance, or alternatively you can pay in cash on the day if you'd rather. I don't accept cheques on the day but you're welcome to pay as early as you'd like - some simply send a cheque when they return their contract.
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?
My silver and gold packages entitle you to request up to three new songs which I will be more than happy to learn specially, so long as they work well on sax and I can find appropriate backing tracks. It's very rare that I have to say "no" to a particular song, but if there's anything that you definitely can't live without then please ask before you book. Either way, all requests have to be made at least a month before the date.
Most packages include two hours of music but can I book you for only one hour?
Yes you can, and I offer a discount of £50 for performances which are only one hour rather than two. Half the performance time doesn't unfortunately equate to half the cost, as the administration, travelling, setting up and packing away time are the same whether I play for two hours or just one. Performances that are due to last for between one and two hours (e.g. 90 mins) are charged at the same rate as the full two hours.
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?
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! There will of course be a delay whilst I pack away at one location and then set up at the other so we'll need to look carefully at timings. Give me a call!
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.