Saturday was the 3rd of May 2014. We’d been looking forward to Saturday for a long time. It was the day we were performing for James & Abbie for their wedding at Fell Foot Park in the Lake District. Owned by the National Trust, their website park promises Fell Foot to be a ‘lakeshore park with stunning mountain views’. It certainly didn’t disappoint. The couple had organised for a very special marquee to be erected on the grounds (boy, there are marquees and there are marquees – this one was hugeeee!) – it was outstanding. But more about that later…
We travelled up to Lancashire after our performance on Friday night in Brean. We wanted to do as much as the journey through the night as bank holiday traffic can be notoriously unpredictable. We arrived in Lancashire at 4:30am, staying at the Lowther residence, a temporary Zoots HQ for two nights. After a few hours kip and a hearty breakfast, we were on the road again, bound for Lake Windermere.
We arrived at about 1pm and met with Charlotte from Karen Rhodes, a wedding and event company based in Cumbria. We arrived early to set up so the party could start as soon as the wedding breakfast had finished. We’d been in touch with Charlotte quite a lot over the past few months, arranging arrival times and a room for us to change in. Charlotte was brilliant and an absolute dream to liaise with. Charlotte and the team did an absolutely amazing job organising and running the day, it was spectacular (and the loos – wow, some of the nicest we’ve ever seen – check out the photos!). It was so great to finally meet her in person, she was so friendly and her team looked after us so well – thank you!
The area we were performing in was brilliant. We had loads of space and a huge stage to perform on. The ceiling was full of starlights which twinkled throughout the evening. We began setting up. We we’re particularly excited for a few reasons. We had our brand new HK Audio Speakers and a new Soundcraft mixing desk to try out as part of our set up. HK Audio are known for creating some of the best PA there is; we only like to use the best equipment; we were looking forward to try them out. (Thanks to James at DJ Kit for his help with purchasing them!).
We were also pretty psyched as it was bass player Stuart Morrell’s premier DJ gig. He has an awesome rig and a huge library of music, we knew it was going to be great.
We were all really looking forward to performing with the very talented (and twice nominated Blues Drummer of The Year) Simon Small on the drums. Si is one of the best drummers there is, and we are so lucky to be able to work with him. If regular Zoots drummer Master East isn’t available, Si steps in and takes over. He is so brilliant. We performed with him the whole weekend, it was fantastic.
After setting up and sound checking, we had some time on our hands to explore the grounds at Fell Foot. My! It was beautiful. Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot Park has loads going on. There were rowing boats, a cafe, a play area, some pretty cool trees, canoes…all sorts. We enjoyed a nice stroll through the park, Stuart went on a swing and we even played in some trees, whilst the bride and groom arrived back from the church and the guests enjoyed their wedding breakfast. Stuart learnt a lesson in why you should always bring a coat, and ended up having to wear mine for the duration (it did look quite good on him though).
We returned to our backstage area and we met with the wonderful mother and father of the bride, Ali & Roger. We’d been liaising with them throughout the process, and it was so lovely to finally meet them. We then had a delicious meal of mushroom stroganoff and lamb for the meat eaters. It was absolutely delicious, one of the best meals we’ve had. Thank you to Ali, Roger, James and Abbie for organising it for us and to Charlotte and everyone and Karen Rhodes for making it! So tasty. *mouth waters*.
After the wedding breakfast and speeches, it was our time to shine! We dressed, did our hair and polished our shoes. We looked great. The set was written, we were ready! First set went down a treat. As James is the son of a preacher man, for their first dance, they chose, you guessed it, “Son of a Preacher Man” for their first dance. It was lovely and a real pleasure to perform for them. They had left the song choices entirely up to us so we included some fab tracks from our repertoire including Chubby Checker, The Beatles, Elvis, Queen, Michael Jackson and loads more! Everyone loved it and was dancing all night.
During our break, Stuart took to the decks playing out hit after hit. The guests hardly had time to stop. His mixes of tunes were fabulous, and his dance moves were very entertaining. If you’ve booked the Zoots for your wedding or party and would like Stuart to DJ as well for you get in touch!
A quick drink later, we were back on for the second set. Highlights included music by Cee Lo Green, Fun, The Killers, Oasis, Maroon 5, Daft Punk and a few surprises thrown in too. It was such fun, we had a brilliant time. Lead Guitarist Ben Jones performed his Sweet Child of Mine solo on a table in the crowd…I really hope someone got a photo! Bass Player/DJ Stuart Morrell closed the evening with his final DJ set. Everything ended at midnight and we packed away, feeling so happy. Our new speakers sounded beyond brilliant, Stuart was such an incredible DJ and it was terrific to be working with Si again! We were happy Zoots!
Big thank you to Ali, Roger, James and and Abi; we were so happy you chose us for your wedding band. And thank you too to Charlotte, Phil and the team for being so helpful and lovely. Hopefully our paths will cross again one day!
Harriet & The Zoots x