The air is fresh and clear. It’s not raining. Tired leaves are making their way to the ground having done their bit for summer. Crunch crunch crunch under our feet. It’s autumn. Our coats and hats are on and we’re at Zoots HQ here in Wiltshire. We’ve had a super productive week making plans for 2015, which is going to be our busiest year ever.We are feeling good and happy following on from our performance last week at Cat & Phil’s wedding at The Grand Hotel in Leicester. We’re ready to go, we jump in the band van, start it up and we’re on our way! The roads are quiet. We make good time. It’s getting dark early. It’s Saturday the 1st of November 2014 and Dan & Lindsay are getting married!
We arrive at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre. Sorry the photo is a little shaky but you get the idea. It’s well nice.
Easthampstead Park is one of the very few venues in Berkshire that we haven’t performed at, so we were pretty excited about our debut performing at Linsday and Dan’s wedding reception. As we roll up the long and extravagant driveway we spot the beautiful Victorian Manor house with a rich history. It was once the home of Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon. You can read more about the history of Easthampstead Park here.
We are welcomed with LOVE. Literally.
Standing brightly in the reception area of Easthampstead Park is huge illuminated LOVE letters. They looked so cool. We find our bearings and explore the hotel. It’s great, high ceilings, massive doors and a sense of history. One of my favourite rooms is the bar area. Cosy seating, intimate lighting. You can’t help but feel at home and welcomed in this lovely area.
As we explore, we get to see a little more of the couple’s choices for their wedding day. I just love the purple and white theme! And that cake!! Their table plan was great and we loved their pick ‘n’ mix stand. A lot of thought had gone into the day and the teenest details.
We parked the van and began loading our equipment. It was a little tricky as it was over some gravel but we managed. The day was running behind schedule but the very helpful Greg at Easthampstead Park kept us in the loop with what was going on. Greg was brilliant from the start, showing us what went where, making us feel incredibly welcome and keeping us in the loop at all times! He was such an asset to the night and really helpful to us especially, thank you Greg! Luckily we had a lovely spacious room we could wait in near by. This meant we could get a lot of equipment set up before entering the main room.
A last the room was clear and we began loading in! We had a great space to perform in. Even the the day does run over, we do still require a full hour to get everything ready for our performance. We like to make sure everything sounds just perfect and we’ve spent time working out an hour is just enough for us to do this. Whilst we will always do our best to catch up on any time which may have been lost during the day, trying to cut our set up time down, is likely to affect our sound for the evening, which is obviously v.v.important! Luckily the lovely Greg from Easthampstead Park was on hand to help and advise and keep everyone in the know with what was going on.
For their first dance, Lindsay and Dan had chosen Ellie Goulding’s, ‘How Long Will I Love You’. It was lovely. Here’s a short video of the couple in action. Thank you iPhone.
We crammed loads of songs into our first set. Like LOADS. Lindsay and Dan had made some cool choices from our repertoire. Highlights included Brown eyed girl, Do you wanna dance, Twist and shout, I’m a believer, La bamba, Hound dog, Saw her standing there, Crazy Little Thing Called Love…The list was endless!! As soon as we started the dance floor was PACKED! They loved it! We played and they dance and jumped and bopped. It was fantastic!
Soon it was time for our break. DJ Stuart hit the decks, playing awesome tune after awesome tune! Meanwhile, in our break room, we saved a bee. Spotting this poor wee fella tired and weary on the floor, we knew we had to do something. After almost accidentally stomping on him, I remembered seeing something earlier this year about tired and poorly bees and what you can do…we made him a wee cocktail of sugar and water. He drank and drank and drank with his little nossle until he felt well enough to fly onto my heel for a short hug before flying away. Life saved! We prepped ourselves for set 2…!
Meanwhile, outside, there was a surprise in store for the guests… They were WOW!
Onwards to set two! We were psyched! If it was anything like set 1, it was going to be brilliant!! And it was! Boys and girls, Don’t stop believing, Footloose, Billy Jean, Beat it, Locked out of heaven, Walk this way, Funky music, Don’t stop me now, Livin on a prayer, Wonderwall, Billionaire, they were all in there. AND LOADS MORE. It was mad mad crazy crazy dancing dancing. These guys did not stop! The photos are a bit fuzzy but hopefully you get the idea!
Here’s a short video of The Zoots (that’s us) performing Hey Jude to close the evening…
We had such a great night performing for such a wonderful couple.
Thank you so much to Lindsay and Dan for choosing us as your wedding band. Big thanks to Greg and the team at Eathampstead Park, absolute legends! Hope to perform there again one day soon!