Band in Pinewood
Last week we had a brilliant time at Sophie and Charles wedding at Marden Manor. It really was fantastic, at one of the most beautiful marquees we’ve ever seen! The week flew by and before we knew it, it was Saturday and we we’re heading East to perform at Steve & Laura at the very famous, Pinewood Studios. It was an early start for us as Steve & Laura wanted the band to be set up before the wedding breakfast took place. We had tired sleepy eyes but we were feeling like happy and content Zoots as we set off in our still very slow van. Band in Pinewood!
Steve and Laura got in touch July last year to see if we were available to perform for them. Jamie actually went to the same school as Steve, waaaaaaaaaay way way way way way (way) back in the day when then were just wee youths learning about life. A few years ago, Jamie performed with our other band Jamie & The First Class (it’s still us, just different outfits, check out the website, it all makes sense) for mutual friends Mark & Vicki. Steve remembered us from the day and got in touch to see if we could perform at his wedding! We were available and we said yes!
When we arrived there were some autograph hunters so we signed and entered. We had planned to set up and sound check before the guests arrived at 2pm but when we arrived the building was locked and we couldn’t get in! I pressed the very low down intercom to see if we could get in to building but we couldn’t. A phone call and some minutes later, help was on its way! Our load in was down a corridor, round a corner and on to our MASSIVE stage. It was huge and brilliant. We loved it! We also may have ‘accidentally’ got lost trying to find Johnny Depp…er…I mean our load in entrance and stumbled across the MASSIVE BLUE SCREEN used for some pretty cool special effects. The picture I took is really rather rubbish but it was all rather exciting. There’s was such a buzz knowing that loadsa cool stuff happens here.
Leading into the venue was a lovely red carpet.
The wedding was taking place in Heatherden Hall, at the heart of Pinewood Studios.
Parts of Jonny English, Batman and The Great Gatsby we’re filmed at Heatherden Hall. The gardens just outside were used for some parts of Harry Potter too. I was so excited and kept looking over my shoulder hoping to see someone famous. We were soon rewarded with our first (and only) celebrity spot, none other than, Andy Hamilton (I didn’t know who he was either).
Here’s a more complete list of what the building has been used for and where you may spot it next time you’re watching a movie: The studio tour
Here’s a bit about the history of the hall taken from Pinewood Studios website: “The Victorian estate of Heatherden Hall in Buckinghamshire was originally privately owned, at one time used as a retreat and private meeting place for politicians and diplomats. The promise to form the Anglo-Irish agreement was signed at Heatherden Hall. In 1934, the estate was purchased by building tycoon Charles Boot who turned the mansion into a country club for the rich and famous and then in partnership with the Methodist millionaire Arthur J. Rank, transformed the land into a film studio. Boot officially named Pinewood, because: “…of the number of trees which grow there and because it seemed to suggest something of the American film centre in its second syllable.” Their partnership ultimately led to the development of the Rank Organisation which embraced not only film production and film distribution at home and abroad, but also catering, leisure time activities and a wide field of manufacturing interests which would, at its height, employ more than 30,000 people.”
You can read more about it here: https://www.pinewoodgroup.com/explore-pinewood/for-historians We were performing in the ballroom. It was amazing and had been decorated just beautifully. In every place setting, there was a ‘would you rather’ card. We just LOVE to play this game in the long van rides so it really tickled us reading a few of these.
The flowers were just gorgeous! I love the huge, colourful centrepiece in the middle of the top table, you can probably tell as I’ve taken quite a lot of photos of it. The fingerprint tree was a great idea for a guest book. I think I also spotted a quiz in the lounge area which was such a great idea. The lounge area was next to the bar, just outside of the room we were performing in. The sofas looked so comfy and there were little bits of film memorabilia all over the place. The tables each had their own coloured flowers. Steve and Laura really had thought of everything. Each table was labelled with a film, so perfect considering where we were! The room overlooked a beautiful courtyard. I tried my hardest to think of which Harry Potter film the garden may have been used for. The sunlight poured in through the large doors along the length of the room, it was stunning. I could tell it was going to be a great day.
Here’s a poorly taken photo of the table plan, it was seriously cool.
But it was the cake which we had our eyes on! Just look at it, beautiful! Just beautiful. Yes my friends, that is indeed white chocolate. The smell was incredible. I think it’s up there with one of the most amazing cakes we’ve ever seen. We missed the cutting of it but would have loved to have know what was inside!
We set up our equipment as quick as we could. Unfortunately due to the delay in accessing the building we were able to soundcheck at this time, we would have to save this until later. Everything looked brilliant. Would could tell the evening was going to be amazing. We had a bit of time to kill before the evening so we ventured off site for a bite to eat. We found a rather mediocre public house selling some just about edible food and tucked in. Soon it was time for us to head back into Pinewood, the guests had all arrived, the ceremony had taken place and they were tucking into their wedding breakfast.
Steve and Laura had very kindly arranged some grub for us which was a lot tastier than what we’d had for lunch. We chilled out in our huuuuuuggge break out room for a bit before it was time for sound check. Our room was once an indoor swiiming pool and spa where many actors and actresses used to spend time including Marilyn Monroe!
Soon it was time for sound check. We kept this short and sweet, conscious that the guests were in the room just beyond. Fortunately the room had lots of carpet and curtains which really help us to control the sound.
Sound check went very smoothly and we were very happy with the sound. We bring a lot of equipment with us and have a large, high spec PA which allows us to create a very full and complete sound which really delivers an awesome atmosphere for an evening. It’s not something you can really put your finger on, only ‘feel’. Steve and Laura had chosen a pretty awesome first dance, ‘Come and Get Your Love‘ by Redfern from the film, The Guardians of The Galaxy. It is such and awesome track, we loved it!
Following the first dance, we launched into out first set. Steve and Laura had chosen some wicked songs from our repertoire. We crammed loads into Steve and Laura’s wedding set, literally loads. Billionaire, Angels, Locked out of heaven, Walk This Way, Brown Sugar, Living On A Prayer, Rebel Rebel, Baggy Trousers, Billy Jean, Sweet Home Alabama, Summer of 69, Beat it, Funky Music, Don’t stop me now, Sweet Child o’ Mine…there were just so many!
Band in Pinewood
During our break, bass player/DJ Stuart took to the decks putting out some awesome tunes (watch the video at the end of our blog, it’s really worth it!). The night went so quickly. We just loved our stage we were performing on. We were up quite high so had a great view of the whole room. There was a huge dance floor. The room looked awesome.
We had such an awesome time performing for such a wonderful couple.
Love from, Jamie, Harriet & The Zoots