It’s our very favourite part of the week, being a very busy band means we’re usually off doing what we love most. And this weekend, it’s a good ‘un. We’re off to perform at Bebe’s birthday party at the very swish Vineyard Hotel in Newbury.
It was Bebe’s sister, Jessie, who got in touch to see if we were available to be the band for the night. Now, if you’ve just joined us, let me tell you about Jessie. We performed at Jessie’s wedding way back in 2014 (I couldn’t believe it either, it really did feel like it was only yesterday!). You can read our blog about our performance at Jessie & Christian’s wedding at Huntsham Court. Jessie wore one of the most beautiful dresses ever – I loved the colours and details (see the photo below). We were just so thrilled when Jessie got in touch to ask us to perform again, I think being rebooked is one of the best compliments we can ever receive!
Now if you’ve never been to the Vineyard Hotel, you really must. It was ah-mazing. Just look at it:
We’d been in touch with the hotel before the day, to run through our load in, parking, dressing room and food plans for the evening. We do try to do this where we can to ensure everything runs super smoothly on the day. Nicole from The Vineyard was really helpful and ran through everything we might need to know before the day.
Jessie & Bebe had been really organised with the timings for the day, so we’d been sent a very clear and well planned itinerary for the evening! So we knew what went where and when!
It was a short drive to Newbury from Zoots HQ in Marlborough, Wiltshire. We arrived just before 5pm to begin set up and sound check before the guests arrived at 7pm. We can do set up in around 60 minutes, but if there is more time available, that’s brilliant. We’ve recently made the change from speaker monitors to in-ear monitoring systems which does make set up easier, but can make soundcheck take a little bit longer. Monitoring allows band members to be able to hear the sounds they need to hear, as generally a band will only be able to hear what is loudest on stage. It was so great to change to IEMs (In ear monitors) as now allows us to have very specific control of what we can to hear via headphones, whilst also protecting our ears on stage.
But that’s enough about that. Let’s talk about the party! We loaded our equipment into our performance area. We were welcomed into the very cool room by this:
Pretty cool, eh? We LOVED it! It was huuuuuge. Each letter was as tall as us! What a centre piece! We just knew it was going to be an amazing evening!
Here are some really interesting photos of us loading in ALL OF OUR EQUIPMENT and setting up. The team kindly brought us some tea, which made us very happy! 😀
Set up and soundcheck went really well. The room we were playing in was perfect, so beautiful decorated, and lots of lovely carpet, which is really fantastic for us as a band in terms of controlling the sound! We met with the photographer for the evening Keith Thompson, check out some of his photos here – http://studiorouge.co/.
After set up and sound-check, we headed to our green room for the evening, where Bebe & Jessie had very kindly arranged some delish food for us.
We had a couple of hours before we were due on stage so we spent this time warming up, running through the set list and getting changed, and having a nose around this amazing Vineyard Hotel. I just loved the painting in the bar area, so detailed! And the loos were fantastic with the tapestry wall coverings! I enjoyed looking at all the different paintings of Vineyards dotted around the hotel, very apt!
I think my favourite part of the hotel was Bebe’s sweet store:
And we were ready…
We made our way down to where we were playing and met Renata who kindly took some photos of us. She’d seen us back in 2014 perform at Jessie & Christian’s wedding and was looking forward to watching us again!
To kick off the evening, magician Mike Fairall delighted guests with his wonderous close up tricks. We heard all of the guests comment on how brilliant he was! Find out more about him here: http://www.michaelfairall.co.uk/
And we were on! Set one was a blast. We played lots of great songs from our repertoire. Both Jessie & Bebe had chosen some brilliant songs for us to perform that evening. Bebe looked absolutely incredible in her dress, blue and sparkly, it was beautiful!
Here’s a video of Simon on the drums:
After set one, we had a short break, where Jamie tried on his wig, Tommy did things with his phone, Simon relaxed and Ben explained why size is important.
We were back on for set 2. It was brilliant and the dance-floor was packed.
And then it was over. What a brilliant night.
We had some lovely words from Bebe “Hi guys, I wanted to thank for your doing, yet again, an amazing performance at my party! Everyone from the teenagers, all the way up to the grannies commented on how fabulous you were!!! See you at my 50th!”
If you are thinking of booking The Zoots to be your band for your party, wedding or event, please do get in touch soon as we don’t have many dates left for 2016, and we’re now booking for 2017 and even 2018!