Today we’re off to Lytham St Annes. Yes waaaaaaay up North. We’re perform at the Clifton Arms Hotel. Strangely, and genuinely unconnected, I’ve just been reading about how the Clifton Arms do a fabulous afternoon tea. So if you’re in Lytham, go there. We didn’t try it but the Internet says its really good. Anyway, last night (Friday) we were performing in Wantage, with our 1960s show. You can read about our antics here. It really was very brilliant. After the show, we made our way slowly north. Slowly because we have a shiny shiny new (Mercedes) van which is GREAT but (BUT!) it currently has a limiter fixed to restrict its speed. This really is nothing to do with us, it’s a safety feature so vehicles carrying realllllly heavy loads can only go at a set speed. All though we have a lot of kit, our load isn’t that heavy so it means we can undo the restriction but its a bit of a long winded process. So the van can currently only travel 53mph. There’s a lot of paperwork involved to get the limiter lifted (really is aaaaaaaaa-lot) which is what we’re doing at the minute. So anyway the drive was long! And we were really really tired when we arrived in Lancashire-ville.
We were heading north to perform for Katie & Paul on their wedding day in Lytham. We’d heard from Katie very recently as her band had pulled out at the last minute (not cool guys, not cool). But luckily (pah-de-duh-DAAAA) The Zoots were available and we’re just what the couple were looking for! We put the date in our very busy diary and looked forward to a day by the seaside!
Katie was very organised, having had to go through the procedure before, she’d already sorted out a room and some grub and drinks for the previous band (we wont name, names, we’ll just call them The Quitters), which made things super smooth for us. We exchanged details before the day, and ran through as many details as possible so it all ran perfectly. I got in touch with Alison from The Clifton Arms to send her our PAT and Public Liability documents (these are very important, don’t book a band without them). Alison was lovely and got back to us very quickly, letting us know we’d have everything we need. If we can, we do like to view a venue before we perform there, so we know whats what and which bit goes where. Due to the last minute nature of the booking and location of the venue, this wasn’t possible for Katie and Paul’s wedding, but it was OK as Alison and Katie explained everything wonderfully.
We stayed the night at Lowther HQ, based in Lancashire. After a well deserved lie-in, we were up and fed. We ran through some of the tracks Katie and Paul had requested that evening. After food, food and some more food we were ready to go. Ben read a book on his favourite topic to get focused for the evening ahead. Stuart and I hung out with Zoots honorary mascot, Luka, the German Shorthaired Pointer. He’s a love. (Cue lots of dog photos).
But enough of Luka, we’re off to Lytham. The drive was short and uneventful. We were able to locate The Clifton Arms pretty easily thanks to our sat nav. We parked up and went in. It was lovely to hear the lovely northern accent again. I felt very at home. Katie and Paul had kindly arranged for some grub for us which we had when we arrived. Bass player Stuart had fish and chips. Lead guitarist Ben Jones had macaroni and cheese and drummer Mike had burger and chips. Jamie and I also had macaroni and cheese. It was all really super delicious. We felt full and good and ready for our show. Big thank you to Katie and Paul for arranging the food and drinks for us! After dinner, we scoped out the hotel, where we were playing and where we could load in. The newly weds were in a nearby room having their wedding breakfast. We had a short wait until we could set up.
After a few minutes, we were in. The room was just beautiful. I loved the huge bouquet of flowers near the wedding cake, the colours were fantastic. You could tell a lot of thought had gone into the flowers, decorations and chair covers, the room looked brilliant. There was also loads of natural light flooding in from the floor to ceiling windows down one side of the room. The room was a great size and had a bar a the back! We’ve found this always works quite well as guests can grab a drink whilst enjoying the music rather than having to relocate to another room!
We began to get set up whilst the guests enjoyed a post dinner beverage in the bar outside the room. The room acoustics really worked in our favour, lots of sound absorbers, carpet, curtains and covers, all helping to absorb the sound we were making! Sound absorbers are great for electric bands, allowing a much better control of the sound as it’s not ‘bouncing back’ off reflective objects in the room. Whilst we were setting up, the team at The Clifton arms did a great job at turning the room around all ready for the evening. They were swift and brilliant and were very helpful. Big thank you to Alison and her team for making our performance at The Clifton Arms so enjoyable!
After a quick change, we were on for their first dance straight after the cutting of the cake. Katie and Paul had chosen ‘Stand by Me’ for their first dance. A song we know well and just love! We played it perfectly for the couple. We really enjoyed watching the newly weds dance their first dance together as husband and wife. Soon the dance floor with full of their guests who had joined them.
And then we were on to the first set:
And then the second set. It was here I managed to take quite a lot of photos of someone taking a photo. We crammed loads into this set. Walk this way / funky music, Don’t stop me now, Livin on a prayer, Blurred Lines, Get lucky – there was just so much! The couple had chosen so many great songs from our repertoire, we tried to fit them all in!
Here is a video of Kaite and Paul during We are young.
And then it was over. Like that. In the blink of an eye. Well, not quite. Here’s a photo of Jamie with groom Paul. And here are some cool photos we took in our dressing room with the wicked wallpaper!
We packed up our equipment and headed back. We’d had such a great time performing for such a lovely couple and all of their guests. I’m not sure we’ve seen so many people on the dance-floor at one time. Big thank you to DJ Steve who was just super. He played a wicked set in between our performances and after we’d finished. If you get a chance to book him, you should. He was ace. Of course thank you to everyone at The Clifton Arms for lovely food and warm welcome, we had such a great time performing at your lovely hotel. And a special massive thanks to Katie and Paul for choosing The Zoots as their wedding band. We had a great time performing for you! 😀
Lots of love,
Jamie, Harriet & The Zoots
Katie and Paul got in touch after the wedding with these kind words:
Hi Jamie, Harriet and all of the band, I wanted to email to say the biggest thank you ever! You totally made the wedding the event I wanted it to be and literally everyone commented on how fantastic you were, even DJ Steve and staff at the hotel! Second to my dress, it was all everybody said, how good the band was, and I knew you would be fantastic.
One guest said they have never seen so many people on the dance floor during the first few songs and my Dad said you should be at the MEN arena. My friends became obsessed with Mike for reasons I don’t know yet!
Paul and I would have danced to every single song except we wanted to mingle with everyone. I could not recommend you enough if you would like me to write a review!
Take care and thanks again, Katie and Paul xx