Last week was blooming brilliant. We had such a fab time performing for Steve and Laura at Pinewood Studios and only yesterday (Friday) we had the absolute honour of performing for our good friends Simon & Emily on their wedding day at Priston Mill. I don’t think we could be any happier.
Today, Saturday, we’re headed towards a little town called Chorleywood. We’ve actually passed through here many moon ago when we were performing at Fitness Fiesta in Hemsby last year. It’s a lovely place, lots of fields lots of green. Today we’re performing for Phil and Rainee on their wedding day at North Hill Farm and we’re really looking forward to it. We’ve been liaising with Phil & Rainee about their big day since they got in touch in August last year. We arrived at North Hill Farm at around 530pm and met Nick, our point of contact for the day. Nick was just terrific and we loved him instantly. It’s really helpful to allocate a (responsible) member of the wedding part to liaise with bands, caterers and other suppliers *just in case* they need anything on the day. It’s rare we ever really do need anything but little did we know, Nick would come in very handy today! 😀
Nick showed us the lay of the land, where we’d be loading in and where we could get changed. The marquee was huge. It was situated in the middle of a field on North Hill Farm. Dotted in front of the marquee were lots of cool teepees where the guests would be staying for the evening. Rainee & Phil had so kindly arranged a room for us a short distance from the marquee. As we only had a short time to get changed between setting up and our performance, Nick very kindly let us use his teepee to change in, just a stones throw from the marquee which speeded things up a fair bit.
We had a chat with the caterers, ‘Truly Scrumptious‘ and worked out how and when would be best for us to load in as we were using the same entrance as they were. The Truly Scrumptious team were a real delight and an absolute pleasure to chat to. We didn’t get to taste the food but boy it sure looked delicious. Check out their website here: http://www.cateringbytrulyscrumptious.com/.
Introductions over, we began our load in and set up. I just loved Phil & Rainee’s cake and the huge illuminated P&R were a fabulous focal point. The marquee was decorated beautifully, I wish I’d taken a few more photos here of it. It was colourful, fun and bright. I loved it.
Nick very kindly sorted some drinks for us and continued to make sure we were OK during our set up.
Set up went well. I finally got to meet Rainee who was every bit as lovely and as beautiful as I knew she would be. Phil was a hoot too and looked great in his blue suit.
Load in was great but set up was tricky. We’d been told there was a limiter in place. We’re used to working with limiters as we come across them all the time but this one was a little different. The limiter in place at North Hill Farm was particularly sensitive as we soon found out.
Nigel, the owner of the land, came down and worked something out so that the power to our equipment wouldn’t cut out when the limiter went off (which was pretty constant), but he did inform us that we needed to play very, very, very (very) quietly. We tried our best to meet his requirements but being a band, with instruments and equipment, we can’t help but make noise – it’s our job! It is a tricky situation to be in as we just want to put on the best show we can, which can be difficult when someone is telling you to play *really very quiet*. We tried our very best to compromise with the sound, whilst still putting on a a wicked night which we totally did!
Nick was so great during this time. He was so understanding and just lovely, as we’re all of the guests. Even though we were having a few…er…issues, I could tell this was going to be the best night as we really were receiving the warmest of welcomes from the guests, the catering team, and everyone.
We headed to the teepee to change. They were so cool and cosy!
We headed inside after our quick change as it was time to begin, time for Rainee & Phil’s first dance!
The couple had chosen a lovely version of ‘Will.i.am’s This Is Love’. They asked if we’d be able to do a similar version. The acoustic version they sent us was a singer and a piano so we explained we’d try and recreate the sound on guitars as we don’t have keys in our line up. Everyone worked hard on learning there parts and we sent Rainee and rough recording as she was keen to hear how it was sounding. We had everything crossed whilst waiting to hear back from Rainee but she loved it and was looking forward to us performing it on the night. And here’s that moment.
It was beautiful and brilliant. Jamie sang it so well and everyone loved it. I really enjoyed hearing Ben’s part on the lead guitar as he played what I’d heard on the piano. We do play a lot of songs, many of which I enjoy and like, but I just loved this one, as did everyone at the wedding it would seem. Soon the dance floor was full of Phil & Rainee’s guests.
We packed lots of songs into our first set. Rainee and Phil had chosen some songs they liked from our repertoire so we included loads of those. The dance floor was packed the whole time. It was beautiful.
It really was fantastic. We had such a great vibe from the whole room. The atmosphere was one of sheer happiness, lots of friendship and lots of love. I wish I could have bottled it. It was a great place to be. We kept eyes for Nigel who was on hand to tell us if we were performing too loud. Fortunately, we couldn’t spot him so we presumed the sound levels were fine.
Somewhere in the first set, this happened! It was such fun to watch!
Little did we know we’d have a photographer there on the night who would be taking lots of photos of our boat races! Big huge massive thank you to Marc Randall from Randem Photography who took all of the photos of us below! Sorry we didn’t get to say goodbye to you properly either Marc! Hope our paths cross again one day soon! 😀
After our first set Zoots bass player, Stuart took the decks as he was DJing for the night. You must appreciate when you book Stuart to DJ for you, not only do you get an awesome DJ, but a preeee-tay cool dancer too:
The crowd went wild for Stu’s set. Here’s some photos.
During Stu’s DJ set we really enjoyed nomming on some bacon sandwiches and chips provided by those lovely chaps at Truly Scrumptious. And it was. We enjoyed having some food in our tummies and of course a cup of tea or two. During our break I took some photos of everyone so you can see what we do during our break.
During our break, Nigel found us and informed us the sound was at an appropriate level *hurrah* everyone was happy and this was turning out to really be one of the best nights ever.
Back on for set two. I learnt a valuable lesson during set two. Panoramic photos don’t really work with coloured lights and moving bodies. So the photo below looks a little odd, but I kinda like it.
And a little video of the boy vs girls dance off.
We even managed to squeeze in a tunnel of love for the newlyweds.
Our new friend Nick joined us to sing Mr Brightside. Needless to say, the crowd went wild;
We powered on into the set. Cramming in hit after hit. There were just so many! Moves Like Jagger,Don’t stop me now, Summer of ‘69, Don’t Look Back in Anger,Livin on a prayer, Let Me Entertain You, Parklife, Sweet Child o’ Mine, Billionaire, Blurred lines, to name but a few.
The Zoots lead guitarist Ben Jones totally rocked his Sweet Child o’ Mine guitar solo on top of a table. Ben’s fans went pretty wild at this point! Thank you to the lovely lady in the beautiful dress who took these photos of Ben for me.
Here’s a few more photos from the night.
We closed the night with the couples first dance, This is Love’. It was perfect. And then it was over. We felt so good and so happy and lovely inside. I can honestly say it was one of the best nights I’ve ever had.
The guests made their way to the roaring campfire outside whilst we packed up and loaded our equipment away.
I took a few photos of the room which I was I had have done a few hours before! Hopefully you can still see just how beautiful it was.
We left our stage for the evening, letters still glowing brightly. The sign on the floor caught my eye before we left. You can’t make this stuff up.
We had such a fabby night performing with Andy on the drums, Stu on Bass and Djing, Ben on lead guitar, Jamie on lead vocals and me, with my tambourine.
Huge thank you to Anna for recommending us to this lovely pair. Special thanks to Marc for the photos, and of course the lovely team at Truly Scrumptious for being just wonderful. And huge thank you to Phil and Rainee for choosing The Zoots as their wedding band. And thanks to Nigel, our sound monitor for the evening.
Lots of love,
Harriet, Jamie and The Zoots xx