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Live Music To Blow Your Wedding Guests Socks Off! with Joey Burdon from Warble Entertainment

How can Live Music create the best Wedding Party ever for you and your Guests? We break it down beat by beat with Joey Burdon from Warble Entertainment!

Listen to Joey on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Joey Burdon, Warble Entertainment


James [00:00:05] Joey, hello and welcome back my friend. 

Joey [00:00:08] Thank you for having me back. 

James [00:00:10] It’s a pleasure to have you back. How’s tricks, how’s things? 

Joey [00:00:14] Everything is amazing since we last spoke. Things are looking really good for us at Warble at the moment. Still booking things for weddings. I hope you’re well as well. It’s cool to catch up for round two or three or whatever it is that we’re on. 

James [00:00:30] Yes it could even be approaching double digits soon. 

Joey [00:00:34] I think so. Yeah! 

James [00:00:35] It’s exciting stuff. So you are Joey Burdon from Warble Entertainment and Warble entertain all sorts of fantastic… They entertain? They provide! All sorts of fantastic entertainment for weddings. So the question or the subject I really wanted to cover with you today was…

“Live Music to Blow Your Wedding Guests Socks Off!” Straight off! 

James [00:01:03] So when we were planning our wedding, Rachel and I are massive music heads. So we felt it very important to include all the music that we loved. It was going to help us to have a really good time. So we did that through the DJ set. And we also understood that it was very, very important to have a broader spectrum of music that all the guests were going to enjoy. So we picked a band that would kind of cover the classics if you like. And I think we’ve discussed in a previous session, the band will read the floor and they will Segway into different styles if necessary to keep the party going. 

James [00:01:42] So from your perspective then the Bride and Groom come at this thinking “I want the biggest party ever”. Because essentially weddings now, as well as you know, being a solemn ceremony, they are massive parties. That’s kind of one of the evolutions.

So how do they begin that process with you and what are the steps you take them through to identify not only how to keep themselves satisfied but keep their guests satisfied? 

Joey [00:02:10] It’s a huge balance to get right and I just want to say if any couple comes to us and they open with the phrase “We want the biggest party ever!” They’re instantly our best friends and we want an invite to whatever wedding that is. Because that sounds like so much fun. But you’re right. We do see that happening more and more often as weddings become maybe less traditional. And like you said, you know, people are music fans, they want to put their personality and influences in. They are just thinking “well let’s just have a party”. Let’s just have a really good time with all our friends and family. Let’s have some music. 

James [00:02:48] Why not? 

Joey [00:02:49] Why not. Exactly. It costs a lot of money to get married and you may as well enjoy every single second of it. So yeah we love those people and they are more and more common as younger people are getting married. People who are my age as well getting married.

We’re used to going to festivals and going to gigs. I don’t know if you’re like me as well James?

James [00:03:12] We are very heavy gig people. We’re front rowers! 

Joey [00:03:17] You know what I used to be a front rower, but my girlfriend is not a front rower, so I’ve had to compromise for some gigs where I really want to be front row. I’ve had to stand in the back and you know what? It’s not so bad standing at the back or sitting down! It’s a different experience, but you do get to watch and not get sweaty. 

James [00:03:34] I will confess. The only time that we stood at the back, it was when we forgot our earplugs. We got there and just though “NO!”. And so we had to sit back gingerly just touching our fingers over our ears. This is a great gig and we’re having a great time, but everyone at the front’s rocking out harder than we are. 

Joey [00:03:53] Yeah exactly. It’s got to be done.

But that exact experience that we’re talking about right now, that gig experience you know, standing at the front row of a gig. Feeling sweaty, just getting so lost in the moment. People want that on their wedding day.

And that’s so awesome that we can actually provide that nowadays because you know, there are so many bands out there, they’re not boring wedding bands, Mustang Sally, you know guys in suits and ties. Same old rubbish. These are cool musicians rocking out on stage like it’s a full on gig experience. We see comments all the time like, “my wedding night felt like a gig” and how cool is that that people can say that nowadays? So that’s what people are looking for and yes it’s cool that’s what people are trying to do these days with the parties. 

James [00:04:47] OK so they’ve got this idea… They may be mega gig heads and they love this idea of having this big party that’s going to feel a little bit like a gig. But, Grandma and Grandpa are going to be there. How do we kind of cross this bridge into “I do want a super cool band, but I want to make sure that everybody’s music tastes are catered for”. Because at the end of the day, the make or break of a wedding party, is basically the popularity of the dancefloor isn’t it? Tip of the spear! 

Joey [00:05:18] So I reckon you grab Grandma by the wrists and you drag her into the mosh pit against her will. She’s not allowed to have any say in it. No please don’t do that at anyone’s wedding, to your own grandma or anyone else’s! No you’re absolutely right. There is a balance that needs to be struck because you’ve got friends and family there. You’ve got people from… even despite your family, people from all walks of life and influences and they like different things.

And for me that’s why the best wedding bands are the best. It’s because they can do that, they can find that balance and they do manage to somehow have something for everyone without being watered down and boring. 

Joey [00:06:03] The best wedding bands will lean towards your tastes but they won’t go full 100 percent in. So for example let’s say you are a massive, massive Oasis fan, like super Oasis, and you request some Oasis tracks from the band. Of course they’re going to play Oasis on the wedding night, but are they going to play all the B sides from Morning Glory? Or whatever? Are they’re going to play those really obscure album tracks that no one knows? Probably not the best idea! They will advise you on that. They will lean towards the stuff you like. 

Joey [00:06:38] Obviously you might like a lot of indie stuff. So they will do a few more of those tracks to keep everyone happy, but they will make sure they choose the tracks that other people know as well. So the best thing to do is to speak to your band. We always say, give a list of your five favourite bands. What was the last band you saw live, or whatever? And then five songs you would love to hear on your wedding night. What would they be? Then the band knows “OK, well these are my building blocks for the set. I’m going to base everything else off of this, and I’ll know where we are”. Then everyone’s going to be happy in that regard. But a lot of it comes down to trust in your bands to do that. And if you pick the right band and you’ve done your research beforehand, they’re going to serve you and your guests well. 

James [00:07:21]

That’s really smart advice actually doing the research to find a starting block really clever idea. Are there any bands that have two different modes? So they switch from A to B? 

Joey [00:07:35] Yeah. Absolutely. I think these bands are really clever. They’re quite book-able because people know… It’s like a value for money thing as well. Because a lot of people want a band that’s going to be unique, is going to be remembered. There’s something special about this band and we see it most often with the kind of Folk Mumford and Sons style band. A lot of the time people book them for the aesthetic and the style. They want boho, rustic, all that realm of words, they want that with their wedding band. 

James [00:08:13] Which could work really well in the Drinks Reception. 

Joey [00:08:17] Oh it can, yeah. The reality is at the end of the night, to have two 60 Minute sets or three 40 minute sets of all Folk and all boho style music, when everyone’s ready for a party, it might start to get a bit tiresome. So what these bands do, they’ll do the first half, they’ll build it up. They’ll do Mumford and Sons, they’ll do the folk stuff, it’ll be acoustic guitars and double basses. And then they’ll finish their first set then come back out and boom you’ve got your rock band.

So you’ve got the best of both worlds and you’ve managed to have something a bit special and unique. We see it all the time the bands are able to kind of reinvent themselves a little bit to offer something a bit more on the night. 

James [00:09:00] Cool. I think a very similar genre then to that kind of Folk angle is like a Ceilidh band isn’t it?

Joey [00:09:09] Yeah. 

James [00:09:10] I’ve seen it in the past where we’ve been at weddings and the couple are super into their Ceilidh and they’re really excited about it. And they’re saying “This is going to be the best party ever”. I can almost tell you know where I’m going with this… They have two big Ceilidh sets. After the first set, it’s had it’s thing, it’s had it’s magic. And unless the Ceilidh band can transition into a different vibe we tend to find that it sort of deflates. And I’ve seen a lot of disappointment in Brides and Grooms faces when they’ve had this picture. This idea of the best party ever and it really wasn’t quite so. Maybe it started out exactly as they wanted. But then you know people gradually just slowly… just the numbers dwindle and dwindle and before you know what’s going on, you don’t have the Ceilidh dance going on anymore. 

Joey [00:10:05] A lot of that depends on the quality of the caller. So when you’ve seen a Ceilidh band and you have the musicians, they’ll have someone else called the caller on stage with them. Essentially the guy who gives you the instructions and orchestrates the room. I’ve seen both sides. I’ve seen good Ceilidh bands, I’ve seen not so good Ceilidh bands, and a lot of it is that they are the focal point. If you have someone who is a great caller and they know how to read a room, it doesn’t matter if you hate dancing or getting up.

If the caller is really good and really persuasive they will have the whole room. It’s like a compare at a comedy gig of whatever, if they’re not right and the room isn’t warmed up properly, it’s not going to click.

But the caller, if they get it right and they’re good to listen to, give clear instructions, got the room revved up and the atmosphere on the day has built up to that, it’s going to be an amazing party. And sometimes that’s when Ceilidh can really pop off. If all of the other ingredients for that recipe aren’t quite right then yeah, absolutely right, it can start to fall a little bit flat. 

James [00:11:10] Makes sense. And so in terms of… I’m thinking now, a couple want to book a band and maybe they are slightly budget conscious, but they do want to go down the DJ route like we did. They want both. Are there bands that will also provide a DJ service?

Joey [00:11:32] So now that we are in 2019 almost 2020, this is almost the future!

I have yet to find a wedding band worth their while that don’t offer a DJ service as well.

It used to be the case that it was like this special add on that you would get with your band, and like “oh my god this band does a DJ thing”. If anything nowadays, it’s flipped that you wouldn’t be able to find one. It’s disappointing to find a wedding band that doesn’t have a DJ option included. Make sure you ask, and make sure the answer is yes before you book. Because if the answer is no, you can easily find another wedding band that will give you a DJ service. And if you want to get your request in, like you did, if you want to get those quirky songs and stuff like that the band maybe aren’t going to play, that’s the place to do it. That’s where you can really put your personality in and most bands will offer a DJ set as well. So you’re going to have pre-recorded and live music on the night. 

James [00:12:41] Cool! And the other thing that I think is a bit perplexing for people, and they don’t often think about it is, there’s got to be a band size to dance floor space match hasn’t there? You can’t book a sixteen piece mega orchestra and have the world’s tiniest dance floor because it causes conflict. So is that part of the discussion with you or where does that stem from? Because if they’re thinking…

“I love music, I’m really excited about a band, but I haven’t quite chosen the wedding venue yet”. What would you suggest in this instance? What would we do?

Joey [00:13:17] We’re on a bit of a mission recently, to be honest with you, it’s been something that we’ve been working on over the past year. This is to start trying to educate couples and brides and grooms to ask these questions when they meet the venue, because music is so important in some people’s – loads of people’s lives. You’re going to get married and it’s important for you on your wedding day that you have live music and it goes off without a hitch. Well make sure that your venue can suit all those things. Don’t find out too late. Same kind of thing with sound limiters at wedding venues and whatnot, make sure you know about them before you book. 

Joey [00:13:52] Make sure you have an image in your head. Say you do want a huge soul band. So you want a 10 piece soul band. And you go to your wedding venue and you see this tiny stage, you’ve got to ask is that the only stage they can play on, you’ve got to think. “Is this going to really work for what we want?”. And at the end of the day, if it doesn’t work for what you want then you need to find somewhere that does. And then you mentioned the dance floor as well…

I’ve seen a lot of parties suffer because of that when the band is absolutely killing it, but there’s not a proper, clearly designated space for people to dance.

Or the opposite where there’s a massive dance floor, but there’s not enough guests to cater for it and you stand there and you feel like a wally because you want to have the area, that space, but you don’t want everyone to notice you. It feels weird to dance on an empty floor. 

James [00:14:43] I know also there’s an element of looking around and seeing everyone’s faces isn’t there? It’s part of being a crowd. That’s part of the vibe. 

Joey [00:14:50] Yeah 100%. The lighting is really important, the dance floor, it’s got to be…You don’t want anyone to see you being an idiot on the dance floor (well I don’t anyway). The band should be lit up and the dance floor should be a bit darker. And you want to make sure that your band can provide that kind of thing. But at the end of the day, regardless of where the venue is and what kind of stage you have there will be bands that can work with pretty much any set up. But make sure it works for what you really want. Because it’s such a big expense.

You don’t really want to settle for less or have a smaller line-up than you really wanted or not the right style that you actually wanted in your head, because this is the big party at the end of the night. 

James [00:15:34] And so if anybody wants to connect with Warble what are the best platforms to reach you on?

Joey [00:15:40] OK. Well obviously our Website is a really good place to go (www.warbleentertainment.com) But we’re all over socials as well. So obviously we’re talking about Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Pokemon Go, I don’t know! Every social media. We’re not actually on Pokemon Go, although we should be on Pokemon Go, that’d be fun! Connect with us. We love talking with people on social. It’s really fun. Obviously, I was going to say “the old fashioned way” but you can always give us a call as well!!! 

James [00:16:16] I thought you were going to say fax you! 

Joey [00:16:17] You can fax us, you can send a letter by Raven. 

James [00:16:23] So many choices. 

Joey [00:16:25] And someone will respond, a conch shell! whatever you want, we’re going to hear it. So yeah. Loads of ways but probably online is the best way to do it. You’ll get the quickest response. 

James [00:16:35] Well Joey. That’s been incredible. Thank you so much for sharing so much again with us. Really, really appreciate it. 

Joey [00:16:43] No worries. Thanks for having me back. Hopefully I’ll come back again soon to drop some more wisdom off. 

James [00:16:47] Absolutely, We’ll definitely get into those double digits. 

Joey [00:16:50] I must be a family friend of the show by now. 

James [00:16:53] Yeah. One of the marathon runners. Cool Joey thanks so much. I really appreciate it. And yeah like you said I really hope we get a chance to speak again soon. 

Joey [00:17:04] Cool take care, speak soon. 

James [00:17:06] And you too, take care, Bye for now.

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  • Reply
    Joey Burdon
    July 4, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Always awesome catching up with you James, thanks for this!

    Take care,

    • Reply
      James Pearson
      July 5, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Great to see you Joey, let’s do it again soon! Thanks again! 🙂

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