As one of London’s busiest wedding bands, we’ve perform hundreds of different first dances at weddings celebrations. Guests and clients sometimes ask us about performing first dances. So in this post we’re going to talk a little about what it is that we actually do when asked to perform a first dance at a weddings.
Choosing a first dance
As a wedding band, we always offer to learn and perform a first dance for our clients. But not everyone chooses to have a first dance at their wedding reception. Some clients prefer instead to launch straight into the live music to get all their guests onto the dance floor. When clients do choose to have a first dance, some prefer to have an original recording of their chosen song. In this case we source a high quality recording and have it ready to play on the night.
More often than not though, clients ask us to perform their first dance live. When we are asked to perform a first dance live, the first we need to know is what the song is! Clients are free to choose any song they like; it doesn’t have to be a song from the Azure repertoire.
Usually clients decide upon their first dance many months ahead of their wedding day, but as long as we have at least a few weeks notice then Azure can perform almost any song live.
Do all wedding bands perform first dances?
Most wedding bands will learn and perform a first dance for their client. But they don’t all do it to the same standard! We take a great deal of pride in every performance we do, including our first dance renditions.
Can Azure perform any first dance?
Virtually any song can be performed as a first dance. It doesn’t usually matter if the original recording was of a live band or just a piano and a singer. The only first dance that might not e suitable for a live performance would be something that is highly reliant on studio production. What we mean by this is: a song that was recorded with multiple layers of electronic sounds and effects. This type of song accounts for probably 1% of first dance requests. Even songs such as this could still work out fine as a live performance, as long as the client is happy to have a ‘BBC live lounge’ style rendition, rather than an exact replica of the original recording.
How to does Azure prepare a first dance?
As you’d expect from a professional wedding band, the Azure band members are all professional musicians that work to a very high standard. When we are asked to perform a first dance, each band member invests several hours to carefully transcribe, learn and memorise their parts.
As you can imagine, all of this takes a substantial amount of time, but that’s the Azure work ethic! When it comes to your first dance we want to give you a perfect performance.
How close to the original will the first dance be?
In terms of the song structure (introduction, verses, chorus, instrumental breaks, etc), Azure will learn and perform the song precisely as the original. As the song will be arranged for the Azure band line-up, it’s likely the specific instruments will be different to the original record. It’s just not practical to have the London Symphony Orchestra pop in to provide the orchestral backing!
The one thing that sometimes needs changing is the ending to a first dance. Many recordings have fade-outs which are unsuitable for live performance. In this situation the Azure band members will discuss and agree an appropriate ending to round off your song perfectly on the night.
The overall result is, as our testimonials show, absolutely always first class.
What does the client need to do?
Apart from telling us what song they would like us to perform, clients don’t need to do anything. As an experienced London wedding band, Azure has prepared and performed many first dances over the years. So once you’ve made your decision, just let us know. Then you can relax safe in the knowledge that you’ll have a first class performance of your special song on your very special day 🙂
To see some of Azure’s most popular first dances visit the Azure repertoire page.
About the Author:Stuart Bahn is a professional guitarist in London, England. He is the band leader of Azure, one of London's top professional function and wedding bands.