Azure’s wedding band repertoire
There’s a lot to think about running a professional wedding band. We get asked many questions about how we work and what it’s like. One of the most common things we get about by guests and clients is our repertoire. So in today’s wedding band blog post I’ll try to answer some of the most common questions.
By far the most common question is: how we decide which songs to play on any given night? The answer is that it’s a combination of having a structure of reliable tried and tested dance floor fillers, as well as using our judgement on the night.
Tailoring our band performances at weddings
To be a top professional wedding band, it’s essential to tailor the performance to suit the guests on the night. This means keeping a close eye on how guests on the dance floor respond to particular styles of music. Azure doesn’t do one-size-fits-all performances, which is one of the reasons we’re as successful as we are.
Wedding band performances and age groups
Both reliable dance floor fillers and the tunes we decide to include on the night, have to be carefully chosen. Being a wedding band means that we usually perform for a wide range of ages. It’s important therefore that the songs we play are well known to most guests at each point of the evening.
At weddings, the average age on the dance floor is usually a little older during the first half of the evening than it is in the latter half. So this too affects the song choices we make.
Right after the first dance, when the parents, grandparents and great uncles and aunts of the bride and groom are on the dance floor, it would almost certainly be a mistake to perform The Kings of Leon. Whilst the younger generations may love it, many of the older guests would not know it or like it. It could also be a little too raucous a song at such an early point in the evening when people have just finished the wedding breakfast. At the right point later on in the evening however, this same tune would almost certainly get a fantastic response!
Wedding band repertoire and other factors
Sometimes what guides us is nothing to do with age. If 200 wedding guests are responding particularly well to disco and soul music then we may perform more songs in those styles. We’ll almost certainly still perform plenty modern indie or pop as well, but the response of your guests will slightly change the emphasis we place on the different styles of music we play.
Adding new songs to our wedding band repertoire
Another common question is: how does a wedding band decide to learn new songs? There are a few factors that we have to consider:
Will people dance to it?
This is the most important question to consider. A wedding band’s primary purpose is to fill the dance floor and keep it filled the whole night long. So, any song that we consider adding to our repertoire must be a great dance floor tune.
Will it work live?
What I mean by this is: will this song work well with the band’s instrumentation? Some songs rely on studio production, orchestras or lots of layers of electronic instrumentation. This doesn’t necessarily mean songs like this wouldn’t still sound great performed by a band, but these factors need to be taken into account when we’re assessing new songs. This can sometimes means some skilful musical arranging on our part but that’s all part of being a musician!
Will guests know it?
Thirdly, how well known is this song? Some songs are instant classics such as Uptown Funk. This tune will probably remain in our wedding band repertoire for quite some time. It’s well-loved and great to dance to. Other tunes may be great to dance to but are not quite well known enough so may not get the response we’re looking for on the dance floor.
When best to perform certain songs
Once we’ve learned a new song, we then have to judge where this song would best fit into the sets. As we touched on above, playing the right song at the right time is just as important as having the right songs and being a great wedding band. Some songs are great, reliable openers, others are great for finishing a set with, and so on.
These are just a few of the things that we have to consider with regard to our wedding band repertoire. The underlying question that guides us through all of these decisions is essentially quite simple: what will get the best possible response from the guests on the night?
As a professional wedding band, we want to make your night as big a success as possible. That’s what makes us happy!
Click to see Azure’s complete wedding band repertoire.
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.