Melbourne’s Best Wedding Bands

Today at the Brighton Savoy, we’re exploring the question: What makes live wedding musicians stand out from the crowd in the wedding scene? Is it years of experience? Is it industry awards? Is it diversity? Talent?

After talking to some of Melbourne’s top Wedding Bands, we’ve discovered the answer is quite diverse. Let’s see what our musicians have to say:

Loving The Funk

Annie from Nightshift Band says a few factors add up to a wedding band being awesome, but she considers the most important one is that the musicians must love what they do. “Over the past 18 years of playing for brides and grooms, and after winning 12 industry awards, we’ve learnt the way to still enjoy what we do is to play music we love ourselves. And that sometimes means we can’t please everyone. But nor should a band try to. That’s why we specialise in genres that appeal to us: Soul, Funk and old school RnB. If musicians love the music they perform, they’re going to play it well. And loving what we do shows on stage. It means we deliver a genuine, solid performance. Clients aren’t stupid; they’re going to know if a band is phoning in the gig.”

Annie says, if you’re tired of the same old wedding music mush, Nightshift Band are a great alternative. “There’s something about soul and funk that reaches out and grabs people. It’s universal. We find people really respond to our funky party songs, whether it’s Bruno Mars or Stevie Wonder. The music hits the beat and gets you on the dance floor.”

Swing It Baby

Another musician we spoke to, Lucas from Orlando Combo, agrees with this philosophy. Lucas’ band specialises in playing sophisticated Swing & Lounge from ‘The Jazz Age’ and ‘Great American Songbook’ through to old school Rhythm & Blues, Boogaloo, retro Rock & Roll. Lucas says, “Our aim is to create an atmosphere of sophistication, fun, romance and joy for our clients on their most important day.” He stresses that Orlando Combo is not a ‘Top 40’ style cover band, but a stylish jazz group with a wide appeal to all ages. “We provide a seamless transition from sophisticated jazz to accessible dance floor swing.”

Lucas believes that with all the advancement in musical technology and popularity of DJ’s there is still no substitute for the unique atmosphere that can only be created by highly skilled musicians performing live.

Brighton Savoy co-ordinators will vouch for this: live energy is something you’ll never get from an iPod. More likely, you’ll experience an empty dance floor and lethargic guests.

 Interactive Is In

Debbi from Rumours band, is on board with the idea that live musicians are essential for quality music and a personalised atmosphere. “Live interaction is a huge point of difference from DJs or recorded music,” she says. “We talk and interact with the crowd to make them comfortable enough to lose their inhibitions.” Rumours band consider themselves more a ‘party band’ who happen to specialise in Weddings.  “Yes, we can perform all those wedding dance floor classics, but we also throw in a bad-ass mix of party tunes from all eras to get your guests (young and old) out of their chairs. Time and time again, we’re told it’s our energy and ‘vibe’ on stage that spills out onto the audience.”

Debbi says mp3 players are a party killer: “It may be tempting to save the dollars and use your mp3 player, but then you have to spend hours creating a play list and what happens if no one is dancing? Who’s going to change the music style to something the greater masses will respond to? Who’ll encourage them to get out of their chairs and dance? Who’ll constantly regulate the sound levels to ensure the music is playing loud enough to entice guests to dance, but not so loud you’re hurting your guests’ eardrums?”

Mixing It Up

But what if you just can’t find a band who covers the exact repertoire you want? Well, perhaps a live band / DJ partnership is what you need. Melissa from Black Suede band says, “Our musicians offer something unique in that brides and grooms can actually ‘create’ their own band. Start with a DJ and vocalist, then add your favourite instruments such as guitar, saxophone, keyboard and percussion.”

“Want an acoustic duo?” says Melissa. “Or a nine-piece band with brass? No problem. Consider it done.”  With a team of professional, experienced musicians at their disposal, Black Suede can provide you with your own DIY bespoke band, which your family and friends have most likely never seen but will love for the exclusivity of their collaboration. There’s nothing like a big, sexy line up of pro musos owning the stage. Energy and excitement are a given.

Classic and Classy

Bernadette from Operatic Strings says strings trios or quartets can have a much wider application that just ceremony music: “Particularly for smaller weddings of 75-100 people. We often play during canapés, whilst couples are having photos taken, then move into the reception. Operatic Strings play a wide range of styles from classical to current popular music and it’s so easy to transition as we don’t require amplification, simply three chairs!”

Bernadette says string ensembles are a nice alternative to a DJ or band as they are less intrusive, more ethereal and the sound vibrations that emanate from the instruments can reach out and physically touch people. “They elevate one’s mood in a way recorded music can’t. Couples love it when we play a custom arrangement of their chosen song for their first dance. It’s a unique audial and visual experience that recorded music just can’t provide. Yet, it’s still festive and celebratory.”

Memories Matter

So when deciding whether to use live music or recorded music for your wedding, think back to the last wedding or event you attended that had a great band. What do you recall and talk about the most? How colourful the flowers were? The pretty, melting ice-sculpture? The tasty entree? Or are your memories more about the lively atmosphere and how much fun you had on the dance floor?

If you chose the music, you’re not alone. Statistics show that 81% of guests say the entertainment is the most memorable part of a wedding. Yet, after all the pre-wedding planning, paying more attention to their dress, cake, venue and catering, 78% of brides, a week after their wedding reception, say they wish they had made the entertainment one of their highest priorities

Looking for a wedding venue to host your wedding with some great live music, contact the event team at the Brighton Savoy