April 12, 2012
It's Band Month, and Sternberg Clarke Team member Thomas is in a Band so why don't we ask him his thoughts on what makes a good function band for corporate events? Ok Let's...
As a teenage Northerner I fulfilled that obligatory rite of passage of working as a bartender, rather than doing it in some grim working men’s club, however, I learnt the ropes of Bar Work at The Grand National. On my first day as I handed over pints to gamblers and perma-tanned ladies I noticed a band setting up on The Pavilion’s stage. Great I thought, I like bands. I was to see Insanity Beach perform 12 times in total over the next four days, as they made their way through 1x45 minute sets 3 times a day.
I wouldn’t want to see The Beatles 12 times in four days. Irrespective of my irritation at having to see the same set 12 times, what was particularly noticeable was the consummate professionalism of the band. At no point did they look disinterested, tired or unwilling. With each set came a new audience as the punters filtered in and out of The Pavilion and the band constantly concentrated on ensuring that there were high levels of crowd participation and that spirits were kept consistently high.
This was not a band concerned with anything but the crowd and that's the way it should be for function bands. Original artists have more leeway for erratic behaviour or prima donna moments because the audience have already bought into the idea of the performer as an 'artist'. Function bands are not afforded the same opportunity and a client will always seek out a band to entertain and remain professional in equal measure as opposed to say Guns ‘N’ Roses who I went to see as a fourteen year old. Axl Rose was an hour and a half late and flown into the open air venue by helicopter. I left halfway through, but then I didn’t really like them in the first place. Needless to say, Axel wouldn't go on to find much work in the corporate market... Though it's unlikely that he's bothered by it.
A good function bands should know their roles and act the rock star in a professional and clinical sense rather than trying to adhere to every page of the 100 Ways To Trash A Hotel Handbook which is a book that doesn’t exist.
Keep an eye on the blog for more on Band Month and if you're interested in any of the bands we feature throughout April, get in touch.