What is a Rock and Pop function band and what do they do?
Rock and pop function bands can be hired provide live music entertainment for weddings, corporate events and private parties. They perform a high energy show that’s ideal for dancing. They generally cover a diverse range of popular music spanning the 1950’s through to contemporary chart acts, focusing on hits which nearly everyone in your audience will know and want to dance to. You could expect music from bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis and Van Morrison going through the decades to current bands like Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, The Killers, Tailor Swift, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Oasis, Beyoncé and Katy Perry.
Common formats of function bands.
1. Guitar orientated, 3-5 members, with an indie/pop/rock sound: usually with male or mixed vocals, covering artists like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles through to Killers and Arctic Monkeys.
2. Pop/Funk/Soul orientated, 5-11 members: often with female lead vocals and more prominent use of keyboards or a brass section, playing classic pop and Motown through to contemporary pop/r’nb artists like Tailor Swift, Pharrell, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé etc.
The smaller format guitar based rock and pop bands are what we book the most of as they’re easier to fit into most function venues, they play classic music that everyone knows, and they’re more affordable as they have fewer members.
Larger bands are still a popular choice for bigger events where the stage needs to be filled, maximum impact is required, and where perhaps a more formal looking band is required.
The choice as to which format you choose will largely be based on your musical preferences.
What to look for in a quality function band
All of the Rock and Pop function bands on the Alive Network web site have been carefully pre-vetted so they represent the very best of what’s available in the UK. We have selected our artist roster from literally thousands of applications so in order to ensure quality all you need to do is choose a band from our web site. It’s risk free and you have peace of mind that we’ve already done the hard work for you.
If you do choose to look around elsewhere, here’s what you should look for:
1. A fixed regular band line up
Something which Crazy Horse tries it’s best to be strict about is ensuring that the bands we work with maintain a regular fixed line up so that our customers can expect to get the exact same band turn up to perform at their event that they booked from our web site.
2. A great demo clip
The music should be in time, in tune, and be well produced (it should sound like a high quality recording). You obviously also want to hear the band playing the kind of music you want at your event! Compare recordings against other bands to get a good idea of how well they stack up.
3. Great photos
If a band can’t be bothered to have decent photos produced, what else will they be skimping on? Being able to see that a band have made the effort to present themselves professionally shows you they are serious and care about what they do. Also look out for how well the band have styled themselves. Although it’s not always a deal breaker, Dad jeans and old polo shirts don’t really say ‘hot and happening band’ – so if you’re looking for a really great band who are pro-active in presenting themselves professionally, and who are up-to-date – check out how ‘on-trend’ they are.
4. Customer reviews and testimonials
Make sure you can read genuine recent reviews from previous customers. You’ll find loads of previous customer reviews readily available here on the Crazy Horse web site.
The band should use professional quality PA, instruments, amplifiers and microphones. The better the equipment, the better they’ll sound at your event. This is an important factor in why some bands cost $100 – $200 more than others – and it’s something that you would REALLY notice at your event. A rock/pop band with a basic ‘vocal PA system’ will not sound as full, well balanced or pleasant to listen to as a band who have a ‘full range’ PA system where all the instruments are mic’d up and balanced together through a decent set of full range PA speakers. Having a bigger PA system isn’t about volume, it’s about being able to properly balance all the instruments in the band – so don’t assume you don’t a bigger PA system just because you don’t want the band to be loud. It doesn’t work like that. In most cases the band can sound louder when they’re running through a smaller vocal PA system as the sound of the backline instruments and drums are less controlled, and need to be turned up louder to spread the sound around the room. You don’t have the same issue when the sound is carefully mixed and projected out of full range PA speakers at the front of the dance floor, where a single engineer can control the whole sound and mix it to sound beautiful.
6. Experience and background
Check that the band consists of high calibre musicians with a strong track record of playing at private events. Review the experience of individual players within the band as well as the experience of the band as a whole. There’s nothing wrong with booking a great ‘new’ band – but you would expect to pay a little less for a band with no track record. Experienced bands who are ‘in demand’ charge a little more and bring a wealth of experience and ideas to the table.
7. The backing of a reliable agency
No agent, no backup if anything goes wrong. If you book a band ‘directly’ and they let you down either intentionally or unintentionally, you’ll be completely on your own trying to find a last minute replacement. This would not be fun on the day of your wedding / event! Crazy Horse offers 24 hour-a-day emergency cover, 365 days of the year – with 100’s of artists to fall back on. Look for an agency that responds quickly, efficiently, and takes the time to listen to your individual requirements. They will be your point of contact so you need to be happy that they’re providing a high quality service too. If you’re looking at companies online, make sure that they clearly advertise their contact details and address and that they actually are a real business (as opposed to website run out of a bedroom).
You get what you pay for, so don’t cut corners unless you don’t mind risking the success of your event. We represent hundreds of artists, all of whom define their own fees, so our prices are a good indicator of what’s usual to pay. The average cost of an experienced 4-5 piece function band in 2017 was roughly $2200 – $2700 including all expenses.