Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much do you charge for an engagement?
A: The cost depends on a) the distance we have to travel to the venue, b) the number of musicians playing in the band, c) the length of time between the agreed arrival and finishing times for us, d) other miscellaneous factors (which can be dealt with if and when they arise). A typical fee in London & the Home Counties is currently £1125 for the full band but might be half that (or twice that!) according to the particular circumstances. The more detail that you can give of your requirements, the more precisely we can quote a figure. Click on this link to complete our online enquiry form for a quote!
Q: What is included in your quote?
A: Included in our quote (unless you are specifically told otherwise) are our travelling expenses, provision of music on CDs or mp3 player between our sets and provision of all the PA and other equipment we need for our performance. We aren’t VAT registered so there’s none to pay.
Q: Can you provide lights too?
A: Yes, if the venue’s own lighting is unsuitable, we use one or two basic white floodlights to light the stage area without additional charge. By prior arrangement, we can bring 8 spotlights with coloured gels on stands operated by a sequencer or sound-to light trigger mechanism. This latter option adds a small amount to the total bill and increases our setting-up and taking-down times by 15 – 20 minutes.
Q: How long does it take you to set up?
A: In most cases, about an hour. The larger the stage (or reserved floorspace) the easier it is for us, and therefore quicker.
Q: How long do you play for?
A: At a typical private booking it’s usually 3 sets of about 45 minutes each OR 2 sets of about an hour. At public gigs 2 sets of 45 minutes are normally all that’s required. In all circumstances, the playing times are fully negotiable and we’ll do all we can to fit in with your plans.
Q: How much space do you need?
A: 3 x 6 metres (10 x 20ft) is about the minimum for all 7 of us but we can sometimes squeeze into less. If the band is working as a smaller number then we can manage with less space.
Q: What do I have to provide?
A: The main things are:
- The agreed stage area (or equivalent floorspace) with a safe reliable mains electricity supply nearby.
- For most private functions, we also expect to be provided with a hot meal before our first set, and a couple of drinks each during the evening.
- If you or the venue are providing lights there must be sufficient light over the playing area to allow music to be read.
- A changing room as close as possible to the stage.
Q: What songs will you play? Can you play “It Had To Be You” (for example), for the first dance at our wedding reception?
A: We have a repertoire list of over 300 songs and tunes, centred on danceable jazz and R&B from the 1940s, 50s & 60s but including a selection of earlier and later jazz standards, rock’n’roll, soul/motown and a few old pop classics. You are welcome to choose your favourites from the list and we’ll include as many as we can. If you want a first dance that isn’t part of our existing repertoire, we can frequently learn the song if you give us a couple of month’s notice and a copy of it to listen to. If it’s something so far away from our usual style that we don’t feel able to tackle it we can play it from a CD or iPod which you supply, before starting to play live. Check out our current repertoire here.
Q: What will you wear?
A: Normally either vintage style suits or all in dinner jackets and bow ties. Your choice (in advance). Other options such as Hawaiian shirts may be possible too. Ask us!
Q: I can’t meet one of your requirements listed above. Does that mean that you won’t be able to play for me?
A: Not necessarily. We try to be as flexible as we can on ALL ASPECTS of a booking. We can arrive early to be set up before any of your guests arrive; we can extend our sets to an hour each or even a little longer; we can provide live background music as a “drinks” or “dinner jazz” set with a solo pianist, duo, trio or quartet; we can play as a 5 or 6-piece – or indeed as an 8, 9 or 10-piece; we can provide a female vocalist in addition to the rest of the band; we can cope without a changing room (but be aware that there will be a number of empty instrument cases that have to go somewhere!). Bear in mind, however, that whenever extra personnel, extra time, work or inconvenience arise you should expect an increase in the fee. (Equally, a smaller band will be cheaper!)
If you have a question that is not answered above or would like more detail on any particular point click here to e-mail Kit Packham with your specific queries.
To make a booking enquiry please fill in our online form by clicking here.