THE WEDDING BAND FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE WEDDING BANDS
We’re not just about the aesthetics of weddings: we’re whole-heartedly and whole-headedly all about excellent wedding atmosphere too. One of the key ways to create an unbeatable wedding atmosphere is to hire a brilliant wedding band – no, don’t groan at the idea of a wedding band, because we’ve got your back. Well, more accurately, Splendid Gentlemen do, with their rockier take on the classic wedding repertoire. They bring their own unique sound to the anthems you undoubtedly love to hear across the generations, but they also bring some unexpected gems that will get the dancefloor going, such as Foo Fighters, Blink 182, Metallica and AC/DC. We chatted to singer and guitarist, Dee, to find out a bit more about them…
WHO ARE YOU + WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
We are Splendid Gentlemen, based in the dark depth of ol’ Paisley town.
DESCRIBE YOUR WORKPLACE
Our workplace is venues across all of Scotland and sometimes across the border in the north of England.
Unless you mean my workplace at home, which is a chaotic Victorian desk, covered in empty teacups, a laptop and plectrums.
WHERE/HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
We didn’t set out to be a wedding band. We started out with no higher ambition than to play the Scotia Bar in Glasgow and similar pubs. After being a popular pub band for a while, folk started asking us to play their weddings. It blossomed from there, but we like to think we’ve kept the pub band ethos and managed to avoid all the awful attributes normally associated with “Wedding Bands”.
FAVOURITE WORK TO DATE?
We’ve been going for 9 years, so it’s hard to pick a favourite.
One that stands out was a wedding where we were blasting Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and Queen to a row of wedding guests playing along on inflatable guitars. They were loving the rockier stuff and that’s where I feel we shine brightest.
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Remembering the countless people who said, “You cant make money playing guitar. That’s just not realistic.” as I sit in the pub on a Monday night with friends who also make a living making and playing music.
But it’s nice to be part of something big. There’s a huge responsibility making sure the end of what can be the biggest day of someone’s life goes well and it’s nice to create a bond with people. You talk to them, sometimes over 2 years in the planning through email and on the phone, so by the time you get to the wedding, you’re like old friends. It’s nice to see it when it all comes together at the end.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY.
There is no such thing as a typical day in a wedding band. We can be anywhere from 15 minutes from my house, up to 4 hours from home. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes and we make up the set as we go on the night, so you can never tell what it’s going to be like. We like to take requests on the night too and we’ll give pretty much anything a go if we think we can at least have a stab at it, so it keeps it interesting.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO?
I’m a regular attendee of cafes and pubs. Not really a club kind of fella.
FAVOURITE WEDDING VENUE?
TRENDS YOU HOPE TO SEE THIS SEASON?
Ed Sheeran has announced he is retiring from music. I think pretty much everyone in the Wedding Band business hopes he stays happily retired for as long as possible. 😛
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Either, “You have to actively choose a life, or a life will be given to you anyway.” or, “Always make sure you go for a pee before you start a gig.” Both have been pretty invaluable at times.