Here’s this year’s Christmas gift guide for music lovers. It features products from some of our favourite small businesses including The Vocal Coach, Benny Greb, They Made This and Stylecreep. From homewares, books, prints, clothing and vinyl, there’s something for everyone! Grab a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine and get shopping! Enjoy 🙂
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by David Grohl / £18.60 / Bookshop.org
Effective Practicing for Musicians by Benny Greb / €24.99 / Benny Greb Shop
Not sure whether to go for a wedding DJ or a live wedding band? Read on as we consider the pros and cons of each.
If you want to leave a lasting impression with your guests, then a show-stopping live band is a sure way to do so. There’s nothing quite like the energy you get from a band, the interaction between the musicians and your guests makes for a really inclusive and immersive experience.
An experienced band also knows how best to order their sets – they’ll know when to perform those dance-floor fillers, and when it’s a good time to slow things down with a ballad or mid-tempo tune. They’re experts at judging the crowd’s mood (and how tired their feet are!)
Whilst a DJ should have a good idea of what you want them to play before the wedding, they’ll also be able to read the room on the night and get realtime feedback on whether what they’re playing is a hit with your guests. Unlike a live band, a DJ is able to make changes to the playlist at a moment’s notice. The crowd might go wild for a particular genre or artist, and so the DJ might stick with that for a while, to ensure the dance-floor is packed out. Any decent DJ knows an empty dance-floor is not going to make for a memorable evening, it’s their job to get the music just right on the night.
Repertoire& Performance Duration
A great band will usually specialise in a selection of genres (e.g Soul, Motown and Pop), and so could be somewhat restricted on what they can perform. For instance, you’re unlikely to find a band that can play a mix of Latin, Rock & Roll and RnB and Hip Hop. Whilst DJ’s also specialise, it’s usually easier for them to move between genres, so long as they have the music (a good DJ should have an expansive and varied catalogue).
Bands will typically perform 2 x 45min/60min sets, whereas a DJ can play for up to 5hrs, so there’s quite a difference in duration for each option. It’s worth knowing though, that most bands will play music between their sets so that the mood doesn’t go flat.
Fees for a live wedding band vary, depending on several factors including the number of musicians, where your wedding is, how in-demand the band are, and whether there are any additional requirements (e.g. sound or lighting, overnight accommodation etc..) But to give you some idea, our fees typically start from £1500. The fee for a DJ will also vary, but if budget is limited, DJ’s usually cost between £500 – £1500, so it may be a more cost-effective option for you. We can also provide lighting and DJ booths if budget allows – for example set ups, just click HERE.
A band will need slightly longer to set-up than a DJ, since they’ll probably be providing a fair bit of sound equipment too (and possibly lighting). Typically they’ll need between 1-2hrs. They’ll also require more performance space than a DJ – exactly how much will depend on the size of the band, but it is something to bear in mind if space is limited at your wedding venue. A DJ will normally take about an hour to set up.
Top 5 Tips:
Bear in mind the age of your guests, and consider what music they’ll all enjoy too. If you’re too niche, then you may end up with an empty dance-floor – a total mood killer.
Make sure you let the band know in advance what you want for your first dance so that they have plenty of time to learn it. Having a band perform your first dance can make your song even more personal to you, as the band will put their own unique spin on it.
If your wedding venue has a sound limiter, it will be harder to turn a live band down, and you may not be able to have live drums. If noise really is a limitation then you may need to think smaller – e.g. a live trio (with a drummer on percussion instead of a full kit), a DJ, or even a silent disco if you have really noise sensitive neighbours!
It’s a good idea to provide your DJ with a list of some of your favourite tracks/artists, and also a list of anything you definitely don’t want so that they know what to steer well clear of.
As tempting as it might be to be really prescriptive and outline exactly what you want your DJ to play, it’s best to leave some room for the DJ to improvise, so that they can react to the crowd on the night.
So whilst the jury is still out on which one’s the better option, hopefully we’ve given you a clearer idea of what’s going to work best for your wedding. Of course, if you have the budget, you could have a wedding DJ and a live band! We certainly wouldn’t discourage that!
To hear some of our Wedding DJs click HERE. And click HERE for some of our lighting and booth options.
1, 2 & 10. Christmas doesn’t officially start in our household until the Christmas music goes on. Here are three fantastic albums/EP’s that are guaranteed to have you feeling festive. One of the UK’s most acclaimed soul/jazz vocalists, Natalie Williams (Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Jacob Collier, Jessie J, Emeli Sande), released ‘A Little Bit of Christmas’ a couple of years ago, and it’s now a firm favourite of ours. For vinyl enthusiasts there’s ‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’ from Sleeve Notes Records, and Jamiroquai band member and multi-instrumentalist, Nate Williams (no relation to Natalie), releases his debut Christmas EP on December 4th which will no doubt be a festive delight.
3. World-renowned photographer, Michael Putland, captured everyone from David Bowie to ABBA over his 50 year career. Sadly Michael passed away last year, not long after publishing ‘The Music I Saw’ – a book featuring some of his most iconic images. Some of his wonderful prints can also be purchased via his website.
4. Did you know you can gift apps? Just click the ‘Gift’ option when you go to buy the app on the App Store and the app will be delivered to the recipient of your choice. Annabel Williams, AKA ‘The Vocal Coach’(Britains Got Talent, The X Factor, Pussycat Dolls, Katy Perry) has produced this fantastic vocal app – perfect for aspiring, or professional vocalists.
5. We can’t wait to get out and see live music again, and this is one show in particular we’d highly recommend you put to the top of your gig list. Native Dancer released their debut album last month, and it’s one of the most beautiful albums we’ve heard this year. With only a few tickets left though – you’ll have to grab your tickets quick!
6. We’ve recently launched online tuition as gifts. Book a lesson with one of the UK’s best musicians including Nate Williams (see above) who teaches songwriting, or get a singing lesson with X Factor coach, Ulrika Bjerelind. Or if you can’t decide, we also offer gift vouchers from £10 – £50.
7. Daunt Books sell this fantastic collection of music books which includes, Rough Ideas by Stephen Hough, Tracey Thorn’s Another Planet, and On Michael Jackson by Margo Jefferson.
8. Lady Bakewell Park make the most delicious biscuits on earth. Fact. Plus, their biscuits have the best messaging, from song lyrics like “you’re my wonderwall” to sweary biscuits like ‘Fuck Off 2020’ (my personal fav).
9. Disko Kids make music-inspired clothing, jewellery and prints for kids and adults, and we have been huge fans ever since their roller skates sweater became an instagram hit. I’ve kitted out the kids in their “We Are Family” T-shirts, and I’ve got my eye on this ‘Rock and Soul’ sweater which comes in über cool Khaki. Helen, who runs Disko Kids, is super lovely, and they also support charities including ‘Winston’s Wish’ and the ‘Alzheimers Society’ – another excellent reason to buy from them!
11. Freddie Mercury on your Christmas Tree. An essential purchase, no? If you’re an interiors enthusiast like me, then make sure you check out WA Green – their products are fab.
12. These gorgeous wooden musical instruments make perfect gifts for the mini-music makers in your life.
13. Disco ball earrings + Disko Kids sweater – surely a winning combination? And these are currently reduced from £35 to £30 so go grab a pair pronto!
14. We’ve been supporting Nordoff Robbins for two years now, and absolutely love what they do. They are the UK’s leading music therapy charity, reaching just under 12,000 vulnerable people in 2019. This year has certainly not been easy for charities, so supporting them has never been more urgent. Donations can start from as little as £5, and every penny really does help.
I’ve written a piece about my love of music and it’s therapeutic effects, over on Clementine’s website.
Clementine is a fantastic wellness app that features a series of short hypnotherapy sessions designed to promote confidence, calm, and good quality sleep. Their nap session was my go-to after having twins! Head over to their website to find out more.
I also list my top 10 tracks (no easy feat), and the reasons behind my selection:
1. Home Again – Carole King 2. By The Time It Gets Dark – Mary Black 3. Sisters of Mercy – Leonard Cohen 4. Come a Little Closer/Wild Is The Wind – Shirley Horn 5. A Long Walk – @missjillscott 6. Knocks Me Off My Feet – Stevie Wonder 7. One Day Like This – @elbowofficial 8. Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell 9. Harvest Moon – @emilia_martensson 10. With Your Eyes Closed – @danwildemusic
To read the full post, and to listen to my playlist, click HERE.
“One good thing about music; when it hits you, you feel no pain” Bob Marley
We support music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins. You can find out more HERE.
Clients Music for Events Music for Venues Music for Weddings News Uncategorized
The past couple of months have been busy as ever with weddings, events and our London residencies. Take a look at what we’ve been up to.
SG artist, Adam, performed at an event at Baur au Lac Hotel, in Zurich. Adam is a soul/blues singer-songwriter, inspired by legends like Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. He performs solo (guitar/piano), and also with his band ‘JJ & The Soulfish’ Adam has performed at many prestigious venues, and most recently opened for Curtis Stigers.
We were delighted to work with Client Earth at a recent event they hosted at The Ned, on their gorgeous rooftop terrace. ClientEarth is a charity that uses the law to protect the planet. DJ Callum performed.
All SG artists are available to hire for weddings and corporate and private events. Click HERE to enquire.
Over the summer we worked with London’s oldest botanic garden, Chelsea Physic Garden. They hosted live jazz weekly, featuring SG artists including, Heidi (pictured), Leon and Michael.
SG artists are available for long or short term residencies. We have held residencies at venues including, Corinthia Hotel London, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Searcys, Sketch, Soho House Group, and Marriott Park Lane. If you would like to enquire about live music at your London venue, click HERE.
We believe that music can be life changing, and that it should be made accessible to everyone, especially people with life-limiting illnesses, physical disabilities or emotional challenges. So, we are absolutely thrilled to now be supporting Nordoff Robbins – the UK’s leading music therapy charity, who provide vital support to vulnerable and isolated people. They offer support through their open access centres, and alongside partner organisations.
For every private event now booked with Sound Generation, we will donate £5 to Nordoff Robbins.
If you would like to find out more about the wonderful work Nordoff Robbins do, click HERE.
We have been working with Soho House group for a few months now, with SG artists performing regularly at The Ned and White City House. We’re thrilled to now be working with Soho Farmhouse, on their new weekly live music nights, which will feature performances from different acts every Thursday from 7pm. Set on 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, Soho Farmhouse makes for a country retreat like no other, featuring cosy cabin accommodation, a whole host of outdoor pursuits, and plenty to ensure guests get some serious downtime too.
Soul singer, Daniel Walker, launches the nights this Thursday 6th December, followed by Mike Davies on December 13th and Louise Golbey on December 20th.