May Madness begins!
It’s been super hectic and busy this May, and I can’t believe we’re this far into our season already. From Aberdeen to Kelso, we’ve been all over Scotland this month with weddings, corporates and parties to entertain, we’ve seen the full spectrum of gigs.
As part of a monthly blog, I’m picking out some venues we’ve never played before and writing a little bit about them. Maybe your venue will be here in the coming months, and you can get the inside scoop on what it’s like as a music venue. DISCLAIMER : I’m writing this purely from a musicians point of view, I’ve usually no idea what the day time service is like, and I’m focusing on the general vibe for a party!
1. The George Hotel, George Street, Edinburgh.
One of the grand old hotels of the Edinburgh Wedding scene, we haven’t played here in a while, and I’m usually filled with dread when I see the venue come up in the diary. This is largely due to the location slap in the middle of George street, right across from the Hard Rock Cafe and Dome, which is not an ideal situation when you’re trying to unload a full van on a Saturday night in the middle of the festival. However! we played here on a Friday, and since the last time we can now unload at the back of the hotel directly into a service lift that leads to the ballroom, and WOW what a room. It’s got to be one of the most amazing looking function suites in Scotland. The acoustics, with the super high ceiling are a little wooly in places and we had to really dial in the sound during the first set, I also feel sometimes you need a rather large party to get the best out of the space, but even so, you can forgive the sound for the visuals. The couple had a cheese wedding cake from Ian Mellis, basically rounds of artisan cheese rather than the usual fruit and sponge affair. As the band members in Northern Star are a bit foodie this was highly welcomed! delicious.
2. Hamilton Racecourse, Hamilton.
I’ve played here before, and like Ayr racecourse the grounds are typically immaculate. The weddings are held in a permanent marquee which is quite posh. The only downside was the heater which was right behind us, (one of those huge industrial things) and it must have been at least 30c on stage, also the surrounding houses have had the environmental health put in a sound meter, so we had to be on our best behaviour. Like previous shows here, we had a fairly epic night, with lots of crazy dancing, a good rocking’ crowd who seemed to have a thing for Aerosmith tunes (no complaints here!). I didn’t sample the buffet as I was so hot from set one that all I wanted was water!
3. Dalzeal Park, Motherwell.
I played here about 9 years ago and it was a completely different venue. Back then it was basically a social club room with a wee stage in the corner. I was pleasantly surprised to see a purpose built wedding venue, with a great ballroom, ample stage space and a lovely sound, albeit a little dry. Load in was a little awkward, but as we arrived a bit early we got set and checked well before the bride and groom were ready. The venue has one of those sparkly dance floors that makes me want to play funky tunes (I don’t know why!) but like one of our favourite venues Balbirnie House, I think they look awesome. I have to give special commendation for the buffet, mini burgers, hotdogs and chicken fillets with a spicy red cabbage, doesn’t sound that special, but the presentation and flavour was amazing. The staff were relaxed and professional, and that always makes our job easier. All round a great show and I’m looking forward to coming back… This might make my end of year top 10!
NEXT MONTH : Jolly June Jaunts…More from Wedding bands Scotland Northern Star