We don't always have time to write about every venue that we play at, but some are definitely worth shouting about.
A few weeks back we played a beautiful wedding for a really fun couple - Rob & Lucy - at Bassmead Manor Barns in St Neot's Cambridgeshire. And it was a breeze from start to finish thanks to the impeccible organisation, amazing food and drink, ever-friendly and helpful staff on hand and the lovely venue surroundings.
The venue is a modern barn conversion with two main areas - the dining room / main barn and the bar with comfy sofas and a cloakroom area. There's plenty of outside space too with water running alongside the venue. Obviously we couldn't make the most of this on a rainy Saturday night in February, but it would be lovely in the summer.
As soon as we arrived, venue staff were super helpful and offered us some food straight away - this is always music to a band's ears after three hours stuck in a van, with only service station snacks to keep us going. We were treated to delcious starters and main courses which must have been the wedding breakfast meal too - cooked to perfection. Add this to a few rounds of drink offered by the father-of-the-bride and we were well and truly ready to roll.
The venue is also a great space for a live band. We set up at one end of the main dining area under a slightly lowered ceiling. Combined with wooden floors, these surroundings meant that our sound travelled well and was clear and punchy but without feeling too dry.
We had a lot of fun performing and were particularly impressed by bride Lucy's unreleneting energy on the dance floor - it's so nice to see a bride rocking to the music so passionately to the music for most of our set list - it makes us as the band feel like we're doing a sterling job when the bride is this happy! Of course our garage mash-up tracks went down a storm, with everyone singing and dancing club-style to Moving Too Fast and Body Groove, before chanting to the choruses of Freed From Desire by Gala.
Thanks to Photo Booth Express for providing some brilliant props and for their easy-to-use digital photobooth (see photo). This always makes the evening fun and we've found the open-style photobooths (that aren't actually in a curtained booth) seem to work better as people can watch what's going on and more easily get involved.
Also another big thanks to Bassmead Barns for providng what was possibly the NICEST pizza we've ever had. So many evening buffets can be a bit dry and boring but serving freshly made, gourmet pizzas in a variery of meat and veggie options is such a simple and effective way of satisfying those late-night hunger pangs of the guests and the band alike! It was absolutely delcious and venue staff let us take some left overs that were going to be thrown away.
Thanks for having us and we hope to see you again soon Bassmead!