10 autumnal gigs to report on!
It’s been a very busy autumn for the Moonies, and we’ve been slacking off on updating the blog… so there are no less than 10 gigs to give you the lowdown on! Here goes…
22-Sep-2018 – St Tewdrics House, Chepstow
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the last couple of months is the number of new venues we’ve played at – St. Tewdrics being one of them! This splendid new venue is located just over the bridge, just outside Chepstow.
The first dance was Kodaline’s “The One”, always a good choice, and from there on in we were delighted to see the dance floor stay packed all night. There was a chap with a little pizza van to feed everyone during the break, and the icing on the cake was one male guest doing a Full Monty for the bride with Hot Chocolate playing away in the background. Great night!
29-Sep-2018 – Barley Wood House, Wrington, Somerset
Another new venue for us, Barley Wood is another posh old manor house (see the pic at the top of this blog) tucked away in the Somerset countryside. We carefully set up just in front of a rather large wreath:
This was another cracking night, highlights being (a) “Stand By Me” for the first dance, one of our faves; (b) a first ever attempt at “Everlong” at the bride’s request, which seemed to go rather well; and (c) one male guest going missing as we packed up our van at the end, and then thankfully appearing just before we left – allaying fears that he’d fallen in the pond!
4-Oct-2018 – Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset
We were soon back to familiar territory with a wedding bash at Coombe Lodge, back down in Somerset (and not far from Barley Wood as it goes). And it was a familiar scenario for us on arrival, as we settled into the sofas and waited for the speeches to finish:
For the first dance we dusted down “Let There Be Love”, an old Moonie favourite, and the crowd stuck with us for the rest of the night, enjoying a dance and a good old sing song. It was hot dogs during the break (awesome), and in the second set we feel we broke new ground as a covers band by playing “Uptown Funk” and “Uptown Girl” seamlessly back to back – unprecedented stuff. Another brilliant evening!
12-Oct-2018 – Aldwick Court Farm, Blagdon, Somerset
Amazingly we found ourselves in the same part of Somerset again the following week, this time making our debut at Aldwick Court Farm. The weather was terrible, which was a shame given how nice the outside space looked at this smashing venue.
In addition to being on full wedding band duty in the evening with Stu, we were also booked as a duo during the meal. This went rather well, and the good news was that we were able to keep our PA in exactly the same spot for the evening, hurrah.
The evening itself was brilliant, from “God Only Knows” as the first dance right through to a special attempt at “Walk the Line” in the encore for the groom! There was also a piñata that was hacked away at during the break, its sweets providing us with a much needed sugar hit to propel us through a successful night’s work! Here is Chris with the happy bride:
13-Oct-2018 – Cotswold Water Park, Glouces
The following night we took a break from the weddings to perform at a corporate bash at the Cotswold Water Park Hotel. We were treated to a slap up meal on arrival, and it was then time to set up on the stage while the staff somehow served up food for about 400 hundred people…
As is usually the case with dinner dances, the meal and speeches went on waaaaay longer than planned, giving us the chance to take some pics – and inadvertently recreate a Salvador Dali classic:
We finally started at 11.15 (instead of the planned start time of 10pm!) and played a bit later than we’d intended, running the disco until about 12.40, before packing away and dealing with the inevitable “aren’t you going to play some more” comments! Um, it’s 1am, we’re off…
19-Oct-2018 – Assembly Rooms, Bath
The next weekend we picked up Stu and his drums and all headed into Bath city centre for a wedding party at the Assembly Rooms. Given how difficult parking is in Bath, one vehicle was definitely better than two.
We were soon set up on the stage in the “tea room”, and wrestling with its very echoey sound properties! For the first dance we played “One Day Like This”, and managed to keep most guests on the dance floor for the rest of the night. Highlights of this gig were the couple’s 14 year old son playing guitar on “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor” with us (excellent job!) and our possibly only ever attempt at playing “Together in Electric Dreams” live as a 3-piece at the couple’s special request.
20-Oct-2018 – Bristol Harbour Hotel, Central Bristol
The following night we were in the centre of Bristol, so it was all in the van again… the venue was the Bristol Harbour Hotel at the top of Corn Street, so another large baroque hall – although this time WITH CARPET which meant much less echo!
Set up took a while as Chris found himself catching up with lots of old school friends he’d not seen for ages, but we were soon kicking off with a specially learned cover of “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac for the first dance. Once again there was lots of dancing throughout the night, with “Ice Ice Baby” going down particularly well in the encore…
28-Oct-2018 – Kingscote Barn, Gloucestershire Cotswolds
A busy period of gigs would never be complete without an outing at Kingscote Barn. It was nice to be back at one of our favourite venues, especially seeing as our favourite caterers Strawberry Fields were also in attendance!
First off we played as a duo during the ceremony, playing the longest “Here Come the Sun” intro ever as we waited for the bride to enter the room, then a couple of songs during the register, before another specially learned song – “Bros” by Wolf Alice – as everyone exited.
It was then time to head to the Hunters Hall for a beer, returning to Kingscote in time to grab some food. And once the boisterous crowd had been moved out of the main barn we were able to convene with Stu and set up for the evening party.
For the first dance we played ANOTHER specially learned song (we’ve played a lot of them this autumn!), this one being “Hourglass” by Catfish and the Bottlemen. The rest of the night was marvellous considering it was a Sunday, with some full on partying taking place. So much so that the father of the bride just wanted us to keep playing – we’d still be there now if he’d had his way…
3-Nov-2018 – Royal West of England Academy
Time for another new venue, and a rather unusual one this – The Royal West of England Academy, which is an art gallery in Bristol (bottom of Whiteladies for those who know their Bristol).
Merely getting our equipment in the right part of the venue to start setting up took over 30 minutes, smaller items going up a few flights of stairs and the big stuff having to be carried in an in-demand service lift…
Not to worry, once we were set it was time to relax and enjoy some food on the terrace, with a nice view of the Vic Rooms opposite:
The gig itself went rather quick, with the first dance (“Save Tonight” by Eagle Eye Cherry – another specially learned one!) kicking off a 1.5 hour blast through as many songs as we could squeeze in before midnight! The disco ran things up to 12.30 and then it was another race – this time to be out of the building by 1am. Which we almost managed. Blimey.
10-Nov-2018 – Matara Centre, Gloucestershire Cotswolds
This hectic season concluded on Saturday with a return to an old haunt that we haven’t played for years – Matara Centre in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. With Stu unavailable for this one, we drafted in our trusty stand-in drummer Greg White – who did a marvellous job at fairly short notice.
The first dance was actually on the lap top this time, and was swiftly followed by a very well-received first set with loads of guests enjoying a dance. During the break it was time to stock up on carbs with some chip butties, providing us with the perfect foundation for a cracking second set complete with 3-song encore.
The bride and groom were absolutely delighted with how everything went, providing the perfect finish to a brilliant period of gigs for the Loungie men. Congrats to all those couples and well done to everyone who got into the party spirit to make our job easy!