09. Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2018 folks! We hope you had an awesome Christmas and New Year. We both enjoyed some much needed time off with friends and family in between a couple of cracking festive gigs – we had a blast!

 

We thought this would be the perfect time to take a couple of minutes to reflect on last year since it was our best yet!

 

2017 was certainly our most successful year to date. It saw us land incredible gigs at some of our most favourite local venues, in addition to stumbling across stunning new venues further afield in places such as Nottingham, Manchester and Warrington. We have also taken lots of exciting bookings for 2018 & 2019. This last year has also seen us improve our ever-growing repertoire & compact professional stage set up.

 

We have lots to look forward to in this new year. We have our eyes on new equipment to enhance the fullness of our sound (we won’t bore you with techno-babble just yet!), new promo videos for the website & social media pages, as well as awesome new tunes throughout the year. We’re also getting ever closer to finalising our exciting tribute sets!

 

After what was an unbelievable rare public gig at The Rose & Crown on Dec 29th, we will definitely be looking to do a couple more local gigs in 2018. Having our family, friends and previous & future clients there created the most buzzing atmosphere we have ever experienced. Please see www.facebook.com/LuxBayDuo for live feeds and video clips! It was absolutely awesome to see so much support at our only local pub gig of 2017 and we left the year on the highest of highs 😁.

 

Thank you for being part of the journey. We appreciate every booking, every testimonial/recommendation, every full dance floor, every comment/like/share on our social media pages, every kind word, every clap of the hands and every ‘nod of approval’ from the blokes at the bar who are too cool to dance but still secretly love to belt out a little bit of Whitney / Rita / Oasis!

 

2018 has a lot to live up to 😁!

 

Wishing you all health & happiness in this new year,

 

Becci & Mick 🎙🎸 x

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08. Covers vs originals

An age-old debate amongst musicians, the decision of whether to perform covers or original songs was an easy choice for us! Mick has a desire to write his own songs and has bits of ideas for lyrics and chord progressions scribbled down on various post-it notes, in notepads and in many files on his laptop. However, those ideas haven’t yet made it into fully formed songs. The reason for this? Quite simply, the type of entertainment we provide needs to be instantly recognisable. If we were to set up at a wedding or private function and play our own songs, even if only a couple within a set otherwise consisting of covers, we would be severely short-changing our clients.

 

We sell ourselves as playing a wide range of music (genres and decades) which everyone will know. We want to see people smile when we play the opening bars of a song they love. We want people to fill the dancefloor when we play our party set. We want to play songs within our wedding breakfast set which bring back precious and heartfelt memories for people. We want our clients to recommend us to others. Our chances of achieving all of the above are greatly enhanced by playing cover versions.

 

Please don’t take this post as a Lux Bay attack on self-penned compositions. There are many great amateur music acts out there playing fantastic original tunes and we wish them all the best of luck. There is certainly a market for originals – how else would new acts be signed to record labels and release the number one hits of tomorrow? It’s just that we believe that our clients expect and prefer cover versions of classic songs from across the years, hence that’s what we deliver.

 

Once again, thanks for reading. We really would welcome your thoughts on this topic – please do get in touch and let us know what you think.

 

Becci and Mick

🙂

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07. Wedding first dance songs

Following the lengthy previous post on our hidden time commitments, we’ll keep this one within the 500-word count! We were going to address wedding first dance songs within another post but we believe it warrants a post of its own, given how important a subject it is.

 

We’ll begin by saying we love playing first dance songs at weddings. As addressed in previous posts, it is a privilege and an honour to be so directly involved during one of the most important times of a wedding day. Despite the first dance often being a stand-alone song, separate from other performances, we are more than happy to offer it as an add-on to our regular packages.

 

Which brings us, as discussed within previous posts, to the issue of what to charge. We do charge a small amount to learn a first dance song if it is a song which doesn’t feature in our standard set, though we know that this price is extremely competitive when compared to other live music acts. If the song request features in our regular set, we will gladly perform it for free. That is the primary reason for charging a little extra – it takes time to learn new songs, particularly first dance songs which we want to be absolutely perfect. We will gladly learn new songs when required (we haven’t been outfoxed by any requests yet!) though we always discuss the requirements in depth with clients. If a carbon copy of the original is required, we can play to backing tracks. However, our most popular first dances to date have been acoustic covers, often putting our own subtle take on the arrangement. Clients who have opted for this have been fully aware that an acoustic cover of a recorded song will often sound slightly different to the original but we always find that clients appreciate the individuality and uniqueness of such a performance. We have received huge amounts of positive feedback saying how these performances have really added something special to such an important part of the day. This approach can also provide an opportunity to create truly unique memories by addressing songs which are a little left of centre of ‘usual’ wedding first dances. Songs such as Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ are quite rightly very popular wedding first dances though they are quite conventional choices. In addition to those, we have previously performed our own acoustic versions of songs such as One Direction’s ‘History’, Etta James’ ‘At Last’ and a considerably different version of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ with great success. Apologies for throwing in a cliché but a little thinking outside the box can often create the most magical memories!

 

Once again, thanks for reading and please do let us know what you think.

 

Becci and Mick

🙂

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06. Our hidden time commitments

A follow-up to our previous ‘pricing structures’ post, this will address the hidden time commitments which people may not realise are factors in being a live music act. We apologise for taking this post a little above our usual 500-word count limit but we believe it’s worthwhile in order to give you an insight into the broader world of Lux Bay! We would like to stress at this point – we sincerely hope this post doesn’t come across as us having a bit of a whinge. We absolutely love what we do and never complain about any aspect of being a live music act but we feel it’s important and insightful to tell you just what we do behind the scenes. It may also help to explain the factors live music acts take into account when determining pricing structures.

 

You’ll be aware of our performances if you’ve seen us live, but our gigs also include the travel, setting up and packing down at times, in addition to the time waiting to perform. This can be lengthier than normal where weddings are concerned, particularly when early set-ups are required due to room requirements etc. This is something we ask potential wedding clients to consider during initial enquiries if the event is taking place in a venue we’re unfamiliar with. In addition to the time on the road, there is a considerable amount of time spent preparing for gigs. Changing guitar strings, compiling DJ playlists (when they are required), and cleaning instruments, amps and equipment are occurrences in advance of all gigs.

 

It goes without saying but we couldn’t perform if we didn’t practice! We practice as a duo once a fortnight as a minimum, quite often on a weekly basis, and we also spend significant amounts of time learning songs on our own, to ensure we get the most from our practice time together. Then there are the intended brief (but usually lengthy!) discussions we have when determining set-lists and new songs to learn.

 

We are always striving to improve this website and simply maintaining it is time-consuming, especially when it comes to producing the content you see here (including videos, photo shoots, audio clips, and set-list graphics) and adding new content such as this blog. Whilst we’re on the subject of digital media, we also maintain our own social media channels, primarily Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please take a look and follow us if you haven’t already!

 

Finally, there’s possibly the most important aspect of all – responding to gig enquiries. Quite simply, if we didn’t do this, everything mentioned above would be pointless as we wouldn’t be gigging at all. We believe that the very least we can do if someone has been kind enough to enquire with us is to respond in kind. A measured and well-worded response e-mail, or an in-depth phone conversation, can take 30-60 minutes on occasion and we wouldn’t have it any other way. These are the vital times when we can understand exactly what potential clients are looking for, if we are the right act (the answer is invariably yes but we always like to check that what we do will deliver just what the client is looking for), and to answer any other initial queries and offer advice, if it is needed.

 

It is probably a good time to bring this lengthier-than-normal post to a close. We hope this has provided you with a sneak-peak into the world of Lux Bay! Thanks again for reading and please do let us know if there’s anything here which you’d like us to expand on in future blog posts.

 

Becci and Mick

🙂

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05. Pricing Structures

This is the first of three blog posts which will address the issue of pricing (either directly or indirectly). As discussed in a previous post, we like to think of ourselves as easy-going people, so we don’t mind admitting that we find this our biggest headache / hardest element to address. It is also a very important subject to address as pricing is quite often the elephant in the room when discussing what we do. We have had many conversations where people have taken a genuine interest in what Lux Bay is all about yet the same people have admitted at a later stage that they were interested to know what we charge but were reluctant to ask! We hope this post goes some way to addressing that and clarifying our approach.

 

We both have previous experience of playing in bands so determining pricing structures wasn’t alien to us. Upon forming Lux Bay, we designed specific packages which enabled us to put defined pricing structures in place. Whilst the amount of time spent playing is the primary factor when defining the pricing, it isn’t the only thing we consider. We’ll address this further in the next two blog posts but there are many other elements which contribute to this. When we first started out we debated long and hard about our pricing structure. We have a good idea what other comparable acts charge and we ultimately decided to offer competitive prices but not so low as to cast doubt in the minds of potential clients. Whilst we offer defined prices for our packages (often discounted at wedding fayres if you ever have an opportunity to see us!), we will certainly mix and match packages and prices to offer a truly bespoke service, should you require it. We also offer reduced prices when packages are combined (certainly when compared to the individual package prices).

 

Additionally, we would like to clarify our approach in a couple of areas which we feel strongly about. Firstly, our standard pricing packages apply everywhere we play. We know that there are some acts who vary their pricing structures based on where they are playing (i.e. increasing them for bookings in areas which are considered to be affluent) though this is something we never do. We take great pride in our integrity and this is an approach we absolutely would not be comfortable in adopting. Secondly, we never take two bookings in the same evening. For instance, if you were to book our early-evening set, we would never take another booking for later in the evening and rush through the earlier set. Once again, this goes against our core values and would not sit at all comfortably with us.

 

Thanks again for reading. Please look out for the next two blogs which will continue to address this (and similar) themes.

 

Becci and Mick

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04. The nature of wedding gigs and providing background music

Although we love to see a full and lively dancefloor during our party sets, we get equally as much pleasure from playing laid back, intimate, acoustic live-lounge style sets. When playing the music during a wedding ceremony or breakfast, we really do feel that we are contributing something very special to the most important day of our client’s lives. It makes us immensely proud that people place such a huge amount of trust in us. These are pivotal moments within any wedding day and we will never tire of performing at times such as these. Likewise, with wedding breakfasts: we are primarily there to provide backing music but we love performing these sets and again we really appreciate the fact that people are willing to allow us to contribute something positive and truly memorable at such special times.

 

The simplicity of our set-up at these times is also something we really enjoy. Whilst our party set is energetic and fun, we love the stripped-back approach of the acoustic sets. There is a purity and intimacy when performing with just vocals and acoustic guitar which cannot be replicated at any other time. This approach compliments the ‘day time’ proceedings perfectly; a view which is obviously shared by many of our previous clients as these sets are equally as popular as our party sets. We find it really fulfilling and reassuring when we receive comments from clients such as ‘Your amazing singing throughout the afternoon made us feel like we were part of an awesome movie! You were an absolute delight to deal with right from the start, you accommodated all our song choices and your excitement for our day made us look forward to it even more.’, and ‘Your two contrasting sets were stunning and were a real highlight for us – all the songs were fantastic but the ones you learned especially for us during your laid-back set were beautiful’ as it shows that clients enjoy listening to these sets as much as we enjoy performing them. The comment ‘You arrived as our band and you left as our friends’ is perhaps our favourite to date!

 

Finally, we love the fact that these sets allow us to perform completely different set-lists to our party set (apart from a few notable exceptions). Whilst we maintain our primary aim to play something for everyone from across the decades & genres, these sets allow us to play classic love songs, ballads and laid-back tunes in addition to a few ‘live lounge’ style covers which are a little left-of-centre but are always very well received. We spend a significant amount of time selecting our sets and we really value the opportunity to mix things up in this way.

 

Thanks for reading! As always, please drop us a line and let us know your thoughts on the blog posts to date, whether good or bad! We read all your comments, appreciate them all and try to take all points on board.

 

Best wishes,

 

Becci and Mick

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03. Professionalism versus laid-back

Professional and laid-back? At first glance, the two terms don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. Immediate thoughts might suggest professional means rigid, strict and uber-organised. First thoughts when considering the term ‘laid-back’ might suggest a lack of urgency, a lack of focus and non-committal. However, we fall into both categories and not only do we feel that it is possible to do so, we believe it to be vitally important.

 

We cannot stress enough how importantly we view each and every booking we take. We always discuss requirements with our clients, ensuring we understand exactly what is expected of us. This addresses set-lists, performance times, set-up times, special requests etc. We always send out a booking confirmation form, clearly stipulating what we will provide, our payment terms and our contact details. There are no hidden surprises and no ambiguities when we confirm bookings. We contact clients a month prior to every booking to confirm these requirements haven’t changed in any way. We always arrive at gigs in good time and pay the utmost respect to guests and venues whilst setting up and sound-checking. If we need to arrive early at venues to do this, we are happy to do so and ensure this is addressed and agreed at the time of booking (something which clients often do not consider at that stage, which is one of many examples where our years of experience is really beneficial). We are friendly, accommodating and very happy to chat with everyone we come across. We consider all of this to be the professional element of the service we offer and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Additionally, we are very laid-back. We certainly do not mean that in a negative way, rather that we are calm, measured and very rarely flustered. Our experience means we deal with minor issues (which do arise from time to time) without getting stressed and anxious. We realise that the timings at gigs, particularly at weddings, are not always adhered to but we expect this and certainly do not throw showbiz tantrums if the exact times on the original booking form need to change slightly! We are very happy to offer bespoke sets should the client require it, rather than sticking rigidly to the sets we advertise. We believe this is our duty in providing a first-class service to all our clients. The balance between professional and laid-back is certainly achievable!

 

And yet another 500-word count draws near. Thanks for reading and, as always, please do get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to ask us or anything you’d like us to address as a future blog post.

 

Becci and Mick

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02. How we select our set-lists

Selecting set lists / songs to perform is probably the most important (and difficult!) element of playing live music, especially when our main client base is weddings, private parties, corporate events and suchlike. This is considerably different to pub bands who are usually able to play the music they love, no matter how niche, and find a target audience for it, whereas the bare minimum our clients expect is a set containing songs which the vast majority of their guests will know.

 

Since day one, our aim has been to deliver sets containing a huge range of genres and artists which most people will know and love. We liken our party set to the type of set you would expect a wedding DJ to play during the peak party times of 10pm – 11.30pm, i.e. the stage of the night when limbs tend to loosen a little and party-goers hit the dancefloor! Our acoustic sets give us a little more scope to experiment a little but we still select every song with clients / the audience in mind. These sets allow us to put our own spin on classic tunes in a ‘live lounge’ style every now and again (as a quick glance at our set-list graphics will show) but we don’t do this excessively as we wouldn’t want to fill an entire set with covers of this nature. Again, the sole aim is to perform songs which the vast majority of people will know, even if sets of this nature are often backing music.

 

As discussed in Lux Bay’s first blog post, this is where our genuine love of music is of huge benefit. We both love everything from 50’s/60’s through to present day chart music, along with a healthy smattering of Indie, Disco, Rock, Soul/Motown, pop and all points in-between. We aim to deliver hugely diverse sets which truly have something for everyone. We also aim to learn any songs which are really special to our clients, especially where first dances at weddings are concerned. We haven’t been outfoxed by any requests yet and we have added some wonderful songs to our regular repertoire by doing this.

 

Time to draw another blog post to a close. Thanks very much for reading and, as always, please do get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to ask us or anything you’d like us to address as a future blog post.

 

Becci and Mick

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01. Why we do what we do

Thanks for reading the very first Lux Bay blog post! We have decided to start a blog as we believe it’s important to give customers and anyone with a general interest in us an opportunity to know a little more about us. We’ll post here on a fortnightly basis and aim to keep the posts within a 500 wordcount (so we don’t bore you all!). Additionally, we’re really experienced in providing live music and we are in the fortunate position of being able to offer advice to anyone who needs it, whether that’s a bride trying to decide what music will be right for her wedding, a party organiser looking to ensure the night is a success or a corporate client deciding how best to keep an expectant client base entertained. But more of that in future posts!

 

We won’t go into our backgrounds in depth as you can read about that in the ‘about us section of the website. The one key message we do want to share in this first post is the primary reason we do what we do, namely we both have a huge love of music. Without that, there is no point in offering our services to people. A genuine love of music ensures every gig is a pleasure rather than a chore and this shines through during a live performance. We love what we do and we love working with clients to ensure each booking is tailored to exact requirements. Those who know us both well know that we are very laid back and easy going whilst recognising that we balance that with absolute professionalism and reliability (again, more of that in a future post). We feel truly blessed to have shared so many special occasions with those kind enough to have booked us and we look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come. Whether it’s music during a ceremony, a laid-back acoustic set or an energetic party set, we enjoy every single minute of being Lux Bay.

 

As we’re getting dangerously close to our self-imposed word count, we’ll bring the first Lux Bay blog post to a close! We hope you’ve found this interesting and whilst we have lots of ideas for content, we’d really welcome your thoughts if there’s anything in particular you’d like to know about us or if you have any questions you’d like us to answer. If that’s the case, please send us a brief e-mail and we’ll aim to cover all requests within future blog posts. Thanks for reading and see you in a fortnight!

 

Becci and Mick

🙂

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