Q: How do I make a booking?
A: Send me an email with date, venue event type and approximate timings - I'll then get back to you with a quote. Should you wish to confirm, I'll issue a brief contract requesting 25% deposit.
Q: Is the quoted price inclusive of travel costs?
A: Yes, prices are calculated based on travel from Cambridgeshire and are inclusive of all travel, PLI* and equipment costs. For particularly long journeys and international bookings the quote may be inclusive of overnight accommodation. My colleague Ryan can also cover bookings further North from his base in Manchester UK.
*certificate available on request
Q: Can I request songs not on your existing repertoire?
A: Yes, but be aware that this will incur a small extra charge of £30 per request in most cases.
Q: How far are you willing to travel?
I am based in South Cambridgeshire and regularly work across the following counties: Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Suffolk, Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Oxfordshire. I also welcome enquiries from further afield across Southern Counties such as Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon as well as being able to offer a competitive rate for overseas bookings. My colleague Ryan can also cover some Northern Counties from his base in Manchester UK.
Q: How do you structure your prices?
My prices are calculated based mainly on travel/distance, time of year (i.e. peak between Jun-Sep), day of the week and playing time required. Song requests are subject to a supplementary charge, and I may need to ask for a small amount extra in some cases for extra travel/waiting time (although you'll find I'm always very reasonable!). Saturdays during peak season start at £300.
Q: How and when do I pay?
A: I ask for 25% deposit BACS payment or cheque on confirmation of date (w/contract), with the rest usually being paid either on the day of the event or beforehand in some cases. Invoices can be issued on request, BACS payments are preferred as it saves dealing with cash/cheques on the day.
Q: What do we need to provide on the day?
A: Armless chair/short stool, parking space and suitable refreshments/meal if at all possible - a private room to change is helpful but not essential. Please also let me know if there will be any professional videographers, and if I'll need to set up in more than one place.
Q: How long do you usually play for?
A: Typically 90-120 mins in total is recommended, and is usually enough to cover ceremony/drinks reception although I can cover up to 3hrs if necessary.
Q: Do you need mains power?
A: No - I work entirely on (rechargeable) batteries. It's always nice to play outside if the weather allows!
NB Some venues are restricted by a live music license/PAT - however because I don't use mains power this should not be a problem. If in doubt, refer the venue directly to me.
Q: Will be you be wearing a suit?
A: Yes I will be wearing a suit (waistcoat in summer) unless otherwise agreed beforehand.
Q: What are your favourite songs to play?
A: Definitely the film themes - such as Star Wars, Top Gun and Jurassic Park, Take 5 is always a hit and I do enjoy the comedy factor of Taylor Swift and George Michael. Bowie, John Martyn, Al Green, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd are all pillars of my personal collection so it's good to bring some of those influences in when the situation allows.
Q: How would you describe your style and why is it unique?
A: Perhaps best described as classical/blues crossover, I am not from a classical background nor am I 'classically trained'. I played in various rock and funk bands until developing my 'hybrid' contemporary classical style 7-8 years ago. What sets me apart from other performers in my category is that I incorporate a lot of live improvisation into my performance and am able to adapt each piece according to the circumstances. Classical fingerstyle with jazz-blues soloing makes for a unique combination!
Q: What songs do you recommend for ceremonies?
A: I have played all sorts from Sting and Pachelbel to Huey Lewis and Star Wars, so there's a real range and song choices are ultimately tailored specifically for each couple. Having said that, I would typically choose slow songs for the entrance register signing, followed by something more upbeat for the exit. The traditional Bridal Chorus still holds up really well, as it sounds particularly nice on the guitar. See my brief guide on choosing wedding ceremony music for further guidance.
Q: Do you play in a band as well?
A: Yes - I played in a funk-soul jam band with Myles Sanko for many years, and have produced/featured on singer-songwriter Ian Jeffs' debut EP Last Days at the Farm. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updated news and information on creative projects.
NB If you are looking for a band for your evening entertainment then please ask, as I can offer a variety of duo/trio/full-band options. Keys/guitar duo available also.
Q: Do you have any favourite venues?
A: I've played at some truly spectacular places; many a castle, on a London bus and on various boats... one of the perks of the job! Malcesine Castle on Lake Garda, TV's River Cottage in Devon, the Dorchester Hotel, and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London immediately spring to mind, plus there are several local venues I am strongly linked with including being a recommended supplier at Chippenham Park and South Farm in Cambridgeshire.
Q: Can you provide background music during your breaks?
A: Yes - either via my iTunes library, or alternatively I'm happy to put an iPod through my amp if you have your own music. Usually though, venues have their own in-house PA system.
Q: Do you play wedding ceremonies as well as receptions?
A: Yes - absolutely - although in most cases I play during the post-ceremony drinks reception leading up to the wedding breakfast.
Q: How many weddings have you played in total?
A: About 50-60 events per year with the majority being during the peak wedding season June-September. Most bookings are confirmed many months beforehand so book early to avoid disappointment!
Q: I've seen your profile on third party booking agencies under a different name - can I book you independently?
A: Yes, absolutely if you come to me first! (and it'll be cheaper). I'm associated with Freak Music and Last Minute Musicians among others.
Q: What equipment do you use?
A: Perez 630CE electro-classical guitar, D'Addario strings, Roland AC-33 amp, Electro-Harmonix 720 looper, Cleartone cables and Eneloop Pro rechargeable AA batteries. I try to be as eco-friendly as possible!
Q: How can you play without having the music in front of you?
A: I've had no formal musical training and don't read music - it's all done 'by ear' and memory. Improvisation is a key feature in my performance, tailored to the atmosphere and requirements of the situation.