I love travelling for my job. There's something about staying in a hotel after a gig that makes me feel like a member of Spinal Tap (Although that could be due to the really tight unitard I wear to bed).
Anywho.... I've travelled all over to play at some wonderful weddings but nowhere quite like York.
I was booked to play during the wedding ceremony and then later in the evening for the first dance and an evening acoustic set. With it being an early start, I stayed in the wedding venue (Hilton Hotel) the previous night and after settling in, went out to explore the city.
The city of York
As anyone who knows me will say, I am useless at finding my way around any new city and York was no exception. That being said, it is the most beautiful city I've ever got lost in.
While driving into the city, I didn't notice anything special at all, but after pinning down the nearest Nando's on google maps, I left the hotel on foot and with the backdrop of an ancient castle, I was instantly greeted by a duck on the pavement near the entrance to the hotel. I almost did a curtsy he was so majestic.
I tried to resist the urge to give the duck my car keys as I passed and proceeded away from the traffic and into the beating heart of York for some succulent poultry.... Sorry duck valet.
After breakfast, it was time to head off. I proceeded to Manoeuvre myself through cobbled alleys lined with old crocked taverns, past beautiful churches and old victorian buildings teeming with history and character. All with a cathedral in the background which belonged in Game of Thrones.
The venue, Beddern Hall, was nestled away from the bustle of the city and reminded me of a church or a feast hall of a keep.
The client booked a four piece brass band to play as the bride walked down the aisle which I'll admit is not as popular as a harp or guitar but it was absolutely beautiful.
I played and few instrumental songs and sang Eva Cassidy's Songbird during the register signing. before the band played them out of the ceremony.
After making my way back to the evening venue. I learned that the duck valet outside the hotel entrance was less than welcoming to other guests and decided to attack passers by. I can only blame this on the guests for not showing the respect he deserved.
I found the wedding coordinator, set up my equipment and lighting as required. After being introduced to the resident DJ, started to sound check before the guests arrived.
Now my history with DJ's has been a little chequered in the past. On the whole, they are a helpful bunch and always have the client's priorities in mind but there are some who's priority is asserting their authority, or even one who was so obsessed with speaker power, decided to turn the volume up to the point of injury in the hope that it would somehow gain respect and a pat on the back.
In this case, the DJ was delightful. We organised a running order together and liaised with the coordinator and started the evening celebrations.
The clients chose Lonestar - Amazed as their first dance. A great choice and not one that I play a great deal. With there being mostly an older crowd, I kept the first half relatively chilled, as asked by the client. After the cutting of the cake and buffet I decided to take the tempo up a little and play some dance/sing along songs which filled the dance floor ready for the DJ to take over and play the party out until the early hours.
This was a wonderful wedding and I though roughly enjoyed being in the city of York. I recommend it to anyone and I can't wait to go back. Thank you Dawn and Martyn.
All the best for the future.
By the way, don't be put off by the violent street lurking birds. The duck was apparently protecting his wife and children in the nearby bush. Good luck to you and your family kind sir.