Towards the end of last year, I received a call from a couple wanting to book entertainment for their wedding day during their drinks reception and also for the family and close friends' party the night before.
This was a new one for me and challenging because i didn't want to play the same set on both occasions. After spending a bit of time arranging my set so that it was different on both days, the day arrived and both days were thoroughly enjoyable and colourful.
Kings Head, Gower
A beautiful, homely rustic pub. The kind with old regulars with weathered hands called Gwyn and bare stone walls with the scent of burning wood. Though it was small enough to feel homely, its function room was big enough to seat the whole wedding party for a meal.
With the old seafarer tavern rustic edge and the staff communicating via walkie talkies, I half expected Gandalf to be slut-dropping while puffing on an enormous pipe, surrounded by a handful of hobbits doing 'The dab.'
An Introduction to Rhys
I had never met the bride or groom in person so when I arrived, I had to ask a member of staff to point me in the right direction.
"Ask that guy by the juke box. I think he's important." The barman said.
I made my approach and as I held out my hand to greet, making sure to do my friendliest smile, I was intercepted by a taller subject. This caught me off guard a little bit and I naturally assumed he must know who I am or at least that I was expected, so I shook his hand and went straight it with, "Alright mate, I'm the musician."
"Ah, Ok great, I love magic. Hang on a sec..."
The room may have been a little loud, I may have mumbled, or the stranger may have had a few shandies but I passed it off as someone just being an interesting fellow. I didn't realise he'd misheard me.
Still shaking my hand he called the groom. Multiple times. "LEIGH..." His voice a crescendo after each one peaking at an all out scream which almost silenced the room. "LEIGH!"
At this point I noticed my hand had stopped being shaken and was now being held tenderly by the stranger while Leigh made his way through the throng of people near the bar.
He only let go to show me some of his finest magic tricks with his fingers. He was in the middle of removing his thumb when Leigh reached us. Just in time too, the smile I reserve for children who don't speak clearly was slowly losing altitude.
Leigh reached us, "Hiya Scott, have you got everything you need? Thanks for coming...."
We exchanged pleasantries and made our introductions then we both noticed the tall stranger was still silently removing and reattaching his thumb.
Leigh introduced his friend, "This is Rhys, if you need anything, talk to him.....'
"All the others are useless." Interrupted Rhys, still while removing his thumb repeatedly.
I knew it was going to be a fun wedding when for the rest of the evening, Rhys tried his best to make eye contact with me and sever his thumb. Intersperse this with the friendliest bridal party ever and I had a great night.
The Wedding Day
This venue is the sister venue to Oldwalls which I have had a lot of dealings with. Although I've played at Fairyhill for New Years Eve 2016, this was my first wedding booking.
I was booked to play for the drinks reception after the ceremony and then an hour during the room changeover after the wedding breakfast.
The staff were very helpful when I arrived and showed me where to set up etc. They kept me informed on timescale and the schedule for the day. I'm usually kept in the dark about such things or I spend forever trying to hunt down someone who can keep me updated.
I must say the team they have there are like a well oiled machine. Dinner service was like a military operation and everything ran smoothly.
They are currently undergoing a renovation and adding a whole new function suit at Fairyhill. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the finished result at my next booking there.
Throughout the whole wedding day, if I was singing or waiting for my next set, I knew the ghost of christmas crap magic tricks would be lurking.
Sure enough, as I played the first song for the guests to leave the ceremony. Rhys was there removing his thumb. As the Bride danced with her mother for the last song, Rhys was there. Removing his thumb.
Congratulation Hannah and Leigh. I had a lovely time at the wedding, thank you Rhys and all the bridal party for making me feel so welcome.