Live Music – Wedding at Hurlston Hall, Lancashire – Kate & Jim Riley

Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingThe beautiful Hurlston Hall in Scarisbrick is todays venue. Set in 200 acres of the beautiful Lancashire countryside today was the marriage of Kate & Jim. We were recommended to Kate by a lovely couple Andy & Lisa Burke whose wedding we performed at. Kate booked the pop up acoustic session and asked  us to perform after the meal and before the evening’s entertainment. It’s the time during a wedding where there is lots of waiting around so it’s a perfect opportunity for live music. We call it the lull period.

When we arrived the bridal party were still eating dinner. We spoke to the wedding coordinator and asked where she thought the best place to set up is. It seemed the bridal party would be staying in the same room for the rest of the evening so we would need to set up in a corner when the meal was over.

Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingIt was time to do some stealth hanging about to kill some time. It’s a moment where you have to keep tabs on how the day is running, when to make your entrance and how not to look like a gate crasher looking around for a free party. We decided to bring our equipment into the hall so when our moment came to set up, we would flawlessly enter and it would be a quick setup. However with the best intentions in the world this never happens. It’s more like “excuse me” “oh sorry” as you navigate your way through a jungle of chairs and guests like a bee trying to find its way out of a window.

After the speeches guests started to leave for the much needed toilet and ciggie break. Now was our moment. We swiftly set up and were ready to perform our first set.  We went over to say hi to the lovely newlyweds and congratulated them both. Kate looked stunning in her dress. A lovely easy going and down to earth couple with around 70 guests in attendance. Our recomendees (if thats even a word) Andy & Lisa were in attendance.  It was a fine summers evening fantastic weather and an exceptional sunset. Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingThere was a distinct chilled out vibe minus a few over excited children who were releasing their sugar rushes on our percussion instruments.

Its funny when you put the percussion instruments out, there’s always a slight dread that a very over excited child will find the cowbell. Which is a pretty loud instrument. Sometimes we have to sneak instruments out of the case and hide them. The cowbell works brilliantly for adults but some children just whack it as hard as they can, as loud as they can and as quick as they can. This was one of those cases. We predicted it was going to happen and hid the cowbell behind the case, but low and behold the little sweetheart found it.

It was quite funny though seeing the sheer delight in her face as she hit it. Eventually I managed to coax her with wooden sticks and bells which are a little more pleasing to the ear for our audience. I think the parents and also the rest of the guests were relived with my cunning plan. At the beginning of the second set we notice the DJ had not yet arrived. No bother I’m sure its all in hand.

Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingThe performance was going fantastic and we were drawing to the end of our second set. . At this point we were looking around for the DJ.

Remember Weddings=Clockwork. Usually the DJ would be well here by now, ready and waiting to start the music as we finish. He was nowhere to be seen. I assumed he was behind the partition in the wall and would be pulling the partition back for the evening reception. I even said this to the guests that he must be hiding and all will be revealed.

During our last few songs it kept going through our minds “where is the DJ?” We finished up and I went to the bar to ask them to put some music on as to not cause panic to anyone. I scoped the room, behind the partition, the DJ was nowhere to be seen. OK keep calm. Don’t Tell the Bride as they say, try and sort it out. The last thing you want is a bride expecting her first dance to have all of her dreams crushed around her. Stay calm.

Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingI knew the DJ had been arranged through the hotel. Where is the wedding coordinator? I couldn’t find her anywhere. OK I’ll ask at the bar, they should know. They looked as surprised as I was and suggested if he didn’t turn up they can play the evening  music through the hotel speakers. Noooooo this wasn’t happening.  I hunted the wedding coordinator down and asked “is the in house DJ playing in a different room or something?”

“Oh is he not here yet?” It was then apparent that the in house DJ was a no show. The the groom started to notice something wasn’t right. Things took on a different turn what turned out to be an unprecedented twist to the day and lead into despair and left the bride in tears. It was unbelievable. It became a frantic moment of he’s usually here by now. The wedding coordinator said it was very unusual but what concerned us more was the fact that until this point the absence of the in-house DJ had gone unnoticed.

Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingThey could not make contact with him, nor did they know what had happened. It was a case of missing DJ. The night was left in disarray. We felt so much for Kate and Jim. Kate was trying to hold it all together but it became too much. The DJ was meant to be playing the “Father of the Bride” dance and the crucial “First Dance”. The coordinator for the evening tried to console the bride. Suggesting they play music on the in house speakers clearly wasn’t working. You just saw her whole big day come crashing down….

Light bulb moment!!!!  “Here we come to save the day” (In a big hearty voice Jim Carrey type of way, we didn’t actually say that but it would have been quite funny if the moment wasn’t as stressful for everyone involved) Ha ha can you just imagine Andy in a cape running down the hall singing it at the top of his voice… Luckily we didn’t have another gig that evening and Andy’s cape was in the wash.
Live Music Hurlston Hall Wedding

Since we live literally 15 minutes down the road we suggested to Kate & Jim that we could help out. The plan was to nip home, download the two special songs, grab our full PA System and lights and head back to the venue. It would take us less than an hour.  Since we were only scheduled for a pop up acoustic slot we had no further equipment in the van, this was are only option.

The Rag Tag Misfits were about to be DJ’s for the evening. The relief on Kate’s face made it all worthwhile. It broke our hearts to think that their day could be ruined. So off we went.

When we returned we literally felt like two little shiny knights. Word must have spread like wild fire on what had happened. All the ushers teamed up and helped us get the PA system out of the van and onto the dance floor.  The bride and groom were full of gratitude. We pumped out some tunes and tried to put the love back in the air. I’m happy to say there was a “Father of The Bride Dance”,  a “First Dance” and even a “Sister Bride Dance”.

Live Music Hurlston Hall WeddingAll was good and we kept the tunes pumping for the guests to have a boogie. Maybe we should consider learning about being a DJ. It is an art form in itself. I reckon we could do the whole Peter Kay DJ talk with a bit of practice. Maybe Andy could bring his cape.

We were so glad that it turned out OK for the beautiful couple and hope that it will be remembered for years to come for all the right reasons. We also hope nothing serious happened to the DJ and that he is OK. We wish you both the very best for the future and hope you have a blessed and long fruitful life together, heres to the wonderful to Mr & Mrs Riley.


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