I've got some questions.....
.....so here is our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Let’s face it: you’ve probably never booked a band before and don't quite know what to expect. So I will make this as comprehensive as I can. But if you still need to know anything, please ask - I am more than happy to answer as many questions as you can throw at me. Email me here.
Do you have public liability insurance?
Yes, we have worldwide Public Liability Insurance for £10,000,000, arranged through Hencilla Canworth Ltd, via Norwich Union. The policy number is 50 CME 1758227.
I want to book you! What happens now?
Just ask me to prepare a simple contract and I'll send (or email) 2 copies to you. Now sign both copies of the contract and return them with your deposit. I will then sign both copies and return one to you. Hey presto, we're booked! A contract is important for both you and the band - you need to be absolutely certain that we won't cancel (and, believe me, we've never done this yet and we won't be doing it in the future either- this is our job!), and we need to know that we can confidently turn down other offers of work on your date.
Can I reserve the band without confirming the booking with a deposit?
For a short while, yes. We can't turn down other prospective clients for long though.
Do I need to pay a deposit to book you for a wedding or birthday party?
Yes, about 30%. I will calculate this and put it on the contract.
What payment methods can I use for my deposit?
You can pay your booking deposit to the band in either of the following ways:
By cheque (payable to 'Kevin McCarthy Ltd').
Direct transfer into our bank account (please ask for details).
What payment methods can I use to pay the final balance?
In cash on the night.
By direct transfer into our bank account, a minimum of three days in advance of the event.
Can I go to see a band before I decide to book them?
In some circumstances this may be possible. It probably won't be though, as virtually all of our shows are either closed events (weddings, corporate events, private parties, etc) or too far away (we work all over the country and abroad). Please feel free to ask though. Mind you, if we were the kind of band who played lots of small gigs in local pubs, maybe we wouldn't be the right band for an important event like yours...?
Will the band provide music before, in-between and after the live sets?
Lost In Music have lots of their own custom-made compilations which they play before, in-between and after their live sets. They're really very good. We make our own compilations with all great songs through the decades which people recognise and want to dance to (or eat dinner to, depending on when they're played), all mixed like a DJ. Given enough time, it may even be possible to make a custom compilation for you. If you would prefer to provide your own music that's fine - and we certainly won't charge extra for the privilege. However, and here's the thing, the Lost In Music MP3 player doesn't take requests, doesn't talk to the guests or give dedications, and it doesn't have an awful lot of stage presence. So you might consider hiring our DJ service....read on....
I'd prefer a live DJ rather than your compilations, but they're so expensive....
There are a few DJs we work with regularly, and there is a cost (and space) saving because they would connect to our sound system rather than bringing a whole separate one. Our professional DJ turns up with around 23,000 songs and is extremely knowledgeable about music, so has no problem at all taking requests. Crucially, he will also 'read' the audience and play songs which they will enjoy. For example, perhaps he'll play a 1980s track which the guests love. Well, he could probably follow that with another 1980s track, and it would give him a great idea of what other songs to play. He'll know what songs the band are playing live, so won't play them. Even if, heavens above, you decide not to have Lost In Music for your event....well, you can have our DJ instead. Just ask me for a quote and I'll be happy to oblige. He is a proper professional DJ, not just a random person sitting on the edge of the stage with a laptop.
Why does the band need a changing room?
Because the band will be working on site for many hours, it's nice for them to have somewhere to sit down and rest, get changed privately, discuss the songs they'll be performing and keep their personal belongings. There also needs to be some lighting in there. Access to a mirror would be useful.
Why does the band charge extra for turning up early or playing after midnight?
Because a working day for a professional musician is already very long. However, it's no problem at all for us to have the equipment set up before your guests arrive, or play until whatever time you like, but we do have to charge a little extra for our time. If the event is running hugely late and you would like the band to finish their sets after the agreed time, or if you just love the music and don't want us to stop (this happens a lot!), you can usually negotiate on the spot for us to keep playing. We can easily find more great party tunes to play!
Why does a band need to be fed?
Depending on the venue's location, the band will typically need to leave home between about midday and 3:00pm to get to a show and set up. After the hard physical work of carrying everything in, setting up and giving their all in their performance, they will pack up and get home usually between about 2:00am and 5:00am. It's nice for them to have some hot food and soft drinks somewhere in the middle to stop them collapsing from exhaustion! Complications can arise if the band has to leave the venue in search of food, as it is never certain how long it will take to find anything and get served. We're not talking a 3-course gourmet meal here, just a hot meal that you yourself would be happy to eat - burgers / lasagne with veggies & salad are good options, along with some soft drinks (and maybe tea & coffee - that would make us really, really happy).
Will the band turn up on time?
We know how stressful it can be when you organise an important event. So we won't make it worse for you by turning up late. This is what we do for a living.
I'm worried about the band being drunk or inappropriate on stage.
Not us! We are a very experienced, well-known, high-end professional band who get much of their work from word-of-mouth. Our behaviour will be exemplary from the moment we arrive to the moment we depart. That's because we want more work!
I'm worried about.........lots of other things to do with the organisation of my event.....help!
Fortunately, the music is something that you can cross off your list of worries. We bend over backwards to make sure that your important day is a complete success, so you can relax and enjoy yourself. Feel free to discuss any aspect of the booking in advance - Kevin is very helpful, friendly and hugely experienced. There is no such thing as a silly question, only an unasked one.
I want to make a speech - can I use your microphone?
Yes, of course you can. Let us know in advance though so we can set one up for you. Speak up, speak clearly and confidently, close to the microphone and try not to walk in front of the speakers.
Will the band look good?
Yes we will. We do not wear blue jeans, t-shirts or trainers whilst playing and we are very presentable at all times. The singers are glamorous and very sexy!
How long does the band play for?
Our usual live performance is either 2 x 60 minute sets or 3 x 40 minute sets. You may find though, that your event is best served by one non-stop set of 120 minutes, or perhaps 2 x 45 minutes, it's very much down to you. If the event is overrunning, then we do bear this in mind and will change the sets on-the-fly if necessary. You can even have the last set as a special costumed theme if you like - 1970s disco, 1980s or School Disco. We can even play for 3 x 60 minute sets if you prefer, but we will charge a little extra.
Does the band need a stage?
If it's a suitable size (that is, if all the band can fit onto it comfortably - a minimum of about 5m x 3m, but preferably larger so we have space to jump around), then a stage is useful. It's not always necessary though. Generally speaking, it's much better to have a band set up on the floor in a larger space where they can all move around and put on a better show than if they are packed tightly onto a small stage. The height of a stage is not so important. If we're in a marquee, then all we ask for (if there's no stage) is a flat wooden surface so we're not standing in a puddle with our electrics if it's been raining!
Will the band supply their own equipment? I want it to sound great, not tinny and nasty.
Yes, the band will bring all of their instruments, a state of the art PA system (that's the speakers, amplifiers, mixing desk, microphones, etc) and stage lighting. All of the equipment is top quality and, very importantly, completely reliable. Many of our clients have remarked that they thought a record was playing, when it fact it was Lost In Music playing live - the PA system sounds that good! It's all included in the price so there's nothing else for you to worry about.
Will I need to put loads of electrical plugs out for you?
Only a couple. Not just one multi-socket extension lead running from a single household wall plug though, that's a recipe for disaster!
Will the band play our first dance at our wedding?
Yes, almost certainly. Give loads of notice though. If the band aren't able to play the song live (it may be unsuitable for any band to play) they will play it from their MP3 player - this will be discussed in advance.
What if the band don't turn up to my function?
This has never happened yet! If you are making a booking a year or two ahead, then you need to know that Lost In Music will still exist. Well, they've been going for over 20 years, quite a while by party band standards. This is also a full time professional job with a reputation to protect, so they won't be doing a runner!
But what if your guitarist is ill and can't make it?
If a member of the band is too ill to play (and, as they are self-employed, this is most unusual!), the band can always find a 'dep' (deputy - a stand-in musician). This is usual practise with all function bands. With Lost In Music though, the 'dep' will already know all of the songs and you will certainly not notice any difference in performance. Any additional costs for this would be covered by the band, not you.
Our venue has a sound-limiter. Will this be a problem?
No. Lost In Music are definitely NOT a loud band, but some venues do have a sound meter (sometimes hidden) which automatically switches off all the power if the volume goes over a specified level. The band are well used to working with sound meters and are perfectly happy to do so, but it’s good to know in advance if there is one as this can damage the equipment.
Does the price include fuel and accommodation? Motorway tolls? Congestion charging?
The price quoted is fully inclusive, there is no more to pay.
Is your equipment safe? Will it blow up?
All of our electrical equipment is PAT tested (see www.pat-testing.info). This means that, every single year, everything is tested and a safety certificate issued. It is very expensive and most bands don't seem to bother with it, although most high-end venues insist on it being emailed to them in advance.
So you are a live band and you don’t use backing tracks.....well, what’s wrong with backing tracks?
Many bands use backing tracks with drums, keyboards, guitar and backing vocals – it makes it easier for them to produce a full sound with only 3 or 4 band members, therefore making it a bit cheaper for the client. This means that not much is actually played live as it's mostly computerised. We like to think that there is something really quite special about a full live band working with (and off) each other to produce a fantastic live sound with a drummer, playing and singing absolutely everything live and changing things around if necessary.
I have my own DJ and / or I've booked a jazz band / singer. Obviously, they will use your PA equipment.......right?
Maybe, but this will need to be discussed in advance and we may have to charge a small additional fee for our time - it's not normally a case of just plugging another act into the PA system. We do not allow non-band members to play our instruments at all.
How loud will the music be? I want my guests dancing all night, not walking off with their fingers in their ears!
Lost In Music are not a loud band, so they'll play at the volume that you want. And that's that. If you want the volume changed, just speak to them, they will be very happy to oblige. They're a professional band and would very much like to keep working!
Will the band play requests?
If at all possible, yes. If you let them know some songs you particularly like (and those you really dislike, if any), they'll use this when deciding the set list. For one or two songs not on the repertoire list, provided you are able to give the band reasonable notice (at least a couple of weeks) then they will normally be able to play these. Any band would find it difficult to play a song requested on the night, as this relies on every single one of the band members knowing the whole song all the way through, and the lyrics.
Will the band play the exact set-list that I want?
Although you could specify every song, please bear in mind that this gives the band no flexibility at all if your guests don't like the same songs that you do. Bummer! All we want is for your party to be memorable - for the right reasons! It is always much better to discuss the set with the band in advance and then just leave it up to them. Any band will know the songs that they play best, and have been playing at all sorts of special events for many, many years - it is their job to know what audiences like. All of the songs in the set will be stone-cold party classics. There are also lots of clever song segues, dance routines and mashups to keep the party moving. Certain songs specifically require male or female vocals, or brass, so depending on the line-up of the band, a few songs on the list may be unsuitable anyway.
Will the band play The Birdie Song?
Good grief, no. Only brilliant party classics.
Will the band play only brilliant party music from start to finish, while looking like they are enjoying themselves and encouraging the guests to enjoy themselves too?
Yes yes yes, now you've got the idea!
I have a question not answered on this page.
Email Kevin here.