Team PW have been searching for fabulous acoustic music for a little while now and today we have found a little gem. Read on for more information about the Acoustic Music Company.
Tell us about the Acoustic Music Company
The Acoustic Music Company is a South West-based music agency providing sparkling acoustic music for weddings and occasions. I am a professional musician and I set the business up when I had my daughter, Lily, and couldn’t perform as much. Because I have so much experience both on stage and behind the scenes, I know the value that good music adds to an event, particularly a wedding. I specialise in acoustic (unplugged) soloists and ensembles, be it traditional folk, classical, jazz or blues.
The beauty of acoustic music is that it takes up hardly any space, no soundcheck is needed, no cumbersome speakers etc and if, at the last minute, the sun comes out the musicians can easily move and play outside.
I am particularly excited about the increasing popularity of traditional folk as an alternative to the more formal string quartet. My folk acts are perfect for weddings as the music is so versatile and appeals to people of all ages from all walks of life. I have played folk fiddle at many weddings and I see it go down so well. It’s a really great way of adding something a little different to your wedding- people expect a conventional string quartet, they don’t expect toe-tapping captivating traditional folk music. It puts a spring in their step!
I also have great acts on board to provide more upbeat, amplified evening music. This could be ceilidh (or barn dance) bands, folk bands, covers bands, jazz bands, blues, soul… you name it, I can source it.
I really enjoy the satisfaction of matching the right acts to the right occasions and through an in-depth briefing with the client I get a feel for exactly what they want and I offer my advice based on my experience.
How long have you been performing for?
I have been a professional musician for over ten years and have played fiddle since I was a child. I know the South West music scene really well and I only work with musicians who I know to have a good reputation for being both talented and reliable.
I play at some of the events with the Acoustic Music Company, and use acts that I personally know when I don’t play so I know we will deliver exactly what is needed.
How many events have you performed at?
It must be into the thousands! I played with folk rockers Mad Dog Mcrea for over two years with highlights being Glastonbury festival and we headlined many other festivals. We recorded an album, ‘The Whirling Dervish’ which was received very well and led to a tour this year (which I am not doing because of Lily). I also play with the Phil Beer Band; Phil is a multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with Show Of Hands. I must have played hundreds of weddings over the years as either part of a band or providing acoustic daytime music. I also play parties, christenings, ceilidhs, pub gigs and corporate functions. Every occasion can be set off beautifully with the right musical accompaniment.
Can we hear a sample of your work?
I am in the process of uploading some demos of my acoustic playing onto my website so that people can hear examples of what I can provide. It’s probably best to get in touch as I have many acts covering many styles so I can send you relevant demos depending on what you’re looking for. You can visit www.maddogmcrea.co.uk to listen to snippets of the Whirling Dervish to hear my fiddle playing.
What style of songs do you perform?
I play and provide instrumental music for weddings. I find that background music (ie the ceremony/service, the signing of the register, the bridal entrance/exit, the reception afterwards)works much better than songs as it is less of a performance that people feel they must stand and listen to. Background acoustic music creates a beautiful atmosphere that puts people at ease and lifts their spirits. I also provide bands for evening dos that will get people dancing. I have a wide range of acts at my fingertips and am confident I can match the right music to the right event.
Will you perform specific songs requested by guests?
Yes, all my acts are versatile professional musicians and are able to learn any particular song or tune that is requested with notice.
How can you advise a couple who are undecided about musical styles and formats?
It’s vital to get the right music, and to get advice from someone experienced in wedding music. Mistakes are often made, for example loud music too early on, drowning out people’s conversations. Having played at so many weddings I know exactly what works and what doesn’t. I supply professional musicians with plenty of experience of playing weddings so they all know how to deliver.
Describe a typical wedding format so our readers know what to expect
Well, a wedding from start to finish with my input would go something like this… The bride would walk down the aisle to either a solo violinist or a harpist playing softly in the background. This musician could also play during the signing of the register. Then at the reception a traditional folk duo/trio etc would play. This would combine fiddle with guitar and perhaps melodeon, providing background toe-tapping music for guests to enjoy whilst they mingle and drink champagne! Then for the evening, perhaps a ceilidh band to get people up and dancing or an upbeat folk or covers band. All my evening acts come with their own PA so you can plug your iPod in after they finish playing if guests still want to dance.
Where in the country do you cover? Would you travel overseas?
I work mainly in the South West covering Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset but I have good contacts all over the country. If I can help, I will!
What would happen if you were sick or unable to attend on the day of the wedding?
Both I and the musicians I work with are true professionals and would only miss a booking in extreme circumstances. If something did go wrong and we were not able to make it, I always have a Plan B up my sleeve and would make sure that a replacement act carried out the gig to the same standard as the client had booked. It is essential for maintaining a good reputation that I only use the best musicians. My terms and conditions on the booking form state that in the unlikely event of an act not being able to make it I will supply another act of the same calibre, or offer full money back as an alternative. I hope it never happens!
What equipment do you provide?
All musicians turn up with all the gear they need including PA if necessary. If it is amplified all they’ll need is a couple of power sockets nearby.
Do you carry liability insurance?
Explain your wedding packages
I can offer soloists from as little as £100. Ensembles and bands are obviously a little more. All budgets are catered for and all prices are reasonable. A signed booking form and a small deposit will secure the booking. Acts normally play 2 x 45 minute sets in the evening but during the day this varies to suit the wedding itinerary.
How can we book you?
Give me a ring (07748 166943) in the first instance so I can get a feel for the sort of music you are looking for.
Booking is easy and I will take you through it step by step – get in touch!
Penelope x x