Tips for Hiring a Band

Tips for Hiring a Band

~ Gary Trotman – Steelasophical Steelband

First of all one of the first things I’d say is always go and see your chosen band live before you book them, listen to performance recording or be sure to obtain testimonials.

Steelasophical uses steeldrums and pro backing tracks in their performances .. However .. if a band advertises themselves as live, be sure they are not playing or singing to backing tracks … find out how many members are in the band and the instruments they are playing


If you can’t get to see the band and are basing your decision on a video show-reel ask specifically if the audio was recorded live or over-dubbed. Many bands shoot the video then record the audio in the studio and synchronise it to the video so it sounds much better than it does live.

Choosing the entertainment for the evening shouldn’t just be a tick in the box.

You should give it as much thought as any other aspect of your wedding because it is one of the things people will remember most about your wedding.

Try not to be too self indulgent. Whilst it is your big day remember that you want everyone to enjoy the entertainment as well and have fond memories of your big day so try to take everyone’s tastes into account.

You may love Metallica but will your auntie violet really be impressed by a heavy metal band? .. a steelasophical band plays a ranging repertoire suitable from teens to elderly!!

I always try to accommodate the wishes of the couple whilst encouraging them to take the rest of their guests into account.


People who have spent years perfecting their craft and practicing together to deliver a real, polished and professional performance

One person singing along to backing tracks isn’t a live band so when you’re comparing prices be sure to compare like for like .. a steeldrum soloist for instance is the equivalent to an acoustic 3pc, a 4pc backing music and a 6 pc full size Caribbean function band (all rolled into one) .. always best to compare like for like!

If it is a live band you want however .. be sure to insist that they do not use pre-recorded material as there are some clever ways of fooling the public into thinking it’s live.


Ensure that the venue is licensed for music prior to booking a band .. i.e. PRS license

Be sure there is the sufficient performance area space and suitable sound level allowance

You’ll normally have to pay the band a deposit and don’t want to find out after the fact that the venue can’t cater for live bands or their requirements


Almost all venues now require the band to have public liability insurance in case anyone is injured by them

or their equipment so ensure any band you book can produce their certificate prior to paying a deposit.

Even if this is not a requirement of the venue, it should be instated upon by you, for the protection of your family, clients or friends.

This should be to the ave value of £10,000,000


Portable Appliance Testing is another requirement of most venues.

It basically means that all your electrical equipment has been independently tested to ensure that it presents no safety risk.

Again ensure your band has this organised because you don’t want to be in the position of getting to the reception only to find your band isn’t allowed to play!

Even if this is not a requirement of the venue, it should be instated upon by you, for the protection of your family, clients or friends


I always handle this myself and liaise with the venue prior to the wedding and it’s a good idea to insist that your chosen band does the same.

They need to be sure that they can get all their equipment in to the venue and that there are enough power points to power all their equipment.

It is a consideration that if a band is performing for the wedding breakfast only, they are able to dismantle and leave the room with little disturbance to your remaining guests


Any professional band should set up and perform their sound check prior to your guests arriving.

Insist that your band does the same.

Steelasophical always look to arrive no less than 1 hour prior to the guest arrival so that we are in location, setup sound checked, safety checked long before guests arrive where possible


If you negotiate with your band via telephone, be sure that everything is confirmed in writing (either by letter or email).

Get them to email/write with confirmation of all the details so that you have recourse if things go badly and they don’t deliver against what they’ve promised.

The less you leave to chance the less likely you are to be disappointed.

For your Caribbean Musical requirements

A live band can be great .. there is that wonderful authentic throw back to the ole the caribbean days

Steelasophical bridges the gap between a DJ and a LIVE band, by smoothly and seamlessly blending the two with the best of BOTH worlds

steelasophical steel band steelband

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