A combined English /Irish wedding
Pastiche Band were booked to play live music for a combined English/Irish wedding at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, England. Just eighteen miles from central London, the racecourse is the home of the Epsom Derby. The venue is an ideal location for a wedding with its stunning views over the racecourse and the Downs.
As the couple and their guests were a mix of English and Irish (and a few Scots too) they requested a wide variety of live music. They also wanted more than the standard five-piece line up. The five-piece line up comprises female lead vocal, male vocal/electric guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. To this we added a fiddle player for the Irish set, and sax and trumpet for the party music sets.
The line up featured some fine musicians including Raul D’Olivera on trumpet (Elton John, Mica Paris, The Proclaimers, Gary Moore, Joan Armatrading) and Kevan Frost (borrowed from Boy George’s band, Carleen Anderson and Mica Paris) on bass.
Pastiche Band like to play a wide variety of genres, and the couple selected the music. The party music sets featured songs from the 50s (Chuck Berry), 60s (The Beatles, Rolling Stones), 70s (Jackson 5, Chic), 80s (Michael Jackson, Dire Straits), 90s (Moloko), and more current songs (Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Kings of Leon).
For an Irish set the couple requested a mix of trad., Irish songs (Black Velvet Band, Star of the County Down) interspersed with ceilidh dance sets, jigs and reels. For this we had the exceptional Celtic fiddler Nick Haigh, while our sax player, Lindsay Goodhand, doubled the Irish melodies on flute.
A special song that we learnt for the evening was Galway Girl – a big hit in Ireland for the band Mundy in 2008, also covered by Mumford and Son. Despite it’s title the song was written by the Nashville, USA songwriter Steve Earle. Earle had recorded the song in the year 2000 with the Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon. Shannon said that Earle had recorded the song with musicians from Galway to give it an authentic Irish feel.
The song is apparently an autobiographical account of an encounter Earle had in Ireland.
A highlight of the evening; one of the guests requested the Irish folk ballad Fields of Athenry, (a song written in the 1970s by Pete St. John). He sang along throughout and came and shook my hand at the end.
The couple wrote afterwards “We wanted to let you know how impressed we were with the band on Saturday night. Everything was perfect and we are getting lots of questions and compliments about Pastiche.
“Everyone really enjoyed the music.”
A fine evening was had by all.