Tag Archive: live music

  1. Best Songs for Wedding Ceremony & Reception

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    We frequently get asked about our recommendations for songs when it comes to those key wedding moments – whether it’s walking down the aisle, sharing a first dance or farewelling your loved ones goodbye. Music is such a personal part of everyone’s wedding celebrations that it should first and foremost be an expression of the couple and the love and history they share! We took to Instagram to ask you which songs are your favourite for those key wedding moments. Here are the best songs for wedding ceremony and reception according to your responses!

    BEST WEDDING PROCESSIONAL SONGS

    CANT HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU – ELVIS
    An oldie but a goodie. Elvis is immortal and this classic song goes straight for the heart. It sounds incredible stripped back and sung to keys or an acoustic guitar. There are also a bunch of awesome cover version of this tune if you’re after something a little more modern.

    PERFECT – ED SHEERAN
    Ol’ Ed is a bit of a master at the wedding processional song and he knows how to write a tear jerker. His lyrics are straight romance and it will hit everyone right in the feels.

    LATCH – SAM SMITH (ACOUSTIC)
    For something a little alternative, this song is great because its recognisable but also sounds fab unplugged, pulled back to just piano and vocals. Plus the lyrics are super on point. “Now I got you in my space, I wont let go of you…”

    HEARTBEATS – JOSE GONZALES
    This song is straight ART and just the mellow guitar intro evokes the perfect mood for that perfect moment. Done live with a killer singer/guitarist – this will leave you with a walk to remember.

    BEST FIRST DANCE SONGS

    KISS ME – SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER
    90s nostalgia is all the rage at the moment and this song is the perfect blend of kitsch and romance. Sounds super cute with female vocals and some strummy electric guitar action.

    CANT TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU – FRANKIE VALLI
    For those who like to make a grand statement, this song is a banger of the highest order and will get everyone vibed up and ready to dance. Plus the lyrics provide just the right ego boost to get you both flying high on the drug of loooove…”you’re just too good to be true…”

    SAY YOU WONT LET GO – JAMES ARTHUR
    Incredible song with touching, real and personal lyrics that most of us can relate to (what was that part about throwing up :P). This song is a total tear-jerker and is the perfect accompaniment to spending a good 3min gazing into your lovers eyes.

    NEVER TEAR US APART – INXS
    YES YES YES to this 80s CLASSIC. A ripper of a tune. Non-cliche lyrics. Awesome melody that everyone can sing along to. Plus how could you forget that epic SAXOPHONE SOLO. This song goes off with a full live band but the sax is a must to make it really explode.

    BEST WEDDING PARTY STARTER

    TREASURE – BRUNO MARS
    Bruno got plenty of love in this category and it’s true he has some beauties – Uptown Funk, Locked Out of Heaven, etc. Everyone can’t help but get into a little Bruno and Treasure is a great tune with some awesome vintage vibes.

    CRAZY IN LOVE – BEYONCE
    All hail the Queen. This tune is timeless and inspires epic booty shaking dance moves which is just what you want from a party starter. A full live band makes a meal out of this song something superb.

    RETURN OF THE MACK – MARK MORRISON
    A little 90s love with this smooth classic. It’s a familiar tune with an awesome chorus that gets people involved.

    BROWN EYED GIRL – VAN MORRISON
    Cheesy? Sure. But cheese is delicious. This song kicks off the festivities with a bit of a sing-a-long and gets the grannies up and loving life.

    BEST FAREWELL SONG

    HORSES – DARYL BRAITHWAITE
    This was unanimous and we don’t disagree. Thank you Daryl for blessing us with this musical gold. Have not played a wedding yet where this song was not sung by the entire wedding party at the top of their lungs. End your night on a high, and go riding on the horses, yeah yeah.

  2. The White Tree “Salty Sea Dog Sessions” VIVID Edition – Episode 2 feat Andy + Sam

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    We’re back on the high seas for a very special (and a little wintery) “Salty Sea Dog Sessions – Vivid Special”.  Playing some acoustic tunes while night-time crusin’ along Sydney Harbour, under the splendour of the Vivid lights!

    This episode features our adorable husband and wifey team, Andy + Sam.100% live, unplugged, and you can just feel the lurrve.

    Remember to stay tuned on our Instagram and Facebook as we bring you a fresh episode of the Salty Sea Dog Sessions every month 🙂

    Interested in our acoustic music?
    We offer soloist and duo packages for weddings and events and can combine this with a DJ for later dance sets.  Click here for prices and more info

  3. What size live band is right for your event?

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    It’s event-planning time and you want your wedding/party/corporate function to be one for the ages! So you’ve decided that live music is a MUST (wooop! good choice!) Live music truly elevates any event by adding that energy, vitality and heart that’s key to any memorable event. But the big question you’re asking yourself is “What size band do I need to suit the type of event I’m planning?” Picking your band size can be daunting, but we’re here to help! Below are a few tips on a range of band configurations, including some vids, to help you get an idea of what to expect from different line-ups!

    SOLO or DUO //

    If you’ve got a chill event planned, where people are keen to chat, but you want a little something to lift the vibe, fill the silence and bring some life to the party, you’ll want a solo or duo. These line ups are usually relatively laid back, doing acoustic-style covers with some amazing vocals woven over the top (but can easily be instrumental too!) Your fave songs will really stand out, but the music also wont detract from other activities you’ve got happening at the same time. Solo’s and duo’s are particularly popular for canapé sets, cocktail parties and events where hectic noise restrictions might be an issue. While a solo/duo can bring you some epic renditions of your fave tunes, these line ups aren’t ideal for dancing or high energy events as they’re limited by the fewer number of instruments/players. Check out some example of our solo/duo line ups below.

    THREE-PIECE or FOUR-PIECE //

    You’ve got your heart set on a band and really wanna bring your favourite songs to life? Then a three-piece/four-piece line up is where to start! Our most popular configuration is the four-piece band as it offers four amazing musicians, playing four instruments (usually drums, keyboards, guitar + bass) with one of the muso’s doubling as a vocalist. The four-piece is definitely where to start if you want some energy brought to the party, hear your fave tunes with a little oomf and have a dance. While the three-piece is also great, you will be restricted as to what sort of tunes are available as you’ll be one muso short of a standard line up – you’d be surprised what a boost adding a guitarist/keyboardist will do to enhance the sound and the repertoire! These line-ups are popular for house parties, and club/pub events!

    FIVE-PIECE or SIX-PIECE //

    So you really wanna party and get the dance floor packed out? Then this is exactly where to start! With a five-piece line up you get all the advantages of the four-piece but also get to select a bonus muso to add into the mix! A female vocalist is an awesome addition to expand the repertoire of songs and include some more of your femme favourites, or if you’re feeling horny 😛 you might go for a saxophone or trumpet to blast out some epic solos and elevate those tunes to the next level. But why choose, with a six-piece – you can have both! These style line-ups are especially popular for wedding parties!

    SEVEN-PIECE + //

    Whoa. Okay. You are serious about this band thing and want your party to go offffffffff! With a seven-piece + you’re guaranteed a minimum of two vocalists and can now include additional horns and percussion to really fill those songs out and give you the choice of basically any style of music you want to hear – pop, funk, jazz, latin, rock and more – there’s nothing that won’t sound killer with one of these line-ups! These bigger bands have an energy that is inimitable and as an audience member, you cannot help but want to get involved! These bands are perfection for a corporate function, or when you’re throwing a big event, with plenty of guests in a large space. If you’re throwing an event where you’re already providing sound production (such as an awards night or conference-style function) these style of bands are definitely recommended!

    Now you’ve got the know-how when it comes to line ups, here’s a little summary to help you select the band of your dreams! Remember if you have any questions about our live band, just get in touch! Also, we throw live showcases regularly, right across the country. The best way to get a feel for the perfect band-size is to pop down and see them play irl! We promise it’s always a fun time!

    BUDGET //
    Low: Solo/Duo
    Moderate: Four-Piece/Five-Piece
    High: Seven-Piece +

    VIBE //
    Chill/Laidback: Duo/Three-Piece
    Buzzing/Dance-floor keen: Four-Piece/Five-Piece
    Riotous/Super High Energy: Six-Piece/Seven-Piece +

  4. The White Tree Band does Hottest 100 Winners

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    Whether you threw epic countdown parties or cranked the CD’s on repeat, most of us have some pretty sweet memories of listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100.

    From the very first count down in ’93, they’ve celebrated a vast array of Aussie and International winners, including The Cranberries (Zombie), Oasis (Wonderwall), Powderfinger (These Days + My Happiness), Kings of Leon (Sex on Fire) Mumford & Sons (Little Lion Man), Vance Joy (Riptide), Flume (Never Be Like You) and Kendrick Lamar (Humble).

    In honour of some of the killer tunes that have snagged top place on the countdown, The White Tree Band are doing a special, one-off showcase gig for Sydney punters at Leadbelly, Newtown on May 8th, 8pm – 9:30pm. 

    Our 8-piece band featuring a bunch of guest vocalists and an epic brass section will rock some of your fave winning tunes and it’s the perfect excuse for a mid-week party (and a little touch of 90s nostalgia!) 

    Entry is free. Bring a crew. Oh, and be ready to hear The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly, for a white guy”

  5. Anything that’s Rock & Roll’s Fine

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    Another killer week for Showcases this week! Rocked Brisbane and Sydney with a stellar line up of vocalists and musicians. We heard modern tunes the likes of Slow Hands by Niall Horan, Blank Space by Taylor Swift, Feel It Still by Portugal the Man and some epic classics like Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again by The Angels, Respect by Aretha Franklin and Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen.

    And we’re all about this totally awesome rendition of Cher’s Believe by Ollie.

     

  6. Fave Sydney venues for Live Music

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    Live music can totally make a party and when we say we like to bring the party – we ain’t lying. There are a few venues around town in Sydney and surrounds that let us crank the volume and get wild and we totally love any chance we get to play there! Venues that throw an awesome wedding and let a band cut loose are A-OK in our books and here are just a handful of our faves…

    BENDOOLEY ESTATE | BERRIMA

    Owned by the Berkelouw Books fam, this historical venue in the Southern Highlands is chockfull of choice reading material and throws a pretty bloody good wedding too. Not to mention you can crank the band up loud and dance the night away ’til late!

    MALI BRAE FARM | MOSS VALE

    Beautiful views, fairy lights and lots of love, this is another Southern-Highlands-based venue that has a cosy rustic feel where you can go from zero to party real quick. The perfect place for an amazing feast and a killer dance floor!

    CENTENNIAL HOMESTEAD | CENTENNIAL PARK 

    Nestled in the heart of town, this gorgeous venue is a Sydney-fave for us with its gorgeous grounds, and its friendly staff. It’s the perfect place where you can chill with an acoustic line up or cut the rug with a full live band!

    SERGEANTS MESS | MOSMAN

    With it’s stunning Mosman location, jaw-dropping harbour views and awesome kookaburra friends, Sergeants Mess also loves a bit of a band vibe and we’re always more than happy to oblige.

    BOATHOUSE | PALM BEACH

    Take us to the beach at the Boathouse – where you literally couldn’t be any closer to the water! Not to mention they serve up delicious food, and offer up the perfect space to turn up the amps and get all your guests on the d-floor.

    MOBY DICKS | WHALE BEACH

    Amazing ocean views, hip styling options and a stage for your wedding band. We have a big crush on Moby Dicks and love the chance to get our gear out there and play some mad tunes.

  7. One Fine Day Wedding Fair in Brisbane & Sydney

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    We’re super happy to be hitting up One Fine Day Wedding Fair in Brisbane and Sydney this year with our amazing White Tree musos! Come and find us, maybe request a tune and have a chat about all the cool band line-ups we offer as well as some of the best wedding film and photography Australia has to offer!

    BRISBANE: 2ND FEBRUARY @ THE QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY

    SYDNEY: 10TH | 11TH FEBRUARY @ BARANGAROO CUTAWAY

    Grab your tickets HERE!

  8. Live Band Vs DJs for Weddings and Events

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    Music is a vital ingredient to ensure the success of any party, wedding or event. It enhances the senses to create an atmosphere where people can relax, enjoy themselves and feel comfortable to communicate more fluidly.

    We’ve all been to a restaurant before where the feng shui is just a little off. Then we stop and notice that the music is either too soft, too loud, or the chosen music isn’t matching the tone of the restaurant.

    At The White Tree, we understand that every event has communication objectives and the music needs to adhere to that brief. The difficult thing for a bride and groom or event planner is working out what style of music the demographic of the guests will want to hear, and how the music should unfold across the entire event.

    For intimate weddings or small scale networking events with limited budgets, an iPod playing selected songs via a venue’s house system may suffice. But for larger scale events where music should be playing a key role, there are many options to weigh up.

    Wedding Planning

    A key musical decision for a bride or event planner is whether the event calls for a live band or a DJ.

    Despite running a business that offers live bands for musical entertainment, rather than DJs, we still feel we can give an unbiased account of the pros and cons of both. Hopefully, some of these points help you if you’re struggling with this decision!

    We’ll start with the pros of a DJ.  A DJ is cost-effective as there is only ‘one mouth to feed’. DJs are that tried and tested option offering value for money.

    As an event planner, you also have more control over a DJ in terms of what music they play. It’s easier to request songs for a DJ to play (and not to play) because with today’s technology they can download, store and play Mp3s with ease.

    “The actual ‘sound’ of a DJ can also be positive if the demographic will want to hear songs exactly as per the original recording. Some generations love to hear a live band’s version of a song, but others prefer to hear it exactly as they heard it on the radio. This is an interesting thought, particularly as younger generations are growing up listening and dancing to DJs at pubs and clubs rather than bands. The Baby Boomer generation, for instance, is much more familiar with dancing to and engaging with live cover bands. Back in the 90s, many of the large venues had live cover bands instead of DJs.

    Choosing a Live Band

    When moving onto live bands, the first point is that the decision of ‘which band’ is that little bit more complicated and confusing than booking a DJ. For instance, with The White Tree Band, our lineup is customisable so clients can book as a small three piece with just male vocals/guitar, bass and drum, or a large ten piece with full brass section.

    You also want to find a band that has a singer who fits the tone of your event, and a repertoire of songs that will resonate with the guests. In this research and evaluation process, you should aim to source, not just a demo but also check out live film clips, and even check out the band at a gig. We run live showcase gigs with The White Tree at venues in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, so event planners can hear the singers and the different band configurations.

    Your chosen band configurations will depend on the scale of the event. If it’s a networking event, a great option is to have a small jazz band or an acoustic duo playing chilled out covers. We call these gigs ‘musical wallpaper’. We’re there to enhance the event aurally and visually but in a very subtle way.

    If however, you have an event for a large crowd who want some serious dance floor action, you’re going to want a bigger band to exert more energy. This is more costly than a DJ, but it can provide an unrivalled sound and a level of engagement that a DJ might not be able to match.

    A good live band comprising top musicians can still perform a range of styles. They can also change gears depending on the stage of the night so you could chat to the band about configuring a larger outfit for the dance sets, and the same band shrink down to a duo or trip for the earlier stages of the night.

    The actual sound of a great live band in full flight during the dance sets is arguably more raw and energetic than a DJ, particularly if you have a great lead singer who is engaging and entertaining. Good singers will be able to cue the band to ‘break it down’ and invite crowd participation such as the guests singing the chorus of a rock anthem, or call and response lyrics. Even some of the more reserved crowds love this sort of involvement, particularly if it’s later in the night after a few drinks.

    A slightly superficial ‘pro’ for a large live band is that it looks high-end. If you’re planning an extravagant event, the presence and aesthetic of a full eight to ten piece band with a brass section is arguably more impressive than a DJ standing behind a desk by themselves. This may seem like a trivial point, but we all know how important every ingredient is to the success of any event, particularly large-scale events where so much is on the line.

    Final Consideration

    A final option to consider, and one that straddles both the DJ and the live band, is the hybrid lineup which we call ‘sound system gigs’. This is a configuration of DJ and live instruments. There are many outfits around Australia that have been adopting this approach since the late 90s. A common lineup is DJ, percussion, saxophone and female vocals. This offers some live elements for the energy and engagement factor, but also the bottom end frequencies that the DJ brings. It can be a great sound for the dance sets and still quite cost-effective as there are usually only three or four members.

    The slight risk with the hybrid lineup is that it’s quite difficult to execute. I’ve seen many outfits over the years where the DJ and live musicians are not gelling together, resulting in a stagnant and slightly cheesy performance. This said, the experienced groups who have a musically minded DJ and a singer who can cleverly improvise over the DJ’s tracks, can be very engaging and energetic.

    In terms of the ‘sound’ of a sound system line up, some people feel it’s slightly dated, whereas a DJ and live band are obviously timeless. Nevertheless, the sound system/hybrid line up is a third option that event planners can consider.

    Whatever music option you go with (even the humble iPod through the venue’s sound system) you have to put thought into the decision making process. Key factors such as budget, guest demographic, event tone and venue size must be thought of when booking a band or DJ.

    Music does have the power to make or break some events and no one wants their event to turn into that restaurant with the bad feng shui.

    If you would like to check out the White Tree Band for your next event, jump online to view our upcoming showcase dates.