Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hire a band?
This can vary wildly but generally between amateur and professional bands, where the band has to travel to and what length performances are required. Get in touch for an accurate quote on our contact us page.
Can we come and see you live?
We always do our best to accommodate our clients who want to come and see us live but it is often difficult to get guests along to our performances as they are nearly all private weddings and functions. When there is enough demand we hold showcases for groups of our potential clients to come along and see us perform live in a rehearsal studio or small venue. These are usually held in central Birmingham in the evening. Register your interest to come and see us live by emailing us or going to the contact us page.
Can you learn our 1st Dance?
Yes, we can usually learn and perform your 1st dance free of charge as long as we’ve got enough notice (1 month) and the song is suitable for the band.
Can we choose the songs that you’ll play?
We’re always happy to take our clients song choices into consideration but we find that too many requests can upset the flow of the night as well as the balance between male to female vocals. Our set lists are tried and tested, with any songs that regularly clear the dance floor being dropped. We can integrate your selection of songs into our set list whilst using our experience to keep the dance floor full. Take a look at our repertoire page for a full list.
Can you learn songs that aren’t in your song list?
On most occasions yes, although there may be a small charge for this. It depends how likely we are to use the song again and how suitable for the band it would be. If it’s something that we’ve been considering adding to our play list then we’re likely to play it free of charge.
What will you wear at our event?
We'll always wear smart dress to fit in with your guests. Male band members will usually wear grey suits with white or black shirts and female band members will wear a dress as seen in our band pictures. If it’s a formal event we can wear dinner jackets with bow ties. Female band members will wear a smart evening dress.
How long do you perform for?
We usually perform for 2 X 1 hour sets but you can have 2 hours or less in any duration you choose. 3 X 40 minutes can work well when there’s a lot of time to fill, 2 X 45 minutes or 1 hour can be done if you have other things going on. We generally find that 2 X 1 hour performances work best and has the most impact, especially if you’ve booked our DJ services or have other entertainment of your own.
My mate can play the guitar - can he play a few tunes with you?
This is a tricky one as it can make a great feature or be a painful mess! This can be done in rare cases but all musicians will need to bring their own instruments and it needs to be arranged well in advance. An experienced singer performing a well known song will always be better than a beginner trying to perform on the guitar for the 1st time in public.
Are You Insured and PAT Tested?
Many venues will require the band to have Public Liability Insurance (PLI) and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). At The Smooth Criminals we have £5 million Public Liability Insurance and all our equipment is tested for electrical safety each year. We have certificates for each so just email if you need a copy for your venue.
Can you set up earlier in the day, before our guests arrive?
Yes, this is something we do quite regularly. We have two options: The 1st is that two band members arrive early and set most of the equipment, leaving the stage looking nice and tidy. The rest of the band will arrive later, usually after 5pm with the remaining equipment and will perform a short soundcheck for around 15mins, meaning there is little disturbance to your guests.
The other option is for the whole band to turn up at your agreed time and set up and soundcheck everything, before your guests arrive so later on we can go straight on stage and perform.
Bear in mind that there is a small charge for this as band members involved with have a long day, often 12 hours on site before driving is included.
Can you finish after Midnight?
Yes, although our standard finish time is Midnight we are happy to finish later for a small fee. Just mention this when enquiring.
Can you perform outside?
Yes, we can perform outside in summer months provided that the weather forecast is good. As the UK weather is very unpredictable we prefer having a gazebo to perform under especially as we use large amounts of expensive electrical items.
If I book will I receive a contract? Will I need to pay a deposit?
We want you to be completely happy with our services and have piece of mind when booking us. If you choose to go ahead with a booking we’ll draw up a professional contract for our services, then request a small deposit to secure our services. We usually ask for the remaining payment a week before or even on the night if you prefer.
Are we expected to feed and water you?
We often travel for hours to get to venues, leaving home at 2 or 3pm and not arriving home until 3 or 4 in the morning. For this reason we do ask for a meal for each member of the band and soft drinks for the duration of stay at the venue. This doesn’t need to be expensive to you, as we don’t require the same food as your evening guests. We’re always happy to eat from the evening buffet or have a platter of sandwiches with some chips. If his cannot be arranged just let us know and we can arrange our own food at very little expense.
Do you need a changing room?
We’ll always get changed for our performances so this is something that we ask for. Often venues have spare conference rooms or hotel rooms that aren’t being used - these are ideal. If this is not possible we can usually find a way round it. Bear in mind that public toilets are not suitable.
Will you need parking?
We will require parking for all vehicles used and this can vary. If it’s a local gig: Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Stafford, Warwickshire or Worcester it’s likely that we’ll all travel separately meaning each band member will require a parking space. On most gigs further afield we’ll all travel together in our van - therefore only needing one (large!) space.
What events have you done before?
We’ve played hundreds of weddings, loads of Corporate Functions, Private parties, Birthday Parties, Christmas Parties, New Years Eve Parties, Charity Events, Award Evenings, Annual Balls, Engagement Parties and Anniversaries, so don’t be afraid to ask!