"Baby, baby, baby I'm coming home. To your tender loving..."
Following Linc and Ally's wedding ceremony in nearby Wittunga Gardens, guests arrived at the Belair Community Centre around 5:30pm for pre-dinner drinks in the garden area. Setup-wise, we ran one speaker on a 20m cable out to the garden area, while keeping our other speaker in the main dining room. When we're posed with a unique venue, like this one, we're happy to do the legwork to help couples achieve their musical vision. Music-wise, we played soulful, jazzy tunes that had some gentle propulsion and were complementary to the peaceful garden setting. For example:
"People Music" by Herbie Hancock
"The Creator Has a Master Plan" by Norman Connors (originally by Pharoah Sanders)
"Heaven Right Here on Earth" by Natural Four
"Morning Dance" by Spyro Gyra
The Belair Community Centre had quite a charm to it and the acoustic treatment was very decent for a community hall. The stage and theatrical curtain, hardwood floors and Linc and Ally's decor choices came together really nicely. Having our DJ setup on the raised platform was super helpful for avoiding dance floor vibrations and guests bumping the decks.
As dinner commenced, we noticed the acoustics in the room were particularly sensitive to vocals and other treble-ranged tones while guests were busy chatting. We dialled back the treble and decided to play mainly instrumental songs as guests conversed. It was a good opportunity to play some samples from well-known hip hop songs (e.g. "Rise" by Herb Alpert, "Juicy Fruit" by Mtume). A bit of music history and education, if you will. We think it's important as DJs to have an awareness of your surroundings and guests rather than plow ahead with a pre-conceived idea of what you will or won't play. Obviously, with vinyl, some pre-planning is required to pack your crates, but we've found that keeping an open mind is important.
"Coming Home" by Leon Bridges
Following some lovely speeches from parents, siblings and Linc and Ally, the time had arrived, as the MC described, to "assume the positions" for the first dance.
Following on from their first dance, Ally and Linc's guests joined them on the dance floor for (in Linc's words) "a very naff, cringeworthy and memorable group dance" to "Nutbush" by Ike & Tina Turner. It was actually pretty fun and a sneaky way to fill the dancefloor ASAP. We rolled on with a few more uptempo tracks such as "Shake Your Tailfeather" by Ray Charles + Blues Brothers, "Hey Ya!" by OutKast and "Lowrider" by WAR.
After a run of faster numbers, we dropped it riiiight back to Ginuwine's"Pony" and "Paper Planes" by MIA. The first half an hour of dancefloor action is an interesting time of getting a feel for what music the guests are really into (and not into), who the keen dancers are and what kind of requests we might get. Sometimes we'll play around with a variety of genres and tempos and gauge the response to help get a sense of direction for the next 15-30min or so. We ask all our couples to fill out a simple Music Request Form, prior to their wedding, giving us 10 or so songs that they love to dance to and also a list of songs that they do not want to hear. This gives us a handy base point to unravel their musical tastes and envisage where the night may take us.
Linc had requested a handful of uptempo funk and soul tunes (you speak our language Linc!) such as James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing", Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and Janelle Monae's "Tightrope" (a modern take on the genre). Ally had requested some classics for people to sing along to, like Paul Simon's "Call Me, Al", "One More Time" by Daft Punk, as well as some RnB party starters like Kanye West's "Gold Digger" and Missy Elliott's "Work It".
Whether by fate or destiny, the dancefloor reached it's peak mass around the time we played Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and the night really took off from then onwards. We'd originally intended to mix across to Kanye West's "Stronger", by slowing down the original Daft Punk sample, but sensing the crowd's enjoyment of the uptempo electronic grooves, we stayed in that lane. It's always a joy to play "The Bomb" by The Bucketheads. Seeing people lose their heads to Basement Jaxx "Where's your head at" is also one of DJing's great pleasures.
Linc approached us to extend the party by another half an hour and we were thrilled to oblige. Seriously, it was such a great party atmosphere at this point of the evening! We still had plenty of tunes left to play, including a handful of Linc and Ally's requests (including Azealia Banks "212" - cheeky!), when alas, it was time for them to depart. Their guests farewelled them while Mark Ronson's homage to James Brown: "Feel Right" rang out across the room.
Thanks Linc and Ally for having us DJ for your wedding.
We're available for hire as vinyl DJs in Adelaide if you think we're the right fit for your wedding or special event.