Category: Special Events

Five things we learnt watching Empire of the Sun’s live return

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It was an important couple of shows for the duo – by their own account, the live show is a vital part of the new Empire story. “It’s mainly a similar story to what we set out writing the record about,” frontman Luke Steele dead-panned to inthemix. “My head piece creates dreams of the world and animals are born. They get stolen by the King of Shadows and there is corruption so we have to set out on journey to regain my head piece to restore sanity to the world.” With that, inthemix set out to catch Empire’s grand return and, just as we did at Kraftwerk, learned a few things on the way…


1. Nick Littlemore is hard to pin down

When the lights dimmed, the smoke machine kicked into gear and the music started to swell, Luke Steele was lifted onto stage on a rising podium, fist raised in salute and headdress on. Nick Littlemore, however, was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he was off writing new Pnau material. He could have been busy scoring Cirque de Soleil with Elton John. Maybe he was just at home on the couch, watching his bandmate do it for the both of them on the Vivid live stream. We can’t tell you where one half of Empire of the Sun was, but we can be sure that he wasn’t at the Opera House.

It’s not the first time Littlemore’s been conspicuously absent, either. “It was kind of heartbreaking at first, I was like…you’re not going to come on the road?,” Steele told Pedestrian about his bandmate’s absence from the Parklife ’09 tour. “But we’re in the same band! Then he just said to me, “when there’s real money on the table give me a call”. And I was like “I don’t know real money you’re talking about, if a million dollars for five shows isn’t real money, then I don’t know what is”. So I was like, okay, I’ll go tour it.”


2. Back-up dancers and costume changes aren’t just for pop stars

How many costume changes does it take to put on an Empire of the Sun live show? About 10, apparently. Throughout the 70-minute set, Luke Steele and his small army of very flexible back-up dancers proved they’ve mastered the art of slipping backstage for the blink-and-you’ll- miss-it costume change. Luke swapped headdress and cloak a couple of times before winding up in a gold lamé number for the big encore, while the dancers worked through a string of skin-tight bodysuits adorned, variously, by fluoro pink guitars, red tutus around the neck, mounds of white fluff on their shoulders and other feats of design I can’t adequately describe. Step aside, Katy Perry.


3. People like the new stuff

Second album Ice on the Dune might not be out yet, but that didn’t stop the crowd enjoying it just as much as that platinum-selling debut album (even if sing-a-longs weren’t on the cards). We Are The People and Walking on a Dream were obvious standouts, but the biggest moment of the night was reserved for the encore of new single Alive. So if the Opera House audience is any gauge, Ice on the Dune is going to fare alright.


4. Just because it’s a seated event, doesn’t mean people are going to sit down

It was bad news for lazy types who were looking forward to sitting down for the show (yes, that’d be me) because midway through the third song, Luke Steele commanded everyone to stand up. Unfortunately the Opera House isn’t really made for dancing, instead permitting only an awkward shuffle in the metre square you’ve been allocated. But that didn’t bother the crowd, who by and large seemed to relish the chance to throw in the odd fist pump.

Besides, sit down and the rows of bodies in front of you will block the theatrics happening on stage – which, really, is as integral to the show as the songs. “It’s pretty much as important as the music,” Steele told inthemix before the show. “It’s like the colour of the skin of the music or the blood or the hair. It’s all encapsulated. Like Chad Atkins said “people hear with their eyes”. That’s the quote I always use.” So there you go.


5. The days of smashing a guitar on stage aren’t over

Dance music audiences aren’t often treated to the unpredictable on stage element live music has. Sure, there was that time Skream unplugged his mixer and handed it to someone in the crowd (“I was clearly smashed,” he later admitted) but for the most part, DJs are usually pretty well behaved on stage. So when Luke Steele ended the show by smashing his guitar on stage with no shortage of force, it was hard not to enjoy the spectacle. Was it all a bit over the top? Sure, but that’s Empire.

Photos by Dan Boud.

6 Things Brides Really Look For In A Wedding DJ

Wedding DJ

What does it take to get bookings as a wedding DJ? What is it that brides (who we all know call the shots at weddings!) are really looking for when considering someone to book? How can you make sure you do the best job, and so impress brides-to-be who happen to be in attendance, who’ll then remember you when it’s their turn to get married? Here are the qualities you should work on as a DJ that’ll help you get the bookings…

The six qualities…

1. Wedding gig experience

Wedding gig experience

Experience is a top priority, with most opting for someone who has extensive experience within the wedding industry. A wedding is unlike any other party, and the DJ plays an important role in setting the tone for the evening. If you’re a DJ without much wedding experience, start building your portfolio as soon as possible – even if it means making slightly less money in the interim. The wider your portfolio, the more likely you’ll be able to secure the next wedding gig you pitch your services for.

2. Preparedness

Organised

Brides look for an organized DJ with solid planning skills who come prepared. How will you get ready for their party? Do you have any music-related questionnaires for them to fill in? What do you need to know about the venue and equipment set-up in case the bride and groom ask? The more information you can provide them when you first meet to discuss their big event, the more likely it is that they’ll pick you.

3. A positive personality

Friendly personality

At any wedding, the DJ will spend lots of time interacting with the crowd, taking requests, and entertaining guests – and that means everyone from children to the elderly. Your personality is important to the bride, and she’ll be looking for someone friendly, fun, and confident behind the decks to ensure her guests get the most from the evening’s entertainment. You’ll also want to look your best, so come in attire appropriate for the evening and always have a smile on your face. No frowning the entire night!

4. A truly diverse music collection

Diverse collection

The bride and groom are likely to have different musical preferences, as would their guests. It’s extremely important for the DJ to have a diverse music collection spanning decades as well as genres. The bride and groom will also have specific songs they’d like to be played in addition to their first dance, and it’s your job to find out what these are before the day itself so you can prepare.

6. Listening skills

Bridal DJ

Above all else, a bride needs a DJ that will listen to them. Couples tend to have a very firm idea about what they’d like their big day (and night) to be like, and they need to work with people who will listen and understand their vision to help them create the wedding they really want.

Finally…

These wedding DJ qualities are just the tip of the iceberg because every potential wedding gig will always be unique, but they’re a great place to start if you want to build your reputation as a professional. If you’re serious about doing it, you might also consider the Digital DJ Tips Complete 21st Wedding DJ guide, that has helped hundreds of wedding DJs get started.

In short though, just remember you’re providing an entertainment service, and the bride and groom are your bosses for the evening, so learn how to truly listen to what they need of you, and then over-deliver and exceed their expectations.

• This is a guest post by Barney from Party Events Unlimited, a DJ and wedding entertainment service based in London, UK that has provided DJ services across Europe.

April 28, 2015 by 9 Comments

Beer And ‘Exposure’ Now Legal Tender For Bands And Musicians

A recent change in the law will allow musicians to exchange free beer, buffet food and ‘exposure’ for petrol, rent and guitar strings. Under the new legislation, it will be possible to pay for studio time or even a mortgage, by mentioning the ‘really big gig’ you performed at last week for no money, especially if there were celebs at it.

musicians exposure

A bass player from Manchester said:

“This is really good news for bands and musicians. I’m looking forward to buying a new bass with the sausage rolls and four pints of Strongbow I was promised for doing a wedding last week. At last, the government are doing something to support working musicians,”

Under the old law, it was impossible to pay for any kind of goods or service with the bullshit idea that you are ‘getting your name out there’ by entertaining a bored crowd that have never heard of you, trying their hardest to get legless and cop off with each other at a badly organised event. But this new legislation paves the way for people that don’t want to pay for bands to hire bands, and for musicians to pay their mortgages with plastic glasses of warm ale and vague promises of future paid work.

“I was offered an unpaid spot at a posh wedding, on the promise that there were influential people among the guests that might help my career. I’m looking forward to name-dropping some B-list celebs and people off the telly at my building society, and getting a third off my mortgage this month,”

Said a professional flute player from Southampton.

“I’ve been a professional musician for fifteen years, and I normally feel like telling people to fuck off when they ask me to do stuff like that. But now I can finally afford to live on the total twaddle of some tight fisted bugger that wants me to do them a favour and doesn’t want to pay me,”

Photo from Wikipedia

April 30, 2015 by

Not sure if this is true, or Just in the USA, but you gotta love the premise !

Admin, Larger Than Life Entertainment

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