FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Booking the band
Can I see the band live before booking you?
The vast majority of our events are private functions so it is often not possible to see the band perform live before booking us.
However, any public events that we have coming up will be listed on our ‘where to hear us’ page. We don’t currently have a ‘demo ‘ CD to send out, but if your computer has good speakers, the demo sound clips on our ‘Listen to us’ page are a fair representation of how the band sounds live (no clever recording tricks, all live ‘just as it was ’ recordings !)
N.B. Listening on laptop speakers will sound terrible !
What do I need to do to book the band?
Once we’ve been in contact and agreed your requirements, the playing times and the fee, we send you a letter of confirmation for you to check that the details are as agreed. When you have signed and returned the second copy to us the date is yours.
Do we need to pay a deposit.?
No initial deposit is required.
How and when do we pay you ?
Payment to be made in cash on the night of performance, or 7 days in advance by cheque made payable to A. Sheppard .
Please see the ‘small print’ section at the bottom of this page .
How far do you travel?
We regularly travel up to 100 miles from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire .
We are also happy to travel further than this, though we may need to arrange overnight accommodation which would incur additional charges.
Are you insured?
Each musician in the band holds a £10m Public Liability Insurance policy with Musicians Insurance Services (arranged through the Musicians Union).
Do you have a PAT (Portable Appliance Test) certificate for your electrical equipment ?
All our electrical equipment is regularly PAT tested. Please ask us if you need copies of these documents.
Set-up and other requirements
How long do you need to set-up?
We usually arrive an hour before we are due to start playing; this means we have time to set-up and do a sound check before we start playing. It usually takes about 30 minutes to pack up when we've finished playing.
Can you arrive to set up earlier in the day?
Often we can, but if you want us to arrive more than 2 hours before we are due to start playing there may be an extra charge. We always aim to finish setting up before your guests arrive, and will be as flexible as possible to try and accommodate your needs.
How much space do you need?
The band needs approx. 3m X 3m (flat ) performance space. More space than this is good!...less than this and it becomes very very difficult to give you a good performance.
Can you play outside?
Yes, but only if we have adequate cover over us. ( Health and Safety) A waterproof Gazebo 3mx3m will usually be sufficient .
This is to protect us - and our equipment, against both sun and rain, as both can get in the way of a good performance!
You must also check that there is an adequate and safe power supply close to the performance space.
How much electricity do you need?
The Band only needs one ( safely earthed) normal 13amp socket close to the performance space.
The power used by our equipment is minimal ~ about the same as a 200w light bulb.
How much equipment do you bring with you? Not as much as many other bands. Obviously we bring our instruments plus our Bose L1 amplification system, which is compact and of very high quality . All our electrical equipment is PAT tested .
Do I need to provide any equipment? No – we bring all the necessary equipment; we just need somewhere to plug it in!
What do you require in the way of food and drink? ,
Not much usually, but if we have travelled a long distance to be with you , we probably won’t have eaten for some time, so if you are able to provide us with a meal, that would be very much appreciated (we don't require alcoholic drinks - soft drinks /coffee appreciated )
Is there anything else I need to provide?
A parking space ( for one car) as close to the performance area as feasible and somewhere handy to store cases for the equipment. after its been unpacked.
The band's performance
How long do you play for? We usually play two 60 minute sets of music, ( your initial quote will be for this) but are equally happy to play for longer depending what fits in best with your schedule. Our quote will tell you the fees for a performance longer than 2 hours.
Can you play music for the actual Wedding Ceremony?
Sorry, this is not something we do. We recommend that you check with the registrar about suitable music and make arrangements accordingly.
Can you play during a drinks reception and wedding breakfast in the afternoon, and then for dancing in the evening?
Yes, we regularly do this and find it works very well. It also works out much cheaper than booking two separate bands!
I'm having a disco for later – is this OK? Yes, this works really well , but please make sure there is enough space for both sets of equipment to be set up .
Can you play after midnight? Generally speaking, all of our quotes are dependent on us finishing before midnight; if you want us to go on longer, there may be an additional charge. Please ask us for more information.
What happens between sets? We usually bring along a CD player to play recorded music along the same lines as the tunes we perform. However, we are also happy to play your own choice of music, if you make a compilation of songs on a CD and give it to us beforehand. We are also able to plug your laptop, mp3 player or iPod into our PA system so that you have complete control over the music played between sets.
Can you learn our first dance tune? Often we can. You may also find a song you like which is already on our playlist page. ! It's best you talk to us as soon as possible to discuss this if it's something you would like us to do .(it may attract an additional charge if its not already on our playlist as we will have to arrange and rehearse it )
What about other requests? When you book the band you are more than welcome to go through our repertoire and highlight songs you particularly do or do not want us to play. Sometimes it is possible to learn new songs, but it can be hard to fit this into the band's busy schedule and may incur additional charges. Let us know well in advance and we can discuss the options with you straight away! Please remember we are a swing and jazz band not a rock group..so guitar based ‘Heavy metal’ numbers are not our style and a bit difficult to achieve with our instrumentation. ( Status Quo numbers a bit difficult without guitars!)
The ‘small print ‘
Please note that it is not unusual for us to get several clients interested in the same date. We will treat all enquiries with equal priority until we have a definite confirmation from one.
Once all details of the booking have been agreed and confirmed in writing (by letter or e-mail) the agreement may not be varied except by mutual consent of both parties.
In the event of us being unable to appear due to unforeseen circumstances :-
We have been playing together for 12 years and completed over 1500 performances
Only on one occasion have we had to cancel our appearance due to illness.
In the unlikely event of us having to cancel an appearance:-
We have connections with a large network of other musicians and entertainment agencies across the country. We would do our best by asking them to assist in finding you an acceptable replacement band, but regret can’t guarantee that one will be found.
Tony Sheppard Keyboards, vocals and Trombone.
Diane Atkinson Tenor and Baritone Saxophones, vocals, Jazz Flute.
Ain’t Misbehavin’ Gloucestershire’s leading Jazz Swing and Latin Band. Frequently asked questions
Will you play music for the actual Wedding Ceremony ? (sorry we don’t)