"Can a singer just borrow your microphone?", I sometimes get asked. It sounds simple doesn't it? They're only borrowing a microphone for a while so they can sing, right?. There's sometimes a bit more to it than that!
Last Saturday night saw me DJing for Sophie & Allison's wedding reception at Walworth Castle Hotel near Darlington. This party had a seriously big twist. Allison had booked a singer - Kelly Llorenna no less (Set You Free, Tell It To My Heart, Forever, Heart Of Gold, True Love Never Dies.. ) as a surprise for Sophie who happens to be a big Kelly fan. She first spoke to me about it ages ago & the potential for this party becoming one of the most epic I've ever seen immediately became apparent.
The original plan was for Kelly to surprise Sophie just after her & Allison's first dance but this had to be changed & everything rearranged. Kelly arrived at the hotel good & early & I met with her to discuss how we were going to do the reveal. It's no problem for me to play music from a USB stick - in this case it was Kelly's backing tracks, but because she couldn't just go in the room I had to take my spare laptop to her in another room of the hotel. I left my booth in the capable hands of somebody I trusted & between us Kelly & I agreed I'd fake the music system going offline - people would inevitably heckle & shout - and she'd take that as her cue to enter the room singing Heart of Gold acapella style.
Sadly my action camera didn't catch Sophie's reaction when she realised who Kelly was, but I got pretty much everything else.
So then. A singer rocks up, you give them a microphone & let them get on with it yeah? Hmm not quite! Their levels (that is how loud they are) can vary quite a bit so you need to watch that & make sure the vocals & music are well balanced.
Sophie & Allison requested a change in the running order on the fly, which threw me a slight curveball but nothing me & Kelly couldn't work out quickly between us. The result was utterly breathtaking. They absolutely SMASHED IT!
Was it nerve wracking & stressful? You bet! No soundcheck, with only hope that the music files on Kelly's USB stick would play OK.. I was pretty frazzled by the end of Kelly's set. But was it worth it? Oh yes!!
Taking part in a moments somebody will remember for the rest of their life is what I live for.