Only a few days after the Royal Wedding we caught up with The Wedding Community’s wedding entertainment advice expert Sera from MIB Music to find out about their performance at the Royal Wedding celebration party in Hyde Park.
How did MIB come to be part of this great event to celebrate the Royal Wedding?
Gosh, I ask myself this question all the time! Basically one of our agents who we work very closely with was asked to recommend a band for the day, and they put us forward. I think they put us forward because as individual musicians we all have a lot of experience playing for big crowds (we’re all session musicians) and I guess they know we’re super reliable and always deliver! 😉
We’ve managed to get ourselves a great reputation over the years which is fantastic, but honestly nothing could have prepared us for being asked to perform on such an historic occasion. We were the only band playing and it really was such an honour – I could go on about it all day!
Have you ever performed at an event this big before?
No! Apparently Friday’s event went down in history as the UK’s biggest ever gig!! I can’t believe it.
We’ve all done big gigs before. Most of the band have toured the world as individual session players/singers to some pretty huge audiences of 150,000 or so, but nothing like 300,000…it was just incredible. My main memory of Friday is us all huddling away in our cabin, and every now and then you’d hear the crowd cheering. It was the most immense sound and like nothing I’ve ever heard before.
How many performers did you have in your set?
We performed as the 10 piece band, so basically 2 female singers, 2 male singers, drums, bass, guitar, keys, sax and trumpet. It was great to have so many of us up there, there’s always a bigger chemistry when there are more musicians involved.
How long were you on stage and what was your playlist like?
The initial idea was they only wanted us on for 35 minutes. We had to do a tiny 3 minute slot where we played a medley of the ‘top 5 first dances’ and the crowd had to vote for which one they wanted us to perform. Then we were supposed to come on again, play the winning song and launch into a 35mins set of ‘wedding style’ covers. However, they ended up extending our set to 50 minutes as it was going so well, and then sent us on for another half hour for a second set!
We played all sorts. I wanted to stay away from being too cheesy, because I think cheesy wedding bands are kind of done and dusted now (there’s nothing wrong with a little cheese, but people seem to want more modern music and less ‘I will survive’!). Also, there were rumours that a big named band would be playing, however in reality that wasn’t happening so I wanted to give the audience something a bit ‘cooler’ than something a typical wedding band might play. I didn’t want to be doing anything like ‘High Ho Silver Lining’! We basically played stuff like ‘Greatest Day’ by Take That, ‘Valerie’ by Amy Winehouse, ‘Forget You’ by CeeLo Green, and then some less obvious older songs like ‘Give It Up’ by KC & The Sunshine Band (which inspired a 1000 person long conga! Lol) and ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ by Michael Jackson.
What were you all wearing?
The boys wore nice suits, and us girls decided to dress patriotically, with me in red, Rachael in blue and our female horn section in white. We were in hair and make-up from 6 in the morning!
Did you get to mingle with the stars?
Vanessa Feltz was there presenting for the BBC and she seemed really lovely…in fact she said hello to us a few times and waved when we walked past etc. I thought that was really sweet. She could probably see how nervous we all looked and wanted to help us feel better.
On scale of 1 -10, how excited were you? (If we know Sera, we don’t think she would have slept for weeks due to the excitement!)
The build up to this was ridiculously exciting, especially because (as with all these sorts of events) the details were very vague and we really had no idea what we were supposed to be doing until we turned up! We had heard rumours that they were expecting big crowds, but had no idea that it would be the UK’s largest ever gig! I was incredibly nervous for the few weeks beforehand (in fact couldn’t stop myself from gagging every time anyone said the words ‘Royal Wedding’!), but actually once we were there it felt like the most natural thing ever; it was ever so strange. I was on stage, in front of 300,000 people thinking “I think this is the least nervous I have ever been on stage, and the most comfortable”. I never in a million years expected to be feeling like that!
How will people be able to see you performance if they were not able to get to Hyde Park?
There’s lots of footage on Youtube at the moment, but I’m trying to get hold of the official footage that was taken, and if I do then I’ll put together a little show reel from it and pop it online; I will keep you posted on that one! Apparently it was featured all over the world, even on the Los Angeles and Australian news.
How are you feeling about it now, post event?
It’s funny, all of us have been a bit speechless about it all. We had a gig the next day and we all just sort of sat backstage in silence, taking it all in and trying to process what we had actually done; it’s ever such a strange feeling. Really the overriding feeling is just that we are insanely proud to have been involved in Will & Kate’s big day. It was such a beautiful wedding and such a huge day in British history. We will never forget it!