The ‘everything you need to know’ guide by The Sing-a-Long Waiters
Well its nearly the end of 2015 and Christmas is upon us, What a great year it has been here at Garston Entertainments.
To end the year in style we thought we would treat you to an entertaining and informative interview with our exclusively managed singing waiters act The Sing a Long Waiters
The Sing a Long Waiters have successfully performed hundreds of shows over the last 2 years and are very well placed to answer any questions we can throw at them regarding how their show works and what it`s like to be a surprise singing waiter at your Wedding, Corporate Event, Party or Function
We settle down in a coffee shop and the guys enter looking very relaxed and its immediately apparent that these guys have that `comedy` chemistry between them and a natural ability to make people smile and laugh
Hello Maurice and Darren, thanks for doing this interview for us and how has 2015 been for you guys?
Maurice: No problem and thanks for buying us coffee (he takes a huge gulp but chokes as its too hot)
Darren: (Laughs) 2015 has been the best year for us and long may it continue, well until 31st December anyway, but seriously we have had such a great time performing at our shows and we have met some fantastic characters along the way.
That’s great to hear, now how long have you been doing this act for?
Darren: The Sing a Long waiters act has been running now for around 2 years, before we created this show we were a full time vocal comedy double act that toured all over the world for companies like First Choice and Thomson Holidays.
Maurice: We thought we would bring a bit of light heartedness (if that’s a real word) to the popular genre of singing waiters because everyone needs to laugh at a celebratory event or dinner.
Of course, I bet many people ask whether you are `real` waiters when booking you and if you can wash the dishes.
Maurice: Yes we had a situation a few months ago when the client thought he wouldn`t need to employ any other waiters (laughs)
Darren: When we told him that we weren’t trained waiters and that he will have to draft in real waiting staff for his wedding, we had a good laugh with him about it, but no we are not real waiters, just pretend ones.
How long do you actually `wait on` for the guests?
Darren: We serve the guests through the starter and main course usually and then perform our `reveal` just as the desserts have been served.
Maurice: Although we have performed at events where there was no meal involved like a drinks reception or serving canapés throughout the evening and the hardest part was not eating one but maybe we will in the future (Laughs)
You must have an endless supply of waiters uniforms in your wardrobes? Or does the client supply them?
Maurice: We have all the basics like black trousers, white and black shirts and a black waist jacket but we always contact the hotel or catering company and ask if they ask if they have specific uniforms and in most cases they lend us any branded uniforms to make us blend in with the real staff at the venue
Darren: We have been that convincing that we have been offered jobs at loads of hotels
Is it just waiters you impersonate or can the client request other type of staff members or even something out of the ordinary?
Maurice: Yeah we wholeheartedly encourage the client to get involved in making and helping deliver the surprise to make it really entertaining or they can just sit back and leave it to us. We can be drunken guests, food hygiene inspectors, grumpy room managers, you name it, we’ve heard it, but if the client wants a certain thing then we do our best to facilitate that.
Darren: We have our own very specific tried and trusted way of starting the show (which they tell us is top secret) but we are always excited when the client wants to get involved as they feel like they have played a big part in the surprise for their friends or colleagues.
So you could say that it`s as exciting for the people booking you as it is for the guests, Can the client request songs that you perform?
Maurice: Definitely, we pride ourselves on great communication prior to the big day it’s often all very secretive and we always ask if they have any songs in particular that they would like to be performed by us, as long as it’s in our vocal range and not something by Mariah Carey or Celine Dion! (All laugh)
Darren: As our name would suggest though the songs we perform are really well known hits that everyone at least knows the chorus to. We even have guest’s get on the microphone if they’re brave enough!
Well that was actually my next question; do you interact with the audience when you are performing as the waiters?
Darren: Yes that`s the most thrilling thing about performing this show, getting involved with the audience, I usually get cuddled by the older women
Maurice: That’s just a normal day for you though (all laugh) we improvise a lot during our performance and try to make sure that the audience feels comfortable with us and we can laugh and joke around with them.
What sort of music do you sing?
Maurice: In short, everything, well, almost everything, Not thrash metal. We sing a large repertoire of music including songs from musicals, swing, soul and all those ‘sing a long’ favourites.
Darren: We try to be as varied as possible, some singing waiter shows perform opera, which is always popular, but after the well known numbers have been performed it can be tough to join in! Though it is something we will be adding very soon, like chocolate cake, it will be in moderation! We guarantee the audience will know and can sing along to all of our songs, we just like to make sure we tailor everything perfectly to the client
How long do you perform for?
Darren: it depends on the event but generally 30-60 minutes of singing unless we are requested otherwise and there is the entire service leading up to the ‘reveal’ which is often around an hour or more
Maurice: Our speciality is to keep the audience engaged after the `reveal` has been made and that`s why we sing songs you know so you won`t even want to nip to the loo!
Can I hire more than 2 of you for my event?
Darren: yes we can add male or female singers, because we have been performers for over 20 years, we have made some fantastic contacts with very talented performers and they all are of a very high standard.
Maurice: We know them all personally, they are of an extremely high standard and know how we work and what we expect.
For people who are not familiar with Singing waiters and have never booked any live music before, do you supply the music system or do you perform acoustically?
Maurice: we don`t perform acoustically, we supply all of the PA (public address) equipment for the performance and we try and keep it in a very discreet area of the venue as to not arouse suspicion.
Darren: we have a fantastic sound system and we can create a really great atmosphere around the room – but not so loud people will be running out holding their ears!
How far do you travel for a show and does this affect the cost in any way?
Maurice: We travel all over the UK and beyond to perform our shows, I wouldn`t call us jet-setters more car-setters! but obviously if we get booked for a gig on the moon it will cost more than a show ‘round the corner’ (Maurice then goes on to assure me that if a booking came in for the moon that they would definitely consider it)
Now lets get to the nitty gritty guys, how much do you cost and do you offer any other packages when people book your Sing a Long Waiters
Darren: Our price varies depending on location and which package you decide to have, we can provide the basic waiter package which includes up to one hour of service in which we really get to know your guests by getting up close and personal with them, but not too intrusive! Then up to an hour of singing performance once we have revealed ourselves as singing waiters. We always say for the best quote you should contact Garston Entertainments and get a bespoke price and all package details for you event
Maurice: Yeah definitely not too intrusive, we don`t ask for any phone numbers, lets just get that straight! (All laugh) We also offer the choice of a 2nd lively set later on and the option of a DJ service throughout the night.
Darren: We offer a dedicated swing and soul show too, along with literally hundreds of other songs, you can mix and match as much as you like. We are pretty versatile but I can`t do the splits anymore (laugh)
Sounds great guys, Is it just weddings you perform at or can people hire you for their party?
Maurice: we perform at any event from house parties, corporate events to weddings and we have even performed at a divorce party which was slightly weird but good nonetheless.
That sounds interesting, with regards to payment, can the client pay you on the day or can they pay Garston direct prior to the day?
Darren: It`s totally up to them, a deposit of 15% + VAT of the agreed amount is required to secure the date, this is paid directly to Garston. You can then pay the final balance 1 month before the event or the remaining fee to us on the day.
Brilliant guys, well thanks for joining me here and speaking to me,
Darren: No problem, thanks for the extremely hot coffee and biscuit on the side which I will have later.
Finally, do you have any funny stories from your time performing as The Sing a Long Waiters?
Maurice: We were once asked by a bride and groom to ‘accidentally`drop the wedding cake as we brought it in to the venue, it was hilarious, we really messed up the floor and people were running around and panicking but the bride and groom were laughing so much, when we burst into song it all made sense and then the `real’ waiters brought out the `real’ cake.
Darren: I also carried a birthday cake (at a wedding?!) to the top table that had a giant sparkler in it, which then caught fire to the ribbon round the side, it was a bit awkward. We do love it when people want to get involved with the surprise as it validates the humour and makes it more believable but the guests were quite shocked with the cake drop..
The Sing a Long Waiters can be booked exclusively through Garston Entertainments at http://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/artist/1488/The-Sing-a-Long-Waiters or by calling 0845 071 0988
Please click here to view our full range of Singing Waiter Shows http://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/category/124/Singing-Waiters/
For more Entertainment Ideas & Inspiration for your Wedding Entertainment, please click here http://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/weddings/