This morning we are pleased to introduce to you Wedding Supplier Member The Undercover Monkeys. Over to you boys…
How did it all start?
We’ve been playing together for over seven years, we actually play in another band where it’s all our own material and we’ve toured all over the UK / Europe, playing at some top venues along the way including the O2, Kentish Town Forum, Vanguard (Oslo), Pop-In (Paris), CC’s (Amsterdam). About three years ago we got asked to play at a friends wedding, we smashed it, and so got asked to play a few more. It’s grown organically from there and we’re now getting booked all the time – joining UKAWP is the next step in our journey and we’re delighted to be part of the community.
Do you have a favourite venue?
We’ve played some gorgeous ones across the UK – but to pick our top three from 2014 it would be Forde Abbey in Somerset, The Orangery near Maidstone, Kent, and The Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge, Cumbria. They all had special atmospheres on summer wedding evenings.
How would clients describe you?
Approachable, thorough and honest – we would hope, and these are key values for us. We aren’t linked to an agency and this means clients/planners can reach us directly at any stage before the big day – we ask loads of questions of the couple in the early stages so that we can get a feel for their personalities, tastes and dream wedding day; helping us to fine tune our output to achieve this. Beyond the music we play, every detail matters; from stage position, lighting, all the way down to the colour of our socks(!) on stage – and dialogue is key in the buildup. Honesty is also key – when quoting fees we break down everything so there are no hidden surprises.
Wedding suppliers you particularly admire?
We get to meet a number of passionate, talented suppliers in our work – the first of a couple that spring to mind is Tipi Unique, who supply stunning native American tipi marquees – they make for a magical ambience. The second is Hackney Lick, who provide delicious artisan gelatos, run by two classically trained chefs with their own flavour lab in east London, avocado & bacon flavour is really tasty!
How do you unwind?
Well as Al (bassist) has a baby boy and Stan (guitarist) has one on the way, there hasn’t been too much time for unwinding recently, but if there’s one thing that will get the three of us chatting over a pint, it’s football on the TV, typical lads or what!
What trends are you seeing for 2015/16?
As budgets for couples are tighter than ever, we’re seeing more and more asking what different set-ups we can provide, because booking both a DJ and a band can be expensive. Therefore we’ve broadened our offering and increasingly we’ll get booked to play a chilled acoustic set to kick things off, then two rocking electric sets, and finally a DJ set. Although this can be exhausting and more complex to deliver for us, it does allow us to showcase our huge repertoire and it keeps things varied for guests.
What is your signature dish?
Well we definitely have a signature indie/rock sound rooted in triple vocal harmonies, and big drums courtesy of Ross, but we love to apply this to hits from other genres, for example ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce gets a rock’n’roll flavour – and never fails to fill the dancefloor once guests clock what track we’re playing.
Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love work on?
Given our love for The Beatles, it would have to be John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Gibraltar, 1969! It would have been a stunning backdrop to perform an acoustic set after the ceremony, and we reckon the evening party would have been a raucous one, with some musical legends joining us on stage later on!
What is your vice?
Hmmmm, that would be have to be service station food on the way back from faraway bookings, which often leads to a very untidy van!