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Making Sense of Your Motown Bands Research

We are going to presume that for this guide you have done some research online and looked at a number of Motown bands. Now you need to filter out the good, the bad and the just plain terrible. Much of the following is common sense, but well worth a read if you’ve never booked a Motown band or for that matter a soul band and funk band before. These points are in no particular order. But the more of them you get a positive feeling about in relation to a particular band, the more confident you can feel about approaching that band.

a) Website quality: Great graphics, audio clips, full-length videos and examples of genuine feedback... Content like this indicates a band with a professional approach and strong commitment to their own brand. This usually means they have nothing to hide, such as inexperience or lack of talent!

b) Audio samples: Recording is relatively cheap these days so good quality audio is fairly easy for bands to achieve. The bare minimum a band should offer to showcase themselves are audio samples streamed or downloadable from their website. If there’s no audio on their website, it’s probably wise to look elsewhere.

c) Video: This can be anything from mobile phone footage to a professionally produced film. Don’t worry too much about the production standards; pay more attention to the Motown bands performance. Obviously the better the film quality the more easily you can make up your mind, but if it’s so bad you can’t even form an opinion…continue your search.

d) Photos: These should give you a sense of the band’s personality as well as the level of personal and financial investment that’s gone into creating and promoting their professional persona. Experienced Motown bands, funk bands or soul bands will have played at many events where a professional photographer was present, so there’s no excuse for no photos. Pictures of the band in a function environment will show you how they dress, how their PA and lighting gear looks and - with a bit of imagination - how they’ll appear at your event.

e) Band & band member biographies: The history of a band and the CVs of its members all add up to give you a picture of the ensemble’s quality and experience. Bands
with a rich background and top-level musicians want to tell prospective clients all about them. A lack of these suggests inexperience, so tread carefully.

f) Repertoire: Many function bands underestimate the importance of this but an organised repertoire list gives an instantly clear picture of their abilities and versatility.

g) Real client testimonials: Feedback from real clients is invaluable. Genuine emails or letters scanned and posted online offer a fantastic insight. Ask to speak with previous clients. The ones who have enjoyed the band and found them value for money will usually have no problem endorsing their work.

h) See the band live: Many people feel that seeing a band in a function setting is the only way to get a true impression. You could watch them at an event to which you’re not invited, but this can mean lurking uncomfortably in the corner and only catching ten minutes of a set.

If at all possible, it’s better to see them at a public venue. That way you’ll be more relaxed and able to watch for as long as you like. You’ll get a feel for the quality (or not!) of the musicians and how well they interact with each other and the audience. Either way, if you like what you see and your research tells you their function experience is genuine, you can be fairly sure they can come up with the goods at your event.

i) Speak to the band: Booking a Motown band is similar to purchasing any other service so find out all you can before you buy. It’s crucial to speak with the bandleader or representative - have a list of questions ready.

They should be able to provide polite and thorough responses to all of these and satisfy any concerns you may have. Any other reaction should set alarms bells ringing! Don’t book the band at the end of your first phone call. Take time to consider their responses before taking the next step.