Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Choosing a Wedding DJ in Manchester or a Wedding DJ in Cheshire?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

 Where did you get Your DJ? FLoorfillas DJ Blog Image PNG

Why saving a few pounds on your DJ can cost more than its worth!

This article contains important advice for those in search of the perfect Wedding DJ.

Choosing the right DJ for your wedding can be quite a daunting task and is probably one of the most important choices you will make for your wedding reception.  Guests usually judge how good the party was by whether they’ve had a good dance or not. People need to feel both relaxed and confident before they are ready to take to the dance floor and the music motivates them to actively take part in the party. People tend to be friendlier and a bit more outgoing once they have joined the party on the dance floor.  Once the dance floor is busy, the DJ can dictate the pace and decide when to take the crowd to the next level.

Does your DJ have the experience required to get all age groups on the dance floor?

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Will your DJ provide excitement for every age group?

Creating a relaxed atmosphere that slowly lifts into an exciting and uplifting party is a skill gained by experience.  The big challenge Wedding DJs face is appealing to all the age groups and yes, a DJ can have a modern approach and still appeal to the older age groups . There are songs through most decades that create such a high level of energy without all the expensive production that is now found on most dance tracks. Just take a look at some adverts on TV over the last ten years. You will find tracks that go back to the 50s, 60s and even earlier in some cases. Why do highly skilled and experienced advertising executives choose these songs for their multi-million pound advertising campaigns? Well it’s because they work and contain a touch of magic. Choosing older songs for the dance floor is not the same as choosing songs for a TV advert. However, there are some older songs that just work on the dance floor and still have that cool edge that makes you want to dance, even 50 or 60 years after they were originally in the charts.

Does your DJ have the right style for your event?  FLoorfillas DJ Blog head Images

You can also find some DJs that provide Karaoke. However, Floorfillas do not offer this service. DJs often have their own style. Some DJs rely on great songs to create a party atmosphere, whilst others adopt a more interactive style which involves talking over the microphone to guests and sometimes making a few jokes and providing party games. Then there are club DJs who very rarely talk, but know how to mix beats together.  So it is necessary to decide what kind of entertainment you would like to provide for your guests and ensure that you choose a DJ to match! I personally rely more on good music to create the atmosphere, but also understand that communication with guests can help them feel more relaxed and subsequently more likely to let themselves go a bit more.  We have all been to at least one Wedding Reception or Party where the DJ talks over the music in a style more reminiscent of a bingo caller than a DJ. There are DJs who offer party games and karaoke.  My personal feelings are that party games are a little bit old-fashioned, and although Karaoke can be fun in a private booth or office party, this may not be suitable or appropriate as some people have a definite dislike for Karaoke events.

How much should you pay for your DJ?

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 Your expensive wedding could be ruined by a bargain basement DJ!

Let me start this section with a fact that is very widely known in most areas of the entertainment industry: you get what you pay for. I recently read this on a popular wedding websites forum:

“ How much should I pay for my wedding DJ ?”

A reply was posted;

“Well I paid £250 for our DJ”

The following response:  Wow I think I am getting ripped off as I have been quoted £450”!

DJs quoting £400-£500 for an event will charge this kind of price if they are confident that they can provide a high standard of service to their customer. They have probably established an excellent reputation with local venues and have a catalogue of first class references. They will be highly experienced at reading the crowd, choosing the right music and will have an overall image of professionalism – reflected in their equipment, website and promotional material and presentation. The good professionals will always carry back-up equipment just in case of any unforeseen emergency. They will have a high level of public liability insurance (normally £5 to £10 million pounds) and will also have the essential PAT certification that most venues now insist on. Another asset they will probably have is an outgoing, friendly and personable personality.  Highly experienced DJs are also quite capable of coping with stressful situations, and finding a fast and efficient solution to any problems that could arise during your event. A professional DJ will probably look into your request list the week before your event and have a set of music to hand that compliments your chosen songs. I spend at least a day preparing for most parties and this can sometimes stretch to 2 or 3 days if the client requires bespoke videos playing at their event. So a DJ who only charges £250 is likely to have a full time job and perhaps be moonlighting as a DJ in the evening. The equipment may not be of professional grade and his DJ skills and music knowledge will not equal those of a full time professional. It is also worth bearing in mind that if you are paying a low fee, some less scrupulous DJs may decide to cancel your booking in favour of a more lucrative job if one is offered. I am often called by agents and private customers requesting my availability due to a DJ “no show” or unexplained late cancellation. I hope you don’t take any risks when you book your entertainment for your Wedding reception.

If you would like more information on the Floorfillas DJ service please drop me an email.

Thank you

Anton:  anton@floorfillas.co.uk

by Anton Joe

 

Lindy Hop…Get in the Swing!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

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Lindy, or the Lindy Hop dance, is a Swing dance which reflects the music of the 1920’s through to the 1950’s. Being used to bop along to anything from big bands to jazz musicians, the Lindy Hop combines the hold and turns of European dancing with the solid body posture of traditional African dance. Lindy dances always require two people, who rotate and step around each other while embracing or linking hands. The Lindy Hop paved the way for the likes of West Coast Swing, Rock’n’Roll and Boogie Woogie dancing, encouraging dancers to move in time with the rhythm without the strict rules and formalities of many other forms of dancing.

The name Lindy Hop is a reference to a newspaper headline which read “Lindy Hops the Atlantic”, celebrating Charles Lindbergh’s success at completing the first solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

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Just the year before, New York’s bustling Harlem district saw the opening of the Savoy Ballroom. This dance club resided on Lennox Avenue in the heart of Harlem, a place which accommodated black and white people alike and was known as the “mother church of swing dance”. As soon as the club opened, a new fast-paced style of dancing began to emerge. This dancing, which became known the following year as Lindy Hop, mixed the swing music of the time with the jazz dancing and African rhythms which were a major part of African-American heritage.

Despite growing massively in popularity between the 1930’s and 1950’s, the Lindy Hop saw a decline over the next few decades. However, the year 1986 saw Frankie Manning – arguably the greatest Lindy Hop swing dancer in history – came out of retirement and begin teaching couples to swing again. A strong scene emerged throughout the 1990’s in the West Coast of America, and to this day lively Lindy Hop and jazz dancing clubs regularly meet to enjoy the music and dance the night away.

Lindy Hop dancing came about as a result of the swing and jazz music which was so popular in America during the early 20th Century, especially in inner-city areas like Harlem. Almost all of the most popular songs to get your feet moving originated at the time, almost 100 years ago now. However, with the internet, compilation albums and the large record collections of most Manchester DJ’s, you can still Lindy Hop to the greatest swing and jazz tunes to this day.

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Some of the best Lindy Hop tracks are played by live bands and mobile DJ’s alike, come from names which need no introduction. Elvis Presley’s All Shook Up is a firm favourite, as is Frank Sinatra’s Five Minutes More. Ella Fitzgerald’s Sing Me a Swing Song has kept people swinging since 1936, alongside Sam Cooke’s Another Saturday Night which was released in the early 1960’s. Popular Lindy Hop songs have even been released as late as 1997, when Eva Cassidy covered the old African-American spiritual song Wade in the Water.

Other notable swing and jazz artists who created music to move your feet and do the Lindy Hop to include Sammy Davis Jr, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Louis Jordan, and Cab Calloway – whose music originated from Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom just as Lindy Hop itself did.

Even though the origins of Lindy Hop are rooted over 80 years in the past, there are still classes to visit in the North West where you can let your hair down and enjoy yourself for a few hours. You’ll need to wear flat, comfortable shoes which preferably tie on, or a Charleston kick could easily send one flying across the hall! Some people choose to wear retro clothing, others just a t-shirt and jeans, but it’s most important that you are comfortable without being too restricted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR4_ZRimfHg

The Manchester Lindy Swing Social is one of the most popular Lindy Hop events in the North West, taking place at 7:30 every Friday night in The Derby Suite, Freemason’s Hall, Bridge Street. Your £5 entry cost contributes towards the maintenance and running of an authentic wooden dance floor and fully licensed bar, but also a dance class – whether you’re an absolute beginner or have been doing the Lindy Hop for years. Social dancing follows the classes and runs until late, so you can finish the night by moving your feet to your favourite swing and jazz tunes.

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A little further afield, you’ll find the Swingaroo Vintage Dancehall located inside the Preston Masonic Hall, Preston, Lancashire.This Lindy Hop night costs £8 to attend, and runs from 7:30 on the last Friday of each month. The monthly event features both live swing musicians and resident DJ’s, playing swing, jazz, Charleston, Rock’n’roll and Rockabilly. If you’re a beginner you can also take part in a tuition class before hitting the dance floor.

For those willing to travel a little further away from central Manchester, Swing Jive Leeds is a weekly Lindy Hop night located at Moortown Social Club, Cranmer Gardens. The event begins at 7:45 every Monday evening, with beginner’s classes at 8 and advanced classes at 9:15. Afterwards you can dance the night away to music from the 1920’s through to 1950’s on a wooden dance floor.

Will you be trying your hand (or feet) at Lindy Hop dancing any time soon? Why not let FloorFillas know in the comments below?

By Anton Joe

My Wedding Vendor of the month: Lasting Memories by Alison

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Venue Dressers Cheshire

www.lastingmemories.org.uk

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I was recently booked as the DJ for a wedding at Mere Court in Knutsford, Cheshire. When I arrived at the venue I was immediately impressed by the venue dressing and flower arrangements. The main table had been dressed immaculately and the table centrepieces were also impressive whilst maintaining a look of elegance.

After the speeches had been completed I began to set up my DJ equipment it was at that point I noticed Alison clearing the main table displays away.  Upon talking to her I discovered that it was her company www.lastingmemories.org.uk that was responsible for the beautiful way the room had been presented.  I immediately decided that Alison’s company had to be my choice for wedding vendor of the Month.

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After talking to Alison for a while  I was quite surprised to find that all the flowers were in fact made of silk. Alison prefers to use silk flowers at weddings as they retain that freshly cut vibrant look long after natural cut flowers start to wither and fade which can be especially noticeable with flowers worn on lapels etc.

It is not very often that I am impressed by venue dressers as I get to see so many dressed rooms each month that it just becomes second nature to see the fully dressed room.  So when I write about a vendor it means they definitely have some extra special to offer.

The bespoke silk flowers can be made specifically to the customer’s  requirements  and it is no surprise to discover that Alison has recently been chosen by the prestigious wedding venue Mottram Hall as their preferred venue dresser. Alison has also recently made it to the finals of “ Best Florist Award” held by County Brides magazine.

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I would highly recommend Alison’s service to any bride who is looking for something extra special and not only will they be assured of a superb level of service they will also get to meet a very friendly and genuine person that will go that extra that mile to make your big day look and feel very special.

Venue Dressers In Cheshire: 10 of the Best

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Weddings in Cheshire: 2013

I have met a number of fantastic venue dressers whilst working as a DJ in Cheshire so I have decided to list a few below. They all provide an excellent service and are not listed in order of preference.

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Laurel  Weddings promises to deliver a quality wedding design service, that specializes in wedding flowers. The flowers arrangements can be displayed in fresh and silk formats. So if you are planning a small intimate gathering or even a much more lavish affair at a stately home then Laurel Weddings could be the company you are looking for.

The manager and owner (Laura Simpson) also creates bespoke tiaras, headdresses and other accessories. Every piece is handmade and each design can be made to match your chosen colours for the day.

http://www.laurelweddings.com/

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Red Events Creative are based in Liverpool, however  a lot of their venues are based in Cheshire. They pride themselves on exceptional attention to detail, quality and value for ,money. Red Events Creative promise to transform any venue into something totally unique. If you fancy seeing exactly what this company can do for your event why not visit their showroom:

Unit 12, Seymour Street
Millers Bridge Industrial Estate
Bootle
Liverpool
L20 1EE

http://www.redeventscreative.co.uk/

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Divine Designs offers venue dressing for all occasions and supply a personal service by professionals. Divine Designs include a free design process with their services helping their clients develop their bespoke, personal designs. Divine Designs also offer a free consultation to all of their clients which helps take the weight off some of the stress arranging an event can bring. More information can be found on their website.

http://www.divinedesigns.info/

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Orchard Designs offers some fantastic packages covering everything you need to make your venue beautiful and unique. Orchard Designs offer many different styles e.g. vintage, crystals, pearls. Check out their website for further info:

http://www.orchard-designs.co.uk

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Woodyat Warner are award winning venue dressers offering services in Cheshire, Manchester and throughout the North West. Woodyat Warner offers a wide range of professional services for adding the wow factor to your venue including the dance floor!

Go to http://www.woodyattwarner.com/ for more information on the services that they offer.

 

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Lily Rose Events is based in Cheadle, Cheshire have over 20 years’ experience and can provide everything from flowers and buttonholes to ceremony and church displays. Lily Rose Events pays attention to every detail by coordinating every aspect of your chosen theme and colours.

Go to their website: http://www.lilyroseevents.co.uk/ for further information.

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Top Notch Events offer some beautiful products to ensure your venue looks perfect whatever the occasion. They work closely with you and tailor the design to fit your venue and personality. More information can be found on their website:

http://www.topnotchevents.co.uk/

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Hearts and Flowers have some lovely ideas and will tailor the design to fit your chosen style and theme. Hearts and Flowers has a gorgeous range of vases and candelabras as well as a wide range of t-light holders, mirrors and props which can be added to your package.

For further information on the packages they offer visit their website http://www.heartsandflowers-denton.co.uk/venuedressing.html

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Special Days Events pay attention to all the little details to help transform your venue into your chosen theme. Special Days Events has worked with some of the biggest names on the high street in their store designs and Christmas decoration schemes. For further information on the range of services offered go to their website:

http://www.planningmyspecialday.co.uk/services/venue-dressing/

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Dreamweavers  pride themselves on a more personal and friendly service and promise to give every attention to detail. They can produce equally stylish results varying from a bold dramatic and contemporary themes to something with more tradition and romance.

Their results are not only visually stunning but unique and individual. Dreamweavers cover every aspect of venue dressing from chair covers right through to floral design, prop hire and even lighting effects.

http://www.dreamweaversweddings.co.uk

The History of the Jukebox

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

The Jukebox

The original mobile DJ

Just as our preferred format for music has changed from vinyl, to tape, to CD, to MP3, so too have the world’s jukeboxes. From bulky pieces of machinery with a few dozen popular songs to touch screen panels holding thousands of hours of music, the jukebox has come a long way over the past century. Nowadays they’re not so common, but they’re still found in a small number of pubs and café’s, especially around the UK’s seaside holiday destinations. Despite this, there will always be something nostalgic about the gentle crackle of an old Rock n’Roll or Motown record as it begins playing on a jukebox – something which we’ll never experience with an MP3 recording.

So, where did it all begin?

The jukebox as we know it today first hit the shelves in the 1920’s, with the arrival of technology to electronically record and play sound. The first jukeboxes played less than ten records, with numbers slowly increasing as jukeboxes became larger and more sophisticated. As we head into the 1930’s and see the arrival of the traditional American diner, the popularity of the jukebox spiked massively.

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As technology improved, jukeboxes started to hold more and more songs.

New models were released with shiny chrome accessories and flashing coloured lights, to match the bright plastics, chromes and leathers of the new diners. Many American diners wanted their guests to be entertained, without having to shell out for a band or spend half the day repeatedly changing records. A jukebox was the perfect solution, and it would even collect some extra cash for the staff. And so by the 1940’s they could be found in almost every single diner.

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The jukebox was never far from sight in 1950’s, and was made super cool by “The Fonz” (Henry Winkler) in the 1970’s American sitcom “Happy Days

 Televisions started to become popular in the 1950’s, but even so juke boxes remained a hit with the birth of rock n’ roll music in the swinging sixties. When we picture a classic jukebox, many of us will imagine a model like the Wurlitzer 1015, which was released around this time.

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The Wurlitzer 1015, one of the most iconic jukeboxes in history.

 

Into the sixties, young people began to embrace their own individuality and rebel against the wishes of their parents and the government. A big part of their lifestyle was the music, which they usually had to listen to through- you guessed it – a juke box.

Today’s smartphones and portable music players like the iPod have seen jukeboxes fall in popularity over the past few decades, but they’re still a key feature of many diners, bars and other places for socialising.

I love the nostalgia of an old jukebox, and it takes me back to the campsite holidays of my youth. I’d visit the arcade and feel the excitement as I placed coins through the slot, waiting for my favourite songs to fill the room. I remember the feeling to this day, and I know how important it can be for others to hear their favourite songs while they’re at a party.

I have recently created an updated version of the jukebox on my website. This software is totally free, and plays music videos rather than 7inch singles. I think it’s a pretty exciting development, so why not try it out and let me know what you think?

http://www.floorfillas.com/video-jukebox.php

If you want something extra special for your party or event, then you could also try my latest big screen projection service. A twin projector system can be used to play music videos, or any other footage which may be relevant to your birthday party, award ceremony, or school prom in Manchester or Cheshire.

By Anton Joe

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH: NICOLA THOMPSON

Friday, October 25th, 2013

THIS CHARMING PHOTOGRAPHER:

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Directors, musicians and artists that can change or enhance your mood have a special talent and a certain magic. There are endless films to view at the cinema and on TV, but probably not many that you could say really stirred your emotions. Although still images only have an instant to make an impression, there are some fantastic paintings and photographs that communicate with your imagination straight away. There are artists and photographers that obviously have more skill than others and I think originality automatically falls into the laps of the more highly gifted people. My feeling is that Nicola is one of these lucky people with a natural gift.

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I recently stumbled across a fantastic photo on the internet that seemed to not only have a vintage feel to it but also to capture the spirit of Manchester. I instantly thought that this was an original artist using the medium of photography to express their vision.

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Being a DJ I am constantly listening to new songs and every now and again there will be a certain musical style or sound that reminds me of me of another band or artist. It was quite funny that when I started to look through Nicola’s images, I began to think of The Smiths. I realised that it was the originality and flamboyancy of some of the photos that reminded me so much of the Manchester band and especially Morrisey.

If you take a quick look at the photos on Nicola’s home page you will hopefully see what I mean.

Any one of these photos could quite easily have been used as a 7” single cover for The Smiths.

http://nicolathompsonphotography.co.uk/

I can hear the guitar intro to “This Charming Man” playing now as I look at her original artwork and there is also a certain nostalgic feel with the butcher shop ribbons  and Victorian tiled walls.

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“The last of the English Roses“ is an obvious thought created by this beautiful photo.

I feel Nicola really is an artist and I would be quite interested to know if she has ever tried her hand at painting as her use of colour and light is exceptional.

I will be choosing a new photographer each month to review on my blog, but for now Nicola definitely wins my Photographer of the Month award.

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Please note I do not write articles about other suppliers as a form of business. I only write about people if I genuinely like their work.

 

Get The Party Started With Video Jukebox From Floorfillas

Monday, July 8th, 2013

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Whether you’re planning a wedding reception, prom, party or corporate event, our Video Jukebox system will help you to create a night to remember. Turn your special event into a true audio-visual experience with our double projector screen system.

What is Video Jukebox?

Video Jukebox is a double projector screen system that can be used with music videos or specially produced exclusive videos to create a really special experience that will be hard to forget.

You can choose from the Floorfillas music video library, which offers a wide selection of videos ranging from pop hits to RnB or classic rock; or choose your own playlist for any style of music you prefer.

Video Jukebox isn’t just a system for playing music videos. To add an extra special touch to your event or party, we can create a special presentation from your own photographs and video clips, ideal for weddings, corporate events, fashion shows and themed parties.

Video Jukebox for weddings

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To create an extra special wedding reception that both you and your guests are sure to remember, use our bespoke video creation service to create a video that tells the love story between you and your partner.

Our photo slideshows are also a great way to showcase photos from your wedding if you were married abroad or there are guests at your wedding party who weren’t able to attend the ceremony.

Video Jukebox for themed parties

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Our video projection service is very popular for birthdays and anniversaries. Baby photos and even slightly embarrassing photos from years gone by are always a great talking point and help to get your guests laughing and in the party spirit.

Themed parties are becoming increasingly popular and Video Jukebox can add some extra authenticity to your James Bond themed, beach themed, or casino style party.

Video Jukebox for corporate events

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Our video production service is ideal for creating presentations for your award ceremony or corporate events. We can include photos and video clips of your team members along with graphics and music to create a stunning production that is unique and inspiring.

How much does Video Jukebox cost?

Our Play 200 system includes 2 projectors and 2 large screens, which is suitable for medium to large venues, hosting up to 200 guests. The price is £650, for events in Manchester and Cheshire with a start time of 7-8pm and a DJ set finish time of 12am. The price also includes a light show and a high quality PA system.

For smaller venues, our Play 150 system includes one projector and screen at £550. It is suitable for events hosting up to 150 guests.

Our video and slideshow production for bespoke videos starts at £50 and we can incorporate any photographs and video clips of your choice. We will also help you to create a custom video that can be posted up after the event on social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube.

Please contact us on 07507 548 607 to have a chat about your requirements, or use the contact form on our website. We’d love to help your vision become a reality.