It's been a couple of months since our last blog post, so it's time to bring you up to date with the audiences that we have been playing for!
At the beginning of September, we had a number of double gig weekends. Kicking them off, we had the Robert Gordon University Midwifery Ball at the Altens Hotel. It was our first time playing there, and the function room is wonderful! We were joined by our friend and Northsound 1 presenter Stephen Jackson, who was DJing after us. The night was filled with enthusiastic dancers who were delighted to be heading into the world of work as fully qualified midwives:
The following night, we headed to another new venue for us: Ashdale Hall, in Westhill. Matt and Joe used to have orchestra rehearsals years ago when they attended Aberdeenshire Music Centre, so it was nice to return many years later for a different reason. We were booked for Pam Dignan Highland Dancer's 40th anniversary, so we knew that we were in for an easy night for coaxing people onto the dance floor. The lovely organisers were very kind with offering the band a rider too - this is always greatly appreciated! The end of evening Auld Lang Syne filled the dance floor too:
The next weekend, Gareth, Joe and Tommy headed to Tayport in Fife for John and Caroline's Ruby anniversary party. The couple first heard us at their son and daughter-in-law's wedding back in August 2018. It was our first time playing at the Gregory Hall, and one of the highlights was the extensive spread of buffet that we were invited to take advantage of before we played. John and Caroline's guests soon worked off their food and enjoyed a night of ceilidh dancing:
On 14th September, Gareth and Joe headed up to Aswanley, Huntly to play at a wedding ceremony and drinks reception. Whilst this was completely independent to Reel of Fortune, as musicians we can offer small chamber ensembles comprising of up to two violins, viola, cello and piano. If this is something that you're interested in for your wedding ceremony or drinks reception, please feel free to drop us an email with this as a request! It is handled completely separately to Reel of Fortune enquires. In the evening, we had another new venue debut at The Burn, at the bottom of Glen Esk near to Edzell. The Burn is predominantly used as an academic retreat, but allows a handful of weddings per year. The reception was held in a marquee adjacent to the main house, and the management and staff were incredibly welcoming. Mr and Mrs Guthrie's guests were brilliant and enjoyed ceilidh dancing and disco too. Here's their Auld Lang Syne shot:
After a welcome weekend off, we then headed back to the Dickson Hall in Laurencekirk for Marcia's 60th birthday. The Dickson Hall really is a hidden gem in Laurencekirk, and we were joined by Sam on keyboard to play for the Shearer family and their friends.
Skip forward two weeks, and we're back at the Barn at Barra Castle for Jessica and Finlay's big day. The Barn at Barra Castle is one of our favourite venues as it is so adaptable; it is a purpose-built wedding venue and is fully customisable for the couple's needs. It boasts a huge dance floor which we managed to fill for ceilidh and disco, as Jessica and Finlay's guests were keen to party the night away. Unfortunately, our Yamaha speakers were away for repair for this gig but thanks to the guys at Atmosphere Light and Sound, they supplied us with a pair of Alto speakers to keep us gigging. Here's the final dance of Jessica and Finlay's wedding - unable to fit everyone in with an iPhone camera!
The following weekend, a big road trip was planned as we had bookings in Enochdhu, Perthshire, and also Carrbridge, near Aviemore. In addition, I played a solo wedding ceremony at the wonderful Achnagairn Castle, west of Inverness. A lovely tour of the highlands for me...
With our trusty Yamaha speakers back from repair, our Friday night gig was at Mr and Mrs Hume's wedding, in a marquee at a private home in Enochdhu. The raucous crowd were keen to dance all night, for ceilidh and disco alike. We were glad to see that they did not let the rain dampen their spirits and the guests enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display at half time. The marquee was stunningly decorated and it was a wonderful evening:
After staying over in Pitlochry Youth Hostel, Joe headed off to Achnagairn Castle whilst Matt and Gareth killed a day mooching around the attractions on the A9 before heading up to Carrbridge. We stayed in the lovely Craigellachie Guest House, which we would highly recommend for anybody wanting to stop over in the Carrbridge/Aviemore area for the night. Our gig in the evening was the wedding party of Mr and Mrs Robertson, who married in Somerset a while prior to their highland celebration. Andi booked us after hearing us at a family members' 21st birthday party back in January. After a full plate of haggis, neeps and tatties, we played for a couple of hours to celebrate the newly weds' marriage. We had so much fun that we unfortunately neglected our Instagram story... so here's our set up from the event!
The final weekend in October saw us return to Pittodrie House Hotel, right at the foot of one of Aberdeenshire's finest landmarks, Bennachie. Mr and Mrs Ross' wedding was the reason that we were back; and their guests danced the night away and didn't need much coaxing onto the dance floor. The bride and groom led the way, except in the Orcadian Strip the Willow where there was just a bit too much spinning for Katie's dress! They finished off their night with the usual Loch Lomond:
And that's a wrap! September and October were filled with enthusiastic dancers, new venues, and happy couples. Now that we are finished with weddings for the year (except a belated wedding celebration in December), we're looking forward other gigs. You'll need to read our last blog entry for the year to see what we get up to. You can also follow us on Instagram - we always upload something to our story when we're gigging!