What Makes a Great Wedding Band?

The Lightyears are one of the best bands in the UK and Fantasia Music is proud to be able to book them for clients’ weddings, parties and corporate events.

This is a very special band that started it’s journey way back as schoolboys playing and writing songs together. The line up has barely changed but now they are top of the list for event planners, wedding organisers and festival programmers, travelling throughout the world playing great music.

A major part of their work is playing for weddings so we asked band leader and Keyboards player Chris Russell for a brief insight into what makes a high end wedding band tick!

What makes a great wedding band?

‘A great wedding band should be fun and memorable and they should understand how to engage with a party crowd. They need to be able to pull off an immaculate 1st dance but also be able to ‘rock out’. But most importantly a great wedding band understands the needs of their clients because your wedding is the greatest day of your life, and as a band we perform at the climax of that day and it’s really important you end on a high’.

What songs do you play?

‘We are always really keen that our clients are really comfortable with what we are playing so I will always meet with our wedding clients in advance of the big day. We sit down and I share the set list and if there are any songs or bands they really don’t want then we can get rid of those and switch them out for other tracks’.

‘One thing that is really quite important is that one of the reasons you are hiring a band is that you are looking for someone who has experience in knowing which songs fill the dance floor, and that’s something we have got. We have been doing this for such a long time that we know certain songs just work especially at weddings. Certain songs will always fill the dance floor and we are pretty ruthless with our set list, we have a kind of zero tolerance for songs that do not keep the dance floor full, so if something isn’t working, even if we enjoy playing it, we get rid of it and ship something else in’.


What’s the best thing about being in a wedding band?

‘It’s the moment just before we play the 1st dance and we are all standing on stage. I’m standing just behind my piano and the bride & groom are waiting just on the edge of the dance floor. I try and catch their eye and give them the ‘thumbs up’.. you know, party time!’

‘They will kind of drift onto the dance floor and before things kick off I look around and I look at the rest of the band and I think…. this is a real privilege to be up on this stage with my best friends in the world, in this band I’ve been in since I was at school, and to be the people who’s job it is to give this couple and their friends and family the party of their lives’.

‘So we do the 1st dance and the drums kick in and I always know at that point this is where the fun really starts!’

Visit The Lightyears web page >>

Author: Steve Gallagher