Industry heavyweights Tokyo Band are a musical 5 piece led by husband and wife team Richard and Belle Erskine. So wide is their acclaim that not only have they received exceptional praise from leading industry experts, and been signed by a major record label to cover a back catalogue, but they have been invited to play around the globe, often accompanied by musical stars from past and present.
Black Pearl Weddings have been fortunate enough to take the time to discuss Tokyo Band with the band leaders themselves, Richard and Belle.
Please can you tell us a little bit about your business?
Tokyo is a professional party band. We have been entertaining audiences all over the world for over 10 years now. We play a whole range of styles of popular music from jazz to current day chart hits, perfect entertainment for the modern wedding. We have invested over £30k in our sound and lighting system and we always come with our own sound engineer. We feel this is just as important as the band itself, when the two elements come together the results are amazing.
What type of services do you offer?
The services we offer fall into 2 main categories, music and technical production (sound, lights and staging).
The band can be booked from a funky tight 5 piece right up to a 12 piece show band with several singers,brass section and dancers. We can also supply a DJ to play in between the band performances.
Tokyo offer a full staging, lighting and sound service for all sizes of event. We have years of experience providing these services to the events industry and provide a slick, professional and cost effective service.
What are your most popular services?
Our most popular service is the Tokyo 5 piece band. The band comes complete with a sound system, stage lights and engineer and represents real value for money. For a small extra fee the band will also play background music during your drinks reception or wedding breakfast.
How does your service appeal to the modern couple?
We aim to get away as far as possible from the image of the cheesy wedding band hacking out dodgy versions of songs nobody wants to hear anymore. We continually update our repertoire so we always have recent hits in our performance. We approach our performance like a dj, seamlessly skipping from song to song without ever stopping, this way the dance floor stays full throughout the night. We don't use a set list, we choose each song to play as we go, this way we can react to what the people on the dance floor want. All our musicians are full time professionals and when they are not playing with us they are playing with the likes of Robbie Williams, Dizzy Rascal and The Strictly Come Dancing band.
What advice would you give a couple when selecting a band?
When selecting a band you should always ask these questions
a. Can I come and see you live ?
It's very easy these days to make a great website full of impressive videos and photos, but can they cut it live ??? A large percentage of bands fail to deliver on the many boasts and promises made on their website. If you see them live before you book you will 100% know what you are getting.
b. Will the musicians in the video be the ones playing at my event ?
More often than not this will not be the case. Many good bands will work from a pool of freelance musicians. If there is a particular singer or instrumentalist that you like in the bands video you should double check they will be booked for your event.
c. Do you have your own sound system and lights ?
It's best to check as it will be expensive to get a hire company to provide this equipment.
d. Is your equipment pat tested ?
PAT means "portable appliance test". All portable electronic equipment has to be tested every year. If it passes it will have green sticker attached with the date of testing and the signature of the test engineer. Without this many venues will not allow the equipment to be used in their venue.
e. Do you have public liability insurance ?
Many venues will not allow bands to play without showing proof that they have the relevant insurance. If in doubt ask a venue representative to check that the bands insurance meets their requirements.
Please see Tokyo Band's website for more information: www.tokyoband.co.uk