LMM DJs on the roof of Temple Walkabout April 1
With just a few days to go to the Easter weekend I thought it would be a good time to give an overview of LMM’s activities in the last few months.
This coming weekend we have bands and DJs booked into over fifty weddings so congratulations to all the brides and grooms getting married over the Easter break….with any luck the weather will hold out . As I write this the sun is shining and after last weekends glorious weather I have my fingers crossed for a beautiful Easter weekend. (I got sunburned last weekend which is unusual for this time of year to say the least.)
This weekend also marks the start of the season at Newquay Walkabout. We have a great line up of bands and DJs at this fantastic venue over the Summer and the fun starts this weekend with Brainscape playing a great rock and indie party set plus DJs Nick Reynolds ,Steven Haines and Richard Harris playing all the anthems over the weekend.
This week we have Fflur Wynn who is a fantastically talented young Welsh Opera singer performing at a very grand event over in Qatar for QatarGas.We are hoping Fflur will write a blog of this exciting adventure when she arrives back in the UK. She was performing a bespoke piece of music alongside a Qatari choir. The piece had Arabic, English and Welsh language influences and was to be performed in front of a VIP crowd (including ,rumour has it members of the Qatar Royal Family.)
Fflur Wynn a very talented young Opera singer who played for LMM in Qatar
Talking of adventures abroad one of our great party bands, Bigdog , have just returned from The Falklands and Cyprus whilst Lucas have arrived back from Bahrain. Both bands have been performing for the UK military.
Bigdog recently played events for the military in Cyprus and The Falklands
LMM re proud to be suppliers of entertainment to our armed services through CSE especially during these troubled times when so many guys and girls are posted overseas. Brendan from Bigdog has done a diary of his recent trips below (see the bottom of this blog). We have several acts who travel overseas to perform for the military and they all come away from the experience with treasured memories. One of my favourite stories being the enthusiasm the drummer from Electric Mayhem expressed when he called me from the RAF airport to explain he was being fitted with a flak jacket before flying off to perform in Afghanistan. As the boys were flying out on a military flight I was hoping they might be flying by Hercules (the big transport planes) which my brother in law flies. The drummer called me to let me know they were going out on a smaller plane but that they had ,in his words, “entered the danger zone…..the flak jackets are on!!”
We have just finished meetings with around eighty of our key DJs. These are the guys who play great party music week in, week out at Walkabout Australian Bars, Jongleurs and Bar Risa. They are at the heart of our company and their great ideas and wealth of experience is valued by LMM. Many of them travel some miles every week and work long, unsocial hours but we rarely get them calling in sick or approaching work with anything less than 100% enthusiasm. DJs –we salute you!
LMM DJs after the DJ metting walking on the roof of Temple walkabout
LMM supply lots of jazz duos and bands for a major retail chain and we are expecting sign off this week for a big two day event across two stores in May. All the guys are provisionally booked and are looking forward to this valued work.
Alex Howie who works as an agent in the LMM office also does some DJing. He recently went over to Barcelona to DJ at a corporate event in Casa Battlo which is one of Gaudis famous buildings familiar to anyone with an interest in architecture.
The Casa Battlo Building In Barcelona Where DJ Alex Howie Played A Great Party Set
Alex also enjoyed Djing at the trendy Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise, London NW10 playing at the 40th birthday party of Minki of the famous Kensal Rise Minkis Deli Big Al was laying down some cool 70s and 80s disco mixed in with modern RNB tracks for the North London movers and shakers.
We have taken on a few new bands in this quarter. I am personally very excited about M Club Mix who I went to see on April 4 at Barnsley Walkabout. The band went on quite early at around 9pm and performed a straight 90 min set of dance anthems by the likes of Basement Jax , Robinesque ,CC Penistone and Jamariquia .This five piece band have exceptional levels of musicianship. Apart from a vocal sample on one song the whole show is performed live. Much of the set segues together with a continuous funky groove. The keyboard sounds , so integral to the original dance music records , were so authentic that at one point as I nipped to the loo I thought the band had finished their set to be replaced by the DJ. The funkiness of this band is infectious and anyone who loves dance music, funky house, Old Skool Classics ,Head Candy etc etc is going to go absolutely crazy for this unique band. (Oh I have forgotten to mention the female singer who , apart from looking great with her big afro has a remarkable voice perfectly pitched for these diva songs. Apparently she sang some backing vocals on the last Robbie Williams album. It doesn’t surprise me as she is fantastic .I am a huge fan!) Check out M Club Mix here
The Club Mix Band Lay Down A Dance Music Groove
Other notable new bands would include 90s Express who offer an Old Skool 90s twist on the dance music live band theme and are equally worth taking a look at here http://www.lmmuk.com/band/90%27s+Express
April also saw the opening of the great new Regent Inns venue Rewind-The Ultimate Party Bar which I blocked about last week. I am sure this will be another successful venture for the Regent Inns group which already includes Walkabout Australian Bars,Bar Risa and Jongleurs plus Old Orleans.LMM are very proud of our ten year relationship as suppliers of entertainment to this chain.
DJ Alex ONeil behind the wheels of steel at Burnley Rewind Bar
So all of this plus loads of weddings, parties and events and probably some stuff that I have forgotten about.
Have a great Easter and read Brendan from Bigdogs blog about his overseas adventures below.
BigDog; Penguins, Tornadoes and a few frames of bowling!
BigDog had a lovely month in March, jetting off to Cyprus (March 5-7) to play to the troops as part of our first CSE tour. It was a very enjoyable introduction to the whole affair, made all the easier by the fact that we were surrounded by a bunch of extremely competent and friendly crew/staff. The one-off gig was played in Nicosia to a bunch of UN troops whose job it is to patrol the Buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish borders. Our thanks to Jo and George from CSE for helping to make the experience something to remember.
With one pleasurable trip under our belt, it was with a heavy air of expectancy that we headed off to the Falklands (March 25 – April 1) to perform a string of shows to the British troops stationed there. One of teh fun elements to doing these tours is getting a stamp in your passport that many civillians would not otherwise have the chance to brag about. We stopped briefly on Ascension Island to re-fuel, stretch our legs and cop a stamp in our passports. As the RAF Tornado fighters escorted us into the Mt. Pleasant facility on the Falkland Islands I think we all had a bit of a smile on our face. Welcome to army life, fellas…and here’s your much-awaited passport stamp to show the folks back home.
The Mt. Pleasant facility is very much a self-contained city for the 2000 British military personell stationed there. It has excellent facilities including gyms, a bowling alley, cinema, olympic sized pool etc. Pauly (guitar/vox) and I quickly settled into the bowling. I whipped him the first time out but he came back hard, humbling me in the second outing. With the important stuff out of the way, we set our minds to the task ahead…rocking the people.
The Gull and Penguin is probably the most important part of the whole Mt. Pleasant complex i.e. where the military personel get to unwind with a drink and some entertainment. We played 4 shows, each to about 400-450 people. The first night was a good one. The crew they have working on these shows are world class, alongside the brilliant comedians and the ‘morale-boosting’ CSE dancers (obviously a big hit with the crowds they have there). We came off stage to respectful nods, back-slapping and applause but we are a band that sets the bar very high in terms of personal satisfaction so we secretly all felt we could go one better in subsequent shows. Angie (our illustrious tour manager for this trip) was pleased with our effort. Stand back, Angie, for tomorrow we take the roof off this joint!
Show number 2…and 3 and 4; this is the BigDog we wanted everybody to see. We really wanted to bring a piece of Wembley to the troops and I think we all felt like we achieved that with these last 3 gigs. Those gigs were truly ‘fist-in-the-air’ moments for a bunch of rockers such as ourselves. It was a pure pleasure to be part of such a professional set-up and to feel like we gave everybody the best we could give them. CSE deliver an incredible service to a bunch of men and women who couldn’t be or feel further from home. It was very satisfying to feel as though we lived up to the high standards set by every other person working on stage or behind the scenes for these events.
On a personal note, Pauly, Jay and I felt very touched by the friendliness and devotion shown to us by the military staff allocated as our ‘keepers’ (B.T, Sarah and Jim, especially) as well as the many people we met along the way. One of the most enjoyable aspects to the job (if you could call it that) is getting out there and doing the meet-and-greet with the different sections of the military stationed there. We got to play with/drive their expensive equipment (the fools!!), were lucky enough to sit in an F3 Tornado fighter (another personal ‘fist-in-the-air moment for the Dogs) and were escorted around the place to see penguins etc.
Truly a memorable experience, all round. Thanks, Angie, for the opportunity to rock a part of the planet that many people simply never get to see. Please, let’s do it all again as soon as possible. Rockandroll.