I’ve been recording my introduction video for the trio today, so I’ll give you a bit of a sneak peak at it after this. It’s not quite ready to go up on the website yet, mostly because it refers to a playlist of trio videos that I’d like clients to go and watch to see if they want to see more without me talking over the top. And that’s great, except that playlist doesn’t exist yet. So, I spent all day yesterday editing video for it, and I’ve made quite a bit of progress, but, gee putting together an hour or more of video, when you want it to be half decent, and it’s taken over, like, ten years of gigs, it’s a pretty serious project, so it’ll take me another day or two of slave labour to get all that material ready to go.
But just to show you what I’ve been working on, and because I didn’t have time to put together a totally separate video this week, here’s the introduction video that I’ve put together for the trio – this is going to just live on the website and will hopefully be the first thing that people watch when they’re sort of checking us out, so have a look and let me know what you think.
Hello, and welcome. My name’s Dan, and I’m the bandleader for The Mood Merchants. And in this video, I’m going to show you our background jazz trio, what it looks like, what it sounds like, and I’m going to try to help you decide whether it’s the right choice for whatever special occasion you’ve got coming up.
All the audio and video that you see are recorded on actual gigs, so, look, the camera angles can be a bit jaunty sometimes, but they’ll hopefully give you a good idea of what it’s like to have us come and play for you.
Let’s start with the instruments. When you book the trio, I’ll be there playing the double bass. And just as a side note, when you hire The Mood Merchants, I’m always there, barring some disaster, so because I’m also the person who does all the booking and the communications, it makes it really easy to be confident that all the information that goes back and forth is getting where it needs to go. So as well as me on bass, we’ll also have a guitar, and then the third player can either be a trumpeter, or saxophonist or a clarinettist. Depending on the player, sometimes we can have both clarinet and saxophone and swap between the two.
All of this is really flexible, so if you’ve got special requirements, like if you’ve got, I don’t know, say a cousin who wants to get up and play some songs on the piano, then we can substitute a pianist for the guitarist and bring along a piano for your cousin to play. Here’s a trio where the client really loved the banjo, so I got Peter to play banjo, and this client really wanted a tuba, so I played tuba on this job out in the apple orchard, and this client was a guitar lover so we had two guitars. But with most of our gigs we do double bass, guitar, and then trumpet/saxophone/clarinet.
As far as vocals go, I do some singing, and so do some of the other musicians. It depends on the gig how much singing we do, because when you’re supplying background music the vocals can kind of sit in the same sound space as the guests’ conversation, whereas the instrumental sounds mostly sort of sit above or below that crowd sound. So while we might do some singing, or we might not, depends on the gig. If the vocals are a really big focus of what you have in mind for your event, then I will tend to bring a vocal specialist to do that.
So what kinds of events should you be considering the trio for? Basically anything where you’re looking for live music to elevate the moment, and to signal that it’s something a bit out of the ordinary, but not to dominate the space. So that can be at big events in big spaces, here we are playing at the Grand Hyatt and at Crown Casino, and here’s the Windsor Hotel. It’s a really suitable sound for networking events where you want guests to be able to chat easily, so we quite often come in and play for that hour of drinks and finger food after a conference keynote, that sort of thing. And we also do a lot of weddings, in all sorts of venues, so we quite often play in one space for canapes, like we’re doing here, this is at the Prince in St Kilda, and then move inside to play over dinner. We do a lot of retail promotions, VIP shopping nights, that sort of thing, we do aged care performances, where I can tailor that repertoire really specifically and that goes down really well, lots of birthday parties, usually 50th through to 80th, thereabouts, but the occasional 21st, anniversaries, school functions, real estate promotions, you name it. We do all sorts of things.
It’s a pretty compact setup with a small footprint, so if you’ve got an intimate dinner in a small venue, then, look, we’ve always been able to squeeze in. Sometimes I arrive and think ‘How’s this going to work?’, but we’ve always made it work so far. We’ve played in a lot of backyards, but also loungerooms, holiday houses, all sorts of things. Outdoors is fine, provided there’s some shelter and some power available somewhere in the vicinity. If you need something completely unpowered, then our roving trio is probably a better choice, but if you’ve got something like a wedding ceremony out in the park where there’s no power but you’d like us to play a few songs for you, then we can usually work that out as long as we know in advance.
So what’s this trio unsuitable for? Let’s talk about dancing for a moment. People will sometimes get up and dance on gigs that we do with this trio, but obviously we don’t have a drummer, so if dancing is a big focus for you, and you’ve got the space and the budget, then I’d recommend looking at our quintet instead.
And similarly, if you’re looking for like featured entertainment, like a concert performance or a floor show, then again the quintet is probably the best choice.
Also worth pointing out that this is a jazz trio, so if you’ve got a lot of requests which fall kind of from, like, the 70s onwards, then a cover band or a DJ might be more what you’re looking for. And just on that subject, when you hire the trio, the price includes a PA system, so if you’d like some nice jazz background music over dinner but then you want everyone to be up and dancing to Beyonce after speeches, then for a relatively small cost I can send the other musicians home and stay behind with the PA, and you can either bring along a laptop or a phone with your choice of playlist, and I can put that through my PA, or if you’d prefer you can pay me a bit more and I can prepare that playlist for you and have that ready to go.
So I hope that’s given you some idea of what we do. If you’d like to hear more of the trio, but without me talking over the top, that’s totally understandable, so I’ve put together a YouTube playlist, which I’ll link up here, I think, if I can, but also in the description of the video, so what I’d suggest is just start that playlist going, and having it running while you have dinner or some friends over or something, just to get a sense of what it’s like to have that energy in the room. And this is totally optional, but if you hear any songs that you really like, then maybe you could save them to a new playlist, and then you can share that with me later and I can get a sense of what you’re really into, and that can help me make decisions about musicians or about repertoire and all those sorts of things down the track.
I’ve put a link the description to our contact page, so if you’ve got an event coming up and you’d like to check prices and availability, drop me a line and I’ll get straight back to you.
So thanks for watching, and we’d love to come and play for you sometime soon.