At Paul Smith Music, we've done our best to create a Web site that anticipates and satisfies our customers' needs. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, contact us at 01256 353370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I like one of your ensembles. What is the next stage?
Make contact with Paul Smith to discuss your event and what you would like. Information that is useful will include;
Which live music you would like,
timings of performance,
when you need the ensemble to be set up by
any special musical requests like Happy Birthday, the Anniversary Waltz or a tune that is not listed in a repertoire list
the need to change location during performances
Paul Smith will work out a fee covering all the factors including how many players are involved and the timings/location etc.
How do I book?
Write a letter to Paul Smith outlining the details of the engagement (see above) and the price agreed including the booking fee. Paul Smith will reply acknowledging acceptance of both the booking fee and the engagement. The balance is usually paid on completion of the engagement however with the larger ensembles this is likely to be around a week or two before.
What are the payment options?
Payment for the booking fee is usually by cheque or BACS. Cash of course is welcome and in certain circumstances Paypal may be used. Paul Smith Music does not have the facility to take payment over the telephone.
Do we provide meal and drinks?
Usually it is appreciated if drinks are made available. The musicians employed by Paul Smith Music typically enjoy one or two soft drinks during an engagement. Meals are usually only required for evening engagements or if the musicians booked are travelling or setting up or packing down during a meal time. Sandwiches or bar meals are typical as are following your guests at for example a buffet.
Why do I need to send a Booking Fee?
This is a non returnable payment which secures the date the ensemble is to be booked. The booking fee which is typically £50 for solo acts or £150-£250 for the larger acts will be taken off the original fee. If the engagement is cancelled, the musicians booked will receive compensation for holding the date and not taking on another booking.
What if there is no piano at the venue?
All ensembles from Paul Smith Music come self contained. If there is a suitable piano at the venue then it may be used. All we require is a reliable power supply and the space to set up.
Can Paul Smith Music provide a disco-teque?
No. We specialise in live performances. However, we have friends in the business that we can recommend.
Why do I need to supply a gazebo or shelter for outside engagements?
The weather in the UK is very unpredictable and having electrical equipment outside in damp conditions may result in damage to the equipment or danger to our musicians. Also playing in direct sunlight for any length of time can result in sunburn or heat stroke.
What happens if I need to cancel the booking?
Do let me know at your soonest convenience. If you have to change the date I may be able to organise the changes with the musicians with no extra charge to you. If you have to cancel, then the booking fee will be used to compensate the musicians for holding the date and refusing potential work for that date. If any change of date proposed will not work then the booking will cancelled and the booking fee will be lost.
What happens if you accept my booking and you have the possibility of another engagement for more money?
Paul Smith Music acts on a first come first served basis. Once your booking is accepted it will be honoured.
What happens if you are unwell and not able to honour the booking?
Where possible you will be given notice of such an action and given the option of sourcing your own alternative or I will give you a choice of alternatives from the professional musicians associated with Paul Smith Music.
Can you honour requests during the engagement?
Yes! An exception may be when working with backing tracks as these are prepared prior to the engagement. The professional musicians used can usually play most requests associated with the forms of music that the ensemble is employed to cover. It would be unreasonable to expect a jazz duo to perform a cover by Adele for example.
How long do ensembles perform?
This will depend on your requirements and the timings agreed. A soloist for a wedding breakfast or dinner party will typically play for around 2.5 to 3 hours. A function band will usually need to set up much earlier then the playing time though the group have an agreed cut off time. If you would like to request an extension on the event, usually something can be agreed on the evening. All ensembles would take a break after around 45-60 minutes.