Colyn Ashton-Vickers

"The Magic Of Keyboard"

Frequently Asked Questions

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BOOKING A PERFORMANCE

Are you covered in the case of accidents?

I am a full member of “Equity” the Actors Union and have full public liability insurance through them. Certificate can be viewed by request.

Can I see you perform before Booking?

As I usually play at private functions, which are closed to the general public, it isn’t usually possible to see or hear me live before you book. It is possible to hear a sample of the kind of music I play on my website www.colyn.co.uk. I do occasional charity events but I am a professional musician in high-demand throughout the year. I will sometimes however, agree to a once only, discretionary short free gig with only travel expenses charged.

What is included in the quoted price?

The cost of an hours music is more expensive than longer periods due to travel and the setting up and dismantling of equipment which is charged within the first hour. Obviously a second or third hour of music does not incur this extra time which makes it more economical to hire for 2 or more hours than it would be for several one hour sessions. Breaks of 15 to 30 minutes will be taken after each hour of live music but this will not be charged and if required, pre recorded music can be played through the amplifier during these breaks to ensure that there are no “dead” quiet times during the performance. Simple “disco” lighting effects can be provided by request at no extra charge.

What payment methods do you accept?

Payment will be in cash or by cheque on the day of your event, before or immediately after my performance.

THE PERFORMANCE

How long will you play for?

I will normally play for up to two hours, and this is usually divided into either two 60-minute or three 40- minute sets. In my experience, this is usually enough time for evening receptions finishing at midnight. However, if you’d prefer a longer performance, I can perform for another half hour or hour, for an extra charge.

How long will your interval(s) be?

I will take one or two interval(s) lasting 15-30 minutes each and will provide recorded music (basic DJ) within the interval if required so that you don't have silence (see interval music & DJs for more info). In my experience, intervals lasting longer than half an hour can interrupt the general “flow” of the event. Please let me know in advance if you’d like a longer interval.

When would you start playing?

It’s usually best for an evening performance if I don't play earlier than 8/8.30pm. If I play earlier than this, it might still be light outside. Live music has more impact after dark, and your guests might not be ready to dance before this! I do however, play for tea dances and afternoon events soreally, it is up to you to tell me your requirements.

How loud will your music be?

If you're booking background music for a drinks reception, dinner or similar afternoon event, I will set my levels such that your guests can easily talk over the music.

If you're booking live music for dancing, your guests might still be able to hold a conversation, but probably not without straining. I will always be happy to turn down if you'd like me to.

What will you wear?

This depends on the function itself. I usually stick to smart, dark clothing for private functions, but if you have a specific dress code that you would like me to follow, let me know and I'll arrange this. I am also happy to be in fancy dress should you wish.

Interval music

What happens when you're not playing?

I can use pre recorded interval music through the amplifier if silence is not required during any interval.

Basic DJ service

If a disco environment is needed as part of an evenings peformance I can offer a “Basic DJ” service using pre recorded tracks played through the amplifier. I would not be able to take requests however unless I am asked prior to the event. If certain songs are needed I would suggest sending me an email with a song list before your event, I can then arrange to have that music available. Bear in mind that as the songs will be played from an mp3 player, I can’t "mix" or “beatmatch” them like a DJ. This service is an excellent budget alternative to a professional DJ.

I can also provide simple disco lighting to give your event that “disco” effect


Repertoire, songs & requests

Can we choose which songs you will play?

I play only by sight reading and not “by ear” so can not usually play songs on demand unless I have the music and even then I do like to have practiced a tune so that I can play it well in public.You can send through a list of your favourite songs from the my repertoire and I will do my best to include these in my performance. Please bear in mind I may not be able to play all of your requests because I will need to consider dynamics, pacing and transitions between songs on the day. I might also need to make changes to the set during the performance to suit the audience. A similar situation goes for pre recorded music as I only have a limited library. I can accommodate requests for pre recorded interval music however, with prior notice.

How many songs will you play during their set?

I play up to 40 songs in a two-hour performance, this does however, depend on the length of particular songs in the selection.

Will you learn a song that isn't in your repertoire?

I am happy to learn one new song (such as a first dance) for no extra charge, as long as I think the song would work with my line-up. However, if I am unlikely to play the song again, or you request more than one song, I may charge an extra fee to cover the rehearsal time.

Act & venue requirements

Will we need to provide any equipment?

No – I provide all the equipment I need. My sound systems is suitable for up to 150 guests, and I provide coloured “disco”stage lighting too if required. If you're expecting more than 150 guests, let me know so that I can check that the my PA is big enough.

How much space will the you need?

I would need a stage space measuring a minimum of 2.5 metres wide and 2 metres deep.

Do you need a raised stage?

A raised stage can help an act make a bigger impact, but as long as you can provide a level performance area that meets my minimum space requirement, this is enough.

How much power will you need?

I will need close access to at least two independent, domestic-style 13-amp plug sockets. Ideally, the sockets should be either side of the performance area, I do however carry extension cables.

Will you bring lighting?

I only carry lighting to be able to read my music if necessary. I do have basic coloured “disco” lighting used by request,.but if your event is in a very large room, or lighting is important to you, you might want to consider hiring extra lighting from another supplier. I usually find that extra dance floor lighting doesn’t add much to the event – it's music that creates the atmosphere and makes your event memorable!

Can we borrow your microphone on the night?

Yes - I will be happy to lend you a microphone for your speeches or announcements.

Arriving and setting up

What time will you arrive?

The cost of setting up and dismantling my equipment plus the travelling costs is included in the price of the first hour. I usually will arrive and set up 45 to 60 minutes before the start of the performance. If you want me to arrive earlier than this, you will need to pay an extra fee.

How long will it take for you to set up your equipment?

I need 45 minutes to an hour to unload tmy equipment, set it up and do a sound-check (which means playing through a couple of songs to check the volume is right). I might need longer if there are lifts or stairs at your venue, or the performance area is more than a long way from the venue's unloading area or parking. I strongly recommend allowing as much time as possible for the soundcheck, so I can work with the venue's acoustics to get the best levels.

Does it matter if my guests arrive at the same time as you?

It is best if I can set-up and sound-check in an empty room, before your guests have arrived. However, if your guests have already arrived when I arrive, and you don’t want to pay an early set-up fee, don't panic: I can set up in the same room as your guests and will always do my best to avoid disturbing your guests. If I have to set up during drinks or dinner, it is best if I can use a side or back entrance close to the stage, so that I don’t have to carry equipment through the reception or dining area. Even if your guests arrive before me, I will still need 5 to 10 minutes to sound check. I can check using a recorded music tune so that your guests are not disturbed by uncoordinated sounds.

After booking

Can we speak to you directly when we’ve booked?

I am the sole owner and performer of my business and you will be communicating and dealing with me only. Dates are normally booked provisionally and confirmed within 3 days. Once a date is booked and fully confirmed with you, it will be entered onto my website. Contact can be made with me at any time via my email colyn@colyn.co.uk. This email address is checked twice daily. Alternately you can call me on 01624 625465 and speak with me.

How do I make changes to my booking?

If you'd like to request any songs, change the timings of your event, or make any other changes, put these in an email to colyn@colyn.co.uk Certain changes, such as an earlier set-up can mean an increase in fees. I can of course only change a booked date subject to availability.

What happens if you have to cancel?

In the unlikely event that I am ill or can’t attend on the day I will contact you immediately to inform you, however, once I have confirmed a booking and it is in my diary, it is very unlikely, apart from illness, that I will be unable to attend. I pride myself on reliability. If I have to cancel for any reason you will of course owe nothing.