Hello February, (already?!) We’ve been really busy getting ready for what is set to be the busiest year yet. We’ve performing a lot as The Zoots (it’s still us, we’ve just put on suits and brushed our hair). We’re set to go to some amazing countries this year and put on some amazing shows. We’ve even got some public performances lined up, so watch this space.
But lets get back to the here and now! It’s February, and it’s Richard & Hayley’s wedding. It’s extra special as we’re performing in a Castle, and we love castles. Richard & Hayley got in touch back in September. They were looking for a lively, energetic and entertaining band to perform for them at their wedding. Jamie & The First Class certainly fitted the bill! They ask us…and we said yes! 😀
The date was set, 28th of February 2015 and the countdown began… ‘Berkeley Castle‘. Just the sound of it. We knew it was going to be amazing. And it was. So amazing. In the lead up to the wedding, we ran through the details with Richard, working out when would be a good time to arrive to set up and sound check, what we’d need on the day and what timings would be good for the evening. Richard & Hayley selected some awesome songs from our repertoire.
For their first dance, they had chosen Christina Perri ft. Steve Kazee – A Thousand Years, Pt. 2 (you may know if from Twilight for all of those Twilight fans, er…definitely not us. Twilight? What even is that? *side steps away*) The day came round quickly, as these things do.
We were warm with excitement but cold with the air. We pulled up in our *new* (ahem, Mercedes), van. But we were at the wrong entrance, so we reversed carefully out in our new (Mercedes) van. We love driving our new (Mercedes) van. It’s lovely and white our new (Mercedes) van. We arrived at the correct entrance. We we relieved. The castle was close. Berkeley Castle was pretty swish (we knew it would be). Someone else took this photo, it’s credited at the bottom. We tried to take a photo but our hands were cold and we were outta space on our eyePhones.
We got the next bit from Berkeley Castle’s website. It’s a pretty interesting place. I like the bit about trip steps. I’m also intrigued about ‘murder holes’. They are right though, it is a fairytale castle. And I know fairytales, I’m from the Isle of Man! The Berkeley family welcome you to Berkeley Castle, their ancient fortress home where they have lived since their ancestor, Robert Fitzharding, completed the Keep in the late 12th Century.
The history played out within Berkeley Castle’s walls make it one of the most remarkable buildings in Britain and the family hope that you will visit them to experience its special atmosphere.
It has all the trappings to match: trip steps designed to make the enemy stumble during an assault, arrow slits, murder holes, enormous barred doors, slots where the portcullis once fell, and worn stones where sentries stood guard. It is also a fairytale Castle with its warm pink stone that glows in soft sunset light. Outside, the battlements drop some 60′ to the Great Lawn below; but inside the Inner Courtyard, the building is on a human scale, with uneven battlements, small towers, doors and windows of every shape and size. The surrounding land would have been flooded for defence. There’s loads more interesting stuff about Berkeley Castle on their website: http://www.berkeley-castle.com/about.html We walked towards the entrance with Norman. He was cool. He showed us around. I kinda wish their was a ghost of the castle, called Norman, and when we tell someone ‘Norman’ showed us around, they would be like, ‘There is no Norman, except the Norman who lived here in 1892″. But he was real. We saw a cannon. The castle was close: Who knows, you could book it for your wedding or event and we could play there again, would that be awesomes? Here are some photos we took. The sun was setting, which was kind of cool but it meant the photos aren’t that brilliant. Norman even makes an appearance, can you see him? (Us neither).
We went inside. It was awesomes.
The room we were performing in was oh-so-amazing: We got set up after the wedding breakfast and the speeches. The team at Berkeley Castle were super efficient in turning the room around, making sure we could access the space we were performing in quickly. We got set up as quickly as we could. We always allow at least an hour, which gives us just enough time to get everything perfect. Afters, we scooted on upstairs to our changing room to get changed. Richard and Hayley had kindly sorted out some tea, coffee and drinks for us. It was very much appreciated. A cup of tea can make all the difference to a performance (seriously). We spent a short amount of time taking photos of our converse. A quick change later and we were downstairs, for the first dance. It was beautiful.
Following the first dance, we launched into our first set. It was wild. Hayley and Richard had chosen some awesome songs from our repertoire. We smashed our hit after hit and the dance-floor was filled the whole night! We had some pretty cool dance offs, and some pretty dodgy dance moves! We loved it! It all went so quickly. We had a quick break between out sets, before hitting the floor again for our second set. We ended the night with a song chosen by the newly weds, ‘Wonderful Tonight’. It was a great song to close the evening. Here are some photos from the night. It was tough to take photos as the guests were moving as they were dancing dancing dancing and we were playing playing playing. Some are a bit blurry and hazy, but that’s dancing for you. It was brill.
We met some lovely people. Pippa who runs things at Berkeley Castle was totes amazing. Pippa and her team looked after us so well, making sure we had somewhere to get changed and store our bits. We also met the lovely chaps from My Photo Booth. They totally saved our bacon by lending us some duct tape! We usually have stacks of it, but may have left in the other van, the one we had before our new (Mercedes) van. If you need a photo booth for your bash, get in touch with these guys, they’re awesome. All in all, it was totally brilliant. Richard and Hayley and their guests were awesome, I wish we’d video’d some of it. We witnessed some of the best dance moves we have seen in a while, and had THE BEST time. Thank you so much for choosing Jamie and The First Class as your wedding band. Thank you also for keeping us fed & watered! Greatly appreciated.