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Summer Vibes

A beautiful, spiritual, countryside wedding and an absolutely wonderful Reggae Cookout, where we celebrated Anna and Sugar's birthdays


Photography by Craig Spence


We have been out and about, busy and bringing people wonderful reggae music! I've finally had chance to sit down and blog about it, because we've actually been so busy over the last week that I just haven't been able to.


The Magical Garden Wedding

Let's begin with the most magical wedding and a couple I can almost guarantee are fairies or elves. James & Gaia celebrated their wedding at Preedy's Farm in Banbury on Friday 7th July and we were very grateful to be involved and provide them with some music to get down to after a beautiful sunny day around the pool!

Some weddings are extremely formal affairs, and whilst everyone looked beautiful and were very nicely dressed, there was a great mix of the dressed-up and the dressed-down, shoes and barefoot, children swimming and adults sitting on the grass or walking in the nearby fields, and it was an incredibly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. We arrived and unloaded and greeted Grandad and Will. Yes, we had the man himself on the sound. You may have seen the video we shared on Facebook. That man is a sound artist! Everyone arrived in plenty of time and no one got lost, which was a small miracle. Well, we didn't expect Teebs to get lost because he lives about 20 minutes up the road, but us city people do tend to get a bit confused when things get grassy and the buildings disappear!


We were very happy to have our DJ, Marcus Copesta, along with us for this one. I absolutely adore Marcus. His energy and passion for music is just unrivalled. It's like it just takes hold of him and you can't help but get swept up in the music.


We all sang Happy Birthday to Anna and Sugar, and Grandad presented Anna with a big flower arrangement!

Honestly, we're so lucky to have our Reggulites and dB family. And doesn't my sister look beautiful?!

Anyway, enough about Anna. For James & Gaia's wedding we had Sugar, Anna, myself, Clive, Teebs, Paul on bass, Harry on drums and the wonderful Dawn. Dawn just brings a complete vibe with her and we have started to wonder what we ever did without her. I'm afraid she'll never be able to get rid of us now!

We were a little delayed due to the power supplies, so Marcus played the playlist chosen by the couple, which I believe was mainly Peruvian, as that's where they live. And this is why I believe they are elves. The first dance was the most magical and beautiful thing I've seen, and you can tell they've both got so much love and respect for each other. Just lovely. (LUVVLY)

Once Marcus was warming everything up, we were directed to the kitchen of the main house where we had some food and got chatting to the lovely Amanda who was working and keeping everything running smoothly. She was working so hard! It was super cool to chat with her and we had a right laugh. Then it was time to do our thing, so we went and played some awesome reggae music.

When we play weddings, we let the couple pick the tunes out of our repertoire so that they can tailor the music to their preferences. We think that makes sense! We also allow wedding couples to choose one song that isn't in our repertoire that we'll learn for them, and James & Gaia chose Root, Rock, Reggae by Bob Marley, which we love. The vocals are really nice and it's got a great groove. Personally, I was actually sick whilst the band were putting it together, so I'll have to add some trumpet in at some point! But The Reggulites did a great job and it sounded SWEEEET.


After the band played, we got on the dancefloor with everyone and got down to some awesome Marcus DJing. Absolutely awesome! The feedback was so lovely - everyone said how much they'd enjoyed it and it was a great end to the night. And James said something that I'm really proud of, so let me tell you what it was:


James said, "Not only the excellent musicianship, but the vibe that you bring - it's one of the reasons we chose you".


How amazing is that? Because that's what we want to bring, and hope we do bring to our performances. Of course the music is important, but hand in hand with the music is the love we have for each other and what we're doing, enjoyment of the music we're playing and the fun that we have together on stage and interacting with the crowd. It's right up there with the professionalism and the tightness of the music. In fact, in some cases, I might argue it's more important. It certainly seems to have been more important through our musical journey, anyway.


And so, we had finished the night off in style, had a great time with each other, the couple, the guests and staff, and we had many many hugs before we all left for the drive home to Brum, apart from Teebs, who may or may not just live in a shed in a field...who knows how these country folk do things?! Lol, love you man!


The Night Owl Reggae Cookout and The Birthday Celebrations

I won't lie...I got a little excited about the joint birthday thing...again. It's becoming a tradition. But they never ask for anything from people, and they always go out of their ways to do things for others - honestly, nothing is ever too much trouble - and if that kind of person doesn't deserve a bit of spoiling at least once a year, I don't know who does!


I may have decorated The Night Owl with party blowers, glow sticks, stuff for the kiddlies to play with, balloons, blow up guitars and microphones and hidden a massive cake with a picture of Anna and Sugar on upstairs on the mezzanine in the clouds. The staff got involved and put out little tubs of sweeties, too!


Of course, there was the set to do as well. We had an awesome set lined up for the afternoon.

We had the new Beres tune in, I need your love, and everyone's favourites like Tenement Yard and Soldiers, and the big tunes like Prophecy and Promised Land, and the massive Dancehall Medley, and a bit of Kevin Lyttle, and a bit of everything else. It was so much fun. I pulled up a tune, which is rare for me, but I realised something. Now that we have Dawn in the band, and due to it being a nice Sunday afternoon where other musicians can come and see us without having their own gigs to go to for a change, we had her brother and sister in the room. The three of them have sung together all their lives, and Anna and I had the pleasure back in 2019, I think, to play alongside them doing a Steel Pulse tribute set. That is where we fell in love with 'Soldiers'! So I was like, na, we gotta pull this up, and I got Fiona and then Craig came too, and they all sang on it, and it was absolutely amazing and family, love and unity vibes! Thank you so so much for joining us on that, because it was just really epic, and I love family!!

We also had the pleasure of being photographed by Craig, who does professional photography. And my lord, does he have talent! I mean, he's a great singer, a great guitarist, a great bass player and he's also like, yeah I can take amazing pictures. I'm a little bit jealous, Craig, you're so cool!


It was so nice to be joined by so much of Dawn's family, and I hope you all know that you've adopted the rest of us as extended family now too. We're annoying and we won't leave, lol.


We had a great time celebrating with everyone. We were surprised by Nan and Grandad AND Helen and Graham, AND Angus, AND Errol Burke, and we just love everyone so much. And we're so appreciative to The Night Owl for letting us takeover the gaff for everything Birthday.


If you want to see us soon, we're at Soul Medicine Festival on 22nd July, and we'll be bringing along a brand new drummer and long-time friend. And there's a little surprise in order too.


I'd also like to say, me and Anna joined RudeSix last night at DDSC Weekender to headline the Friday night music, and I am so in love with those guys, they're so talented, we met the new band wee doggo, we saw Bird Seed Barry and we spent lots of time with Tom, who is an incredible guitarist. Thank you for having us, guys!






 

As always, huge shout outs to everyone we mentioned in this blog:








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