The Fabulous Singing Waiters' FAQs

How much space do you need?

We only need as much space as you have! That is one of the many unique features of our surprise singing act. Unlike most we don’t want to be set apart from the party on a stage. We move and interact amongst your guests as we perform. We aren't just something to watch and hear, but to experience! The exceptionally rare chance to sit right next to a professional performing with the full energy of a show is an exhilarating experience that is near impossible to describe.

How is it best to time things?

We are extremely flexible and happy to fit into your event itinerary in any way you’d like. No two events are the same and we have so much experience at customising our act for every scenario….however, there are certain things we know work best.

For example, in order to time our arrival and any necessary set up so that everything runs as smoothly as possible we like to know what time you plan for your guests to be within earshot of the dining room (In case we need to do a sound check we can make sure this is done before anyone arrives in order to keep the surprise.) We then like to know what time you are planning to seat for the meal. This is of course so that we can be ready and in place to pose as waiting on staff as your guests are settling in for the meal.

Beyond that you need not give us specific times but rather ‘moments’. We know that very rarely does a meal run precisely to schedule, so don’t tell us you’d like us to sing “at 9:00pm” because although on your itinerary that may be when you plan for the main course to have just been served, it could well be the middle of Uncle Bob’s speech… which would be awkward indeed. Instead, tell us what points in the meal you would like us to perform and we’ll be flexible so that we begin at precisely the right moment regardless of whether you’re running behind or well… really behind. If you are having us on for one performance set we find the optimum time for this is just after the main course has been served. There is a natural lull in activity during the meal at this point as the head tables finish up and the tables last to be served are catching up (and everyone waits for dear Great Auntie Gertrude to finish her veg before anyone can move on to the next course). At this point in the meal your guests haven’t usually started to get up and mingle, so we have a spellbound captive, seated audience.

If you are having us perform two sets we’d usually give a bow after the first and go off for a quick costume change into our posh frocks and formal wear to return during desserts for an encore performance.

Other points in the meal we are occasionally asked to perform are during starters (which is fine if your catering staff are happy to slot this in before the hot meal), after desserts during the coffees (which is also fine, although some of your guests may be outside having a cigarette and miss the performance because they didn't realise we were coming on) or during the standing drinks reception (also absolutely fine, but a bit trickier to get everyone’s attention at the start of the performance because they’ll all be standing and have a harder time seeing us on the same level). We’re very happy to be flexible however you envisage our part in your day, though happy to offer our wealth of experience and advice on what we've found works best!

Can I pick the act’s playlist?

Our standard repertoire is fun and familiar operatic hits and musical theatre favourites. We find this music is the most exiting and impressive to give a really high impact performance for all types of mixed audiences, even (and sometimes especially) those who wouldn't normally tend towards this type of music… not to mention it’s what we do best. We do sometimes sing pop music and the unusual though, so happy to chat with you about what you’d like. Some things work better than others, but we are exceptionally flexible so if you have your heart set on something specific we can usually make it happen!

Our repertoire list on the website is a sample of what we often do that works well. The songs available depending on which combination of our voices you book will be specific to the singers. There are also other options not listed, so it is by no means conclusive. We choose our performers from within the ensemble to best suit your requests, so the earlier you tell us what you’d like the better the chance we can send the perfect team. If you leave it to the last minute to make requests we’ll do our best, but can’t promise.

Where will you travel to?

Anywhere. We perform all over the UK and abroad and love the adventure. Of course time and travel expenses need to be factored in, but we’re very happy to advise on what these will be to your specific location.

Can I see you play live?

Most of our singing waiters performances are for private parties and corporate events. We rarely get asked to perform in this style for public events, and as we’re a surprise act it’s understandably a little difficult to ask to invite some guests of our own, but we do have some demo videos to give you a taste of what we do.

Will you learn our special song?

We are very happy to take any of your requests and either design the programme with or for you. As long as you give us enough notice and there is existing backing accompaniment for us to perform with we are extremely flexible. If you book us to perform with our pianist the sky is practically the limit. If you book our a cappella act we may need to write a four part arrangement of the song for you if it doesn't exist already, which would be an extra cost, but we’re usually happy to put in the extra rehearsal to prepare it for you if time permits. If you request the performance with recorded accompaniment we’re happy to check all of the usual sources to confirm if it’s available.

Is the video on your website a true reflection of the band?

The video on the website is genuine footage of us performing at real events. Is it a true reflection?... well, sadly the video can’t possibly capture the energy of the live performance. Also the microphones feeding into the video just can’t capture the intensity and beauty of the voices in acoustic performance… but if you like our demo video multiply that by about 10 and that will be a true likeness of our performance.

How do I book you?

Give us a call to the phone number here on the website, or send us an enquiry via the form or email. If you give us your date, location of your dinner (ideally a post code), the size of your party (so that we can quote including any technical requirements such as microphones if necessary) any special requests you might have, we’ll be happy to reply swiftly to confirm availability, rates and answer any questions you have. When you decide you’d like to go ahead and book we’ll guide you through the booking process and once your booking is confirmed one of the members of our ensemble who will be performing for you will give you a call to speak directly about fine details to personalise our performance for you.

Are you able to DJ in between sets?

We are not a party band so wouldn't normally bring a full sound system to a dinner party unless it’s on the larger side (over 80 guests). This way we can save you the cost of unnecessary tech. If you do request for us to bring our sound engineer with his full PA system he will be happy to play background music for you before, during and after our performance. If you’d like him to stay after the dinner he is a fully equipped DJ with lighting etc. and would be happy to DJ for you for the rest of the evening for a small additional charge.

Can we make DJ requests in advance to my event?

Yes!

Can we use your sound system for speeches?

If our sound engineer is working for your event he is very happy to provide a microphone for you to use and assist with all technical requirements. Just let us know in advance so that he can come totally prepared!

What equipment do you use?

We have a number of different set ups depending on the format of performance booked and the size of the party. For our a cappella acoustic act we simply need four amazing singers, one pitch pipe (to give us the pitch), and some waiters uniforms. We can perform the accompanied act with as little as two fabulous singing waiters, a small (yet exceptionally powerful) battery powered Bose system, or as many as five fabulous singing waiters with full PA and technical set up for thousands. Our act is fully scalable and can be tailored to honestly any event.

Do you have lights?

We wouldn't perform the act with specialised lighting as standard however can provide this on request (usually only requested for very large parties).

How long do you play for?

We've found from experience that 20 minutes is the perfect length for a high energy surprise performance. If you have a lot of activities happening at your event this is an amazing way to fit a superbly energetic and memorable piece of entertainment into your event. If we are the feature entertainment of your event we are very happy to return for a second 20 minute set after a short costume change to give a total of 40 minutes of performance. For this style of performance this is perfect. We are happy to offer variations of this, i.e. one 30 minute set for example if this suits your event best, however we wouldn't usually go on for more than 40 minutes as that becomes more of a concert or recital which becomes something quite different than the act.

What time do you start and finish?

This is entirely dependent on your event timings. We don’t generally set our performance to specific times because we understand that event timings are almost always fluid and subjective to unpredictable forces… like the groom’s speech. Instead we need to know what time your guests are seating for the meal and at what point in the course of things you’d like us, ie just after the main course is served. The ideal set length for a performance of this nature is 20 minutes.

How long do you take to set up?

Again, apologies there’s no one answer to this! It all depends on the variation of our act that you book and the size of the party. If it’s a small party with under 80 guests our ‘set-up’ takes less than 5 minutes and is no more than a glance at the room. If it is a larger party and our sound engineer needs to come in and set up prior to the dinner it takes about 60-90 minutes for him to set up plus another 15 minutes to sound check before your guests begin arriving.

Can I provisionally book you?

We are very happy to pencil your date in the diary while you decide. If you are planning months in advance we are able to be extremely flexible. If you've decided to book us at the last minute we are still able to be surprisingly flexible, however of course depending on how popular your date and what travel logistics might be involved in getting to and from your venue, we may need to factor extra expenses in if these rise while you are considering what you’d like.

We have a strong team within our ensemble so have the flexibility in many cases to be available even on busy dates, however although we are happy to pencil a date without confirmation for a short time while you decide we can not hold specific availability of our ensemble members until you sign the contract to confirm. Once you've confirmed your booking the best singers still available from within our team to sing the style and format you've booked (or those you've specifically requested if this has been discussed) will reserve their availability just for you and will turn down any other offers of work that might come in for your date. We will never let you down. Because of this however if you do decide to cancel after confirming your booking standard cancellation fees will apply. (Insert Alive Network cancellation fees here?)

What if the act split up before my event?

We will NEVER leave you in the lurch. We are not a band of young chaps who have come together to play some music and taking some gigging work for fun. We are professional performers with years of training and experience. Though we are light hearted, approachable and fun, we are also serious about what we do and have a great deal of professional pride. If, as life unavoidably dictates on very rare occasions, illness takes one of our team down at the last minute we always have someone else available who can step in for them. We go to great lengths in this very rare scenario to ensure that even if this does happened it doesn’t become your stress or worry. We will inform you if a last minute change to the line-up needs to take place, but in most cases you would never even know there had been a problem. We believe this is part of our job and not something that should effect you or your event.

Can my sisters/bosses/daughters dog sing with your act?

As it so happens the nature of our act is such that we often get the dinner party to sing a chorus of ‘That’s Amore’ with us, and more often than one might imagine a bold individual will stand up and take the mic. Most of these moments are very spontaneous and are always entirely unrehearsed. We are experts at gauging a room and knowing what type of audience will want to be more interactive and which would rather sit back and enjoy the show. We prefer this spontaneous approach as it allows us to maximise the enjoyment and impact for all of the guests. We do occasionally get asked if one of the party guests can plan to sing along with us, which occasionally works very well if they are extremely confident with experience performing in front of a crowd (even for professionals it’s often much harder to perform for your friends, family and/or colleagues than for strangers). If you do decide you’d like to request a performance alongside our act, we would recommend that you choose something that would work with or without this bold individual so that if they do loose their nerve at the last moment or the acoustic is not as easy to fill as they’d expected (our voices are surprisingly powerful and it’s deceptive how our training allows us to fill a space that the normal untrained voice would be totally drowned in unless using a microphone). That way we can maintain the momentum of the performance and help support them to make this experiment a success regardless of how they perform.

What will the act wear?

Once you've booked our act we will ask for the contact details for your venue or caterers so that we can check what their waiters uniform is and plan to blend as effectively with them as possible. If they happen to have any bespoke uniform pieces (waistcoats, ties, aprons, badges etc) we will ask them if they might kindly have any spare that they could let us borrow for a short while during your dinner so that we can be as convincing as possible. Over time we have purchased a number of standard uniform pieces of our own such as aprons and one or two waistcoats which do often come in useful, so we always find a way to blend in well regardless of what the caterers are able to provide.

If you decide you’d like us to return for a second performance set we will go off to our break room for a quick costume change and return during the next course in our DJs and evening dresses.

Does the band have PAT and PLI certificates?

Yes. We are all covered by Public Liability Insurance and if you book our professional sound engineers have all of the necessary electrical certification and insurance.

Why should I book The Fabulous Singing Waiters?

We will be the most memorable and entertaining act you have experienced.

How much does it cost to book The Fabulous Singing Waiters?

Our rates are exceptionally competitive compared to other similar acts. We are performers, not business people and would rather be out entertaining you and making music than making money. In this case the most expensive does not mean the best. Our rates are based on the performance format that you decide you’d like, the amount of tech we need to bring to optimise the performance, which of course depends on the size of your party, and travel expenses to your location. We are happy to give a specific quote for you on request.

Can we see some previous client testimonials?

Absolutely. We have hundreds and have listed a few on the website. Please feel free to have a look at our testimonials page. If that’s not enough please let us know and we’ll be happy to share some more references.

Do The Fabulous Singing Waiters have any specific requirements?

We are used to adapting to any venue we walk into to perform and understand that the facilities at each vary quite a lot. With regards to the performing area, we have absolutely no special needs. We’ll need somewhere for our engineer to set up if it’s a large room where PA is needed, but otherwise we need only enough space between tables to move about, which is relative to the same amount of space that your normal waitstaff will need.

Outside of the dining room we would ideally like to have a private break room if there is one available, usually a conference room or hotel room is provided where we can leave our belongings securely while performing, where we can get changed and wait out of the way of your catering staff and party while we are waiting to perform.

We will need some soft drinks to be provided and are always extremely grateful if you can provide a hot meal for us to have after we've arrived/set up and or sound checked as needed. Many people wonder why this is necessary if we are ‘only’ giving a 20 minute performance, however until you see us in action one doesn't realise that actually we’re on site and working hard to act the part throughout your dinner, the performance itself is extremely high energy and intense, and often we travel great distances making it a long and draining day to be there with you, so to be taken care of properly when we are at your event means we’ll be able to be 100% focused and in optimal shape to give you the best of ourselves.

What type/size venues are you able to play at?

Absolutely any.

How loud will the act be?

It’s all about balance. We plan the level of amplification (if any) based on what is most suitable for your venue and party size. We are particularly good for events at venues where they worry about volume limiters. Because we often perform acoustically you need not worry about noise regulations. That said, you will be surprised at how powerful our acoustic voices are.

What is the act’s power requirement?

Like the answers to so many questions about our requirements, it’s all scalable. For the smaller events (again, under 80 guests) if you are booking the act with recorded backing accompaniment we usually bring the small, battery powered Bose system, so no need for any power source at all. We could perform in the middle of a field if you’d like… (actually we have).

Do The Fabulous Singing Waiters offer any additional services?

Oh yes. We perform for every variety of event. You name it, we've done it (just about). Our flash mob format works brilliantly for everything from wedding ceremonies, proposals, PR, community events, festive events and, well, just about anywhere.