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by Emma Hla

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Image by Andrew Billington Photography | Sponsored feature.

What would we do without reviews? Most of us wouldn’t go near the ‘Add to basket’ button, without reading loads of them… even if it’s simply shopping for a new mascara. Booking wedding entertainment for the most epic celebration of your lives, is no different. With that in mind, Alive Network, the ultimate entertainment agency, have put together a list of their top ten wedding bands based on the most and the best reviews, including links to their comments so you can read them all. Don’t worry, it won’t take you too long. There are only 1,300+ reviews for these ten banging bands… and counting!

But first… here are Alive Network’s ‘5 Simple Tips for Picking a Band’.

These five tips will make picking your wedding band a cinch!

Top Tips

Your musical vibe

Think about the vibe you want, the music you love, your range of guests, and your band’s repertoire… your perfect wedding party is right in the middle of that Venn diagram!

Watch and listen

When you’re picking your wedding band, promo vids and sample tracks are king, and you’re the judging panel! Watch, listen, go with your feelings, and enjoy. *It’s a yes from me!*

Logistical planning

Venue logistics, like performance area and access, are key to whether you can have that 20-piece jazz orchestra, so check before you book. Many bands can work within the limits of a venue’s volume restrictions – check out Alive Network’s range of sound-limiter friendly bands.

Timing is everything

If you’ve got your heart set on a band, book early to avoid disappointment. Most bands are booked up to a year in advance – some far longer – so start your search as early as poss. But don’t worry, Alive Network’s Entertainment Coordinators can recommend similar alternatives if needed.

Don’t take our word for it…!

Reading customer reviews will give you an insight into your potential band’s party style and service, and what your wedding party will be like under their guardianship. Each band has their own reviews page, or you can check out Alive Network’s review centre, where there are over 30,000 customer reviews.

Now you know you’re going to have a good party…

The Bands

The Hot Shots

WINNERS!!! of the 2015 & 2016 Wedding Industry Awards ‘Best Wedding Band’ in the East of England and National Finalists!

Alright, alright, dial it in lads – just because you’re winners at the Wedding Industry Awards for two years in a row, have performed all over the world, at festivals like BugJam and V Festival, as well as at the O2 Arena and London Astoria, AND you have over 230 rave reviews from past clients… wait, how many? Over two-hundred-and-thirty?? Well, alright then, tell us – what makes you so special?

James, drums: “We aim to make each show as exciting as possible and our mission is to get people on the dancefloor.” *check*

Rob, lead singer and guitarist: “We take a lot of pride in the music that we perform. We like taking songs and putting our own slant on them, making them really interesting, a bit like covers from Radio 1’s Live Lounge. We want to make your event a night to remember so we cover an extensive list of songs… things like The Beatles, Blink 182, Daft Punk … something for everybody to get them up on the floor, dancing and having a good time.” *check, and check*

Want to win The Hot Shots for your wedding day? Alive Network are currently running a competition to win the band, worth £2000+ here!

Oh go on then – let’s have a look at some of those rave reviews…!

You guys were AMAZING!! Thank you so much for playing at our Wedding. Everyone loved your music. Can we do it again?!!” Liane, Alive client review.

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for entertaining us and our guests at our wedding… So many people have commented on how good you were and we all had so much fun dancing.” Christy, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Hot Shots here or view The Hot Shots’ Profile Page.

Hipster

Well, what can we say: Hipster are one of our most in-demand bands, with a longer repertoire than you can shake a drum stick at, and a list of celeb fans and high-profile clients, longer than your playing arm. The guys have serious creds – just look at the number of amazing reviews on their profile page, where they have 300+ very happy customer comments! They’ve got the royal seal of approval from HRH Prince Harry (he loved them), and are regularly found performing at weddings and prestigious venues worldwide.

Festival regulars, they’re experts at reading the crowd, with an instinct for performing exactly what you need to keep you on the dancefloor all night long… whether it’s The Kinks or The Killers, ELO or Ed Sheeran, T-Rex or Take That. As well as being some of the friendliest blokes in the business, this killer four-piece can play your spine-tingling first dance then rock your evening reception, or perform an amazing chilled acoustic daytime set… the choice is yours!

“You guys were amazing! Absolutely awesome!” HRH Prince Harry.

“Without doubt Hipster are the best decision you will ever make in planning a wedding or an event. The lads are by far the best band we have ever seen at an event and from the first song had the party rocking, the dancefloor was busy from start to the end… a testament to how unbelievable the lads were. We cannot express in words how good Hipster are! … We cannot thank them enough for everything they did to make our day special and one we will remember for the rest of our lives.” Matt, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for Hipster here or view Hipster’s Profile Page.

Breakthrough

Magnetic, original and highly talented, Breakthrough are men of the moment among our wedding couples. A great band with standout vocals, the guys are all graduates of BIMM (the British and Irish Music Institute) and count Tom Odell, George Ezra, Marina Diamandis, James Bay and The Kooks among their alumni. Members have performed on Jools Holland and managed to get some serious head bobbing from the show’s host. Maybe it’s their fun sensibility or their killer setlist, but you guys can’t get enough.

Expect current and classic tracks from The Beatles to Justin Bieber – hello, meet your new best friend The Dancefloor! – plus they can provide live lounge style acoustic sets for your drinks reception, either as a duo or as the full-force four-piece. If you want a big sound in the evening, they can also use keyboards and synths on playback to pack more punch. They even provide a bandeoke set where you can join them on stage for the ultimate in live karaoke, so get your vocal chords warmed up. *mi-mi-mi-mi*

“The band were excellent, they had everyone up dancing from start to finish in the evening and everyone commented on how good they were, especially during the drinks reception when they played acoustic versions of many different songs, they also played a brilliant cover mix up of some requested songs – 11 out of 10!” Sammie, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for Breakthrough here or view Breakthrough’s Profile Page.

The Nameless Three

Indie-folk, you say? Why certainly! The Nameless Three are one of our top-rated Mumford & Sons style bands. They perform quirky folk versions of modern hits from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift to Paul Weller, Foo Fighters and Oasis, and even bust out an amazing version of Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme (admit it, you know all the words!). With plenty of notice, they will learn your special first dance song free.

Always in high-demand, they’ve performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games and The Natural History Museum among other venues. They can perform unplugged and acoustic or fully amped up, so the style of performance can be tailored to what you need for your own unique wedding vibe. So if it’s that fun, toe-tapping banjo–guitar–cajon combo sound you love, you got it!

“The Nameless Three absolutely took our wedding day to the next level. I would recommend them to anyone. The guys are all so nice and genuine (and absolutely hilarious) – they are there because they love it to their core! The dancefloor was never empty from start to finish, even during the DJ set! Cannot thank them enough!! P.S. pay the extra for trumpet Tim – worth every penny!” Tamsin, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Nameless Three here or view The Nameless Three’s Profile Page.

Fraudio

An absolute fave among brides and grooms, these guys know how to party – and how to get you involved. “We like to give high energy performances; to bring the feel of a real gig, rather than just a wedding band playing songs at people,” says lead singer and guitarist Liam. “Plus we get in and among the crowd, get crowd selfies and make the audience feel part of the whole thing.” Curious? Check out their FB page here.

A lively and upbeat rock and pop band, Fraudio have an immaculate indie-rock guitar-based sound. Well-practiced in rocking weddings across the land, members of this fresh four-piece have experience touring UK- and Europe-wide with artists like The Calling, Biffy Clyro and The Bluetones. They have a massive repertoire of tracks from the ‘50s right up to current day classics, so you can be sure all your guests will want to tear up the dancefloor all night.

“Fraudio were superb. They were really professional, punctual and, most importantly, were amazing live! Their repertoire… is excellent and they were very receptive to playing the songs we requested from their list. They ended the night with an extra special acoustic song in the middle of the dancefloor to send us on our way at the end of our night. I would definitely recommend them to anyone and would book again if we had another party!” David, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for Fraud here or view Fraudio’s Profile Page.

The Sonics

Many of these guys have toured with artists like The Vamps, Olly Murs, and Paloma Faith, as well as performing on radio and TV, including Capital FM and MTV. This cool four-piece are a fresh young talent, with three of the members recently graduating from prestigious music college BIMM (the British and Irish Modern Music Institute), soaking up the vibrant music and arts scene in Brighton. They’re totally flexible to your W-day wants, and can offer additional acoustic duo or acoustic band options for your daytime partying. Plus, their full, headline sets for your evening ‘do include anything from the Jackson 5, Fleetwood Mac and The Monkees to Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake and the Arctic Monkeys – you just know they’ll have you dancing, even if you can’t dance!

“AMAZING!!! Everyone said how awesome the band was and was asking for their details. They were very interactive with our guests, they even had the oldies up dancing! I think they will be getting more requests for bookings from our wedding guests! Highly impressed!!” Georgina, Alive client review.

“The Sonics made the long journey to France to play at our Chateau Wedding. … The music that the guys played was amazing. They were able to generate a great party atmosphere despite the 30 degree heat. My legs were sore from all the dancing for days after… they really made our wedding so memorable.” Michelle, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Sonics here or view The Sonics’ Profile Page.

Kickstarters

Want to keep the energy up and your guests yelling ‘tuuune’ all night? Then keep reading. Fresh and funky, Kickstarters are a pop and rock party band with masses of wedding experience, who know what it takes to make a night great. With a broad repertoire that covers the ‘50s right through to modern chart hits, Lucas, CJ and Dominic are a tight and versatile band, delivering exactly what you want at your wedding. Namely, unadulterated fun. The fellas design their sets so the songs flow well together, for an energetic and upbeat performance, keeping everyone dancing and away from the bar queue.

With Kickstarters, the value to fun ratio is high, so they’re a great option if you want a stellar band for minimum cost. They can dial things up or down too, performing acoustic solo and trio sets, or ‘expand the band’ by adding members for a fuller sound. They can also perform with a three-piece horn section, if you want that brassy wow factor at your wedding.

Kickstarters were perfect! Couldn’t have asked for better. They could double their price and still be good value.” Karen, Alive client review.

“I am so happy we booked the Kickstarters to play at our wedding. They got the whole crowd up and dancing and really engaged with the audience to make the evening entertainment memorable. I would highly recommend anyone to book Kickstarters if you want a great-sounding band who play with great energy and enthusiasm. They elevated our wedding’s evening entertainment… a great time enjoyed by all!” Jon, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for Kickstarters here or view Kickstarters’ Profile Page.

The Kicks

This innovative four-piece specialise in covering modern indie, rock and pop music, with a hint of vintage and retro tracks to keep everyone happy. They’re a top-class wedding band performing the biggest hits with energy and passion, keeping the dancefloor pumping for a night to remember. The Kicks can wow your guests with roaming acoustic sets too, serenading as they mingle and take requests. Members all come with tonnes of musical kudos, having shared stages with the like of Fat Boy Slim and 1D, and they’ve had airplay across the spectrum of BBC radio stations. *Mic drop*

“The Kicks played for my wedding and we literally could not have been happier! They were so polite and professional and even had my parents dancing the night away! 10/10! A quote from one of our guests was ‘they’re not just a great band, they really are entertainers!’ Highly recommend and will hire again! 5*” Mark, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Kicks here or view The Kicks’ Profile Page.

The Dukes

The Dukes are a seriously high energy, dynamic, and charismatic band that will totally rock at your wedding. If you’re after a fun night with a massive mix of music, these four will deliver in spades. Their look says funky grunge rockers and their repertoire says basically everything! Fancy a cocktail of funk, soul, rap, rock ‘n’ roll, indie, ska, new tunes, oldies? They can play anything and everything from Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, and Queen, to Amy Winehouse, Daft Punk, Jessie J, and Bruno Mars, and even a bit of The Sugar Hill Gang… Rapper’s Delight? – yes please! They’ve loads of experience too, and members have toured the UK, USA and Europe with bands like Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro and Keane, as well as performing at South By South West and Glasto. Drink it up!

“If you want a high octane, dynamic, energetic band… you don’t have to look any further! If these lads can’t get you up dancing, then no one can. Brilliant!!” Peter, Alive client review.

“Amazing, Amazing, Amazing, Amazing! … you made the night!” Andy, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Dukes here or view The Dukes’ Profile Page.

The Walks

The Walks have bags of experience at filling dancefloors at hundreds of gigs across the UK, in various guises, since 2013. They’ve also performed at Europe’s largest free music event, Festival Too, and at jazz festivals across the UK, such as the William Shakespeare Jazz Festival and Bracklesham Bay Jazzfest. Members of the band have written and recorded their own original material, and enjoyed airtime on BBC Introducing. They come with a wealth of experience and influences, meaning that this awesome five-piece have the talent and repertoire that will keep everyone dancing at your wedding reception, playing tracks from The Beatles to Bruno Mars and The Killers to The Weeknd. The band can tailor their look to suit your evening party: classy or casual, but always cool.

“These guys are awesome!! We had a packed dancefloor at our wedding all evening and we were all so sad when it came to an end. I can’t recommend this band enough, as well as being great musicians they are great fun too. Thank you again The Walks for giving us such an excellent ending to our special day.” Caroline, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Walks here or view The Walks’ Profile Page.

The Good Habits

I know this is meant to be a Top 10, but let’s sneak in one more!

Young, energetic with a fresh lively feel, this power trio is the real deal. The guys are all musical entrepreneurs in their own right, appearing at festivals and touring Europe, supporting bands like The Libertines and Funeral for a Friend, as well as featuring on Spotify’s New Music Friday. Add to that their repertoire of indie, pop, soul, classics and newbies – everything from The Beatles (of course!) and Bowie to Oasis, Pharrell, Girls Aloud and Mumford & Sons. If you’re looking for a bit of northern charm and dancefloor therapy at your wedding, The Good Habits will raise the funky fun bar and keep it high all night.

“Their performance was super, even better than I expected, they sounded great, and the set list kept everyone dancing. Not just your average wedding band, far cooler than that! I’ve had so many compliments about the band, everyone loved them!” Jenny, Alive client review.

They smashed our first dance song and now my wife can’t stop singing it…!” Jack, Alive client review.

Read all reviews for The Good Habits here or view The Good Habits’ Profile Page.

For more wedding entertainment ideas and inspiration, advice from experts and real couples, super smart planning tips and on-the-day details check out Alive Network’s ‘Ultimate Guide to Wedding Entertainment’ here.

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