The Offbeat Blog

Random Posts Containing Some (Hopefully) Useful Tidbits...


  • February - We were thinking that we would ask our guests to suggest a couple of songs each on the RSVP, is that helpful to you?
  • March - Why playing the classics early on usually makes for a better party all night

March 2024

Why playing the classics early on usually makes for a better party all night  

Since I’ve put up the ‘Classic Motown, Funk, Disco and 80's Pop’ recording, a few couples have said something along the lines of:

“We really don’t think that we want this kind of music at our wedding. It’s not something that we listen to ourselves or feel reflects our own tastes.” 

Yep, I completely understand. Pretty much everything in this mix could be said to be played out, and, whilst not exactly cheesy, certainly can’t be described as alternative, unique or niche. It is, in fact, pretty much the most mainstream selection of pre-1990 chart music that you could compile. All totally familiar to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock, and all chart topping in their time. 

And that is exactly why you should use them to kick start your party. 

At any given wedding there will likely be attendees of all different ages, all with different tastes, many of which will be expecting lots of highly recognisable music they can dance and sing along to. Everything in this mix was included because it is just that: easy to move to (especially after a few drinks!) and everyone knows all the words to belt out. 

By dedicating the first part of the evening set to this kind of mainstream, highly inclusive music, nobody at your wedding party will feel left out because they ‘just don’t know or can’t dance to the newer or more alternative stuff’. The classics are classics for a reason, and if they’re not being played then you can almost guarantee that at least one guest is going to come up and request them (usually asked as “Please can you play something that we oldies know?” Or even just straight up “When are you going to play some ABBA?”)

As a DJ, the last thing I want is for this question to come at a time when that part of the evening has passed and everyone has moved onto the more alternative or electronic types of music, as it’s so jarring to the atmosphere to take a dance floor out of that moment and slam it back to the 70’s disco, or Motown, just because a small group of people felt that they didn’t get the chance to dance to that early on. It’s genuinely horrible to have to deny that person their request and leave them feeling confused and frustrated that at no point was the musci for them.

This part of the evening set doesn’t have to go on for long,  I’ll keep playing those hits for as long as the dance floor stays busy and vibrant, but there’s inevitably a time, sooner or later, when the older classics start to lose momentum. It could be after 20 minutes, it could be two hours, but once that part of the night is over, it shouldn’t need to be revisited and the rest of the set, that does reflect your tastes, can be played uninterrupted.

Of course, it's your party and you get to ultimately decide what music gets played and what doesn't, but there's no doubt that the best parties are the ones where everyone gets to have fun on the dancefloor.

February 2024

We were thinking that we would ask our guests to suggest a couple of songs each on the RSVP, is that helpful to you?

This question comes up pretty frequently, and the practice of asking wedding guests to suggest songs they would like to hear at the party, months in advance, via the invitation reply is a trend that doesn't look to be going away anytime soon.

On the face it it sounds like a great idea that should guarantee everyone will get to hear something they like and ensure that whatever song is playing at least someone there loves it, right?

To be honest my heart always sinks a little when I hear that the invites have gone out with the request for suggestions, because I already know what's coming...

A lot of the suggestions will be baaaaad. That is to say a good number of them will be likely be completely inappropriate, too obscure to feel inclusive for everyone, or totally contrary to the specific instructions that the happy couple have given me regarding the music. I can't tell you how many times 'The Macarena', 'Come on Eileen' or 'YMCA' have appeared on these guest request lists, whilst I've simultaneously been given strict instructions not to play anything cheesy. It instantly puts me in a bind that someone might be expecting something that I've already been asked not to play. Furthermore, I'll have no idea who actually requested which song so won't know if that person is even in the room when I play it. 

When a guest puts down a song request before the party, there might well be an expectation that that song will be played at some point, as if I am working my way down a preplanned list of tracks on a speadsheet, and they are waiting patiently for their turn. I'm not gonna lie, it's a tiny bit heartbreaking to see someone who has been hanging out at the back of the room all evening come wondering over at around 10:15pm and say "Excuse me, are you going to play 'Uptown Girl' soon, only our taxi is on its way and we're leaving in 10 minutes?" Invariably this will happen just as a full dancefloor is twerking away to Nicky Minaj or headbanging to "Killing In The Name Of", and I simply have no choice but to disappoint them.

Ultimately long song request lists will likely end up stifling a DJ's creativity and ability to simply read the room. Song requests on the night are great, in that you know who's made them, and a plan can be made to work them to the set if possible. If it's a inapproiate request then I can often suggest alternatives or at least handle them in a polite manner to avoid disappointment.