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Monday, November 18, 2013

Give 'em What They Want

Hi there,

I have a theory that is yet to be disproved in all my years of fronting party bands...Now, your raison d'etre is getting your audience to dance... if you can work out roughly when the majority of your audience was 20 years old ie their halcyon days, you're off to a flying start. Pluck out a big dancey hit from aroundabout that year and you're almost guaranteed to have a packed dance floor. The flow of alcohol also helps and females are generally easier to shift but the good thing is that the men generally follow the women onto the floor so get to the girls first. 

If you have a group that's hard to pick or they are of really mixed ages like at a wedding, then go for Retro hits. Even Gen Zs know the big songs from the '70s and '80s thanks to their constant re-emergence in movies and sitcoms. It doesn't seem to matter how many current hits I learn for these occasions, 'I Will Survive' and 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun' are still top of the dance floor hit parade. 

Of course you might have a bunch of hipsters that won't go for Top 40 from any era - then you have to be a bit smarter (and have a wide repertoire). Pick a hip song that regular bodies probably don't know, that still has a good beat, and pump that out while gazing at your shoes. The hep cat gets to be the dude dancing and mouthing along to a song no one else is familiar with while everyone else will join in so as not to appear uncool.

Of course it's simply understanding what your audience wants. Are they there to dance, to just listen, to impress? Are they straight-laced corporate types or wild and woolly hippies? Don't be like an agent I heard of recently (see 'Agents, who needs em?) who was sending disco dancing drag queens to entertain at events for the very elderly and very conservative! 

And if in doubt, just sing 'Brown Eyed Girl' - that'll cover more than half of your population,

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