It’s fair to say that we play in some unusual places. Over the years we’ve performed in castles, country houses, medieval halls, marquees, back gardens, front rooms, boat yards and windmills – but we’ve never played in a working monastery before. That is, until now.
Tracey and Paul asked us to help them and their friends and family celebrate their wedding at Mirfield Monastery in West Yorkshire. The monastery is home to the Community of the Resurrection, an Anglican monastic order. It also serves as a wedding venue. So, after a quick drive down the M62, we found ourselves arriving at the monastery gates.
We set up in the ‘Great Hall’ which more than lived up to its name. It was an unbelievable space with giant arched windows and a high curved ceiling. We were reliably informed that the room acoustics meant a person could be heard talking across the hall without the need for a microphone. This was great news for the wedding speeches, but a bit of a challenge for an amplified band!
Thankfully, we’re used to adjusting to different rooms and where a lot of less experienced bands might have struggled, we were able to keep things just ticking over on stage and let the acoustics of the room do the rest.
Tom (aka ‘DJ-TJ’) was doing double duty as the DJ again and, after playing the couple’s first dance, he quickly jumped behind the kit and counted us in to the first set. As with most wedding’s we had come with a prepared set list, but we quickly started changing things on the fly in response to the crowd and what they were dancing to. This is an important skill we’ve built up over the years and it really help to keep the party going. It also helps when you have a pretty extensive repertoire to draw upon!
With Tom back on the decks, we kept things lively even after we’d finished playing. There was lots of dancing and lots of smiling faces. Which is always a good sign. We knew Tracey and Paul were a great couple but we really didn’t know what to expect from a monastery, but it was a really great night in a very unique venue.