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  • Slight Return Britpop Band Denbigh
    £1,132

    Slight Return

    Britpop Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 5 5 stars - Slight Return are Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

    THE tribute to the biggest bands of Britpop, Slight Return bring the classics back to life with a show crammed full of hits that will have you up and singing your favourite timeless anthems from the giants of the era including Oasis, Blur, Ocean Colour Scene, Pulp and Supergrass. With a wealth of ex... Read more...

  • Retrospect Rock and Pop Function Band Shropshire
    £1,195

    Retrospect

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - Retrospect are Highly Recommended 57 Reviews

    Retrospect are an energetic, four-piece party band that will go down a storm at your event! Covering everything Rock, Pop & Indie from The Beatles to The Killers, these guys have bags of talent & a wealth of experience rocking events across the UK!

  • Hipster Rock and Pop Function Band Shropshire
    £1,589+VAT

    Hipster

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - Hipster are Highly Recommended 328 Reviews

    Hipster's repertoire contains classic & vintage artists; The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac & The Rolling Stones, plus modern indie & pop from Kings of Leon, The Killers & Pharrell. Over 1000 wedding & corporate bookings including; M&S, Wella, RBS, Lloyds, NSPCC, Oxford Uni Press & Claire's Accessories. Ove... Read more...

  • Quantum Class Rock and Pop Function Band West Midlands
    £1,960+VAT

    Quantum Class

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 5 5 stars - Quantum Class are Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

    Making night's to remember across the UK, Quantum Class perform feel good classics from Pop, Funk & Rock 'n' Roll to Soul, Motown & anything else that guarantees you & your guests on the dance floor!

  • The Custodians Rock and Pop Function Band Herefordshire
    £3,144

    The Custodians

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 11 5 stars - The Custodians are Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

    The Custodians are sure to bring a party atmosphere to any event. Boasting a full band and horn section their sound is big, bold and sure to get you on your feet. With a thumping repertoire of dance floor classics The Custodians hold the key to a night to remember.

  • Having trouble finding the perfect Function Band?

    If you would like help selecting the perfect function band for your event, simply give us a call or submit the quick enquiry form below and one of our talented entertainment coordinators will be happy to assist.

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  • This Is Ska Ska band West Midlands
    £1,887

    This Is Ska

    Ska band Montgomery
    Number of members: 9 5 stars - This Is Ska are Highly Recommended 1 Reviews

    With previous performances alongside Madness, Damon Albarn & appearing at the Specials after-party, This Is Ska brings a faultless & fun-filled performance to any event. Playing everything from Toots & The Maytals and Desmond Dekker, to Bad Manners & The Selecter, This Is Ska will show your guests w... Read more...

  • Sub-Zero Rock and Pop Function Band West Midlands
    £1,120

    Sub-Zero

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 4 Highly Recommended

    With an amazing sound, stage presence & an exciting repertoire spanning 6 decades, Sub-Zero will throw you a party to remember! From Stevie Wonder to The Killers, after seeing Sub-Zero's stunning live show, your guests won't want to go home!

  • Atomic Hi-Fi Rock and Pop Function Band West Midlands
    £1,395

    Atomic Hi-Fi

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - Atomic Hi-Fi are Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

    Atomic Hi-Fi are the ultimate entertaining pop rock band. Young professional musicians having a great time makes for the perfect party atmosphere. With songs from The Beatles, Queen, James Brown, and Bon Jovi, through to The Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, Reef, and The Killers, they have the perfect... Read more...

  • Out Of Control Rock and Pop Function Band West Midlands
    £1,078

    Out Of Control

    Rock and Pop Function Band Montgomery
    Number of members: 3 5 stars - Out Of Control are Highly Recommended 42 Reviews

    Out Of Control are a fantastic 3 piece function band with the ability to bring any crowd to their feet. Their repertoire covers the old classics right through to the music of today, whether it be rock, pop or soul! Out Of Control are ideal for any event!

  • 3 Mile Smile Rock and Pop/ Indie Trio West Midlands
    £1,585

    3 Mile Smile

    Rock and Pop/ Indie Trio Montgomery
    Number of members: 3 5 stars - 3 Mile Smile are Highly Recommended 27 Reviews

    3 Mile Smile are a 3 piece with a difference, a sound bigger than you could ever expect! They are sure to give you a night to remember playing music from ELO and The Beatles to The Killers and Muse.

What is a function band?

A function band (or cover band / wedding band / party band as they’re also known) is a live band that specialises in performing popular rock and pop music for function events such as weddings, corporate events and private parties. They usually consist of a drummer, bass player, guitarist and lead singer, with larger bands also including a keyboard player, brass section and backing singers.

Function bands are a self-contained entertainment package, providing all of the equipment required when you book a band, without clients having to hire additional sound and lighting equipment. They often travel over a large geographical area, and their performances are designed specifically for the demands of private events.

What music do function bands play?

A function band setlist will contain a variety of rock and popular music from the 1950s right through to current chart acts, performing dancefloor-filling hits. A typical repertoire might feature artists such as:

  • The Beatles
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Kinks
  • Elvis
  • Van Morrison
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Bruno Mars
  • The Killers
  • Daft Punk
  • Taylor Swift
  • Take That
  • Maroon 5
  • Ed Sheeran
  • James Bay
  • Oasis
  • Blur
  • Coldplay
  • Kings of Leon
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Beyoncé
  • Justin Bieber
  • Katy Perry

Popular types of function band

Guitar bands

Usually formed of 3–5 members with an indie/pop/rock guitar based sound, covering artists like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles through to The Killers and Arctic Monkeys.

Pop/Funk/Soul bands

Containing anything from 5–12 members, often with female lead vocals and more prominent use of keyboards or a brass section, playing classic pop and Motown through to contemporary pop/RnB artists like Taylor Swift, Pharrell, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé.

Is a function band suitable for my event?

Rock and pop function bands specialise in lively and energetic performances so you and your guests can party! They are usually the headline evening entertainment, perfect for events including:

For weddings, a live band can perform the first dance, as well as provide background music between sets, delivering an all-in-one wedding entertainment solution. Many function bands also offer jazz or acoustic sets for your drinks reception, and solo guitar / piano for your ceremony and wedding breakfast. These options can help to keep costs down, in comparison with hiring separate performers for your wedding day.

For corporate events, bands can provide walk-on music for awards ceremonies.

Volume considerations at your event

If you’ve ever been to a live gig, you’ll know there’s nothing quite like the exciting, big sound of a live band! Function bands can offer an electrifying live performance with a sound and volume to match. A volume level in the region of 95dB – 110dB is standard.

If your venue has a sound limiter or volume restrictions, many bands offer an electronic drum kit option which can significantly reduce the overall volume of the band. You can find our sound limiter friendly bands here.

If you prefer your entertainment to serve as background music, where guests can still easily hold a conversation in the same room, then you might like to consider a Jazz / Swing band, solo singer / guitarist or Rat Pack singer. All of these artists are able to perform popular music but in a more laid-back style.

For more information about volume, see below.

Space considerations at your event

A typical 4-piece band will need an area of around 4 metres wide by 3 metres deep. For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a function band need?’, below.

How much does a function band cost?

Prices vary depending on the number of members in the band and their travel distance to your event.

In 2017, the average price of a 4–5-piece wedding function band is around £1,350 – £1,700.

Larger bands who specialise in corporate events vary in price between £2,000 – £10,000 depending on their size and experience.

This table shows a breakdown of the range of costs for different types of function bands:

Number of musicians / Type of Act Cost Range
Function Band Duos £420 - £850
3-piece bands £570 - £1,600
5-piece bands £900 - £3,600
7-piece bands + £1,200 - £5,100
Large format Rock and Pop bands £3,300 - £7,500

Who are the top 10 best function bands in the UK right now?

Below are the bands that we feel are currently flying the flag as the leading rock and pop function bands in the UK right now, based on a combination of popularity, performance quality and innovation:

For a list of Alive's most booked function bands right now, see our 'Top 10 Function Bands For Hire in 2017' article

How long will a function band play for?

Most function bands offer two 60-minute performances as standard, though many can perform for longer if required. You can spread out a two-hour performance by splitting it into three 40-minute sets.

For most weddings and private parties, the band would arrive at 6pm, get set up and sound checked by 7.30pm to 8pm, then start the first performance around 9pm, with the second performance starting around 10.30pm, through to a standard midnight curfew. Many bands will offer longer performances at an additional cost, including finishing times of 1am and 2am.

Bands will provide background music from an MP3 player or laptop between their performances.

How loud is a function band?

The average volume level of most fully-amplified 4-piece guitar-based rock and pop function bands, is between 95dB – 110 dB (decibels), with occasional volume peaks of around 120dB. This is a big, roof-raising sound with lots of energy, making them the perfect headliners to your party!

If your venue has noise restrictions or a sound limiter, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a band. Just speak to our Entertainment Coordinators before you book to find the right artists for you. Many of our bands have the option of an electric drum kit, which can significantly help to reduce overall volume. Check out our sound limiter friendly collection here.

How much space will a function band need?

Most function bands can work within a space of 4 metres wide by 3 metres deep, but this increases as you add more members. The guide below shows how much space bands of different sizes require:

Size of Function Band Performance Space Required
   3-piece band 3 x 3 metres
    4-piece band 4 x 3 metres
     5 and 6-piece band 5 x 3 metres
       7-piece band and bigger 5/6 x 4 metres

How long will it take for a function band to set up?

To unload, set up and sound check takes on average 60 – 90 minutes, depending on how close the band can park relative to the space they’re performing in. Some busy London hotels insist bands load in via a suppliers entrance, using an elevator shared with caterers and staff. This can greatly extend set up times.

After the performance, it takes around 45 – 60 minutes to pack down and load out.

What equipment will a function band need?

To really rock at your event, most function bands need:

  • a suitably-sized, safe, dry performance area. If performing outside, they will require cover – either from the rain or from the scorching sun!
  • a minimum of four 13 amp power sockets, depending on the line-up
  • parking provision, preferably with easy access to the venue
  • a secure, lockable changing room
  • refreshments such as soft drinks and sometimes food, depending on how long you have booked them for.

Function bands will provide their own PA system, microphones, stage lighting, backline amplifiers and instruments.

In a band? How do you join a function band agency?

For information on joining Alive Network please visit our 'How to join' pages here.

What you will need in order to apply?

  • High quality audio tracks and promo photos
  • Reliable, good quality equipment & your own transport
  • A setlist of music suited to private events
  • Smart formal stage clothes, suited to private events
  • A PA system & stage lighting suited to audiences of up to 200 people
  • Reliable, professional band mates

For information on the following, see our Frequently Asked Questions:

For a more comprehensive function band booking guide please read ‘Booking a function band – Everything you’ll ever need to know’.

If you have any other queries, simply visit our FAQ page.

Alternatively, our dedicated expert entertainment coordinators are on-hand to help. Simply call 0845 108 5500 or email enquiries@alivenetwork.com.