Frequently-asked questions

Booking a band is a new experience for most people. Here are some common questions on how it works.

About the band

What musical styles/genres do you play?

We love it all. We play musical styles to suit every occasion. Jazz, soul, funk, folk, pop, rock, blues, 60s/70s/80s/90s, classic hits. We generally like to mix it up during a performance, so we can entertain everybody. If you’d like us to focus on (or avoid) particular genres, we can do that too!

Can you perform for a corporate event?

Absolutely. We’ve teamed up with events companies for high-profile corporate events in Melbourne at Crown, MYER, The Grand Hyatt, The Hilton, The RACV Club, and Melbourne Town Hall.

Do you play at wedding ceremonies?

Of course! If you book one of our bands for your reception, we can offer vastly reduced pricing on a ceremony performance.

Can we ask for something we haven’t seen on your site?

By all means! Try us! You dream it up and we can work it out. We’ve quoted for sitar ensemble, African choir, live electronic vocal and violin looping, barbershop quartet … the list goes on.

Who runs Mr Boutique?

Mr Boutique is directed by singer Tom Barton. On-the-day performances are managed by the “front person”, or singer, of the band. Tom studied a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts. Tom and all of the musicians of Mr Boutique have studied music at a tertiary level, and have a huge amount of combined experience performing for events of all kinds. You can find out more about Tom’s solo original music career at his website.

Bookings

What are your payment and booking terms?

We require a 25% deposit to confirm a booking, and the remaining amount to be paid on or before the event date. Deposits are non-refundable. We are happy to keep a date enquiry pencilled in for you while you decide what’s best for your event, and we will notify you if we receive other requests for that date. We always prioritise pencilled-in bookings.

What happens before we book you?

We will ask you what musical styles you want at your event, and whether you have one of our singers in mind. We’ll make suggestions based on your ideas and find something that’s perfect for your needs. Once we’ve worked out the details of how long you need the band for, we’ll only proceed once you’re 100% happy with arrangements. This doesn’t mean you’re locked-in, as we can change things after booking too. Things change in the lead up to an event, so we don’t have to finalise every detail. We’re flexible with timings and requests, are would rarely have to increase a fee, unless for example a client required an additional hour or more of performance time.

What happens after booking you?

Once you’ve booked us we’ll get in touch to ask you to start thinking about a special song or two you might want us to learn for you. We’ll get in touch with your venue to arrange logistics, and we’ll work with you and/or your planner to create a running schedule.

Where do you travel?

Beyond our “no travel fee” zone around Melbourne, we are happy to travel throughout Victoria and Australia for cost-price of petrol or airfares.

Can we see you live?

Like a number of high profile function bands, we don’t perform public showcases. We appreciate that some prospective clients may want to see the band live to be sure of quality before booking. However, we just haven’t found enough of a need to justify the expense and time. We receive almost all of our bookings via word of mouth, and we are happy to continue cultivating a great reputation. Our audio demos are all recorded live, with the one band in a single room, precisely so that clients would hear the real, live sound of us performing. There are no studio overdubs or adjustments. Just music in a room. We hope you can appreciate our decision for this and we’re confident you’ll be blown away by our musicians.

Can you learn songs for us?

Absolutely! We love to put our touch on your favourite songs. We are happy to learn one or two special songs for you. These could be for:

Ceremony:

  • Bridal Entrance / Walking down the aisle
  • Signing of the register
  • Exit Song

Reception:

  • Bridal Party Entrance
  • Cake Cutting
  • First Dance
  • Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dance
  • Farewell Circle Music

Logistics

When do you arrive at the event and how long do you stay?

We generally arrive 1-1.5 hours ahead of guests arriving, to allow time for instrument and PA setup. We are usually booked to perform until the end of an event, at which point we’ll begin packup as guests are leaving the venue. On occasions where we are booked to perform only at the beginning of an event, we can pack up in an unobtrusive, non-disturbing way.

What do we need to provide the band on the day?

We discuss our requirements with clients and venues prior to the event, but in short, we need:

  • An area for the band – varies from 3m x 5m to 5m x 5m
  • Access to power
  • Meals/refreshments for the band. If an event takes place over dinner or lunch time, it is much appreciated if meals can be provided for the musicians to take on one of their breaks. They often load-in early and leave late, so feeding them keeps energy levels topped up.
Do you provide background music during band breaks?

We provide background music during band breaks via an iPod. You are welcome to bring your own iPod/Laptop/Device for us to play your choice in background music too. We generally match the music to the styles we are performing live at an event.

Can you provide a microphone for speeches? How about lighting?

We can easily hire a portable microphone for speeches and MC duties at cost price from the hire company we work with. The PA used by our band isn’t suitable for speeches – it’s not a wireless microphone and the stage is an OHS hazard for non-musicians. We can also arrange professional lighting on request.

How do you fit in to our running schedule?

We are very flexible. You can write us in to your running schedule as you see fit, though we like to try to keep the 45-minute sets in tact as much as possible. Things can go over or under-time on the day, and we are agile enough to follow proceedings and fill the gaps. Some clients just ask us to fill in the spaces with music, which we are equally comfortable doing.

How loud does the band get? Can you play within noise restrictions?

As our musicians are all highly trained, they understand how to control volume levels without compromising their intensity. We like to perform with full impact, but this rarely ever means full volume. In situations where there are sound limits, we’re experienced in reducing volume. We’ve even been the only band allowed at a certain high-profile Melbourne CBD hotel that “does not allow drums” – as our drummers are so skilled at low volume playing and jazz “brush” work.

Can we choose the song list for the entire performance?

We encourage you to tell us what musical styles and genres you love, and we’re very happy to learn song requests. You may look at our song list and ask us to include numbers, or not play certain songs. Our musicians need the flexibility to choose songs on-the-go while performing, while they read the tone of an event, so clients are not able to map out each set song-by-song.

How do the musicians dress?

Our standard dress is formal: dark suits/gowns. We can certainly dress for occasions if required, such as matching corporate colours or dressing more casually for daytime events.

Can you help us with a general question we have about events?

We’ve been involved in lots of weddings and events, so please feel free to run any ideas past us you like.