Which soul and Motown band to hire

Your Book Live Music guide to hiring Soul & Motown bands.

Which soul singer should I book, where can I find a live Motown tribute band, how much does a live band cost and our complete guide to booking soul & Motown bands for your event.

Motown Band Hire Guide

Which Soul or Motown act should I book?

Soul & Motown music is as popular today as it was when the likes of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, The Commitments, Lionel Richie and other legendary artists first hit the charts.

Motown Bands:

Born in Detroit from the genius of Berry Gordy, Motown music, became synonymous with some of the all time great stars of music including Michael Jackson, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Gladys Knight & The Pips to name but a few. The music is timeless and still fills the dance floors of parties and clubs every week. An example of one of our live Motown Bands:
Motown Nights: www.booklive.co.uk/band/motown-nights

Motown Nights Band

Soul Bands:

Usually comprising of at least 6 musicians and an incredible singer who can perform all the classics, soul bands will really get your party pumping. Performing exciting songs from iconic soul superstars like James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and even the cult heroes The Blues Brothers, soul music is a feel good extravaganza of hot, brass driven music which requires an energetic crowd to ensure a full dance floor.
One of our most popular soul bands is Empire State Band: www.booklive.co.uk/band/empire-state-band

Empire State Band

Soul & Motown Singers:

Ideal for smaller budgets and venues, soul singers and Motown singers are an incredible way to have a flavour of some of the greatest black artists of all time.

One of our most popular female Motown singers is:

Motown Singer: www.booklive.co.uk/band/motown-singer

Female Motown Singer

One of our most popular male Soul & Motown singers is:

Soul Magic: www.booklive.co.uk/band/soul-magic

Soul Magic

How much does a Soul band cost?

Fees vary from one band to another and may be a little more expensive than a typical function band due to the brass musicians that they need to recreate that authentic sound. Book Live has negotiated the best fees for all of the artists we represent. Soul Bands pricing starts from £1320.00 and this will cover a whole night of music with 2 incredible hours of music with a 7 piece band with brass section.

£1000-£1500: This price range includes live bands who want to fill their diaries – after all – they would rather be working than not. All equipment is included although it doesn’t include travel fees. Examples include:

Madison Soul
Hampshire based 9 piece soul band, who deliver an energetic and exciting performance of classic songs by the legends of soul, including Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and more…. more →

The Whole Soul Band
Bristol based. Introducing the fantastic sounds of Tamla soul and Motown delivered by one of the best value and most polished acts in the UK…. more →

£1500-£2000: This price range covers most soul & Motown bands in the UK. These fees have historically been the usual cost to hire a live soul or Motown band for the night including all equipment. Again these fees don’t include travel expenses. Examples include:

Stage Presence
Cambridgeshire based Stage Presence is a 7 piece soul and party band with a rich brass section performing great live music for weddings and private parties with an optional dinner jazz set…. more →

Centre Stage
Surrey based band. Centre Stage is a 6 to 11 piece Funk, Soul and Motown band that has built up a reputation as being the best party band around…. more →

£2000+: This is the price for a band with full brass section and for prestigious artists performing at the highest level. Examples include:

Empire State Band
A no-holds-barred soul and party extravaganza with this highly regarded band. An incredible night of music, showmanship and a packed dance floor for corporate entertainment and prestigious private events… more →

Mr Soul (with live band)
London based soul singer covering the best soul and Motown classics from Barry White to Luther Vandross. Available with a live band and DJ service for a night of superb entertainment…. more →

What is included in the price?

All of our soul & Motown bands and singers have their own sound equipment. The fee covers a typical performance for 2 or 3 x sets plus CDs/iPod played when they are not performing. It also covers all their insurances, PAT certification [safety checks] for their equipment, an arrival of approximately 6pm and a finish of around midnight. Expect to pay extra for an early set up / a late finish, significant travel expenses plus any additional sets or musicians. All enquiries made with Book Live will include the total cost for the performance as long as we know all the information about your event.

What does a live band need to perform?

Most live bands have a requirement list for performances – this is called a ryder. A typical ryder is:

  • Access to a power supply. They will usually need 2 or 3 x standard power sockets and they will bring suitable cables / connectors to power their equipment
  • A suitable performance area including equipment. A solo singer will need approximately 2 x 3metres, 4 piece band will need approx 4 x 3metres, a 6-8 piece live band will need approx 6 x 4metres
  • Around 40-90 minutes to set up. Bands don’t want to disturb your event but they would also rather not sit around for hours ahead of a performance so they usually arrive at a suitable time to set up ahead of the party.
  • Hot food for each band member and soft drinks. You will get the best out of the band if you look after them whilst they are with you.
  • A changing / chill-out area where they can also leave their valuables.
  • Parking spaces to be provided or paid for.

Can I go and see the band before I book?

Some bands do have public performances but most don’t as these gigs are usually in pubs and clubs and most of the bands we represent prefer not to do these. We’ve included as many live videos of the bands on their pages so you can see them as well as listen to their audio samples. Remember, too, if a band does have a public performance, they may get booked for your date by the time you get to see them. We are unable to arrange for any prospective client to go and see a band at someone else’s wedding or private party.

How does payment work?

A deposit is due at the point of booking. Book Live can accept payments by Visa, Switch, Mastercard, Cheque or Bank Transfer.

Balance payments should be settled directly with the band leader either 2 weeks in advace or in cash on the night so they can pay all the band members promptly.

Why should I hire a soul & Motown act with Book Live?

Book Live is one of the UK’s most respected entertainment agents supplying superb live bands and singers for weddings, parties and corporate events. We have worked with customers at the highest level (read more) and we offer a completely impartial service. Most agencies have a house band that they are trying to sell and the rest of their portfolio may not get a look-in. We have pre-vetted all of our artists and offer a Peace of mind guarantee:

  • All of our artist have been selected for their professionalism, musicianship and performance, so we know that every event will be special for all the right reasons. The Book Live team regularly go and see our acts perform so we know what clients can expect before they book.
  • Public Liability Insurance and PAT certification can be provided on request for any performances.
  • All bookings are secured by contract with both the client and the artist for complete peace of mind.
  • We provide a 24/7 emergency number should you need to talk with us.
  • Our artists all have regular deputy musicians so an event will never be compromised. In addition, Book Live can provide replacements for our singers in the unlikely event that something unexpected happens [subject to availability].

What else do I need to know?
We hope we have covered all bases. If you have a question then please get in touch and we will do our best to answer it.

Additional articles from the Book Live blog:
Cheap Entertainment or Expensive Mistake?
Wedding Entertainment Agency
10 things to know about hiring a live band
How much does it cost to hire a band?


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