If music has a purpose, it must be to convey emotion and energy, and to connect with the audience. Live music is one of the oldest and most thrilling forms of entertainment, when done right....
So often however, we come away from live music experiences flat and uninspired. Sometimes we leave in the middle of a gig, thinking to ourselves, "that's a half an hour of life I won't get back again!" Other times we see a band that we know intellectually are very good, but for some reason the show just doesn't inspire us, or make us feel much of anything.
Enter the front person.
This special guy or girl (or both in the case of the Good Hustle) is the link between the energy of the band, and the energy of the audience. A great front person has to have so many things in order to achieve his or her purpose, that is, to rock a room! They must posses confidence in bags. Seasoned musical skills and know so that they can react to the ever changing environment of a live gig. Great crowd control, mic skills: (known affectionately as "shtick" in New York comedy circles, though which I personally am pretty sure originated right here with hurling!)
Often the crowd "hive brain" isn't exactly sure how much of a good time they are having; in these make or break moments it is the swagger and knowing appeal of the front person that can alone be the thing to elevate the room. This natural confidence must be forged in the fires of experience to create a front person who wins the crowd over, no matter how tough, each and every time.
Then there is the talent and skill of the singer. This is easier for anyone with ears to understand, but like everything else, practice and experience are key points here. Its that uncanny knowledge of exactly what is going to work next, what the other singer is going to do, when to do an extra chorus of a song etc. Its something we refer to jokingly as ESP in our band, but whatever it is exactly, it comes from having done lots and lots of hours practising, gigs and shows. I have worked with many singers who although extremely talented, and sounded amazing recorded, lacked conviction once on stage because they simply hadn't done it enough times.
Without wanting to inflate the egos of The Good Hustle's own talented, good looking and brave front person's any more than is necessary, I posit that the front person is the single most important person in your wedding band. Through their unusual and specific skill-set your wedding night can be magical, memorable and marvellous. Choose wisely! Don't merely look for good singers, look for good conduits, good entertainers, people who are fresh and engaged (pardon the pun) in your wedding, the biggest gig of your life!
Now of course a front person is limited by exactly how good the band are behind them, but that's a can of worms for another day..
See you all soon, Michael