So how does it work?
Amplified roaming bands
In NOMAD’s case, the lead singer uses a wireless mic of course. Backing vocals are provided by the other band members via headsets. Instruments-wise, guitar and bass are plugged into wireless battery packs and the drums are provided by a very nifty wheeled cajon or wireless electric drumkit.
The quality of amplified sound is impressive with deep bass and crisp highs – make no mistake, this is not sit-down entertainment, they will get you on your feet.
The band call their show a unique form of ‘dining entertainment’ and certainly they interact with the audience in a way that wasn’t technologically possible 10 years ago.
Acoustic roaming and wandering bands
There are also the UK's best acoustic roaming bands or wandering bands featured on FixTheMusic – this option is very popular for smaller weddings or where your wedding venue has a strict sound limiter. A roaming wedding band will often perform a wide mix of pop covers – from the 60s to today's current hits, often with a slightly folk edge to the repertoire.
If you fancy transforming your birthday party, wedding reception or corporate event to a modern mediaeval banquet, then make an enquiry on FixTheMusic where we’ll be promoting a variety of wandering groups over the next few months.
The bands are also known as "wandering bands" – as they tend to wander in between and mingle with guests whilst playing their music and singing. Although almost every wandering band in the UK is based in London, most are happy to travel to other parts of the UK.
Most of the acoustic bands consist of a singer or two (usually male vocals, but often female too), acoustic guitar, cajon or other percussion and double bass. Occasionally the bands might also add a saxophone to the line-up.
Roaming brass bands
Another popular option is to book a roaming brass band – these modern brass groups are inspired by the roving New Orleans-style band but updated with a modern and often unusual twist. The bands usually feature trumpets, trombones and sousaphones, and occasionally a singer or even rapper to perform alongside them. These acoustic brass groups tend to be much louder than the acoustic guitar-based wandering bands, so are perfect for large public events (such as charity parades or marches).
Roaming jazz bands
Another popular type of band in this style is the roaming jazz band. Although similar to the other acoustic roving bands mentioned here, a roaming jazz band specialises in performing jazz and swing music. These groups are perfect for street parties.
They usually feature instruments such as the clarinet, banjo, trumpet, trombone, and may also include a singer or vocalist. The genre of music they play is typically Dixieland jazz (or hot jazz / traditional jazz) that originated in New Orleans.
They are especially popular at city weddings – and often hired to wander outside alongside guests after the wedding ceremony has taken place.
Lastly, the bands are often described as a busking-style band. Indeed, part of the tradition of the roaming acoustic band does stem from busking musicians – traditionally, musicians performing live on the street would be acoustic of course as they would have no access to power or amplification.
Roaming bands are a brilliant choice, especially for afternoon entertainment at your wedding. They epitomise summer and are perfect for wandering through your guests at drinks receptions.
Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about hiring a roaming band, which we hope will act as a definitive guide for booking a wandering band for weddings and events.
"They are an amazing acoustic band who performed at our wedding during our drinks reception in August 2019. These guys created a great atmosphere and all of our guests commented on how talented and engaging they were. From the initial communications all the way through to the big day, they were excellent and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thanks again, Daniel and Jonathan."
"Where do I start, you guys were AMAZING!! Not only did Ben and I love every second, the amount of comments we got from our guests on how good you were was insane. Everyone was commenting on how different it was, how good it was that your roamed around and how great the mash ups were. We’ve even had a few ask for your details for upcoming weddings and birthdays so fingers crossed they’ll be a few bookings coming your way. Thank you also for learning our first dance song, we LOVED it! And for doing the extra set, everyone was loving the entertainment so much we just didn’t want it to end."
"Hello! I realised we never said THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You lot absolutely 100% nailed it! We are both so so happy with the glorious soundtrack you provided for our party 😍 The music was amazing, and the energy you all bought was incredible. We knew it was going to be good, but had no idea it would be that good! You got the party started in ways we could never have imagined! Everyone had the best time dancing to your sound, we could not have wished for more xxx Videos have started to come through, and we’ll be sure to send them over! There aren’t words for how grateful we are, just thank you thank you thank you!!!"
"Just wanted to say a huge thank you. We thought you were fantastic! Thank you for singing LOVE with everybody. Everybody enjoyed you guys so much and I hardly left the dance floor. Thank you for including the songs that we love. Really really appreciate it. Hope you had a wonderful time with us and for the rest of the weddings you have this summer. Many thanks from the bottom of our hearts. We were delighted to have you playing at our wedding. Please let the rest of the band know how much we loved you guys!"
"The Roaming Beats were just amazing on our wedding day, and I could not recommend them highly enough. Right from the start, Dom and the guys had people singing and dancing and we've had so many positive comments from our guests since the wedding. They're also really nice guys and were very helpful in the build up to the wedding."
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With restrictions on social gatherings slowly being eased in the UK, a small acoustic roaming band might be the perfect musical group to celebrate the end of lockdown.
The impact of the COVID pandemic / coronavirus on the live music industry has been catastrophic, with almost every event since March 2020 being either cancelled or re-scheduled. It might soon be possible to host small gatherings with a limited number of guests in outdoor settings. For most bands, this will still prove problematic – as they require access to electricity and amplification.
If you are allowed to hold a small outdoor party or BBQ in a garden or public space (a "social distanced party"), then a solo acoustic singer or 2- or 3-piece roaming acoustic band could be the perfect solution to providing some safe and relaxing musical entertainment.
With many people still self-isolating at home, it might still be possible to have musicians turn up at your loved ones' doorstep – and provide musical entertainment from a safe distance. Many of our acts are providing this service already and are comfortable doing so in safe and COVID-secure ways.