Filming Live Music at the Savile Club

We recently enjoyed a day of intensive filming at the Savile Club in Mayfair. The Club has an illustrious history, as it was established in 1868 by a group of prominent artists and writers. A hidden gem on Brook Street, we’ve been honoured to be recommended music suppliers here for several years now and played in some wonderful weddings and private parties here. From stylish string quartets to classy swing jazz bands and DJs, it’s always been a pleasure to provide live music to the Club. Whenever a new musician walks in, their reaction is always the same – a jolt at just how effortlessly beautiful everything is inside. From the splendour of the Ballroom with its painted ceilings and playful execution of the Louis XVI style so popular in the 1880s to the secluded haven of the Roof Terrace and Courtyard, perfect for a chilled glass of wine in the summertime, there is nothing but fine surroundings. Formal, but not overly so, the Club has a host of famous names in its history, including Elgar, W.B. Yeats and John le Carré.

We chose James and Wooden Post House to make our film. They’d worked with some music acts that we were familiar with and we liked their strong work ethic and lovely 4K films. They also work with the excellent Forces Media Academy as James lectures there and on the day we had veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan helping with the filming. They were extremely helpful and also friendly which put our musicians at their ease, since not everyone was used to being filmed with so many lights and cameras. This helped the tight schedule go to plan.

We started with string quartet, then trio, duo and finally solo cello and solo guitar. Since we provide live music for events, we decided to always only play live on each film to keep things more ‘real’. We want our clients to get as close a taste as possible of what they’ll be booking, so playing live and with only a couple of takes makes for what live music is like. The live element is what makes it exciting and we think more interesting as well as creating a unique atmosphere every time.

After the strings had finished, we moved on to some of our most popular jazz bands, starting with Amy on vocals, then a jazz quartet, trio and duo. Options are essential in music for events, for a few reasons. The main of these are size of venue/room and number of guests. A duo of clarinet/sax and guitar in a small evening reception with only around 30 guests may just be more effective than a larger 4 piece band. It’s not always a case of the amount of sound a band makes as volume levels can easily be adjusted. Sometimes it’s simply that a lighter texture of music with only 2 instruments is more low key and less distracting in a smaller setting with few guests. And of course personal preference and budget come into play. The bands play classic jazz mostly but can throw in a few pop numbers and popular tunes like Bare Necessities, for example. We tried to represent this to an extent in the videos, whilst keeping them short. Our busy clients generally have fed back to us that a couple of short, representative clips can be more effective than long, sprawling showreels that just go on and on. They want a taste of what they’re hiring – no need for a full concert in advance.

Finally, Brian who is the director of Liquid Strings made some FAQ videos for general booking process, corporate and wedding ones also. As a musician, Brian is definitely more comfortable playing in front of the camera than talking in front of it and he realised why presenters/speakers get paid so much (it’s not easy!). However, for a first time and with strict time limits, it was acceptable and we hope our clients and anyone enquiring finds the question and answer videos helpful. We may make better ones in the future.

We’d like to thank the Club and especially Patrizia Cox for allowing us to film in this amazing space and their kind help with facilitating this day of filming. If you’re considering hiring a stunning venue for your wedding, party or other celebration, we strongly recommend that you do email them on [email protected] They’re most helpful and it really is an amazing space to celebrate a milestone in!

  • Filming Live Music at the Savile Club
Filming Live Music at the Savile Club

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