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Ben Noke – performer in the spotlight


One of our favourite showmen, Mr. Ben Noke took some time out to chat to us about all things weddings, rock ‘n’ roll and being shirtless on the dance-floor!

First of all, congratulations on your wedding last year! It must have felt strange not performing at a wedding you were attending! Or, did you…?

Thanks very much. We actually went back to my childhood home where my parents still live and we all had a big singalong around the piano after the wedding breakfast. It was really great fun. My best friend came over from Sweden and had written my wife and I a song and performed it to us. It was really lovely.

I am sure you have a few memorable moments having entertained so many brides, grooms and their guests over the years. Do you have a special moment that particularly sticks out?

I’ve been lucky enough to play at so many weddings in beautiful locations. I think the one that sticks out the most was when I was playing with my band at this couple’s wedding last year. The brief was for us to get everyone up and dancing, which is normally quite easy to do as we know which songs work. However, they’d put a buffet on at the same time we were playing so everyone was sat down and eating. Not many people were dancing so in the break I went around and started talking to people to find out their favourite songs. One man told me that if we did ‘History’ by One Direction all the guys would take their shirts off and come and sing on the dance floor. I later found out this was because it was the song from the stag do. Me and my band listened to the song in our break and learned it. When we got back on stage I asked over the mic for the men from the stag do to come and join us on the dance floor. We started playing the song and all the guys took off their shirts and started dancing and the whole party started and the floor was full after that. PS – The shirtless guys then forced me to take my shirt off as well, whilst I crowd surfed. Rock ‘n’ Roll.

What was the most common first dance tune of 2018 and do you have a favourite that you love playing?

To be honest out of all the weddings I’ve played at there is very rarely a same first dance song. I think the only one I’ve played twice is ‘At Last’.

What would be your advice to perspective brides and grooms to be when it comes to choosing their entertainment?

I think the best advice I could give is to have the right balance of being very clear about what you want when talking to the musicians and then also going with the flow on the day. I think it depends at what point during the day the music is as to what works best, however for the party set, I’ve found the biggest party starter, energy booster is request cards as you can get everyone feeling part of the music and it’s one big fun party everyone together, even if not everyone knows each other really well. By the end everyone is crowded around the piano, singing along, dancing and sharing the happiness together.

What is the strangest song request you have ever had?

I’d say probably ‘Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2’!


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