Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers organised into easily navigable sections. If you cannot find the answer to your query here, then contact us and we will be happy to help.

General

Who are Six Bearded Fish and what do they do?
Six Bearded Fish? What does that mean and why are there only four of you?
How long have you been performing together?
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Booking

How do we book you?
Can we see you play before we book you?
Do you have any references we can contact before making a booking?
How far will you travel?
Can we meet you to discuss our event?
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Setting Up

When do you arrive to set up?
Can you arrive earlier in the day to set up for an evening event?
How much time do you need to set up?
How much space do you need?
What are your power requirements?
It may not be possible for you to soundcheck after you have set up. Is that a problem?
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Equipment

What equipment do you provide?
Do you provide lighting?
We’re planning speeches/announcements. Can we use your sound system?
We aren’t booking a DJ. Can you play music over your sound equipment when you are not playing?
Can you play dining music over your sound system for our meal?
Can we plug our own laptop/mp3 player into your sound equipment to use?
We have hired some extra equipment to use. Can you operate it for us?
The venue has a sound limiter. Is that a problem?
How loud are you? We have a noise limit of X dB.
Is your equipment electrically tested?
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Set Times

How long do you usually play for?
How many songs do you play in that time?
What is the latest time you can play to?
Our event may overrun. Can you stay later than agreed if necessary?
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Songs

Can we make requests from your song list?
What about if a song we want played is not on your song list?
Can you play our first dance for us?
Some of our guests are musicians. Can they play with you on a few songs?
Do you use backing tracks?
We are concerned that you may be too loud or rocky for our older guests. Is this likely to be the case?
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Payment and Insurance

How much do you charge?
Do you require a deposit?
Do you require payment in advance?
How do we pay you?
Are there any hidden costs? Do your fees include expenses, such as travel costs?
What happens if my event is cancelled? Will you still charge us?
What if our outdoor event is affected by the weather?
Do you have insurance? The venue has asked if you have Public Liability Insurance.
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Miscellaneous

Our event has a dress code. Can you adhere to it?
Do we need to provide you with food?
Do you need somewhere to change or hang out before you play?
What happens if one of the band members is taken ill on the day of my event? Will you cancel?
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General

Who are Six Bearded Fish and what do they do?

Six Bearded Fish or ‘The Fish’ are a four-piece function band who specialise in performing popular songs spanning all decades from the ’50s right through to the present day. As a group containing vocals, guitar, bass and drums, we lean towards music we can reproduce well, which is anything from The Beatles’ ‘Twist and Shout’ to Kaiser Chiefs’ ‘I Predict A Riot’ to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ to The Fratellis’ ‘Chelsea Dagger’.
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Six Bearded Fish? What does that mean and why are there only four of you?

It’s a question we get asked a lot, but the truth is that nobody seems to know! The four ‘known’ Fish are: Tim Slater (Lead Vocals), Paul Thomas (Electric Guitar), Aidan Hampson (Bass, Piano, Acoustic Guitar and Backing Vocals) and Rob Hampson (Drums and Backing Vocals).
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How long have you been performing together?

Six Bearded Fish played their first gig on Friday 26th November 1999. However, all the members have been musically active and performing since an early age.
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Booking

How do we book you?

Please contact us first with the details of your event so we can check our availability and provide you with a quote for our services. We will also issue you with our Function Information Pack which includes further details about the band and a link to the booking form. When you are ready to secure your booking, simply submit the form and we will approve your booking by sending you a confirmation email. Please be aware that we operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so until we receive your booking form the date is still available to other clients. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the booking form is submitted during the enquiry process and we cannot be held responsible for assigning the date to another customer if we haven’t received the booking form from you. You are welcome to inform us that you will be submitting the form in due course and in which case, we will hold the date for two weeks to allow you time to gather the details required. If we haven’t received the form after two weeks, the date will be released and therefore, will be open to be booked by another client. To avoid disappointment, we also recommend that you check with us that the date of your event is still available prior to completing the booking form.
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Can we see you play before we book you?

Yes. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you now can! Visit the videos page to view our live film clips. There is also a show reel compilation to be found on the home page. Alternatively, we occasionally play a public date, so please contact us for details.
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Do you have any references we can contact before making a booking?

Please visit our testimonials page to view the feedback we’ve received from past events. If you wish to contact any previous clients directly, then email us and we will provide you with their details.
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How far will you travel?

As we are based in Southampton, we typically cover the southern counties, but will consider taking on bookings further afield. Please contact us to discuss your event if this is the case.
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Can we meet you to discuss our event?

If you able to arrange a suitable time and place in the Southampton area, then it may be possible for you to meet with one of the band for an informal discussion prior to the event. However, we are easily contactable in other ways, so in most cases, arrangements can be organised as quickly via email or over the phone.
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Setting Up

When do you arrive to set up?

Our quoted fee includes us being available up to three hours before the start of our performance for loading in, setting up and a soundcheck.
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Can you arrive earlier in the day to set up for an evening event?

If we are available to do so, then yes. However, an extra ‘early arrival’ fee will be applicable as our arrival time will be more than three hours before the start of our performance.
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How much time do you need to set up?

We require at least 1½ hours to unload, set up and check all of our equipment. In addition, we prefer to run through a few numbers to fully balance the sound to the venue. Therefore, it is important that you account for this in your schedule and that we can have access to the venue at an appropriate time. Failure to do this could lead to unavoidable delays to our performance and disrupt the program of the event.
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How much space do you need?

We require an absolute minimum area of 16ft (5m) wide by 12ft (3.5m) deep for the band to assemble in, although we appreciate as much space as possible if it is available. Please do not place the band in the corner of a room as a triangular space restricts the preferred layout of our equipment.
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What are your power requirements?

The band’s power draw, including the supplied lighting, is no more than six kilowatts (6kW or 6kVA). A minimum of two separate 13A sockets or generator feeds should be available in the band area. These should be the standard UK 3-pin type, rated at 230V and single-phase. In order to prevent overloading, it is important that the sockets provided are not supplied from a solitary 13A source, i.e. an extension cable run from a single wall outlet is not sufficient.
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It may not be possible for you to soundcheck after you have set up. Is that a problem?

Although a soundcheck is advantageous for many reasons, we have the experience to tweak our sound on the fly if absolutely necessary. However, we encourage you to account for this in your schedule to ensure the best possible sound quality for your event.
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Equipment

What equipment do you provide?

Apart from a power generating device, we provide all of the equipment required for our performance. This typically includes the band’s ‘backline’, as well as a full PA sound-reinforcement system. A dedicated sound engineer to operate the equipment attends all of our bookings to ensure that we provide a consistent and professional sound throughout our performance.
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Do you provide lighting?

A comprehensive lighting package is included as standard with all of our bookings. This allows us to enhance both the band and dance floor with colour and movement throughout the duration of your event. All of our lighting is professional theatre-grade equipment and consequently, we provide an experienced engineer to install and operate the rig on the day. Further details can be found on our lighting page.
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We’re planning speeches/announcements. Can we use your sound system?

Provided that the band has set up in advance, our sound system may be used under our supervision for spoken word. Our sound engineer will assist you should you need to use our equipment for this purpose.
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We aren’t booking a DJ. Can you play music over your sound equipment when you are not playing?

Yes. We can arrange and be responsible for additional music of your choice to be played via our laptop system, which is connected directly to our sound equipment. This service is included as standard with every booking and is free of charge before Midnight. We encourage you to advise us of the content prior to the event so that we can produce a bespoke music selection for your occasion. If you have no suggestions, we have a large database of music from which we will generate a suitable playlist for you.
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Can you play dining music over your sound system for our meal?

In the event that we have completed our setup before your meal takes place, then dining music can be provided via our sound equipment. As with the additional music, we encourage you to advise us of the content or if you wish, we can compile a music selection on your behalf.
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Can we plug our own laptop/mp3 player into your sound equipment to use?

Yes. As long as the device has a standard 3.5mm headphone or line out socket, we can connect it directly to our sound system. It is advisable that any appliance used in this way is run on mains power rather than by battery.
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We have hired some extra equipment to use. Can you operate it for us?

For insurance purposes, we claim no responsibility for the setup and/or operation of external equipment not owned by Six Bearded Fish.
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The venue has a sound limiter. Is that a problem?

In most cases, no, unless the limiter is particularly sensitive. However, to save any inconvenience, we would advise that venues with sound limiters are avoided unless it is absolutely essential, as they can be extremely frustrating to work around. If choosing a venue with a limiter is unavoidable, we recommend that you contact the venue and ask for the limiter’s trip level in decibels. This information will help us to minimise any disruption by taking the necessary precautions with our equipment.
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How loud are you? We have a noise limit of X dB.

Our volume level will vary depending on the venue, but ultimately, we can control it within a certain range. With the natural acoustic level of a drum kit controlling our minimum volume, it is impractical to reduce our volume to a whisper, but any reasonable guideline enforced by a venue should be attainable. A typical level in a medium-sized room at 20ft (6m) from the band would be in the region of 97dB(A).
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Is your equipment electrically tested?

All of our equipment is checked and maintained on a regular basis following PAT guidelines to ensure that it is safe to operate under normal conditions. If any faults are found, the items are immediately removed from our rig and sent away for professional repair. PAT certificates are available for all of the band’s standard equipment.
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Set Times

How long do you usually play for?

Our live performance is comprised of two sets of up to one hour each, but a number of combinations are possible within that framework. Other popular alternatives are a single one-hour slot or two 45-minute sets.
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How many songs do you play in that time?

We typically find that 30 minutes of playing equates to about 8 songs, so a one-hour set would include roughly 15 to 16 songs and a 45-minute set about 11 or 12.
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What is the latest time you can play to?

Our quotations are based on performances before Midnight. If you would like us to play later than that, please discuss it with us at the booking stage, as an additional ‘late finish’ charge will be payable.
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Our event may overrun. Can you stay later than agreed if necessary?

We appreciate that all events may slip behind schedule and we are willing to adapt to any situation as it presents itself. However, unless a supplementary fee has been paid in advance for a late finish, our Midnight curfew will still apply. If your event is delayed by more than an hour, we ask that you discuss the circumstances with us so that we can agree on a revised program.
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Songs

Can we make requests from your song list?

Absolutely. You can make up to 15 requests from our list or you can leave it entirely up to us. The simplest way to let us know your selection is to complete the relevant section on our booking form.
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What about if a song we want played is not on your song list?

If you would like the band to perform a song that doesn’t feature on our song list, then please contact us with the details and we will endeavour to accommodate it into our set list for your event.
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Can you play our first dance for us?

If the track is featured on our song list, then yes. As the first dance is arguably the most important song of the evening, we will only play a song not on our list if it is concurrent with our instrumentation and style. If, for any reason, we can’t perform the song live, we will arrange for the original version to be played over our sound system at the appropriate time.
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Some of our guests are musicians. Can they play with you on a few songs?

For insurance purposes, we regret that we cannot invite guest musicians up to play with us, even if a guest provides their own equipment.
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Do you use backing tracks?

All of our set music is 100% live – no backing tracks or pre-recorded instruments are used.
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We are concerned that you may be too loud or rocky for our older guests. Is this likely to be the case?

Although we can’t deny that it is our intention to cover the rockier side of popular music, we value ourselves on being musically appropriate for the functions that we are booked for. What we mean by this is that we will take into account our audience and react accordingly. As well as adhering to your requests from our song list as closely as possible, it also means that we will adjust our performance intensity to fit the situation. As a result, our music is suitable for all age groups and in many cases, the younger guests are often shown up by the stamina and smokin’ moves of the older generation!
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Payment and Insurance

How much do you charge?

We usually charge between £1,000 and £1,500 for our hire depending on the details of the event, but discounts are available for charities and off-peak bookings. Please contact us for an accurate quote for your occasion.
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Do you require a deposit?

For larger events, we may ask for a 10% non-refundable deposit at the time of booking. We will inform you if this is necessary after you have supplied us with the details of your event. Any deposit made will be promptly acknowledged with a receipt for your records.
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Do you require payment in advance?

Yes – we do not accept payment on the day of the event. The outstanding fee must be paid no later than two days prior to the agreed date.
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How do we pay you?

Payment should be made by bank transfer, where possible. Bank details will be supplied on receipt of the booking form. If you wish to pay by cheque, then payment must be received two weeks before the event at the absolute latest. Any payment made will be promptly acknowledged with a receipt for your records.
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Are there any hidden costs? Do your fees include expenses, such as travel costs?

Our quoted fees are ‘all inclusive’ and incorporate all of our expenses. The only time we may inform you of a change to your quoted fee is if your initial enquiry does not accurately reflect the service we need to provide.
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What happens if my event is cancelled? Will you still charge us?

If the function is cancelled within the six months leading up to the specified date, we reserve the right to charge up to 50% of the agreed fee to subsidise the loss of full payment. Cancellation or termination of our performance on the agreed date will incur a charge of 100% of the full fee.
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What if our outdoor event is affected by the weather?

In the case of outdoor events, we request that the organiser takes all reasonable steps to ensure that any disruption as a result of the weather is kept to a minimum. Should weather conditions affect our performance or safety, we reserve the right to terminate the engagement at any point, either temporarily or permanently. If you are using a marquee for your event, please make sure that the structure is safe, stable and completely water-tight.
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Do you have insurance? The venue has asked if you have Public Liability Insurance.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, the band is protected by a £5 million Public Liability Insurance policy which covers all of the band’s entourage and equipment. The certificate of insurance can be produced on request should the venue or organiser require proof.
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Miscellaneous

Our event has a dress code. Can you adhere to it?

If you’re having a special occasion with a dress code, please inform us of what you would class as suitable attire for the band. If no advice is given, we would typically dress smart, i.e. a formal shirt and black trousers.
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Do we need to provide you with food?

We don’t insist on it, but are always grateful if the band can be accounted for in the catering arrangements. Whether this means us having access to the evening buffet or having some packed lunches put aside, we are not fussy.
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Do you need somewhere to change or hang out before you play?

Although it’s not strictly essential, we appreciate having some space (i.e. a back room) put aside for our use. As well as being a waiting and changing area, it can help keep the stage area tidy by providing us with somewhere to store cases and boxes out of sight while we’re playing.
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What happens if one of the band members is taken ill on the day of my event? Will you cancel?

Absolutely not. In the unlikely event that a member of the band cannot attend a confirmed booking, we have a bank of backup musicians and crew that we can call on to cover at short notice. Any substitute we use will have been selected by us as a worthy replacement and be able to seamlessly integrate with the band, ensuring the quality of our performance is unaffected.
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