Just after Christmas must be one of the worst times of year to have a party. Particularly a Christmas party. But there seems to be a growing trend for after-the-fact festive functions. The reason for the strange timing could be the cost (there must be some great deals available after the holiday period), or perhaps the client simply didn’t get the venue booked in time, or possibly the company - it’s usually a company - was too busy making money to bother with the hassle of organising a party during the festive season!
Before Christmas, there is always a feeling of expectation, excitement and, of course, one can play Christmas songs, which after the event sound rather odd. We all live in the real world and however hard one tries, January the 9th just hasn’t got the feel of December the 19th! To me it always seems rather sad to be pulling crackers and wearing party hats in mid-January! When I am booked for such events I make a point of avoiding all references to Christmas if possible and, unless specifically asked, won’t play any Christmas songs in January.
I had one of these bookings this year and, even though I did my best, things didn’t really happen. What made the situation more difficult was that the guests were all drinkers and instead of utilising the bar in the room which contained the dancefloor - and disco! - they used a larger bar which was just outside. I spent much of the evening playing music to two people, myself and the redundant barman in the main room.
January is also the time for a much happier type of gig: hotel staff parties. I always enjoy these because the guests actually have something to celebrate at this time of year – the end of the busy festive work season – but also because often some of the guests are people with whom I’ve worked many times. The other thing is that, as all of the revelers work in a hotel, they normally know how to behave! Having said that there are always exceptions of course, but at the very least they all know that there is a finish time and at the end of the evening one rarely gets the pleas of “Go on, just one more - you can’t finish now!” Working in a service industry also means that the majority of guests are polite when it comes to asking for requests. Maybe I’m getting old (no, I am old!!) but I hate people just requesting a song without so much as a please. Good manners cost nothing!
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 76, Pages 64 - 66.