Recent Testimonial

I’ve been included in some lovely Thank You messages recently.

This email was sent to Tara at Fiestasol who planned and catered this wedding in October 2014 at Hacienda San Jose, Mijas.

Hello Tara,

Well where do we start…….you are a truly wonderful amazing person. From the first viewing over a year ago to us bombarding you with emails etc you have been there always for us and made this whole experience everything we could have wanted.
All the guests said what an amazing job had been done by you and Fiestasol and we’re blown away by both venues, especially the castle.!!!
Thankyou so much for introducing us to Lizzie, everyone said her ceremony was simply gorgeous and it was. She was such a lovely lady and the castle looked wonderful, everything I imagined for our Cinderella wedding.
Food……WOW….Alex is super super talented, everyone loved the food, and the second day BBQ was simply delicious, we even had a lesson in peeling prawns haha. Your two waiters who stayed till 2.30am, despite us telling them they could go early, were amazing, professional, friendly guys and a credit to you.
Rob the DJ was simply wonderful everyone said what a lovely guy, if he didn’t have a song he went and found it, couldn’t ask for more, a fantastic guy.
We simply could not have done it without you. You relaxed us both throughout the whole planning and then on the final day. Anyone who is lucky enough to have you and Fiestasol as their wedding planner and catering is in for an amazing experience from planning to the big day.
Thank you thank you thank you.
Lots of love,
Shirley and Matthew Hopwood.xxx

 

 

 

 

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Marrying in Spain, trust me on the sunscreen

This year’s wedding season is coming to a close for me.

It’s been an interesting year, my first as a husband and father.  I’ve been much more careful to wear sunscreen this year.

And I’ve been thinking about venues and how people decide which one to choose?

 

 

With apologies to Baz Luhrman, and one of my favourite songs of the 90s, I will dispense this advice now…

Baz Luhrman ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’

Brides and Grooms, wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists

whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable 

than my own meandering experience… 

 

Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

How do you pick the right venue?

Get good advice. Talk to your wedding planner and other people whose advice you respect.

You’re going to spend a lot of money on the venue. Like buying a house, this is definitely BUYER BEWARE. You can find out the venues that are excellent and those that don’t deliver on their promises. Use the internet. Read Trip Advisor, read blogs, look at facebook, look at wedding forums.

Don’t assume spending more money is a guarantee of better service.

If a venue has been open for years and has a reputation for excellent service you can be more confident that it will deliver you the same high standards. If a venue has a reputation for poor service, rude staff or other recurring problems then the chances are you’ll suffer from the same.

This week I’ve done four weddings

  • My first time on the recently opened Sunborn Yacht Hotel, the 5 star floating hotel in Gibraltar harbour. A stunning looking venue. The next day the bride posted a list of thank yous on facebook. I was thanked for doing a good job.  So were others but not the venue. It’s not just the experience of the couple I djed for. How does the venue need to improve? Start by reading Trip Advisor.
  • Another wedding for me at Puro Beach. They’ve spent some money there in the last few weeks improving facilities for guests. They’ve also made improvements to their level of service. Having heard a catalogue of complaints from others I was nervous. Yet it turned out to be one of the best nights I’ve had this year. This is what the bride and groom wrote: “We are back home and still enjoying every moment of our wedding. You made our party BOOM. So glad we booked you.” Brilliant.
  • My first wedding for a couple of years at Villa Padierna. They have a new coordinator in house to work with the wedding planners. She is great. Unfortunately she wasn’t there when one of the staff turned the electricity off to my equipment half way through the bride and groom’s last song. Imagine a well oiled wedding where the DJ lets you down at the end. It’s going to end the night on a disappointing low. The crowd wanted an encore and in just about every other venue I’ve ever played in, they would have got one. The hotel put me in danger and I was genuinely scared. You’d expect a better level of service in a rent by the hour motel in a third rate American movie. 5 star service? Not in my opinion. I wonder if they behaved like that when Michelle Obama was staying there.
  • Finally, last night Estrella del Mar, Vincci Elviria.  High levels of service making for a lovely wedding. Brilliant.

…Dance…

Most of the weddings and parties I dj at are for people who’ve travelled to Spain for a destination wedding. An increasing number are for people who’re here and know me, have seen me or been recommended to use me. I’m proud of that, I work hard to maintain the good reputation I’ve gained.

 

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, 

Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

If you’re travelling to Spain for your wedding, please remember that the standards you have at home may not be the same as those you find here. When you’re being served a drink at home, it may be acceptable to grab the pourer’s elbow so you get more alcohol in a drink, but here that causes huge offence. It’s also pretty sad when you’ve got a free bar anyway.

Perhaps it’s worth reminding yourself that, like me, you’re a guest in a foreign country. Staff at venues are human. Treat them badly and you’ll reap what you sow.

 

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t

Maybe Spain will suit you, maybe it won’t

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Rob DJ

28 September 2014

Baz Luhrman ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’

Lyrics: http://www.lyricscrawler.com/song/3953.html

Ladies and Gentlemen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will
look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen…

To find out more about this song

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_Sunscreen

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What music do you want at your wedding?

This is your big day.

The music played can be as personal and as individual as you want. It’s played to help you, your family and guests have a great evening.

Here’s a demo of what a bit of your wedding music could be. These songs (and many others) get picked a lot.

https://soundcloud.com/robdj-1/rob-dj-wedding-mix

Your choices might include some of them, it might not.

It’s entirely up to you.

Rob DJ

 

 

 

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The Average Wedding

At most of the weddings I get asked to DJ by Wedding Planners but each year some Brides and Grooms organise their own events and book me directly.

 

All the Wedding Planners I work with regularly make sure the day runs smoothly so it matches the expectations of the wedding couple. That’s one of many arguments why a good planner is worth their weight in gold. But that’s a topic for another blog…

 

What would happen if I turned up to DJ at a wedding knowing nothing about what music the Bride and Groom wanted?

 

This has never happened when I’ve been booked directly because if people want to organise their own event they’ve always had clear ideas what they want from the music.

 

And thankfully it’s almost never happened when I’ve been recommended by a Wedding Planner. I’m not even going to get invited to meet the Bride and Groom or talk to them until at least a few basics have been decided.

 

So, it’s very unusual for me to turn up at a wedding with NO clear instructions what the Bride and Groom want. Just occasionally they’ve said they’re happy to go with whatever I think works best. At first glance, that seems kind of flattering but it’s also a bit worrying because even if they’re totally relaxed about the music, there will always be guests who have strong feelings about the music that’s going to work. And however good I might be at reading a crowd, I can’t possibly know what songs mean the very most to the newly weds, their family and friends unless they tell me. When these songs are played, they’re likely to be highlights for many, so it makes sense to tell me what they are in advance. These songs can be from many different eras and in many different styles, although as time moves on, the big holiday and friendship songs are coming from 90s pop. In my view, the Spice Girls, 5ive, S Club 7 and their like have a lot to answer for but if that’s the songs that remind you and your mates of great times, who am I to judge? Me and my mates would choose Ebenezer Goode, so what do we know?

 

I’ve done corporate events and parties at Hotels and Venues from Sotogrande to Velez Malaga, including the Kempinski Hotel, Estepona. At some of these I’ve had no instructions before I’ve started. At one at the Hotel Villa Padierna Palace in Benahavis, the organiser asked me to start off with Prince and Kiss, her favourite song and then go with the flow. That was fine, but a bit seat of the pants for me! Often, I’ve walked around and talked to guests or they’ve come over to me to suggest songs to kick things off or requests to play later when ‘the lads’ are finally ready to hit the dancefloor. Once the dancing’s started people have come up with requests, I’ve filled in the gaps and played in a mix of styles, continuing with those that ‘worked’ and cutting short the ones that didn’t.

 

I would do the same at a wedding where I didn’t have any instructions. If there are kids there, they’re usually quite happy to come over straight away and ask for songs. They usually ask for current pop stars (1D, Bieber etc) and if I haven’t had the song they’ve wanted, I can usually find it quite quickly or they’re brought it over on their phones. In the summer of 2012, at a lovely wedding at La Zagaleta Golf and Country Club, one obviously music obsessed twelve year old girl brought me over a great list of songs she and her friends had compiled. It was a great list, apart from Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. We had a chat and agreed that song and those sentiments weren’t quite right for such a lovely day!

 

One of the funniest ones for me was when I played for a Finnish couple who only gave me half a dozen songs including “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as the Groom and quite a few guests were massive Liverpool fans. As the evening unfolded and the music rolled out, more and more of the guys came over asking for Finnish drinking songs, which are probably part of their cultural heritage but not a part of anything I’d been brought up with. Try typing Finnish names into the internet, dictated by blokes who’d had a few by then, but we got by and the singing made it all worthwhile. Afterwards the Groom said it’d been one of his highlights of the day.

 

On many occasions I’ve been asked to play specific songs for the nationalities who are at a wedding. Most people have usually travelled some distance to get to a Costa del Sol Wedding so it’s a good thing to celebrate the diversity of the guests by playing one, a couple or a few songs they’re going to love and dance to. Last summer in Seville I did my first ever wedding with a Chinese bride. She was marrying a Ukrainian she’d met in the USA. One of the undoubted highlights was the large group of stone cold sober Chinese men cossack dancing to the Ukrainian and Russian folk, pop and punk  songs the Groom had asked to be played soon after the first dance. Several hours later I finished off with a set of hip hop classics, having played a lot of 80s club music, classic American rock and any number of other styles in the meantime, including several by the great Crooners and a short set of Salsa songs for a prize winning dance couple who had travelled there from Brazil.

 

When a couple haven’t given me many requests before the night, one way or another, things have always worked out fine. But give me a good list of songs you want played, divided into MUST PLAY and CAN PLAY and you’ll get a more personal set of songs played for you.

 

The average wedding does not exist…

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2013: Around The World

Like many other DJs this summer I’ve been asked to play Get Lucky and Blurred Lines many times. These two songs fill dancefloors for a reason.

Being on The Costa del Sol, I usually DJ for people who’ve come to Spain to get married so I get asked to play quite a mix of music. Brides and grooms all ask for songs that are important to them. This makes things fun for me.

At an English wedding in La Cabane, a beach club in Marbella, almost the whole set was Acid house from the late 80s and 90s with some Madchester, some funky house, a few old school classics and quite a lot of Michael Bublé thrown in.

At PuroBeach in Estepona, I got to play a late night techno set after ‘the grown ups’ had mostly left…

At a Chinese/Georgian wedding just outside Seville, the bride and groom wanted a lot of EDM plus classic New York pop/dance from the 80s and 90s.

This summer I’ve been lucky enough to play Persian remixes of Adele, some classic Arabic dance music, some trance, some deep house and many other styles of music too. I’ve been shown what song is usually played to clear the dancefloor in a Dutch Nightclub at the end of the evening. I can see why it works.

That’s part of the pleasure of my job. Who wouldn’t want to hear the crowd on a dancefloor cheer when the next tune starts?

Last year I DJed at several weddings for South American couples. This year I’ve ticked off some new countries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

There’s also been more English and Irish weddings. I will never tire of playing the Saw Doctors.

Thank you to the brides and grooms of 2013.  They’ve been from

  • China
  • England
  • French
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Holland
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Norway
  • Scotland
  • Spain
  • USA

Roll on 2014

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Take a bow, wedding planners of the Costa del Sol

For me, this year’s wedding season is winding down. As the nights draw in ever closer and once again I find myself driving to work ridiculously early in the morning with the headlights on, I wanted to say thank you to the Wedding Planners who’ve booked me in 2013.

Having worked with them again this year, I’ve been lucky enough to see the passion, the care and the commitment they bring to their planning. They deliver the wedding that the brides and grooms have dreamed of.

You book a wedding planner because you want professional help shouldering the responsibilities of your big day. These planners do that through their attention to detail, but as you’ll see from the thank yous and the testimonials they get, they do more.

These wedding planners are all highly recommended. They and their staff are always good to work for. On the day itself, they feed me and get me to set up near the Candy Bar or the cup cakes. Please remember that while a wedding DJ runs on the atmosphere, the buzz of the music and the dancing, we also need sugar. Proximity to the CandyBar and an endless supply of full fat Coca Cola is a good thing.  The very best wedding planners know that. They know a lot more, too.

And-The-Winner-Is-5

(MUSIC: something suitably epic)

Take a bow, wedding planners of the Costa del Sol

The nominees (in alphabetical order) are:

And the winner is…

(SFX: envelope opening)

… YOU if you book them

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Unexpected Card

Lisa from Bella Weddings gave me a card from the bride and groom of a wedding we did back in the summer. It was from a lovely villa wedding looking down over Marbella. We´d been able to carry on til late in the night and the most requested song of the night was Euphoria.

To Rob

Thank you so much  for providing your amazing disco at our wedding.

Everyone at the wedding commented on how good the DJ was – it was the best wedding party they have ever been to.

Thank you so much for contributing to our amazing wedding day

Love Charmaine and Sion AKA Mr and Mrs Daniels

 

http://www.bellaweddingsinspain.com/

 

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2012: Uniting Nations

This year I’ve been really lucky to play for brides and grooms from many different countries.

Each couple has asked for the same things and for different things: they all want their  guests to enjoy themselves, to have a memorable night, to have a good party, to get people dancing and keep people dancing.

But they’ve all chosen different music. They’ve wanted the music to suit them and their guests.

And that’s why it’s been so great for me.  Some of them have asked me to play music in styles I’ve not played before. That’s great for me, because it’s a chance to find out more about great music.

As a DJ there’s nothing better than discovering good new music or being reminded of a forgotten gem.

Among the couples I’ve djed for this year, the brides and grooms have been from…

  • England
  • Ireland
  • Wales
  • Belgium
  • Holland
  • Mexico
  • Venezuelan
  • Columbia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • USA

I love my job…

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2011: A Bad Year For Music

The release of this year’s Brit nominations got me thinking.

When I was a teenager and just ever so slightly obsessed by music the local weekly newspaper ran a column featuring a mix of local and national music news and gig guide. Pre internet, this was a really valuable source of information for people like me. One quiet news week, round about end of year review time, the whole column was turned over to “1984: A Bad Year For Music”.

According to the article, musicians in 1984 hadn’t delivered the goods. Pop music had been weak, gigs had been disappointing and so on. AND some previous years had been better. The argument was music was now boring.

I didn’t agree with the writer. I wrote a reply in longhand then still wound up by him, rang him up and dictated it to him. I pointed out music from different genres from 1984 that I thought was good and told him why. I asked him to listen to music without preconceptions and to enjoy good music wherever it was found. I was a bit naïve…

The following week he printed my ‘article’ word for word. My career in music journalism was off and running.

The next week he replied. He took issue with most of what I said and repeated his belief that music now wasn’t what it used to be. Some time later I realised what he was doing. He was trying to generate some interest in what was a pretty sorry corner of the paper by having a row with me. But at the time I was upset, disappointed that he had a fixed opinion that wouldn’t change, even when I showed him the error of his ways! Told you I was naïve.

I never had a career in music journalism, but I still like listening to music from 1984 and from any other year, come to that. Good music is good music. Full stop.

My reaction to this year’s Brit nominations is not: “2011: A Bad Year For Music.”

Rob

I’m a producer and presenter at Spectrum Fm in Spain www.spectrumfm.net 

I dj at weddings and parties and at bars and restaurants on the Costa del Sol.

www.robrocksthehouse.com

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2012 kicks off at Magna Cafe, Marbella

“Thank you, the music was perfect.”

“Great night, great music.”

“Fantastic music, haven’t danced this much in ages.”

“I can’t thank you enough.”  Ben, Magna Cafe 

23:53 New Year’s Eve 2011, Magna Cafe

My second gig at one of Marbella’s best restaurants. 

The brief was to get the guests up and dancing to a mix of old and new music.

03:45 New Year’s Day 2012, Magna Cafe

Success. Non stop dancing by the guests.

Was it an easy gig? Yes and no!

Yes, as the guests were up for a party.

No, because the crowd ranged from kids to adults from many different countries and wanted lots of different music. I had to watch the dancefloor closely, listen carefully and decide when to stay with one style and when to change.

Requests flooded in for electro house music, closely followed by requests NOT to play ‘that music’, Spanish top 10 hits, flamenco, r & b, party songs, a couple of classic Irish pop songs, disco, 70s pop, a song by a Swedish band (go on, guess which one!) Coldplay and more Coldplay, German pop and more.

The oldest song i played was from 1930, from the film King of Jazz and that got a good reaction. Soul, rock, pop, some big band stuff, 60s, 70s, 80s, 2000s and some club music and a couple of slower ones.

It was a lot of fun watching what the guests would dance to next. Their Conga through the kitchen just before 3am was a highlight, even if the dancefloor was empty til they came back.

A great start to the year for me.

07:40 New Year’s Day, My sofa

Sat down to watch Match of the Day

07:41

Realised MOTD started at 07:40 in England so I needn’t have got up so early.

Happy New Year

 

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