A grand heritage estate performance in the middle of Australia’s Wheatbelt.
Last August, our team got to explore a gem in the middle of nowhere; a giant heritage estate in the Western Australian Wheatbelt. A 90-minute road trip took us out of Perth City and into the Avon Valley, into a town called Irishtown, where the Buckland Estate property lies. The ladies at Confetti and Co invited us to perform for their Wedding Open Day at the property. So, in our Eclipse Party Band formation, and with an additional singer, we took a drive with our equipment and made a day of it.
What took us aback was the estate’s peaceful country charm for such a grand building. Beyond the Stately Georgian Victorian manor, the property contains a lake with a tiny dock overlooking the rolling hills of canola fields. (We learned that is dock on the lake a prime location for wedding ceremonies.) Past the lake and along the grass fields, a paddock of horses lies, and pens of chickens are scattered around the estate venue, making light chatter amongst the white noise of the country. By the Wedding Barn and in front of the granary, we set up our band as a five-piece to perform.
Getting to a destination wedding getaway 90 minutes from the city.
The journey to the venue, even, was exciting. Along that 90-minute drive from Perth, we saw farmlands of horses and sheep and haystacks. It was that time of the year just before harvest where you just drive through endlessly bright, canary-yellow fields of canola. We learned that some couples will time their wedding at Buckland Estate to be in-line with the months that the canola is brightest and most colourful.
The town we were in, Irishtown, is in the middle of the Avon Valley, not far from the Avon River. Somewhere between Northam and Toodyay, there are nearby walking trails, antique shops, hot air ballooning, rivers and creeks. There is a glamping site situated on the estate and housing accommodation too. If you were one to want an event that plays on the rustic elements of a rural wedding, this would be a creative playground for it. And if you like the idea of mixing city modernity with relaxed country aesthetics, you could certainly have fun with juxtaposing modern furniture and embellishments against the rural atmosphere.
Adding two singers for one event performance.
For wedding performances, we are very conscious of curating our song selection in a way that celebrates everything about love. Beyond the obvious rule of ‘no break-up songs’, we actively look for the songs that are just all about how great love is. Stronger harmonies and richer tonalities enhance all of this musically, so we brought along a secondary singer into the Party Band. Sarah and Mattie bounced between each other lead lines, shared harmonies, and call-and-response lines. It’s fantastic for larger crowds to encourage that interactivity with the band and each other.
We do a variety of events in the Eclipse Musicians collective, and weddings are one of the canvases where we get to musically explore love and excitement in our performances. On request, we can have an additional saxophonist, or a double bassist, join the team for that one gig and it always flavours the atmosphere in a different way.
Staging solution: using a dance floor for the band to perform on.
The ladies at Confetti and Co had the fantastic idea of situating us on a dancefloor (provided by Black Label Events). Staging is always a good idea and often looks much neater than simply placing the band in an area that isn’t too discernible from where guests drink and dance. Especially on grass or gravel. The dancefloor, however, was such a great idea because it neatly placed us in an intentional area without physically elevating our placement above the audience. This is excellent for cocktail and canapé situations, or just any relaxed event situation. The fact that we as musicians were more levelled with the audience created less of a separation between ‘dance floor guests’ and ‘performers’. It was a great touch to invite warmth and light-heartedness to the event.
A live band in a cocktail-lounge reception setting.
While the Eclipse Party Band is designed for lively dancefloor situations, that Open Day saw many more people enjoying light conversation, having some drinks (provided by the bar cart, Alfie The Farm Baa) and some watching their kids play on the grass in front of us. Not so many excitable dancers. In a big open space like that we had to adjust our sound levels accordingly (of course). Given that, a Party Band was really fit with the atmosphere. We played songs from our usual setlist, kept them upbeat but played them with a little more space to suit the lounge, cocktail vibe.
Wedding planning & styling: Confetti & Co Events
Venue: Buckland Estate
Car hire: Very Nice Classics
Celebrant: Nuptials By Nikita, Anne Miller
Floristry: Poppy’s Flowers, Wattle and Daub
Hot air ballooning: Windward Balloon Adventures
Catering: Citrons Catering
Coffee cart: Pedaling Beans Coffee
Drinks bar: Alfie The Farm Baa
Food truck: Sultan Pepper
Gelato cart: That Little Gelato Cart
Grazing platters: Gather York
Wedding cakes: Yvette’s Cakes & Grazing Tables, Robyn’s Creative Cakes
Furniture & settings:
Confetti: Kiwibird Eco Confetti
Dance floor: Black Label Events
Easel hire: Perth Easel Hire
Furniture: Black Label Events, Harvest Hire & Style
Portable toilets: Luxury Loos
Stationery & signage: Lala Design
Tablecloths: The Tailored Table
Table settings: Set My Table
Tent hire: Tp and co., Totem Glamping
We are a collective of musicians based in Perth, Australia, that perform the most well-adored songs of the decades for weddings, corporate events and special celebrations. We believe that live music is so important in establishing the tone of an event and, if done right, sets an atmosphere that allows guests to let their guard down, enjoy, and step into another world where they can feel comfortable enough to experience all that a good event has to offer.
Our musicians are not just experienced performers but also trained formally in jazz and contemporary music, and we understand the importance of how visuals reinforce a event’s tone, which give us the versatility to perform at cocktail events, black-tie events, wedding ceremonies and receptions, conferences, and brand or product launches.