Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Introducing… Madhen!

Welcome to my NEW blog post series called Wedding Industry Friends.

A lot of wedding vendors have a page of links to industry friends and vendors that they’ve worked well with and are happy to recommend to couples.

I got thinking about doing just a page of links to other vendors websites, but thought that it probably wouldn’t be very interesting to read.

‘What about doing an article on each of them?’ I thought. Much more interesting to read as the questions will offer little more insight into the personality of each of the vendors and inform people as to how they work.

So without any further ado, we start the series with wedding bands.

First up to the plate is a band I last worked with seven years ago, at Billy & Ruth’s wedding reception on a farm near Melton Mowbray.

What a night! And I was totally blown away by this amazing wedding band called Madhen.

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Tell us about Madhen

“Madhen was formed 16 years ago. It was originally the management company we set up when we began as a Blondie tribute band (“Bleach”) which evolved into an ’80s band (So ’80s) and eventually became the party band it is today.

Madhen has been our full-time job since 2005. We never really set out to be a wedding band as we predominantly play corporate events. But enquiries came in as a result of either seeing us or through referral. We currently play around 100 events each year and a large percentage of our work is still generated this way.”

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

If you’re asked for a song that isn’t in your style would you work up an alternative version or just mirror the original as closely as possible?

“Very occasionally – but ONLY if it’s something we think that we can do justice to.

We prefer to let the focus of the first dance remain on the bride and groom. We find it works best for them to do this using either mp3 or DJ – particularly where the couple have choreographed something special, which seems to be happening more and more!

Our style of performance doesn’t generally lend itself to slow/mid-tempo songs. So it’s more effective to save the impact of Madhen to follow on directly from the traditional first dance.”

How do you get a shy crowd dancing?

“We do what we do! I don’t think we’ve ever done a wedding where the guests don’t respond accordingly. But we like a challenge!”

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

What kind of backup plan do you have for any kit malfunction?

“We use the very best professional equipment available which is well looked after and serviced. Spares are available for pretty much everything that could go wrong. We’ve never had to stop or delay a performance due to a malfunction.”

What’s your policy in case of illness of one or more of the band members?

“One of our strengths is that if you book Madhen, that’s who you get. We do have cover for everyone in the band should the worst happen. It hasn’t so far in 16 years of performing.”

Can prospective clients get to see you live before their wedding?

“Most of our work is either corporate or private (weddings etc) which makes inviting potential clients very difficult. We will always try to find a suitable opportunity but it’s not always possible.

We do have a lot of live video footage which gives a very honest representation of our performance.”

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

What are your favourite wedding venues in terms of layout and acoustics?

“Any venue where the bar is in the same room as the band! As soon as you separate the two there’s always going to be two separate parties going on, which isn’t ideal!”

Do you have any funny or embarrassing stories to share?

“We played at Holyrood Palace for Zara and Mike Tindall’s wedding. Due to the level of security, we had a very small window for soundcheck before guests arrived.

In this case, our drummer literally hit the kick drum twice before security jumped in and made us stop, just as the Queen walked across the back of the room!

That was the shortest soundcheck on record! Fortunately, it didn’t stop us having a great party later that evening!”

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Madhen by Ian Bursill Photography

Any tips for couples looking for a band for their wedding?

“Get recommendations and try to see the band if possible, before getting lost in Google! Ask your wedding venue/caterer/photographer – they will have a good idea who to recommend!”

“Check with the venue about noise limits ahead of booking  – make sure this is communicated to the band and everyone is in agreement that any limits are workable.”

“Book a band where the line up is consistent. Too many ‘bands’ seem to be made up of pools of available talent. A collection of great musicians doesn’t necessarily mean a great band. Find a band with ‘chemistry’ and personality that will reach your guests on the dance floor.”

Madhen’s website: