Category Archives: News

What’s chocolate got to do with it?

What on earth has chocolate got to do with Easter?

This has always baffled me and I am sure it has you, however the traditional (or religious) meaning behind Easter is behind the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So what has Chocolate eggs got to do with it? Originally was not allowed by the church during the week leading up to Easter (known as Holy Week).

Any eggs that were ‘laid’ that week were then decorated and presented to children as gifts.

Throughout time this evolved, with the Victorians adapting the tradition to decorate ‘satin-filled’ cardboard eggs with Easter gifts. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that both France & Germany began to introduce the first chocolate eggs.

As the majority of us are ‘sweet-toothed’, this is where the popularity rose to the tradition of providing Chocolate eggs once a year (or more in other peoples cases).

My two girls are getting very excited about Easter; especially my youngest who is a chocoholic.

Easter is a great time to celebrate as well, given the Bank Holiday it falls on so we tend to with an ‘Easter-themed’ event every year!

Unsure of what your plans are for Easter?

Why not pop down to Orange Square Bar in Haywards Heath for the annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Sunday 1st April 2018: https://www.facebook.com/events/211726296045685/?active_tab=about

Orange Square Easter Poster 2018

It’s Free Entry all night and all the fun begins from 8PM onwards.

Peanuts

Pay peanuts and get monkeys

… as the old saying goes!

I witnessed this on a rare Saturday night off recently to attend a party as a guest.

I am not one known to openly critic ones work, however as I was on the other side of the DJ booth for a change, I thought I would offer some words of wisdom to any budding DJ that is starting off and wants to make a good name for themselves or even to a client that is looking to book a DJ for their event…

To the DJ: Always arrive on time or ahead of time

As we arrived at the venue around 7PM, I overheard the party hosts beginning to panic that their DJ hadn’t arrived yet. Trying to ease the situation, my wife did state I was a DJ, however I was not in a position to openly step in to assist as my equipment was at home.

I was a little concerned for the party goers as well. They were expecting their DJ to start at 7:30PM and finally once confirmed with the venue owners, were then told that he wouldn’t get there until 8PM.

This is not a good start in my books, I would always aim to arrive on the allocated time that has been agreed with the host and/or try and arrive earlier to make sure everything is in good running order before the guests arrive. It was fortunate for the DJ that there was an in-house sound system, lighting rig and a DJ booth, however you should never assume all is in working order.

To the DJ: Dress for the occasion

Look presentable. Arriving in a scruffy hoody, jeans and trainers does not set a good image to your business or to your clients.

As it was the party was fancy dress, so I would either get involved with the theme or in smart attire (and I am not talking a full blown tux; shirt, smart jeans and shoes is generally acceptable) to show that you are a professional. Whenever I am playing I wear my own branded shirts to show a) I am proud of my business and b) a chance to get repeat or future bookings from clients whilst advertising my brand.

To the client: Do you know what you’re paying for?

Do not always look for the cheapest DJ/Entertainer. I would ask the following whilst making your booking:

  • What type of equipment do you have?
  • Are you insured?
  • What happens if you cannot make my event? What back-up measures have you got in place?
  • Are you willing to meet up to discuss my/our party plans and music selection?
  • Do you have any reviews from previous customers that I/we can see?
  • Any extras you can offer to make my/our event special?

If the DJ/Entertainer is able to answer the above honestly and confidently, then make your own judgement call on if they are best suited for your event.

Showing intent to meet up with you, shows that they want to offer a tailored package to suit you and your guests needs. At A.C.Knell Entertainment, we never treat our bookings as the same, each night is unique and is usually down to a combination of the music, equipment we use and the guests as well that make the night a huge success.

There are unfortunately like a lot of tradesmen, cowboys in our industry as well. We worked with Dominic Littlewood and Melinda Messenger for Channel 5’s ‘Cowboy Traders’ a few years ago when a rogue Wedding Planner had stolen a couple-to-be’s money for their wedding day. It was great to step in and be able to provide them with an evening reception to remember for all the right reasons.

Reviews

Word of mouth of reviews are very important when looking for a DJ for your event. We take great pride in each event hosted and have some fantastic reviews from customers we have hosted events for over the years; as seen on our Facebook page which has been built up: https://www.facebook.com/pg/A.C.Knell.Entertainment/reviews/?ref=page_internal

You can read more or post your own review linking back to our earlier article on How did we do?

To the DJ: Learn how to read your crowd

This usually comes with years of experience. I am not saying you need a Psychology Degree to analyse people’s behaviour, however get a general feel for what your client and their guests want in advance. Ask them to produce a playlist of their top 10-15 or ‘must-have’ songs for the occasion. A.C.Knell Entertainment offers the right music selection for all events with a diverse library of over 100,000 songs from 1950’s – present day.

It can be easier said than done when you have a mixed age group, however I would advise not sticking to one specific genre of music for too long as this may end up clearing your dance floor.

Interact with the crowd, show that you are approachable and not just stuck to a specific playlist. Use the microphone where appropriate however use it sparingly as well.

To the DJ: Sitting down on the job

A big no in my books! Does not look professional in the slightest and makes it look like you do not want to be there.

Unless you had a legitimate reason for sitting down, such as you have a leg injury as an example, I would try and avoid this at all costs. You’ll end up looking like a Bingo caller instead.

To the client: How was communication on the lead up to your event?

If the DJ has gone above and beyond answering any questions you had on the lead up to your event, then that is great.

It shows they have a general interest in your occasion and are not just taking the booking on for the money.

We hope the above helps when making your own enquires and thanks again for reading!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas, one of my favourite times of the year!

A time for giving, caring and understanding and where everyone should get together and reflect on the year that has just passed and look forward to the year to come.

I’ve provided entertainment for some good Christmas Parties this year; the Accident & Emergency department at the Princess Royal Hospital and Marsh Insurance in Haywards Heath to name a couple!

This is not just joyous due to the sheer amount of work I’ve had on this period, we have to also remember those who may have fallen on hard times and may have little or nothing to their name. I am very fortunate to have your support as always and couldn’t of done it without you, so thank you again for letting me entertain you for another year.

I hope you can join me tonight for the annual festivities tonight at Orange Square Bar in Haywards Heath, as I will be bringing a sprinkling of snow with me as well. Not real snow, but my snow machine I know… but it’s the magic that counts! 🙂

I will also be back for the New Year countdown to 2018 at Orange Square, so hope to see you at either night. For more details on either event, see below:

No Events are found.

Finally this is a time to spend with your family and I for one am very looking forward to it this year. With baby number 3 on the way, we have expanded our empire and look forward to more fun over the years – especially seeing the enjoyment from the children’s faces.

If I don’t hear from you before, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2018!

The future of the DJ

It has been a while since I have posted on here, so apologies you haven’t heard from me in a while.

As a DJ that has been in the entertainment industry for 15+ years now, I have seen some significant enhancements in Disco equipment and technology to improve and enhance ones set.

Starting on the decks

Back when I first started (and probably more of a novelty thing), I experimented on vinyl. Many would argue the pro’s and cons of mixing on vinyl. The pro’s being the quality of the sound and that authentic crackling noise you would expect to hear, however on the flip side, the con’s are protecting your collection. This could lead to a degraded sound over time depending on how scratched the record turns out over time.

When I went professional and due to the format of my collection, I started on a CDJ system. The mobility of playing a collection of CD’s as opposed to vinyl’s meant you could transport about four times the music with ease.

Entering the digital revolution

I then entered the digital revolution and began to ‘digitalise’ my complete music collection. With the introduction of Digital controllers, with manufacturers such as Pioneer, Numark, Denon leading the way this meant organising your music collection and transporting it to your next gig never came easier until now.

You could now cue up requested songs from your clients without finding your way through your vinyl and CD collection and like many DJ’s this was always tricky to keep a relevant filing system on these.

Some ‘traditional / old skool’ DJ’s would argue that technology cheats the system and there is little or relevant skill in adapting to new technology, however as I read on a DJ forum the other week:

‘If a palette of bricks were delivered to a warehouse, would you really stack them manually by hand or use a forklift to assist you?’

Don’t forget it’s not just about using technology to your advantage. You need to be able to read a crowd and can keep the dance floor consistent throughout the night. This comes with experience and the more gigs each weekend should help you with this if you are aspiring DJ looking to learn the trait.

So, what’s next?

An abundance of cables… hopefully!

I would quite confidently state that the setup and dismantle for each event usually involves cables and lots of them. Cables to plug into a mixing desk, speakers, microphones and lights.

Wireless microphones are already on the market and improving all the time. In fact, I use a good quality microphone receiver complete with 6 x wireless microphones for corporate functions, wedding speeches or even Karaoke events.

What I would like to see is more integration with stage gantries and lighting with perhaps a wireless system to not only reduce the time it takes to setup and dismantle at the end of the night, but improve the appearance of your setup at any event.

More touch screen devices to control your playout system. In recent years we have already seen a decline in Desktop and Laptop PC/Mac sales with the rise of mobile devices and tablets being the primary device in most households.

This brings me to a cool video I saw (quite old now, so imagine what is next) that demonstrates a new style of controller.

Where do you think technology will take us next? Feel free to have your say.

Thanks for reading!

Beware of the Trolls

Trolls

Image source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sammy-sultan/what-to-do-with-internet-trolls_b_3707933.html

What is an Internet Troll?

The traditional meaning behind a troll was always depicted as an ugly cave-dwelling creature or monster. This is also true to this new meaning the “Internet Troll”, whom personality is reflected by this description of a troll.

Sadly myself, have been a victim of Internet Trolling on a community group on Facebook recently. With the Internet now being an increasingly popular way for people to express their opinions about individuals and businesses, this sort of activity can be potentially damaging and hurtful to those that try and make a living through trading or operating their business or personal activity online.

Why is “trolling” bad?

Like any business, we take great pride in our positive reviews. We even welcome negative reviews if someone has had a bad experience to help us develop our business and learn from previous mistakes. After all, we are all human and we cannot be perfect all of the time.

Don’t be mistaken, trolling is not a form of customer/client voicing their review of something. Trolling is where someone attacks a business or person with no justification or reason behind their attack. Often this results in vulnerable people; especially in this day an age (whom try to maintain a popular impression online), to be driven to drastic events.

Sadly, I have read so many stories in the news, in which children have committed suicide over heartful comments in some of these attacks:

Can you kill yourself already?’ The vile online messages from internet trolls ‘that led girl, 16, to hang herself

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246896/Jessica-Laney-16-committed-suicide-internet-trolls-taunted-told-kill-herself.html

Lucky for me, I grew up when the Internet had only just been invented and the Social community (or anti-Social in this case) did not exist until recently.

So bullying was often an exchange of nasty words verbally; rather than written down to a whole community of strangers to see, read, share or like with their peers. The viral affect caused by these “internet-bullies” can be far more damaging these days than a few nasty words.

What leads people to “troll” others?

We will never know the real reason to why people have to express so much hate for another person. Sometimes this could be down to jealously, due to someone’s success or perhaps they may just have a personal vendetta against them or even in some cases, just a random unprovoked attack.

What can be done to prevent being trolled?

Report it to the community administrator, police (yes that’s right it is now a criminal offence to be a Troll) and if you know who that individual is you can file a “gagging order” with your Solicitor/Lawyer to prevent any slanderous content appearing about you on various channels.

In some cases you may not be able to identify who the Troll is as they often try and hide behind a computer screen (often behind a fake profile or alias) to stop themselves getting caught with no thought on what damage they can do to that individual or business. Luckily for the victims, these individuals are being exposed for spreading hatred by the authorities all the time and punished for their crimes:

Twitter Trolls Jailed For Sending Abusive Tweets

Read more: http://news.sky.com/story/1200521/twitter-trolls-jailed-for-sending-abusive-tweets

So to anyone else that has encountered similar sort of problems, follow our advice and rise above the comments as they are probably jealous of what a wonderful person you have become.

Speak soon!

A.C.Knell

A new residency

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since my last post, however things have been might busy at A.C.Knell Entertainment HQ.

I am excited to announce I will be starting another residency at newly opened Penny’s in Burgess Hill. On the site where former Mooch @ 76 used to be (76 Church Walk, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9AS), Penny’s was opened by a friend of mine on Saturday 12th July 2014.

Penny's Burgess Hill

General Manager Naomi Penny opened the bar after tragically losing both her mum and dad to cancer. The opening night saw a massive £500 raised for St Peter & St James Hospice; a charity very close to Naomi’s heart.

Penny’s are offering something very unique to Burgess Hill with a wide selection of cocktails, great food (got to try the cakes) and a great selection of live music.

As well as providing our support with their marketing, I will be starting this Friday (every Friday throughout August) playing a selection of chart & dance anthems from 9PM to get you set for the weekend. I hope you can join me there this Friday or any other Friday in the summer.

Karaoke will also be on the first Thursday of every month. For more details about all the events held at Penny’s be sure to check out their Facebook page.

How did we do?

Like any business, reviews and positive feedback are key to their survival. It is always in their best interest to provide a great service and experience to their customers.

At A.C.Knell Entertainment we strive to treat each gig we perform at as the best ever to ensure the crowd have an enjoyable and fun experience.

Whether we are performing at a wedding, providing PA hire, Karaoke or music for a Birthday party or kids party we make sure it is an event you’ll remember.

Reading some of the testimonials on this website is a positive sign that we are doing something right. 😀

We take great pride in our Reviews and if we have hosted an event for you recently, we want to hear about how we performed for you.

 

ACKnell 10% discount

Feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page or write a comment below and you will be entitled to a 10% discount off any future party bookings…

Spice up your Friday Nights…

Are you a bar or nightclub owner looking to breathe some fresh air into your venue? Want to draw in a crowd and need some lively entertainment or a new Resident DJ with the expertise to do so…

We are currently offer a special Residency Rate for Friday Nights and with over 11 years experience in mixing across various venues in Brighton and Sussex, look no further than here:
Residency on Friday Nights

Be Happy in 2014

January – normally a month that most people dread, spent too much money at Christmas, feels like a lifetime before you’ll get paid from work and nights out are usually a little bit quieter this time of year!

However in 2014 we have kept in good spirits – especially after the success of Pharrell Williams chart-topping song “Happy”.

What an amazing song to start of the year, combat those January blues and even BBC Radio 1 did a Happy Week feature recently to help turn that frown upside down.

Well, we thought we would jump on the bandwagon too and offer some Happy offers for you throughout the fantastic year ahead that is 2014.

Check out our Happy promo video and keep on smiling about some of the great offers we can provide for an event near you!