credit: Tom Durn
A party without music is like tonic without gin – all the fun’s missing! Every party needs a decent soundtrack, whether it’s dinner with mates, drinks with friends, or, hey, a boogie round the kitchen on yer tod (put that chardonnay down, Bridget Jones…). And who’d know better what lifts a party and fills the dance floor, than a much-adored party band whose job it is to rock EVERY party they go to?
We quizzed Richard Marshall (above, right!), director of party band Special Moves Collective, on how they decide what to play and which tracks will guarantee to have the partygoers deserting their tables to hit the dance floor. He and his band mates know which tracks are certified crowd pleasers to raise the mood at any event; they play old and new favourites and L-O-V-E what they do. Read their top hits below – the energy bounces off the screen!
credit: Poppy Carter
Everybody Dance – Chic
We always start our show with this absolute firecracker! We play this song first because it says loud and clear what we’re about: “Music will never let you down, puts a smile on your face, any time, any place”. The first show we did after lockdown, we were concerned people would be nervous about getting on the dance floor…then we started with this track and the floor filled in seconds.
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
This song has a hook to live for.
The chorus kicks in and all of a sudden you’re a teenager in front of a mirror
with a hairbrush…and it feels epic! Also, the drums go BIG on this tune – the
beat just pushes the energy to another level!
I Wish – Stevie Wonder
It’s not a proper party without some Stevie Wonder, and this is our favourite. From the second the bass line kicks in, you know it’s a tune that brings some serious groove. The rhythm is infectious and just makes you want to throw some shapes!
Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon
Lots of our favourite party tunes are established classics, but this one is a modern gem that we absolutely love. This song catches the mood just right – seeing that special person and saying: nothing else matters right now, let’s give into the music and dance! It’s the perfect tune to dance with someone you love or someone you just met – this song is an absolute must at weddings!
Proud Mary – Tina Turner
This is one of the oldest songs in our set, but it’s always one of our most requested! We play it the way Tina’s band does: starting nice and slow, getting everyone warmed up…then BANG! The band come in and the dance floor erupts. It’s an absolute stomper of a track, and one of the best lead vocal performances out there – one of my favourites!
credit: Tom Durn
Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
There aren’t many songs where you know that everyone will know the words…but this is definitely one of them! This is one of our favourite tracks because no matter who you are, you can’t resist singing along with the band on this one. Throw in one of the greatest rock guitar solos ever, and you know it’s going to be dynamite.
I’m So Excited – Pointer Sisters
This absolute classic appears
towards the end of our set. When everyone’s energy is high, what do we do? Take
it higher of course! This song is a masterclass in getting people pumped up for
singing and dancing at the climax of the show. When we perform this, we throw
in a short vocal breakdown for people to catch their breath in the final chorus
– then we ramp it up even further and finish on a monumental high – let’s get
Chaka Khan/Prince – I Feel For You
This song is where the band makes good on its promise of Special Moves…as this song has tons of them! Every member of the band fires all on cylinders to deliver the highest energy in this high-energy arrangement that fuses the best things about Chaka Khan’s and Prince’s versions of a funk classic.
Get Lucky – Daft Punk
We’ve always loved playing this track – the funky guitar rhythms of Nile Rodgers make you feel joy no matter what. The SMC version brings all the joy of the original track with some heavenly harmony vocals and a whole lot of audience participation. Ever since live music returned in 2021, we feel an even deeper connection to this song. “Like the legend of the Phoenix”, we’re back, and we can’t wait to play and sing for you all again soon.
Want to know more?
The Special Moves Collective is an Oxon-based professional band for weddings, corporate and private functions, but they’re available to book across the country.