Next Gig

Southampton, Hampshire, 04 August 2012

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What people are saying about Dire Fakes:


(Frequently Asked Questions)

This section is mainly for the benefit of people looking to book us for private functions, but prospective clubs, theatres and agents might also like to know that our equipment is PAT tested, we have Public Liability insurance and a rough stage plan is available here. Read on if you'd like to know more.

We've played in many different kinds of venues over the years, from clubs and theatres to marquees and specially constructed stages in sports venues. We've learned to work in a professional manner with many different kinds of people, from promoters to wedding planners and caterers, and our aim - besides giving you a great performance of course - is to do what we do without causing inconvenience to others.

Here are some questions that we often get asked. If the answer to yours isn't here, please get in touch.

The Music

Do you have a CD that you could send me?

We're working on something at the moment, but unfortunately we have limited access to quality live recordings of the band at present (this will be rectified during 2012!). However our Music page has some sample recordings taken straight off the mixing desk.

Can we come and see you playing live?

Of course you can! Please check our Live Dates page to see when we're next playing near you. Feel free to get in touch before coming along and by all means come and have a chat with us at some point in the proceedings (maybe not in the middle of Telegraph Road though!).

Will you learn a specific Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler song for us?

For a special occasion, we probably will. There are one or two that we think might not work so well live, but we've never said 'no' yet!

Can we choose the setlist?

For private functions, we welcome suggestions for the setlist - after all, it's your special event. We may in turn make our own suggestions about suitability or where in the set certain things should go (this is based upon previous experience about what works and what doesn't in terms of set pacing etc.), but we will try and accommodate your wishes.

My friend/family member is a singer/guitarist/Guatemalan nose flautist. Can they do a song with you?

At private functions we will try and accommodate this request, where possible. It's normally a lot of fun! Please ask us in advance so that we can make arrangements.

On The Night

...or On The Day...

How long do you play for?

It depends how long you'd like us to play for. We normally play somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours, split over two sets. If you'd like us to play for longer, please let us know when you enquire and we'll do what we can to oblige. For festivals we can do briefer sets, although we've never played for less than 45 minutes (yet!).

How early do you need to setup before an event?

If we are supplying the PA, we would prefer to start setting up at least 3 hours before we play. It's not that it takes us 3 hours (normally), but we like to take our time and do it properly. This normally takes about two hours, but it's nice to have a bit of breathing space should we discover a problem of some sort. If the venue is providing sound facilities, we should be fine in under an hour. However we like to arrive extra early for weddings, as this will allow us to soundcheck without disturbing your guests.

At weddings, can you setup during speeches?

We would prefer to setup long before the speeches, as this will allow us to soundcheck without disturbing your guests. However if the band is to play in a separate part of the venue - as has happened at some weddings - then this is possible.

Do you need to soundcheck?

Unfortunately, yes. We find that different rooms have very different characteristics and this can have quite an influence on our sound. With the amount of equipment we have, a bit of work is required to get a nice clear mix - not to mention that Al's resonator guitar can be quite tricky in certain venues. We believe it's best to sort all this out before we're playing to our audience, with just some minor tweaks required once the room has filled up. In an emergency - say if you were to suddenly need us to start earlier - we could play without a soundcheck, but it wouldn't be our preference.

The Technical Bits

Do you have your own PA?

Yes we do. Where the venue has a suitable PA system, we'll aim to use the one on site. We have our own sound engineer and also have the necessary PA equipment, should it be required (which is quite often).

Do you have your own lighting rig?

Over the years, we've tended to concentrate on our performance more than the light show, so we don't consider it an essential part of the Dire Fakes experience. Many of the venues we play supply lighting for us. For those that don't, or for private functions where the venue has no lights, we can hire in suitable lighting if you'd prefer us to include some kind of light show. This would be reflected in the price we quote.

Has your equipment been PAT tested?

Yes, it has.

Do you have Public Liability Insurance?

Yes, we have cover up to £5,000,000. A copy of our insurance certificate can be forwarded on request.

Can you provide background music when you're not playing?

We can, probably in the form of an iPod playlist specially chosen for the occasion.

Do you have a stage plan?

Sometimes this helps, particularly in venues where sound and lighting are being supplied by the venue. Our typical stage layout can be found here. In some venues this doesn't work, due to the size or shape of the performance area. Then we just have to improvise!

What power do you need?

A few normal 230 Volt 13 Amp sockets will suffice. We will bring our own extensions, etc. It's probably a good idea that nothing else is running off these sockets though (venue lights, kitchen equipment, etc.).

How late do you finish?

If we've had to travel a long way - we're London based - then we would aim to finish before 11.30pm. However we'll do our best to fit around your requirements, taking into account any curfew rules the venue might have.

What do you wear?

We're normally sort of smart casual and Al does the old headband and jacket routine, but if you have any specific dress code requirements, please let us know.

Other Bits and Pieces

Where are you based and how far are you prepared to travel?

We're based in and around London, but we're prepared to travel anywhere. We've played all over the UK and have played in Europe too. A recent request for us to play in India was only thwarted by difficulties in getting paperwork finalised in time. Obviously the price we quote will reflect how far away we have to travel and whether any overnight accommodation will be required.

How long have you been together?

One of the oldest - if not the oldest - Dire Straits tributes, we formed in 2002. Since then, various musicians have come and gone as the band strived to get ever closer the perfection we aim for, but the current line up has been playing together since 2009.

How do we go about booking Dire Fakes?

Please contact Alan via email to enquire about booking Dire Fakes. If you can provide some details about the venue; its size, location and whether it has its own PA and lights (if you require a light show), this will help us. Also, if you can give a rough idea of the number of people you expect to attend, what time you'd like us to play at and how long you'd like us to play for, it will help us tailor our quote accordingly. We always try to be competetive with our quotes, but we do factor in how far we have to travel, how much equipment we have to bring and when we're likely to get home (or if hotels might be required) when we provide a quote. We believe we provide value for money and we have had many satisfied customers over the years.

Hope to see you soon

Anything I missed, please email: webmaster@direfakes.com.