Find in-depth answers to questions you may have that others have also posed here.
Some of these questions below are for those wishing to book Matthew, others are for followers and/or those intending to see him live and a few are for those intending to have ukulele tuition. Please explore the various options.
I haven’t see you live yet – when is the best time to come and see the show?
The best time to see Matthew is at a Matthew Quilliam LIVE event. These shows are Matthew and usually his band + special guest uninterrupted for the evening. Short appearance gigs as well that last a minimum of 30 minutes are good as well. Feel free to come to open mics and similar but you will not be experiencing Matthew as his best when he is only performing a small handful of songs.
How much do you charge?
Normally fees are individual to each case. The fee covers travelling time and costs, set up time, cost of the equipment and of course the performance time itself, all of which will be unique to each booking. The fee will also reflect the venue or the occasion. One final thing to consider is that each band member added to the line-up adds to the charge. A long list of costs to cover but you will be surprised by low and competitive rates. Please keep in mind that the initial fee we state when you contact us for a booking is always up for negotiation to consider budget limitations such as at charity events. Even if you want a performances for free, please still get in touch as Matthew still may be able to help.
As for tuition, current fees stand at £12 for half an hour or £20 an hour. Normally lessons are in Matthew’s home music studio although a higher fee will be charged for home visits. This is normally only a few pounds.
Do you have your own PA?
There are four different PA systems that are used to reflect the size of the performance area and also to match the required volume. This ranges from just a small amp and mic set-up for squeezing in to pretty small spaces all the way up to a large two speaker and subwoofer with full control over all inputs for large rooms or small gardens. If there is space, the PA includes stage floor lighting to enhance the atmosphere. For any requirements for larger spaces such as theatres or festivals without their own PA system, additional equipment can be hired but bare in mind this will increase the fee. Alternatively if you wish to hire a substantial PA system for your pub gig for example, please contact for PA hire charges.
Do you bring a sound and lighting crew?
Any crew is not usually necessary as Matthew usually has all the controls on him or next to him at all times for immediate response to any unlikely adjustment that needs to be made. Matthew has been trained for theatre sound and lighting and a lot of the skills are transferable to the gig scenario. Apart from this, there is really no need to worry about a sound or lighting crew but if you specifically feel you would like one supplied please specify when you make contact.
How long does it take to set up?
From scratch it always takes at least a minimum of 30 minutes to set up but 1 hour is the preferred slot. It all depends on access to the performance area from the car park and this must always be discussed upon booking.
Where will you perform?
Geographically, Matthew is based in Yateley, North Hampshire with easy access to Surrey and Berkshire. His local station is within an hour’s train journey from London Waterloo. See the Credits page for a long list of places Matthew has already played in the local area. For further afield performances, negotiation can be made about covering fees for extended travel and possible accommodation. Matthew has performed as far north as Shrewsbury and as far south as the Isle of Wight to date. While impromptu performances have been made abroad, there is no availability to perform outside the UK as of yet.
The actual events that performances can take place at are endless. Pubs, parties, weddings, functions, festivals, concerts, theatres…you name is; the list is endless. Normally nothing is ever said “no” to, however a preferred audience is one that will listen actively to the music as the act is more of an interactive and audience-inclusive show rather than background dance music.
Will you do requests?
As long as they are submitted in advance then yes. They must also fit in with the general aesthetic of the show so they must be comical, cheesy, mad or will put a genuine smile on somebody’s face. Alternatively, you can theme the performance and material played to suit your event. For example, 30s and 40s music is suitable for a wartime re-enactment or 50s and 60s music goes down well at care homes.
What I am I paying for when I include the band in the booking?
The songs and the format of the remain constant whether you hire the band or just Matthew as a solo. The difference is that the band is much louder and so is more suitable for a more energetic crowd or a large space with lots of people in. The band also works best with the rock and roll material.
Who are your musicians in the band?
A typical line-up will include a small drum kit, bass and a keyboard players who are some of the best of their fields. Additional instruments can include a small brass section but if you fancy a particular instrument of choice such as strings or guitars, Matthew is in good contact with a wide variety of working musicians who, given enough notice, can join the show to make it extra special. Matthew also likes to invite special guests to perform in the interval slot of his Matthew Quilliam LIVE events who are professional gigging acts that compliment the show nicely.
What do I have to provide if I am booking you?
Nothing much is required from you other than a performance space and an electricity supply. It is useful if there is a clear and/or direct pathway from the vehicle to the performance area for loading and unloading and a private off-stage area is useful, although not essential, for warming up and storing our larger equipment cases. Finally, a glass of water is appreciated!
Do you have a CD or album?
Matthew and his band are in the process of recording a 6-song list of original songs. There is current debate about whether the most popular covers should be included, but either way it is likely to be released late 2018.
Do you play guitar?
No. In addition to the ukulele, Matthew also plays bass guitar, tenor banjo, keyboard and tap shoes. He also composes music both for his album and also for films.
Is the show family-friendly?
Shows are open for audiences of all ages, although the act primarily focuses on music between the 30s and the 80s so some of the songs might not mean much to young people. That said, some of this music is taken from children’s movies which are family favourites sure to get the whole family singing along.