• steel band performing at the wedding

Solid Steel- the ideal band for your wedding

A steel band for all kinds of weddings

We are a particularly popular choice with couples who want to hire an all-acoustic steel drum music for their wedding. Why?

  • The history. We have 35 years of experience and a strong heritage. So, couples can’t go wrong hiring us to perform live steel drum wedding music.
  • Our reputation. Just read ‘What Our Clients Say’! Hospitality professionals, wedding planners and wedding couples loved making us their steel band choice.
  • How we look. Our steel band looks colourful and sunny making us the perfect contrast to the formality of a wedding.
  • How we sound. Our wedding musicians are also outstanding players of steel drums. And we do have wonderful video and audio publicity to prove that!

An experienced and reputable band

Steel bands have been playing live as UK wedding bands since the ‘50s.  Trinidadians Russell Henderson and Sterling Betancourt were among the first to play steel drum wedding music in the UK. Thereafter, Max Cherrie (Solid Steel bandleader Paul’s father) and Ralph Cherrie (Solid Steel musical director Mark’s father) joined them. To summarize, these guys were undeniably the first to play as steel trios in London back then.

Pioneering Trinidadian musicians had ‘invented’ steel pans or steel drums- as some people also call them- only 20 years earlier. But, there was no such thing as an all-acoustic 3-piece steel band in Trinidad (with each musician playing a steel pan/drum) and it hasn’t emerged there or anywhere else since. Therefore, the steel band trio playing steel drum wedding music, remains a uniquely British phenomenon. A piece of British culture, you can see, and a gift from steel band musicians of Caribbean heritage in London.

Due to this history, and Solid Steel’s family connections to it, our steel band is unique. This is because Cherries have literally ‘beaten a drum’ for small steel bands playing at weddings for generations now. So you think steel bands are now a ‘cool’ alternative to other live acoustic wedding bands? Bands like string quartets and traditional jazz bands? Blame us!

A steel band that embraces diversity

We love playing at weddings and we equally love the diversity of the weddings we play at, too. Straight weddings, gay weddings, interracial weddings, Jewish weddings, Indian weddings, celebrity weddings. We’ve done them all and, as a result, we’re eager to continue playing great steel drum wedding music. Wedding music that meets the ever more diverse demands of modern British couples moving forward. Clearly, our background, experience and quality means you can trust Solid Steel to do a great professional job at every stage. This applies to the entire process. From your initial enquiry right up to the last note our steel drums play at your wedding!

Read more

steel drum wedding musician

Bride plays steel drum as wedding musician assists

a wedding steel drummer

A beautiful venue pre-wedding breakfast performance

Steel drum wedding music at receptions

You may want to hire Solid Steel to provide steel drum wedding music at your drinks reception. Although there are obviously more, here are TWO great reasons:

  • Great outdoors. In our acoustic and ‘unplugged’ steel band formats, in particular! Then, we won’t need to be close to any electrical power point. We’re ‘green’ and so are all our clients who hire our steel band for weddings!
  • Ideal volume level. The music we make exclusively playing steel drums is ideal for the background music you want. This applies to before your wedding service and/or during your wedding service. It equally applies to your drinks reception, wedding breakfast and reception for evening guests. Even two metres from the band you will still be able to chat with no need to shout.
You can hire us for your post-wedding breakfast period to play for dancing. If you do we advise you hire us as a bigger amplified band including other instruments. This will allow us to produce more accurate sounding covers of your favourite tunes. Please take a look at Solid Steel’s alter ego, an ace reggae-pop covers band called ‘We Be Jammin’!

We encourage our clients to browse our playlists. Then they can give us direction on what they would like us to play to fill their dance floors. This will help us to create bespoke playlists for them.

So whether you require acoustic or electric modern steel band entertainment- with or without vocals- we guarantee not to disappoint.

Read more

A wedding ceremony with steel drums

Make a great choice with our steel band for your wedding ceremony or wedding service too. We know hundreds of songs and can play those special song requests for you. So we deliver:

  • Playlists of different songs and musical styles you can browse through.
  • Lively reception music for arriving guests.
  • Traditional ceremonial music for that walk down the aisle.
  • Romantic music whilst you sign the register.
  • Triumphal music while you exit as a married couple on your big day.
We offer all the variety of traditional wedding service and song choices as any other wedding music specialist. But, of course, Solid Steel will never be a conventional choice. Consequently, we are even more used to atypical requests. Many that aren’t traditional at all and a surprising ask of a steel band for weddings!

You might want us to play our steel band version of ‘Canon in D’ for your processional tune. Similarly, you might select those other more traditional steel band wedding tunes we played on Good Morning Britain in 2018. It would not surprise us in the least if you wanted something else, however. Maybe you’d prefer us to play Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ for your recessional tune. Or something very different. A tune we don’t know and have never played before, for example. No worries. Despite Solid Steel’s repertoire being already very comprehensive, we are always looking to extend it!

Read more
steel band musicians arriving at a wedding

Arriving at a celebrity wedding on the isle of Capri

What Our Clients Say

Vik & Miranda of Eastcote, Middlesex

Solid Steel Band played our big gay wedding (ok, technically ‘Civil Partnership celebration!) at The Cavendish in Eastcote, Middlesex. They were fab! Hugely well-received by the guests, they struck just the right chord (pun intended!) for pre-disco musical ambience. They were well-liked by adults and kids alike! Refreshingly easy to book and deal with, having them there added a unique and stress-free dimension to our wonderful day. Solid Steel Band made our special day that much more special, and our straight/gay audience loved them in equal measure. Highly recommended! Thanks! Xxx

Val & Craig Gutteridge, Bucks

From beginning to end dealing with Solid Steel Band was an absolute pleasure. The booking was very straight forward and they made the wedding even more special. Everyone loved them! Can’t wait for another opportunity to book them again!

Rob & Jen Brindley, Kent

Absolutely EXCELLENT! – thank you so much for making our day even better than it already was, you were brilliant and everyone loved the music. Keep up the good work!

Ashley and Terry, London, N11

I wanted to say a belated but sincere thank you for the music at our wedding at the Devonshire Terrace. All the guests and ourselves so enjoyed the atmosphere the steel band created, so chilled and happy. We were delighted and just wanted to say how happy we were with your professionalism and talent. Best wishes.

Holly & Neil of Bristol

Hi Elliot, Paul and team, We just wanted to say a massive thank you for helping to make our wedding day so special. The Caribbean steel band music was such a fantastic addition to the day, it brought so much fun and joy. We had the best day ever! Thank you.

Nigel & Emma Evans, March, Cambridgeshire.

We just wanted to say thank you so much for providing such a great ambiance during our wedding celebrations, the fact that you guys were playing as we all exited the wedding breakfast was great. There was none of the usual lull before the disco started…. All the feedback from our guests about you guys has been amazing, you are fantastic musicians, very friendly & approachable and above all you made our day. Thank you so much!

Fiona Challacombe, Cambridge

The Solid Steel trio played at my wedding in Trinity College, Cambridge. They were absolutely wonderful, consummately professional and managed to bring out the sunshine too! Thank you Solid Steel for making it a really magical day.

Rich & Kate Sutton, Manchester

The three guys looked great and played some fantastic music. Every guest mentioned to myself, and my now wife, how excellent the 3 guys were and how great the music was. We did not get a chance to say thank you to them on the day so could you please pass those thanks on. We will definitely be recommending your company to others. Thanks again.

Natasha Gallop, Kings Oak Hotel, Essex

We cannot thank you enough for the job you did at our wedding. Professionalism was spot on, you were quick to reply to any queries prior to the wedding and on the day you were on time and ready to start the second we walked back down the aisle as man and wife. The band created the perfect atmosphere for our pre ‘wedding breakfast’ drinks; Relaxed but fun. Everyone’s been raving about you since. Brilliant!!!

Jon & Rebecca Cross, Ilfracombe, Devon

Just getting in touch to say a big thank you to your guys for the outstanding contribution they made to our wedding day on 11 June. They were fantastic. Totally prompt, professional, skilled and they created exactly the atmosphere that I had envisaged. Even better in fact. And they let us play too! They were helped along by some spectacular (and lucky) weather, which added to the Caribbean feel. Please pass on my best wishes to the band. Thanks again.

Heather & Damien Clarke, Yateley, Surrey

A massive thanks for keeping the guests entertained at our wedding at Rivervale Barn! Your music really added to the day and gave us a real tropical flavour. All the Somersetians loved the steel band version of Combine Harvester! Many thanks for that. Will surely recommend you again!

Kat & Matt Fortune, Sharston, Manchester

Many thanks for performing at our wedding in Macclesfield, Cheshire. The band were set up ready and playing when we arrived at the venue and the guests loved it! A very reliable company, communication is minimal but effective. Would highly recommend you for that extra special touch to any event. Great! Xx

Phil and Jill Carpenter, St. Ives Cambridgeshire

Solid Steel played at our daughter Michelle’s wedding to James last Saturday. They have such a love for the Caribbean and your music helped to make the day such a very special occasion for them. Your music suited all ages and so many people have commented on what a lovely atmosphere you created. We would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone. Thank you for playing at their wedding and helping to make it such a happy and special occasion.

Yvonne Webster, Ramsey St Marys, Huntingdon, Cambs

Solid Steel played at the wedding of my son James to Michelle last Saturday. Having a love of all things Caribbean they were very keen to have a steel band. We were not disappointed. They were excellent and everyone of all ages groups were able to enjoy the music and party atmosphere that Solid Steel provided. They really got into the spirit of James and Michelle’s wedding and I would recommend them to anyone.

Ali & Tom Higham, Monkey Island Hotel, Berks

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for playing at our drinks reception on 3rd July. The music was fantastic and really set the relaxed mood for the afternoon. So many people commented on how good you were and we will definitely be recommending you in future. Thanks again.

Sally Holman, Borehamwood, Herts

Just a note to say a MASSIVE thank you for such an excellent addition to our wedding. Thank you so much for a wonderful performance, so many of the attendees commented on how good you were. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you and hope that I have the opportunity to book you again. Thanks again.

Karen and Ian

Thanks so much Solid Steel for providing the perfect accompaniment at our wedding. Totally professional and musically fantastic.

Kirsty and Richard Bond

We booked Solid Steel for our wedding and they were brilliant! The whole booking process was really easy, the guys were very friendly and the music was fantastic.. perfect! Thanks so much.

Judith Morley, Berkshire

Wonderful opening at the reception at my daughter’s wedding, which all the guests really enjoyed, and got us in the party mood! Very many thanks.

Sue Human of Cambridgeshire, U

I would like to thank you for the superb steel band which played at my daughters wedding on Saturday-Solid Steel. Everyone commented on how good they were and I have no hesitation in recommending them and your agency for any future events.

See Our Steel Band For Weddings Videos!

Common steel band for weddings FAQs

We have married our steel band to weddings!

Back in the 50s only the British upper classes would book a live steel band for weddings.  (please let’s not call them ‘steel drum bands’- it’s an unfortunate Americanism!) from London for their weddings. For many years British society regarded that as being quite a ‘posh’ thing to do. These Trinidadian musicians took their steel drums or ‘pans’ mostly to the wedding receptions of the ‘well-to-do’. There they played calypsos and songs that Harry Belafonte was making popular at that time.

It may be hard to imagine, but in this era these musicians acquired minor celebrity within the upper class set! This was largely due to the novelty of these steel drum instruments at weddings. Some of our steel band’s players are the second generation to those steel bands’ musicians. So even in their youth they played in a steel band for weddings. This was even earlier than Solid Steel’s inception 35 years ago!

A compact and punctual steel band for your wedding

We can be single pan players if you book us as an all-acoustic steel band for your wedding. In this circumstance, we can need as little as 1m x 1m for each musician and his/her drum at your wedding. As a result of our steel band requiring so little staging space, we can set up in less than 5 minutes. Additionally, if you require vocals we always arrive 10 minutes earlier to set up our battery-powered PA system. In these smaller formats our steel band is mobile so that we can re-position our steel drums at your wedding. We can even circulate throughout our engagement if you require that. As a larger band with mains powered amplification we will need more time to set up. So we will arrive at least an hour before you require us to start playing to achieve that.

A steel band with versatile wedding musicians

This depends on what role you’d like the steel band at your wedding to play. Generally, each wedding musician playing steel pan will have no more than 2 steel drums, but more will be needed if your wedding reception is long and you require a steel drum workshop for your younger guests.  So you’d like us to play lively background music at your outdoor wedding drinks reception? We will always make the following recommendation. That you book us as a minimum-sized trio- an all-acoustic, unplugged 3-piece. You may be on a tighter budget and/or have seen steel band musicians playing as solo players or in duos. These line-ups don’t constitute a band as such and are more limited musically as live acts. However, we will be happy to supply you our best players regardless, subject to availability.

We will always respect your choice of steel drum entertainment. Nevertheless, sometimes we will advise you to book a bigger and perhaps amplified band including other instruments.

Sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations when it comes to live steel drum wedding music. For example, they may want to have our steel band trio play late on in the wedding reception for dancing. Ideally, they should hire us as a bigger amplified steel band for weddings like this. One that would include a drummer and vocals, for instance. Then our steel band could play some ‘modern’ popular music and include some Bob Marley and UB40 reggae classics. We can play this kind of wedding music very authentically, but only with a larger wedding function band. So, please take a look at We Be Jammin’! who share several of its band’s wedding musicians with Solid Steel’s. Hence, they often work together with them at the same weddings.

Steel drummers with sensitive musicianship

Our volume in an all-acoustic format is ideal for the ‘background’ level you require. This is the case whether it’s during a champagne and drinks reception or a wedding breakfast. String quartets can often be too quiet and inaudible above the ‘chatter’ of a wedding party. Conversely, louder, brassier wedding bands or amplified groups are often too loud and intrusive in a drinks reception. One must remember that many of the guests need to chat and have a lot of ‘catching up’ to do! We should know. Remember our steel band plays at a lot of corporate drinks receptions too, where being too loud might compromise the discussion of a deal that’s worth millions!

Steel drum wedding music choices for family members of all ages

We are highly skilled at playing ‘traditional’ Caribbean and calypso music. However, many wedding clients now also expect contemporary music and, in particular, pop and reggae hits. Solid Steel’s repertoire is the most extensive in the business and can be found in the answers to the FAQs on Our Music page here. We actively encourage our clients to browse our playlist, and are happy to take special requests.

We’ve got the best sound files online of any professional steel band online. There’s a very simple reason for this. We use the best musicians. Our music is represented by those musicians going into a recording studio and playing the songs ‘live’ as we did for our CD titled “Three”. So our tracks are honest representations of what we’ll produce in performance.

A steel band for wedding entrances and exits

Yes, here are some traditional and not-at-all traditional wedding tunes that we’ve played on our steel drums in the past. Furthermore, the following steel drum wedding music was played during ceremony entrances and exits by our steel band, historically:-

  • “Bridal Chorus” from the opera Lohengrin, by Richard Wagner.
  • Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major”.
  • “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”, by George F. Handel.
  • “You’re So Cool” from the film ‘True Romance’, by Hans Zimmer.
  • “Wedding March from a Midsummer Night’s Dream” — Mendelssohn.
  • “Ode to Joy” – Beethoven.
  • “One Love” – Bob Marley & The Wailers.
  • “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, by Stevie Wonder.

Steel drum wedding music and song requests

With over 20 years experience using only the best musicians, we will always try and cater to your specific needs. We take specific steel drum wedding music requests, particularly if you require us to play for your wedding service itself. Our steel band will always prepare itself properly to play your requisite wedding music on our steel drums.

Flexible scheduling for weddings

Weddings don’t always run on schedule and we’re always happy to be as helpful as possible. That means we tend to ‘go with the flow’ during the engagement of our steel band. Consequently, we will strive to keep our steel drums at your wedding set up for as long as possible. However, we may have another performance booked in later elsewhere. It’s not always easy for us to change our scheduled leaving time, but we will always try!

Our steel band ‘look’

We understand how important it is that we look great for your wedding photos. Our steel band’s ‘look’ is like our sound- authentic, colourful and full of sunshine for your perfect day! We’ll look the part for you and will costume ourselves accordingly. We favour wearing black or white trousers and a colourful ‘tropical-themed’ shirt or waistcoat. Unlike Hawaii, the Caribbean islands do not have a national costumed identity. There are no palm trees and girls in grass skirts. We can, of course, accommodate that theme on request. But, left to our own devices we are more likely to choose alternative dress themes often borrowed from Africa. These make us stand out from the ‘English tourist’ costume ideas of Caribbean themed event guests in the UK.

However, please feel free to identify any specific outfit you might particularly like us to wear for your wedding.

There is an element of our look that we can’t change, of course. We are a small musical family- several of which are Cherries- which spans 3 generations. Unsurprisingly we do look a lot like a cross-section of the very racially-mixed Trinidadian society. Some older, some younger, some darker skinned, some lighter skinned. Disproportionately male we would have to reluctantly admit. However, we are working on that! We consider it very important that we have more gender diversity within our steel band for weddings, in the future!

Finally, it’s important to note that our steel drums will always look stylish at your wedding!

A steel band that embraces diversity

Ours does! Solid Steel is very popular and has a broad appeal across the full social diversity evident in modern Britain today. The occasional couple within the Caribbean community will hire a community steel band to play steel drums for their wedding reception. However most are just as likely to hire Solid Steel as their steel drum wedding music band for an Indian wedding. Or a Jewish wedding. Or a gay wedding. Another very recent trend also is to choose our steel band as the live wedding band for post-wedding receptions. Many couples now want to go abroad to marry in romantic Caribbean beach setting. They also want to give British guests a taste of Caribbean musical sunshine at a wedding reception on their return. What better way to do this than to hire our timelessly ‘cool’ live steel band to play steel drums for them?