Who are Juice?
That’s us above (Brendan with the mic, and Rod with the guitar) – essentially we’re just a couple of good mates who are lucky enough to play music for a living! We’ve known each other from around the mid-to-late nineties, and met during guitar lessons (Rod was the teacher, Brendan was the student!). Juice started as a bit of a craic during a discussion in November 2002, however it was another few years before we starting thinking seriously about running the band as a business. We did gigs here and there for a while, but it was very casual, more of a hobby.We turned professional in 2006, and were surprised how quickly things took off! Because of this, we then thought about earning a living by playing music, and that’s when we decided to proactively pursue bookings in the wedding market. We both felt that things could be done differently and (hopefully!) better, but couldn’t have foreseen how well and quickly our approach to wedding entertainment would be accepted by the fantastic wedding couples in Northern Ireland and further afield! From day one, our focus has always been on playing to the crowd on the night, and (in an effort to enable us to do this) we started a lengthy process of learning a very wide range of songs (we are continually evolving, to give us the tools to hopefully get people of all ages and tastes dancing! No easy feat, however we’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years, and we both feel that it is our biggest strength. It doesn’t matter how well the music is played, if the songs are all wrong nobody will care! lol
Our wedding business grew surprisingly quickly, and it wasn’t long until we thought about providing the disco as well. We are one of the pioneers of the now commonplace ‘wedding band and disco package’, and were sometimes criticised for this, with a lot of industry people asking “what’s the point, you’re a band, not DJs?”!! The point to us was very simple, it allowed us to put our stamp on the full wedding night, without the commonplace problems associated with having a separate DJ. The break and subsequent delay that was caused by DJ’s setting up, plus the song repetition and poor sound quality that was offered by a lot of them was also a less obvious, but equally big problem in our opinion. There are some good DJs about, but by and large we were quite frustrated with most of them. We had invested so much in our sound equipment, so as to offer the best quality available. However, when the majority of DJs came on after us, the disco was a real let down, due to the poor sound quality that their lower quality equipment supplied!
That motivated us to learn how to DJ, and in turn we bought all the necessary DJ equipment, which allowed us to be one of the first offer the now commonplace band and disco package. As we didn’t just jump on the package band wagon, we had the advantage of having our own reasons for offering it, and as such hopefully get a lot of aspects of it that others miss. One thing we quickly added to the full night package, was that we would play again at the end of the night to finish things off! We tried this a couple of nights without telling our couples, and couldn’t believe how well it went down. Plus, we enjoyed finishing the night with the band, as we could give the couple a better finale for their big day!
All in all we both have been really surprised (and pleased!) by how successful Juice has become, and can never thank all the people that have booked us over the years enough. The other thing that we’re continually amazed by is the amount of awards that we’ve won! What makes them really special to us is the fact that they were all voted for by the general public, not industry ‘experts’! We’ve been voted the best wedding band on five different occasions by the readers of Getting Married in Northern Ireland magazine (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013 & 2014) plus we’ve been finalists on three other occasions (2009, 2010 & 2015) – it really is a great feeling to know that our customers have been so happy over the years! We’re going thirteen years, approaching 2016 and still going as strong as ever – so while people still like what we do, we’ll keep doing it!
Brendan & Rod
Name: Brendan McGuckin
Instruments: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Interests: Music, fitness, crossfit, cookery, nutrition, cars, motorbikes
Favourite thing: The gym
I started playing guitar at 13, so I could sing along with my favourite songs. It was that interest that introduced me to Rod (as he taught me). After being told by the music teacher during 1st year music class to “Never sing again” (funny I thought the same!! lol, Rod), I ended up starring in the lead role of a school production of Grease the musical! From there I started a band with some friends and have worked on my singing ever since. After that band finished, Rod and I started Juice.
Name: Rod Stewart (yes, real name!)
Instruments: Lead & rhythm guitar, vocals
Interests: Guitars, music, computers, graphic/web design, reading, movies, chocolate!
Favourite thing: Guitars (followed closely by chocolate!)
I started playing guitar at 15 after hearing Iron Maiden’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on a Lucozade TV advert! I just loved all the guitar playing on the song, so decided to try and learn how to do it (which, after couple of years, I eventually did!) After that I was hooked, and spent quite a few years learning and developing my technique and understanding of music theory, as well as teaching guitar to quite a few people (including Brendan!). Due to work and family commitments I actually stopped playing guitar for quite a few years, but started up again shortly before Brendan and myself started Juice!
” We don’t really go in for the overly formal or fancy sounding press that is so commonly used, as we like to discuss what we do in a more informal and relaxed way. However the text below is a third party description of Juice, the normal sort of stuff – what we do, how long we’ve been doing it, why you might want to book us, etc.. It’s aimed more for general press features, and is a bit boring – you have been warned!! LOL “
After forming in 2002, Juice quickly established themselves as one of Northern Ireland’s busiest wedding bands. They have gained a fantastic reputation for consistently being able to entertain people of all ages and tastes, as their remarkable ability to read and adapt to the crowd makes them stand out from the rest of the acts on the wedding circuit.
Constantly in demand throughout the year, their popularity and success has been further been endorsed by the readers of Getting Married in Northern Ireland, who voted them their most popular wedding band in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013 & 2014 (they were also finalists in 2009, 2010 & 2015).
Formed by Brendan McGuckin on lead vocals and Rod Stewart (real name!) on lead guitar/backing vocals, they pride themselves on (in addition to great music!) offering a very reliable, professional and friendly service with attention to detail at all levels. They play a constantly evolving wide range of songs, that really do suit all ages and tastes. They were pioneers of the now standard ‘band and disco package’, and offer a unique twist on this by playing again at the end of the disco to give the bride and groom a great send off!
If you want a band that genuinely will try to make your night as special as you feel it should be, then they should definitely be on your short-list!