Straumann Tour, London, Coventry, Manchester, July 2017

Straumann are a super technological company, providing high end kit to dental surgeons and technicians worldwide.  They came to hear about Rollercoaster via a dental technician called Ben Hill… who happens to sing in top local band The Sausage Monkeys.  These guys rock – and have been friends to the core Rollercoaster folk for the past 15-20 years… so it was great to get the recommendation.  The folk at Straumann booked us to play the 3 major dates around the UK – Sandown Racecourse, Ricoh Stadium (Coventry), and Old Trafford (Manchester).  We would be entertaining important clients up and down the country, and would be fitting in with the tour vibe – an awesome American style truck, lots of blow up guitars… basically a live band on tour.

Rollercoaster – ecstatic to be road testing the Ui24R

First gig was Sandown, where we have actually played a few times before.  The marquee was setup outside the racecourse stand, next to the juggernaut.  The drinks and food were free flowing as were the freebies – hats, inflatable guitars, mini toy lorries etc.  The technology inside the truck seemed to speak for itself – a kind of 3d scanning of teeth, right through to the 3 printing of denture components etc.  The Straumann staff were super friendly and helpful, and were quick to jump onto the dance floor with ‘air-guitars’… which in turn pulled the dental surgeons etc. in to the ‘mosh pit’.

This was pretty well the procedure for all the events.  The Ricoh Arena gig had a more intimate vibe, but come Manchester, the wild guitar antics returned in force.  In the shadow of Old Trafford, we rocked out to the setting sun… and before we knew it, we’d hit curfew.  The highlight had to be when all the guitars were thrown into the air – maybe to Mr Brightside…

Mid show with the Soundcraft Ui24R

This was a super fun tour to be part off, and a great brand to be associated with – after all, what’s better than high tech 3d scanning and printing (not to forgetting the £60,000 guitar on permanent display within the all American Juggernaut).

We could say it stopped there, but the wonderful folk of Straumann booked us to play their End of Summer Party in September… which we were told would be one to remember!

Thanks for looking after us – it was a pleasure to play for such a wonderful bunch of people!  See you in September 🙂

BNI Business Networking Group, Corporate Function, Moor Park Golf Club, Rickmansworth, Jun 2017

This was an event at the rather beautiful main building at Moor Park Golf Club – where we have actually played a few times before.  The company was the BNI Networking group, co-ordinated by Imagine Group (property services)… though I only realised this at the end of the show, after using the ‘Imagine Group’ name for the whole gig (not that anyone had corrected me).

After a large hog roast buffet, and a short introduction speech, we pushed on with the set.  In theory, it would have been a tougher crowd to play to, as people were there to ‘network’, and didn’t necessarily know each other.  However, we got them dancing, and by the end, they were bouncing away to I’ve Got A Feeling’, and stomping’ the floor to 500 Miles.

Great crowd to play to – hopefully we’ll see you again… best of luck in all your futures!

St Patricks Two Night Special, Intercontinental Hotel, Doha, Qatar

Doha Skyline by Rob Blackham

So this was a first for Rollercoaster.  Sure, as our original band, Redwood, and as individual musicians, we have toured outside the UK…
but as Rollercoaster, we have never left these shores.  The reason for this, is we are usually booked up with weddings etc. which are often booked 1 year in advance.  But as it happens, St Patricks 2017 was available (it’s a premium date for this band), so we were booked in to play 2 nights in Doha, Qatar, at the Intercontinental Hotel!!  The hotel promoted the gig under the name ‘Four Leaves And A Fiddle’, as we hadn’t gained too much of a following in deepest darkest Doha as Rollercoaster (it’s early days yet though).  We would be taking top fiddle player Jake Walker with us, to fill in the fiddling gaps… it was gonna be good.

After 7 hour flights, we landed in Doha on the Thursday morning, were picked up from the airport and taken to the hotel.  We spent the rest of the day snoozing, eating, sun bathing, and eventually, setting up for the evening’s show.  The hotel food was INCREDIBLE, and the staff were super friendly.. which set us up for a great gig.  The show was in a marquee on the beach, and the audience was great.  By 1.30am, we were pretty well exhausted, and enjoyed some well deserved post gig drinks!

The next night, the show was in at the in house venue, the Paloma.  We used the in-house band’s gear, and setup and sound checked on the Friday afternoon.  Once again, a great show – lovely crowds to play to, and wonderful staff to work with.  The sponsors, Sixt car rental, were there for both gigs, handing out promo sunglasses, and taking photos – and were super supportive throughout.

The whole experience was fantastic, and unforgettable – and now that we’ve broken the ‘playing abroad’ bubble, we’ll be heading out for more shows… looking forward to that booking in the Maldives to come in 😉

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    Doha by night

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    Rockin Paloma

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    Onstage art Paloma

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    The sponsors

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    Apres Gig

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    Jake and Rob

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    The View

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    Before the carnage

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    The band (by Sixt)

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    the gear (by Sixt)

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    Onstage on the beach

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    Rollercoaster with Sixt

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    Holly in Paloma(photo by Tom)

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    Jake Walker

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Aetna International Christmas Party, Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey, December 2016

So the band have a history with Aetna – we have played many parties for them (when they were previously Interglobal), and have played employees parties and weddings… so we knew it was pretty well going to be a good night.  The theme was 20’s, so the guests were dressed appropriately, and the Rollercoaster Cocktail Duo (Rob and Jason) played the perfect mix for over the pre-dinner drinks reception.  On hand were ‘flapper girls’, adding the 20’s glamour vibe to the occasion.

After dinner, the dancing girls took to the dance girl and warmed the crowd up, ready for the band to start.  When we eventually started, the crowd were dancing away, showing all the moves.  After a short beak mid set, we pushed on , and the dance floor filled – and the dancing was a wonder to watch!  Before we knew it, it was midnight, and the lights were turned on, with us saying our goodbyes.

They were a great crowd to play to – and a wonderful gig to end the pre Christmas season with (the next show would be on the 28th December).  Thanks for looking after us – may the international high end health care insurance industry flourish… and hopefully see you all soon!

High Time Christmas Party, The Aviator Hotel, December 2016

A fairly local gig for the band, though we had never played at the Aviator before.  Great views, and unique architecture and layout inside the venue.  We had Jason Dickenson on fiddle, who had been playing… wait for it… at Buckingham Palace the night before!!!  It’s been said before, but only the best for Rollercoaster, and in turn, only the best for our clients!

We started our set after various speeches, and pushed on until the 11.30 curfew.  They were a friendly crowd, and it was a pleasure to play – thanks for looking after us.

Vertical Days, 10th Anniversary Celebration, Haydock Park, June 2016

Vertical Days have been a regular client for the band for the past 5-6 years, so it was great to be heading back up north to play their 10th Anniversary Event.  Set in Haydock Park racecourse, you can see the cherry pickers and cranes from the motorway as you approach – it is an event especially for cranes and access vehicles… and the supporting business – hence the cherry pickers!

Rob and Jason played their cocktail set before the event in a smaller venue… then the whole band (5 piece including Jason and Holly) played in the larger marquee – which had 800+ guests in attendance.  We started off with the more acoustic songs as the buffet was being served.  There was a break for speeches, and then Liverpool Pipes and Drums band marched onto the dance floor and played a ‘set’. After that, we pushed on with the more up tempo music.  Final song was 500 Miles, and as can be expected, the guests sang and danced – though we couldn’t persuade them to do a conga.

This has always been a great event to play – with such a friendly atmosphere from the organisers and crew.  Hopefully we’ll be back again!  Best of luck in the following year – thanks for looking after us

Belmont School PTA Ball, Belmont School, Surrey Hills, March 2016

We were introduced to the Belmont School PTA via Suzie and Graham, whose wedding we played in 2015… so at Suzies recommendation, we were booked in to play the PTA School Ball.  The theme was Alice In Wonderland, and the hall was decorated beautifully.  Lots of effort had gone into the whole presentation of this event – which will in part have led to the wonderful atmosphere throughout.  There was a meal, followed by an auction, and then onto the band.

We had Jason on fiddle, so with the close proximity to St Patricks, we threw in a few Irish tunes.  In all, this was a prefect crowd – similar to the Action For AT gigs we have played in Headley, and similar to the 40th and 50th birthdays the band have played for.  We kept the tempo up, and put in all the hits.  After a micro-break (5 minutes) we pushed on into the second set, and the guests partied on.  It was a 1am curfew, though the audience wouldn’t let us leave at that point, so we played a few encores, then finally finished.

This was a great event to play – the perfect crowd for Rollercoaster.  Hopefully we’ll be back again – thanks for looking after us!

The Retail Convenience Awards 2016, 155 Bishopsgate, London, March 17th 2016.

First visit to this venue for the band, with a unique load in, almost underneath Liverpool Street Station!  the event was the dinner dance and presentations for the Retail Convenience Awards 2016.  It was St Patricks, so the Irish theme continued throughout, with top fiddle player Sarah Carter, wowing the guests during the drinks reception.  The guests then headed into the dining room for the meal, awards, and some Irish dancing… and then out into the main drinks area for the sound of Rollercoaster!

They were a great crowd, though it certainly went up a gear towards the end, with the dance floor singing away to Mr Brightside.

They were a fun crowd to play to – wonderful to be entertaining the convenience retailers of the UK…. and the very best at that!