Once again, back at Cheltenham. It’s a favourite gig for Rollercoaster, with huge crowds, and much merriment all round..!
It was an early start for the collective Rollercoaster… setting off for the famed Cheltenham festival at around 6am, to make it safely for the 8.30 load in. The first set was in the best mate enclosure, on stage at 11.30, off at 12, then back on for another 50 minute set. We drank coffee, and the crowd, mostly drank Guinness. We had introduced a few new songs to the set – not strictly Irish ones, but for this event, a mix is always good. These were I Will Wait For You (Mumford And Sons), Lightning Bolt (Jake Bugg), and Ho Hey (The Lumineers). They went down well, and by 1pm, we were performing to a packed marquee (capacity around 2,000!!!).
After a quick pack down, we were bussed over to the Centaur, which is the main arena, where we setup, then chilled in the dressing room (where our other fiddle player happened to be, as he was booked as a roving fiddle player for the event). Also in the dressing room was a magician / lepricorn, Chloe the helpful event organiser representative, and two women who claimed to be a stripper and a pole dancer. Rob and Chris headed into the crowd to take photos of racing folk, whilst Jason and Al stayed to relax and watch magic tricks etc.
The racing went on late, so the final set was cut from 60mins to 30 mins. Working fast, we packed the songs in, and the crowd reacted fantastically (with an enthusiastic stage invasion from a young race going female). By the last song (Irish Rover), they were spinning, dancing, singing, falling over… By 8pm, we were on the road (Rob stayed to celebrate his birthday with some pals), and and by 10pm, Al was sipping a pint of Guinness at his local pub – the perfect end to a perfect day!
Cheltenham was great – the staff were friendly and helpful… and it was a great crowd to play to – perfect for that Rollercoaster blend – Rock-Pop with a Celtic twist! Hopefully we’ll be back next year… see you all soon.
(photos coming soon!)