Encore Musicians Stories is a blog series where we explore the unique personalities behind Encore’s top performers. This week we interviewed band leader Phil Swan from Alleycatz, last year’s most-booked function band. He gave us some insight into the life of one of the UK’s premier function bands!Browse all Function Bands! →
We are a London based piece pop/Motown & funk band, built around a core of 5 musicians, that’ll bring class to any occasion!
“Our band is made up of Katie Coleman (vocals), Jerome Cozier (on keys), Josh Carpenter (drums) Ewan McIntosh on guitar and vocals along with Phil Swan who is also the band manager!”
Watch more of Alleycatz showreels on their Encore page here
How did you first get into playing music?
Alleycatz performing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
When did have the realisation that you could really make a career out of music and become a musician?
But, in the back of our minds we probably all knew that if we stuck at picking up the odd gig here and there, eventually we could make it into a career.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played with the band and why?
I couldn’t tell you of one gig in particular, but we’ve had plenty of them!
Do you enjoy performing weddings and other special events and why, what about them makes them special?
“We do love to play weddings and the big corporate do’s, but we also like to play little pubs and acoustic sets for people in their gardens!”
We just enjoy playing together and because no two gigs are the same, there’s always a different feel to each one…
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
“No pre-gig rituals really, we all have our own roles I guess… I (Phil) am the organiser, so I am usually the first to arrive and start setting things up. Josh is always first to source drinks and sorts the bar tab. Katie tends to be on light duties and Jerome and Ewan are general whoever needs help men!”
When did you join Encore and what was your first gig with us?
“I think our first gig with Encore was maybe 4 years ago? I can’t say I remember the exact gig, but we’ve not had too many bad experiences with any of our clients, so I imagine it went smoothly!”
How has your experience been with Encore so far and what was your first impression of the platform?
I’m a fan of the platform! Mainly because it’s up to you to make it work for you.
“The more active you are in applying for gigs, updating reviews or videos etc, the more likely you are to get gigs. And rather than just leaving it to the client to find you, you can go and put yourself in front of them instead.”
Do you have any advice or tips for winning bookings on Encore?
But the best tip I’d say is to be responsive to clients. Communication is really important.
A letter of appreciation from an overjoyed Alleycatz client!
What is it about your wedding offers that make you so popular with customers?
“Well, apart from obviously being the best band on Encore! Haha”
I’m sure every band thinks they’re the best!
Be cooperative, flexible, happy to help from the first message!”
Which songs on your setlist are guaranteed to get the dance floor pumping?
“Freed from desire… Guaranteed to win ’em over!”
Check out Alleycatz live showreel: watch how they bring life to the party!
As you specialize in weddings, do you have any favourite songs to perform?
“Not sure about favourite songs, but we love all the 90’s dance stuff. Great fun to play and always gets people up and dancing!”