Encore Blog
Encore > Blog > Hiring Musicians > An Interview with Alleycatz

An Interview with Alleycatz


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! →

Who are Alleycatz?

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?

“We all started playing music at a very early age, I think all of us started between the ages of 7 to 13.”
“We’ve all taken very similar steps in our careers, starting with gigs with school friends, moving up to college and uni friends and so on. Then we eventually found each other around 2014!”


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?

“I think we all knew we wanted to turn our music hobbies into careers quite early on.”
Most of us have done various factory jobs, teaching jobs, delivery jobs and so on along the way.”
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.
“Fortunately we’ve all been able to do this, especially since we met to form the band!”

Gigging with Alleycatz

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played with the band and why?

“Best gig?… it’s a tough one. I guess because sometimes, a great gig can be what happened off stage, or the surroundings or the audience were particularly up for it that night!”
I couldn’t tell you of one gig in particular, but we’ve had plenty of them!
“We’ve played some brilliant places. Castles, houses on lakes, we’ve been to the south of France, boats on the Thames, the lot!”

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!”

Why Encore?

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?

“So as a tip for getting gigs on Encore, I would say to just be active and apply for everything that might apply to you; and obviously, make sure your profile is up to date and looking pro!”
But the best tip I’d say is to be responsive to clients. Communication is really important.
“Don’t wait two days to get back to an enquiry because a hundred bands are waiting to take the gig! So make sure you’re first in with a response. Our clients have always been grateful for us being on the ball.”


A letter of appreciation from an overjoyed Alleycatz client!

Why book Alleycatz for your wedding?

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”

“No, It’s hard to say what we do or offer that’s different to any other band because I’ve not seen or hired another band through Encore.” 
I’m sure every band thinks they’re the best!
“I think you just have to make sure your performance is 100% and that you do everything that the client has asked of you and more…”
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!”


Book Alleycatz for your next event here!


Kunmi Fasanya

Content Intern Kunmi is a recent journalism graduate with 16 years of musical theatre training under her belt. She sings, plays the piano (mediocrely) and still has dreams of becoming a performer.

She specialises in telling the stories of Encore's musicians and customers, particularly weddings.

Looking for musicians?

Encore is the fastest and easiest way to find the perfect musician or band for any occasion.

  • 1 Tell us about your event
  • 2 Relevant musicians are instantly alerted
  • 3 Available performers respond with tailored quotes
Search musicians