Encore is home to a huge array of live music bookings. In 2019, we helped match our customers with musicians of all types: from a full orchestra booked for a Yamaha TV ad to an intimate wedding proposal with a violinist on a boat in Paris.
But the stand-out booking for us must be matching the legendary rock singer Sir Rod Stewart with Encore bagpipe band The Home Counties Pipes and Drums for his 10-day UK tour.
We hear from Encore band leader and bagpiper Tony Hurst as he recounts this incredible experience…
On 13th May 2019 we received a request to perform at 10 concerts with 3 pipers and a drummer, starting in Bristol on 22nd May 2019. Due to previous engagements the band had, we couldn’t play the concerts scheduled for York or Aberdeen and subsequently committed to cover 8 of the 10 the concerts as shown (Encore filled the other two dates with a different band). So we were booked to perform on:
- Wed 22 May Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium.
- Fri 31 May Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium.
- Tues 4 June Milton Keynes, Stadium MK.
- Fri 7 June Ipswich, Portman Road Stadium.
- Sat 8 June Wolverhampton, Molineux Stadium.
- Fri 14 June Bolton, University of Bolton Stadium.
- Sat 15 June Sheffield, Bramall Lane Stadium.
- Fri 12 July 1st Central County Ground Hove.
But until the booking was finalised we had no idea that we would be playing alongside Pop/Rock legend and personal idol, Sir Rod Stewart and his Band on his 2019 Stadium Tour!
Bristol, our first venue, was pretty full-on with lots of sound checks. We also found out that we would actually be performing on stage with Sir Rod and the band during an instrumental number called Going Home – you can imagine the adrenaline was pumping!
From the start of this incredible journey and experience, we were made to feel so welcome. We could not believe how friendly everyone was from Ground Crew, Support staff, Management Team and band members alike – and including Rod, who personally made a point of checking we were being looked after. This meant so much to us. It was truly an opportunity of a lifetime being on stage with a legend like Rod who’s been producing smash hits for over 50 years.
We started each concert with a 30-45 minute performance on stage of typical well-known highland Bagpipe tunes. This was immediately followed by the support act, Jonny Mac and the Faithful, who came out to perform their hour performance, prior to the build-up of Rod Stewart’s two hour show.
This was an incredible journey that will stay with the band forever. We would never have dreamed of supporting such a musical idol as Sir Rod once, let alone 8 times and it was an honour to work with such a gentleman and pop/rock icon.
I would also like to thank the band members who performed with me: Pipe Major Donald Reid, Pipe Sergeant Catherine Reid, Piper Colin Campbell and Lead Tip (Snare Drummer) Shania Billett.
Looking to hire bagpipers? Find information about booking the UK’s best bagpipers for your event here.
To book Encore’s most-booked bagpiper, Tony Hurst, head here: https://encoremusicians.com/Tony-Hurst
To book The Home Counties Pipes and Drums, head here: https://encoremusicians.com/homecountiespipesanddrums