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This week we have been preparing for our busy weekend ahead. We’ve been sussing out who needs to be what, where and when. How to make this happen and when to fit in some beauty sleep too. This weekend we’ll be covering around 800 miles in our van, (the bantsmobile), performing at 3 shows and having quite a blast while we’re at it.
The weekend (for us) begins on a Friday. And our journey begins here, at Zoots HQ, a wonderful place to begin our tale.

It’s early, well…11am, and we’re just packing our final bits and pieces into our van. We hit the road, the M4, a magical place, headed East towards Windsor where we’ll be making our first pick up of the day. We meet with Neil, our guitarist for the evening, Nick our roadie/DJ and Andy our drummer for the night. Spirits are high as we make our way towards Suffolk with one last stop to pick up Sam who’s going to be rockin’ it on bass tonight. Today’s journey was supported by Giraffe.

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We’re heading to Suffolk to perform for Ed Prior’s belated birthday bash! Ed heard about us through his friend Alex Hanson Smith. We performed for Alex a few years ago at his preeeetay awesome Rock The Boat themed party. Yes, you heard us. Rock The Boat (remember that really awesome film about Radio Caroline?). It was brilliant and everyone dressed up and WE LOVED IT. Alas it was before the band blog began, but we’ve managed to find a few photos from the night. We can tell you, it was ROCKIN’ and one of the best parties we’ve ever been to, so if tonight was anything like that party, we knew it was going to be a good one.

We arrive in Suffolk on time and to a bright and breezy day. There is a huge marquee in a field attached to the barn. We meet with Jeremy, our host for the evening and Charles from The Great Event Company. We’d been liaising with Charles in the lead up to Ed’s birthday party, running through our plans and requirements for power and loading in. Charles had been most helpful and the marquee looked amazing. We were excited about performing and we shared our excitement with the ponies nearby.

We loaded our equipment in, said hello to a wee dog and got set up for our performance.

The Marquee looked Ah-mazing, the team at The Great Event Company, Ed, Jeremy, Camilla and everyone involved had done and amazing job! I loved the black lining, the glitter balls hanging from the ceiling and the table decorations, it looked amazing! And it was fab for us too as we could load directly on to the stage where we were playing which was just great as we have loads of heavy equipment.

Ed kindly brought us some teas and coffees while we set up (thank you Ed) and we ran through a few songs in soundcheck. The room sounded (and looked) great! We were all set. We handed over to Trevor, the DJ for the evening, he was great and super helpful. We’d been in touch with Trevor before the big day, to say hello and let him know the type of thing we’d be playing. Ed had chosen loads of cool songs from our repertoire which we were looking forward to playing. He was looking forward to the evening ahead.

We had a few hours to wait in our awesome break out room before our performance. The guests began to arrive and we headed to our room for some grub and a run through. Ed, Jeremy and Camilla had really kindly arranged for us to have some warm food and drinks before our performance. Food in bellies, we settled down in our room, with our new friend, for a warm up.

Warm ups done, we were ready to go on!

We kicked off the night at 10pm following some entertaining speeches from Ed’s family and friends. We began the set with some tunes from the ’60s including Jonny Be Goode, Do You Wanna Dance, Twist & Shout, Beggin’. The dance floor was packed from the off. The atmosphere was electric as everyone danced and danced and danced.

And then this happened…

Set two was just as wild, if not more so. The photos sort of kind of do it justice. IT WAS MAD. We put in loadsa hits from our repertoire including, Blurred Lines, Get Lucky, Moves Like Jagger, Sweet Child of Mine, Living on a Prayer…the list was endless!

Massive huge thanks to Ed, Jeremy and the team for having us and for looking after us so well. We had an absolute blast. Thank you to everyone who came and kept the dancefloor rammo’d the whole entire evening. Hopefully you’ll be able to spot yourselves in one of the blurry, light washy, dancy dancy photos. Were you there? Did you take any photos? We’d love to see them. Maybz put them on our Facebook page.

Thanks so much to Ed for having us as his birthday band for the night. We had a blast.

Lots of love,

The Zoots xx

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