- What We Do
- About the band
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Sway Allstars Orchestra like to think we offer something a little different. TJ and David were originally at college together in Yorkshire and moved to London together to seek fame and fortune in the 80s. We met the original bass player James Winchester (who sadly died a couple of years ago) gigging round London. That was the beginning of Carwash, a 70s disco band and most of us had worked together at some point so we all already knew each other from other gigs, TVs, sessions or tours that we’d done.
Sway was put together by a London events company who needed a band to play for Tony Blair’s Cabinet at a private party in Westminster, attended by past & present Prime Ministers, cabinet members and their wives. They hand-picked the band members from other bands and music industry contacts. And this is where it all started…
So this London company hand-picked everybody in 1996, for the Labour Party event. Iinitially it was just to perform Things Can Only Get Better by D:Ream – it was the Labour Party’s theme tune at the time and TJ, and later David, played in D:Ream. Within a few months we were in Las Vegas playing at a party there and we were off!
Since then we have performed in venues all over the World for Royalty in the UK and abroad, film stars, on private yachts in Cannes harbour, in Las Vegas, Sun City – South Africa and with guest vocalists such as Smokey Robinson, Beverley Knight, Ellie Goulding, Alexandra Burke, Conor Maynard, Ashford & Simpson, Kym Mazelle and Deniece Williams, Lemar and Nicole Scherzinger.
The difference between The Sway Allstars Orchestra and all the other bands around is that our background isn’t in theatre or cruise ships it’s in the mainstream music industry. We all met working for acts such as Robbie Williams, Enrique Iglesias, Kylie Minogue & Gary Barlow on tours and TV shows such as Later With Jools, TOTP, The Charlotte Church Show (house band), The Queen’s Jubilee concert (house band) & This Morning.
We have played for HRH Prince Charles, HRH Prince Andrew, HRH Prince Edward, Princess Alia of Jordan, The King Of Bahrain and Samuel Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin and a few VIP clients that we’re not allowed to tell you about.
We developed a repertoire of rock, pop, soul, disco, funk, Klezmer, Motown, RnB and background music and usually play for around two hours although we once played for five hours without a break!
We’ve also become the ‘pet’ band of Sir Richard Branson, having played at his house several times and performed at nearly every Virgin Atlantic flight launch party for the last ten years, including the star-studded Virgin Atlantic’s 25th birthday party in New York in 2009 (where we performed with Fat Boy Slim), as well as The Palms Hotel, Las Vegas in 2010.
We all still work in the mainstream music industry either writing, producing or playing for current chart acts such as Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Jason Derulo & Paloma Faith. We’ve used this level of quality and professionalism to build the reputation – if you want the best band for any party or event, without having a stuffy old function band, you book Sway!
Sway offers a level of musicianship and professionalism of the very highest level that can be dropped into any kind of event anywhere in the world and we will guarantee that it’s “that band!” that your guests are talking about on their way home.
The line-up has changed a bit since the beginning but TJ, Ange and David are original members. The original guitarist Paul Cuddeford now tours with Bob Geldof, and has just finished this tour with David Bowie’s old band http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/may/22/spiders-from-mars-to-play-bowies-the-man-who-sold-the-world-live. There’s always a core David Brooks, Nick Owen, Richard Cole & Stuart Anning and the singers and brass players will vary depending on what is requiredfor the event.
So that’s the History of Sway Allstars Orchestra – we are very excited about making new history at some of the events we will be playing at in 2016 and onwards…