The band is working on a set list of tunes for the Rod Stewart concerts. We get the first 45 minutes at each of the 5 venues on the tour. This probably means we should pull out all the stops from the very first number?
DixieMix Jazz Band led by Simon Nelson has been selected to be the "warm-up band" on Rod Stewart's 5 Stadium tour in June.
DixieMix were tracked down via their web site and the initial offer to do an online audition came right out of the blue. There followed a wait of 3 weeks until the great news came that they had been successful and the gigs were in the diary.
Asked how he felt about supporting the legendary Rod Stewart on his UK tour, Simon's first response was "There's a question you don't get asked often as a Dixieland band leader from Norfolk!"
Simon went on to say that currently the whole amazing scenario is taking a little time to sink in. After the initial enquiry came through the website (www.dixiemixjazz.com) there was an agonising wait as demo tracks were bounced across the Atlantic. Then finally came the exciting news from LCC Live Events – the organisers of Rod's UK tour, that that DixieMix had been offered all five gigs!
During the wait, all the DixieMix band members suffered periods of disbelief, and there was endless online double-checking to make sure this all added up and the offer was genuine.
In the 6 years they have been established, DixieMix have earned a huge reputation in the East of England as one of the most lively and enthusiastic bands in the Dixieland genre. Simon attributes their success to the band's line-up which, he says, has the perfect mix of youth and experience. Also they put entertainment first. "We don't just play for established jazz audiences", says Simon, "we are equally at home letting rip with a show designed to please everyone and aim to create an all-round feel-good factor".
With hard work and dedication the band has come a long way since it was formed 6 years ago. Many people have helped, but special acknowledgements must go to Woodforde's Norfolk Ales whose sponsorship for DixieMix has really "oiled the wheels".
Five stadium gigs supporting Rod Stewart (none of the band still really believe it) will be unlike anything they have ever done before. But it is the job of the 'warm up' to do just that and it's exactly what DixieMix will do. Also there will be a chance to meet the legendary Rod Stewart in person. Everyone who has met him says what a great bloke Rod is, the band really hopes to get a chance to talk some music with him.
Last words to Simon "I'm positive we can get 20,000 feet taping and set the scene for a night of music to remember. (Or is that 40,00 feet as they come in pairs?)
These are the tour dates – all in June 2014:
Friday 13th Brighton football stadium
Wednesday 18th Taunton county cricket ground
Friday 20th Blackpool football stadium
Saturday 21st Falkirk football stadium
Saturday 14th Stoke-on-Trent football stadium
Stadium capacities are around 20.000