· Wednesday January 1, 2014

Hi all
Just a few words about last nights NYE gig at Club Central.
Such a great room with fantastic production and a wonderful sound engineer, thanks Michael!
We had the 2 Dicks in the Brassholes last night, thanks to Richard [Bootman] Booth and Richard Savory they played great and also filling in for John Russell we had Rob Turner from The Rockhoppers on guitar.
It was a good crowd and everybody seemed to have a good time, the dance floor was full.
So happy New Year everybody and here’s to 2014 lets hope its a good year for everybody!!!
Cheers Ian.

— Ian Dittman

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Unprecidented Historic Birthday Singing · Tuesday December 18, 2012

Hi Music Lovers
On 16/12/2012 we were witness to an exordinary event that I have never seen or heard of before. We performed to a wonderful audience at Cronulla RSL. Both our Saxophonist, Bruce and our Bassist, Mark were celebrating birthdays. Now we often get requests from the audience to sing happy birthday to a friend or relative that is having a birthday. We figured since two of our band members were having birthdays, that is was about time the audience sang happy birthday to us. The key of F was selected and a starting note given, then the most rousing rendition of happy birthday I have ever heard began to fill the room. This is an unprecidented event. I have spoke to other musicians and I am sure this is a very rare event. Thanks to everyone at Cronulla for making this gig a history making event and thanks for all the knid birthday wishes

— Mark Roulston

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Collingwood Hotel · Sunday June 17, 2012

Hi All
Just wanted to let everybody know about a great new live venue in Sydney’s west, The Collingwood hotel has been totally renovated and is trying to establish itself as a venue attracting a more mature crowd.

The pub has had a bad reputation in the past but having played there recently I can honestly say that there is nothing to worry about anymore as there is good security and they have gone out of their way to try and attract a better crowd.

There is a great bistro with good food at good prices, a fantastic huge dancefloor, a DJ playing retro style music in between sets and a really cool atmosphere.

So if you feel inclined, come along to the next Bellhops gig and support a venue that is really trying to do something a little different and is bringing LIVE music back to a pub.

Cheers Ian.

PS In the band room there is not a poker machine to be seen!!!

— Ian Dittman

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New Years Eve 2011 · Monday January 2, 2012

We had a fabulous night at Burwood RSL on New Years Eve, and we narrowly averted a major NYE disaster. Imagine a NYE where no one realises how close it is to midnight and no one does a countdown to the new year. Well, this didn’t happen, but it was a close thing.
Travis is the technician at Burwood RSL, doing an excellent job of running their very nifty wireless sound and light setup. He instructed us to have a break at 5 minutes to midnight so he could lower the large projection scene at the rear of the stage. The idea was to put the television broadcast of the countdown on the scene. We were to return to stage at 1 minute to midnight and lead the audience in the countdown to the new year, then launch into Auld Lang Syne and then continue with some serious new year party music with the Sydney fireworks as our backdrop.
At 5 to minute we stopped and left the stage, Travis lowered the scene, all good so far. Now typically, this large scene is used to view sporting events and is the default channel for the screen, so of course, when the picture came on instead of the countdown we got a soccer (football) game in progress. Travis went into meltdown because he did not have the remote for the screen and he frantically ran around searching for the duty manager who did have the remote.
Needless to say we sat watching the game assuming they would sort it out before midnight. Time went on and the game continued until I happened to glance at one of the smaller mounted TV screens in the club which was on the channel counting down to midnight. To my horror the countdown only had 30 seconds to go. I screamed to the other band member to get on stage NOW! pointing and waving like a madman at the smaller TV with countdown rapidly approaching midnight.
So with the soccer match as our backdrop we returned to stage with 20 seconds to go and kept our eyes on the smaller screen. We managed to count everyone down to midnight and ring in the new year right on time.
Oh, about 30 seconds into the new year the duty manager finally found the remote and changed the channel to the fireworks which was the best backdrop I have ever played to.

— Mark Roulston

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Kidgeeridge Music Festival · Saturday November 5, 2011

The Bellhops played at the Kidgeeridge Music Festival at Milton on the wonderful south coast of NSW last weekend, the festival is an invitation only event with numbers limited to 500, all profits go to local charities, the local community is heavily involved and host Graham and Vicki White [whose property is used for the event] do a wonderful job.
Once you have bought your tickets everything is free, camping sites, food, beer, wine, and 2 days of top class live music.
Some of the acts this year included Deborah Conway, James Reyne, Ray Beadle, Marshall and the Fro, Kim Cheshire, Kevin Bennet, The Bellhops and a host of others, this has got to be one of the best live music experiences going around and the organisers should be applauded for going to the trouble of putting it on.

— Ian Dittman

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