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Photograph of Alex Elliott, Maria Crocker and Ross Millard holding instruments and laughing
Photographer: Richard Davenport

The House Band

"As we play, [we] smilingly catch each other's eyes: we're all clearly really enjoying ourselves" Alexis Petridis, Guardian

Welcome to the Putting The Band Back Together House Band! We promise good music (hopefully), wrong notes (probably) and a good laugh along the way (definitely).

Below is everything you need about how to join the House Band. You'll also find music videos from Ross, so you can practice at home!

Stories from the House Band

So far 419 people have joined the house band, across 54 performances. Writer, Maddy Costa, interviewed over 30 of them along the way to produce this beautiful 'zine. Read about their experiences in the house band, and what has happened since, here: Stories from the House Band.

If you've played in the house band, and you're interested in finding other local music groups, check out these listings here.

How to Join

1) Book a ticket for Putting The Band Back Together. You can find tour dates here. (Or, if you've already seen the show, just come on down!)

2) Email to tell us you'd like to join the House Band. Tell us which show you'd like to join the band for. Tell us what you play, or if you sing.

3) We'll email you the time and place for the pre-show band workshop. Come along and learn the tunes! If you're feeling especially keen, learn music in advance with these videos below.

Learn the Music

Dennis' Song - Putting the Band Back Together

Email - Putting the Band Back Together

Happiness - Putting the Band Back Together

The Air Breathes - Putting The Band Back Together

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to audition?
No. If you want to join the band, you’re in!

Do I need to play a certain instrument, or play / sing to a certain level?
No. We welcome players and singers of all different levels. So far we’ve had bassoon, ukuleles, guitars, percussion, voices, violins, saxophones, cornets and double bass. We look forward to hearing what you play!

Will you provide instruments?
We’ve got a keyboard, drums and percussion that House Band members are welcome to play. We may also have 1-2 guitars or ukuleles available. If you don’t have an instrument, email us and we’ll see if we can help. You can also join the band as a singer.

What if I can’t read music?
No problem. We’ll mostly be learning by ear. We will also provide song sheets with chords and notation for melody lines for those who prefer to read music.

Will I be onstage for the whole show?
No. You’ll start off sitting in the audience. The first time the House Band play, will be from the back row. Then as the show progresses, you’ll join the performers onstage so the band grows and grows until we end up with a big, uplifting finale (followed by a quieter ‘Hidden Bonus Track’ to finish the night off!)

What will it be like?
Previous House Band players described the experience as, “Really good fun. Very welcoming.” and “It was absolutely fantastic. I loved every second!”

Commissioned by The Cultural Spring in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

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