With their killer heels, killer curves and killer harmonies, The Rockabellas combine stunning close harmony vocals with bespoke big band arrangements, cute choreography and top to toe pin up couture. Personalised Luggage caught up with the girls last week to find out what they've been up to and how their personalised suitcases "caused a stir" whilst on the road.

It's been a while since we last caught up with you girls, so tell us what you've been up to...

Sarah: It's been really busy at Bellas HQ as we call it! We are back for a 5th consecutive year at the amazing Battle Proms concerts this summer so we've been arranging and choreographing a brand new set for that - my favourite is our Charleston version of Jason Derulo's 'Wiggle' !

Pippa: We've also been busy with all the usual gigs - a couple of cool music festivals, some gorgeous weddings.. oh and we recently filmed our first ever carpool which went a little bit viral with over 80,000 likes! 

Lizzie: Personally I've been cooking up my first ever baby! I decided that I didn't want to be left out as the only Bella who wasn't a mum! I'm due at the end of August! (Do you do personalised baby change bags?!)



Tell us what we can expect from your new video for Good Old Days - we are very excited to see it!     
 

S: We had such fun writing the storyboard for this video. We don't do things by halves so in one day we shot at 5 locations, had 7 costume changes and covered 5 different eras!! We did all our own hair, makeup and wardrobe too!

L: It's a really summery video (by British standards at least!) and it has everything from beach balls and backgammon to carousel rides and deckchairs!

P: And plenty of giggles! It's a real feel-good song and the video is the perfect match! Catch it on Youtube... but remember sharing is caring!! ;-)

So tell us, who is your fashion icon and who inspires you?

P: Ah I love Audrey Hepburn - she oozes class, talent & sexiness! (I’d also love her waistline!)

L: I've always loved Marilyn Monroe from an early age and I think we all admire those glamorous pin up looks from Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Veronica Lake...

S: Yes we take a lot of our inspiration from them when it comes to our costume choices, our photo shoots etc. In fact we recently did our own pin up shoot with the fabulous Vivid Photography and we were copying some famous pin up poses from vintage cigarette cards. We'll be producing a Pin Up Calendar for 2017 so you'll see them in there!  

 

Tell us about the week-long singing retreat in Italy - we're so jealous :( 

P: Oh it’s awful - 3 hours of singing every morning, glorious al fresco lunches, lazing by the pool, wine tasting, olives, prosecco, wonderful company...

L: Yes it's pretty magical! Sunshine (like, proper Italian sun!), lots of gorgeous local cuisine, yoga, beautiful views... and a holiday with us so what's not to love?!

S: And the cherry on the cake is when the guests perform the 2 songs they've learned throughout the week as part of our big open air concert in the main piazza. It's amazing to see them all come together like a kind of mega holiday choir!

P: It's such a rewarding experience to be a part of, to see how strangers become friends through their love of music (and wine!)

L: We are already booked for 2017 in Sicily - Check it out! www.singingholidays.com    

Are your personalised suitcases living up to expectations?

L: They certainly got a lot of attention when we put the first photo on Facebook! Lots of people asked where they could get them from. We LOVE them and they're the perfect size to take to gigs and photo shoots. We use them all the time as you can fit in all your costume bits, your shoes, makeup, hair stuff. I love the looks we get when we're out and about with them!

P: They’re amazing.  EVERYONE comments on them when we arrive at venues wheeling them behind us.  They’ve caused such a stir!

S: Yes we LOVE them! They are so eye-catching and really well made. But we do feel sorry for the people with 'normal' cases who take so long at baggage reclaim figuring out who's boring black bag is whose!!  The only downside is we can no longer travel in baggy pants and without makeup on as people might think we have stolen the cases from another far more glamorous girl group!!! 



What do you think of our new website?

S: We love a good website ;-) It's really simple and it's great to be able to test your design out before completing your order so you can see how your case will look before you buy it!

L: Yes it's great! Really clear and simple to navigate. It showcases the quality of the luggage really well.

P: It’s lovely. Makes me want to get another one...

What can we expect from you girls in the next 12 months

S: It's going to be incredibly busy as ever- we just don't like sitting still! We will continue to tour our debut album Bring it Back so you'll see us in renowned music venues like The Stables in Milton Keynes and London's Jermyn Street Theatre, plus we will be making the most of Lizzie's maternity leave by starting on our second album so that's exciting!

L: We have some lovely theatre dates coming up too including our co-produced show 'Sirens of Swing' and a concert with the lovely Lucy Kay (Britain's Got Talent). As well as the usual steady flow of gigs there'll also be a couple of new music videos from our album 'Bring It Back' so it's all very exciting!

P: But the most exciting thing in our diary is our first ever New Year's Eve party which we are hosting ourselves! It's at Harpenden Public Halls and it's going to be a very posh affair! Tickets are £65pp and that includes red carpet entry with cocktail music, a welcome drink, gourmet 4 course meal, table wine, after dinner cabaret and a DJ till 1am! You can get your tickets direct from our website www.therockabellas.com

S: Shameless promotion!

L: Nicely done!

So beside from a nice cuppa, what’s your favourite cocktail?

P: I love a Champagne cocktail... or a 'Dark & Stormy.' Also Pimms, Mojitos...

L: Mine would have to be a good Caipirinha - or some gin-based thing. Not that I can drink any of that at the moment (sigh)...HURRY UP BABY-BELLA!

S: Well if truth be told, we have an Essex girl in the ranks! I do love a good malibu/pineapple combination. In fact any kind of cocktail which could pass as a kids fruit juice or milkshake - better still if it has an 80's umbrella and a glace cherry in it! I also recently discovered an amazing shot (apparently very popular in Australia) with Butterscotch Schnapps and Baileys... it's got a rather rude name though so I'll leave you to google that one! 

What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you girls on the road?

S: Ok, is it time to come clean about Asda? This is an exclusive right here you know! So, about 3 years ago we travelled in convoy to Cheshire. The traffic was awful so we arrived with bang on time but with no time to spare. As soon as we parked up, I realised the costume bag had been left behind! (Remember this is 5 hours away from home!!) I had the accessories but no actual dresses! Thank goodness for mobile phones as we searched for our nearest shop on some clever app and discovered there was an Asda less than a mile away, thankfully a large one with a clothing section. We sped round the corner (possibly illegally thinking back!) and basically did a trolley dash, grabbing 3 new outfits for 3 different sized girls in no more than 3 minutes! We paid, sped back to the venue, parked badly, got changed (meanwhile discovering some of the clothes weren't on the right sized hangers!) and went on stage - on time and after a quick picture of the new outfits of course! Perhaps till now the client had absolutely no idea of the backstage bedlam and even told us he loved our outfits!

P: It is normally always costume related. And it's normally always Lizzie... Her dress came unzipped at the back once so we had to dance in front of her while we invited anybody from the 'make do and mend' generation to step forward with pins! The she came unlaced from her corset once - Liverpool got a lot more for their money that night ;-)

L: Er let's have it right... Sarah managed to un-lace me mid-dance routine!!!! The sound guy had to jump on stage and lace me up to preserve my dignity! There's actual footage on You Tube somewhere if you don't believe me.

S: Perhaps it's time for a dresser! [Smiles sheepishly]



Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow their dream of becoming a singer/performer?

P: Train!!! We rely heavily on our vocal technique and stamina is essential in this game. Knowing how to look after yourself and to pace on a gig is vital.  Also, having an instrument behind you makes a big difference. We all learned the piano (among other instruments) and it’s given us a much stronger understanding of harmonies.

L: Just keep at it. This industry is very hard to make a living at. Success comes with LOTS of practice and doesn't always fall on your lap. We've been doing music professionally for many many years now through lots of hard work, and a little bit of luck.  You never stop learning too! Follow your dreams and don't give up.

S: We are very lucky to do what we love for a living and we never take it for granted. It's a blessing to have a talent to begin with and to be able to use it every day to feed your family and make a little difference to people's lives somehow is an even bigger one. NEVER forget how lucky and blessed you are. The day you become complacent is the day the phone stops ringing! 

Tell us a secret about yourself.

S: The credible secret is that I'm a published poet and a 'wannabe published' author of children's audio-books. The not so credible one is that I once won a talent competition for my excellent miming to Tina Turner's Simply The Best (aged 7 - ill fitting high heels, a lycra mini skirt and over-crimped hair were found at the scene of the crime!)

P: Well I once ate a whole pineapple so beat that!

S: You did slice it up, right?!

L: I couldn't possibly tell you a secret as then it wouldn't be a secret anymore ;-)

P/S: Booooring!!!!