Musicians drum up support at The Rec
Two familiar faces on Bath's music scene are joining forces to bring more noise to The Rec this season.
Bath Rugby supporters Mark Archer and Robbie Verrecchia, who both lead bands in the city, believe more needs to be done to turn up the volume at The Rec.
Brass musician Mark, of Blowout Sax music school, approached Robbie after hearing him play samba beats in the city.
He suggested they unite to provide a band that would ensure the home crowd stayed in good cheer throughout games.
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The capacity at The Rec has increased from 11,700 to 12,300 for the forthcoming season. And Mark believes a band is needed to co-ordinate chants and ensure the crowd acts as Bath's 16th man.
Mark, who has been taking his children to Bath's home games for the last eight years, said he was often dismayed at how quiet some portions of the ground could be.
"It's irritating to be out unsung by the visiting supporters when there's 10,000 of us," he said. "I find it quite infuriating.
"When I saw Robbie and his crew in town a couple of months ago they had a big crowd around them. And what they were doing was tribal and it set the heart racing.
"I thought let's take the chants that are already there – 'Come on you Bath', 'Allez Bath' and 'Heavy Bath' – and set them to music. Suddenly, you can get behind something that was lifeless – it's got some energy.
"I see it as being very much driven by the drums with a few stabs of brass. At the moment the chants die a death because there's no power behind them – the drums will give them that power.
"I'm hoping that this is the start of something that will really take off. This could bring in a new generation of fans."
Using drum samples provided by Robbie, Mark has put together a rough demo of how he envisages the drumming and chanting working.
He is now considering approaching the supporters' club to get a core of them to lead the chanting. Robbie, who is the leader of Bath's Samba Sulis group, said he wanted to build on previous cameos at The Rec.
"We used to do a lap around the pitch with the drums a long time ago and I always remember we formed two lines just as the players were coming out.
"It would build an atmosphere and it's always very exciting," he said. "I'm really keen to work with Mark and put something together.
"We're so mobile we can be anywhere in the stadium – by the pitch or in the stands. There are so many ideas that we can work on."
Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld has expressed his delight that supporters are keen to help enhance the atmosphere at The Rec.
He said he would be happy to meet Mark and Robbie to discuss their plans.
"We need to build Fortress Rec," he said.