Parts & Accessories

Jazzing up the Alliance SE 76-4T

10th September 2020 | Bex Biggins
During lockdown, Jazz musician Bex Biggins - partner of our Bailey motorhome ambassador Andy Torbet - used their Alliance SE 76-4T as a unique creative space. Read on to find out how she used the motorhome in lockdown and her plans for taking it on the road in the future.

Like so many of us during lockdown, our motorhome has given Andy and I much more than just the promise of future adventures.  It’s been a classroom, playroom, chill-out zone, office, music studio and, memorably, the base for our family staycation, back in April.  Hunter, our three-year-old, was confused – cries of ‘But where are we going?’ resonated around the motorhome for days…

Perhaps most surprisingly, the motorhome also became a broadcasting space, where I went live on social media with ‘Turntable Tuesday’.  Once a fortnight I’d relocate my beloved record player and share some of my favourite vinyl albums with friends on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube; just me, wonderful music, a cup of tea and a couple of hundred like-minded people.

As a professional jazz musician I travel a lot for work, and the requirements are often logistically, not to mention financially, intense.  Trips away are often cover long distances, requiring transport and accommodation for myself and my three band members.  We’re usually off-grid, whether that’s stopping off in a car park outside a venue, or staying in a festival field. We do not travel light – currently I’m working and touring with a drummer, organist and woodwind player, so just imagine the amount of kit we lug about! – and we need to eat, sleep and physically prepare for performances.

Pre-COVID, I had a weekend of solo gigs booked in Cornwall to celebrate VE Day.  I was due to perform in two beautiful holiday villages, just myself, my voice and my saxophone, travelling alone but performing to hundreds of people each night.  Initially I was due to stay on-site in accommodation at the venues, but when I was told they were fully-booked and I’d have to find somewhere to stay, my eyes lit up.  We’d recently taken delivery of our Alliance SE 76-4T, and the thought of driving it to Cornwall and having it all to myself for three glorious days turned a pleasant work trip into a much-anticipated three-day holiday.

The Alliance SE 76-4T is perfect for touring and transporting kit

The motorhome has everything I need as a solo performer – space for kit, room to get dressed, a wardrobe, mirrors with plenty of light and handy 3-pin sockets, plus an office area and the best bit about having fixed twin beds – being able to finish performing and have my bed already made when I got back!  And then… lockdown struck and my working holiday was cancelled.  Rats.

So now I’m thinking to the future.  I’m currently working on my new album, It’s a Man’s World, and when that’s ready I’ll book a tour for next year.  As I’ll be working and travelling with my band, I’m already looking at campsites near venues as the motorhome is a big part of my plans.  Bailey recently asked me to make a wish-list of what else I could (possibly ever) want from a motorhome that’s part of a tour, and this is the result;

Top of the list would be separate beds for the four of us; we’re close, but not that close!  Then a bigger fridge – we have big appetites, and as we all know, being on the road makes you hungry.  We’d also need more space to transport equipment, as we travel with so much, and speaking of travelling, separate seats allowing everyone to ride in comfort, and an automatic gearbox for the driver would be wonderful.  Wanting to arrive at your destination as rested as possible is a factor for any motorhome user, and we’re no different.

Getting ready for a performance is easy when your dressing room travels with you...

...and there's plenty of room to store all the things needed to step on stage

Whatever we use our motorhomes for, I’m sure that in these uncertain and changing times, we’re all similarly grateful to have them in our lives.  Ours was part of the reason Andy and I stayed relatively sane during lockdown, and we’re looking forward to some big adventures, both professionally and personally in the next 12 months.

You can find out more about Becki and her music on her website