A MIXTURE of flexibility and showcasing their tunes on social media sites is behind the recent success of a band formed by a Morpeth man.
Hip Operation has grown from a small group of six when it started in 2001 to an impressive line up of 18 professional musicians supported by technicians and a road crew of three.
The group has entertained Middle East royalty, television and movie stars and Premier League footballers as well as thousands of revellers.
And in the past 12 months it has doubled turnover, with 220 gigs played in the UK and Europe.
A new website with links to social media such as Facebook and YouTube has boosted bookings, with the band scheduled to play at top venues well into 2012.
Band founder and drummer Steve Dolder, who lives in Stobhill, said: “What started out as a bit of fun has grown into a professional act that can adapt to pretty well any situation because of our pool of musicians.
“Flexibility is one key to our success since a wedding is a very different gig to a corporate event or a private party.
“Social media lets our clients and potential clients interact with the band and read reviews from happy customers. They can watch us playing live so when they get in touch they have already made the decision to hire us.
“I would estimate that social media is responsible for a 30 per cent boost in bookings.”
Hip Operation members are drawn from across the north of England and southern Scotland.