We use cookies to make your experience better. By using xero.com, you accept our cookie notice terms.

Brought to you by

Xerocon All Stars band 2013

Posted 8 years ago in Advisors by Andrew Whitelaw
Posted by Andrew Whitelaw
Xerocon Awards Stage

A huge highlight of the Xerocon Sydney 2013 Awards Dinner on Friday was the band entirely made up of Xero staff and partners. A call went out beforehand to staff and Xero partners to see what talent was out there and we received an amazing response. People with an amazing range of talents and interest in different genres from Funk, Jazz, Metal, Rock and Classical. From managing directors to bookkeeping singing teachers, everyone brought something special to the table.

Larissa McKay sang beautifully performing her own material during the solo sessions and there were booming renditions of Joe Cocker by Wayne Triplett – it was hard to believe that this was his first time singing in a band.

Ben Talbot and Shayne Lowe were crowd favourites showing that their bookkeeping businesses are really just a side thing for them as they wowed the audiences with their vocal skills and stage presence.

Xerocon Awards Party

Some of our favourites included Scott McKay belting out the Angels classic and Tom Lee-Richards showing us his beat-boxing prowess during KC & the Sunshine Band, “Get down tonight”. There were some other great performances by Tim Munro, Joe Salvati and me all taking to the drums and ably supported by an amazing horn section with James Solomon, Michelle Harrison and Simon Kay. We also saw our Managing Director, Chris Ridd don a Xero branded Fender Stratocaster, compliments of one of our customers, Globe Design, who happily put their printing skills to good use to cap off the great stage presentation.

So a huge thank you from me to all the Xero staff and partners that put such a massive amount of time and practice into making this happen. Seeing the talent that was on display on the evening, it was easy to see why we are excited about this industry. Who said accounting was boring … it completely rocks!!


How we got the band together

Joe Salvati handled the logistics of sorting gear, rehearsal rooms and people, while Tom Lee Richards and I began the process of putting together the set list. We looked through songs from a whole range of eras and came up with songs that highlighted everyone’s talents including a fully fledged horn section.

With the benefit of cloud tools such as Skype and Google docs, we were easily connected to manage such a difficult logistical challenge. The idea was to have three sets. Set one an acoustic set with a small amount of performers being responsible for their own song choice during the dinner. Set two predominantly Xero staff band set and the third set, a fully expanded Xero Staff/Partner band set.

A few months before the event we ran Skype auditions due to the geographical spread of performers. This entailed video skyping and running through a performance of a song. On some occasions I would record a rough guitar only demo for the vocalist to sing along to, which helped overcome the skype delay.

MD Chris Ridd then went through final run throughs with all of us on Skype to ensure we all knew what was needed from a song perspective and we were good to go.

Everything came together quickly the Wednesday night before Xerocon commenced. All performers met at a rehearsal studio in Sydney and ran through the entire set list once. Yes it is true the band had one full rehearsal together. We all came together on the Friday afternoon for gear set-up and sound check, then a quick change and off we went into Xero musical history…..

We now refer to each other as family. Members of the Xero musical family. This bond will be forever, giving us memories that will be treasured by all.

Its only Rock ‘n’ Roll but we LOVE it!

Highlights video


From Xero:

  • Tom-Lee Richards on vocals, bass, guitar
  • Andrew Whitelaw on vocals, guitar, drums
  • Joe Salvati on drums
  • Chris Ridd on vocals, guitar, harmonica
  • Nick Hugo-Hamman on guitar, vocals
  • Riley James on vocals, acoustic guitar

From the partner community:

  • Larissa McKay of Abacus Business Solutions on vocals & keys
  • Scott Kay of HLB Mann Judd on vocals, guitar, keys
  • Ben Talbot of Business Oxygen on vocals, guitar
  • James Solomons of EFS Strategic on trombone
  • Shayne Lowe of Details Business Services on vocals
  • Tim Munro of Change Accountants on drums
  • Wayne Triplett of Wise Click Business Services on vocals
  • Michelle Harrison of Cloud based Consultants on saxophone
  • Brent Thompson of Cloud based Consultants on bass & vocals
  • Simon Kay, friend of Cloud Based Accountants on trumpet


Ed Henry
September 2, 2013 at 4.58 pm

And they were awesome!
Thanks to all who performed and put this together. It was electric!

September 2, 2013 at 6.54 pm

The greatest live music and best party I have been to in a long time! Xero rocks!!

Julie Aquilina
September 2, 2013 at 7.05 pm

Yes they were all fantastic!!!! Loved every minute 🙂

Harvee Pene
September 2, 2013 at 7.11 pm

Hi Guys, I managed to get the footage of the #xerocon Band – Play that funky music whiteboy via @ChangeGPS http://vimeo.com/73588546.


David Rynne
September 3, 2013 at 12.26 pm

@Ed, @Donnie, @Julie… I echo those sentiments. What a great vibe, atmosphere, experience. My fellow Partners and Xero peeps have pull off the Worlds best cloud based rock band.

Wayne Triplett
September 3, 2013 at 7.39 pm

Absolutely, one of the coolest nights of my life, XEROCON13 .
I joined the all-stars,
And Cheryl Sandra Knight Proposed to me on Sydney Harbor Bridge at sunset , Sunday evening .
WOW < XEROCON 13 , totally unforgettable.

Andrew Whitelaw
September 3, 2013 at 10.26 pm

@Wayne Triplett Congrats to you and Cheryl! So exciting. If you need a wedding band I think I know one 🙂
@Harvee Pene Thanks for the footage. Great tune.
Everyone Thanks for your kinds words. We will see you again.

Heather Smith (@HeatherSmithAU)
September 3, 2013 at 10.43 pm

Great to hear a woman initiating the proposal! Congratulations!!
Will you be honeymooning at the other xerocons?
Love the tax deductible implications of it all 🙂
Much happiness to you 🙂

Michal Turek
September 4, 2013 at 2.58 am

The Xero band was an absolutely smashing finale to a great 2 day event. Thanks to all of you involved – on the stage or behind it.

Chris Gregg
September 4, 2013 at 8.06 am

Congrats to Wayne and Cheryl!

The performers were unreal, thumbs up to Xero for a phenomenal night!

Siva Sivakumar
September 4, 2013 at 8.48 am

+1 to all the comments above. People talk of innovation and the band was a practical demonstration of innovation and creativity in the Xero and Partner family. It was thoroughly professional in every aspect and its great to be part of such events. Kudos to the entire band members and also those “behind the scene” unsung heros (pun intended) who made it a memorable evening for all.

James Solomons
September 4, 2013 at 5.52 pm

Glad you all loved the band !

Glennis Stuckey
September 5, 2013 at 9.14 am

Wow! I wish I had been there, that sounds awesome!!! Are they going to appear at Xerocon NZ next year???

Scott Kay
December 13, 2013 at 11.06 am

Was at Star City casino last night and was just remembering how good the Xero conference was!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *