All things tandem…

We’ve been going a bit tandem crazy here at the WFA recently and in true tandem style we don’t have one piece of news for you – but two pieces of news to deliver together! See what we did there…

In preparation for our first Tandem competition at the Roadhouse for many, many years and coinciding with the 30 year anniversary of the iconic movie Cocktail, we put out a competition on social media asking people to send in their best tandem move or short clip. If you haven’t seen the movie Cocktail, which is unbelievably 30 years old now, then you must watch it – as the movie that catapulted flair bartending into the mainstream, it remains an important part of the history behind flair bartending today.

The winners of our Cocktail the Movie tandem competition will be awarded a flair bartending kit, including flair bottles, an antique brass cocktail kit (courtesy of our friends at Beaumont TM, sponsors of the Cambridge Cocktail Weekend), as well as many other goodies! We had a great response with lots of videos to sort through. It was tough as there were some really good and inventive submissions – however in the end we went with Rick De Groot and his bartending parter who performed a fantastic remake of that iconic Hippy Shake scene in Cocktail!


Roadhouse Flair Heat – The Tandem Comp

As we previously mentioned the social media competition was part of our build up to the main event, the Roadhouse Flair Tandem competition. We put a post out last year to see what the feedback would be for the first tandem flair bartending competition at the Roadhouse for a number of years. We were very surprised by the uptake, which was very good. So we made it happen.

The competition was set out in the standard format with a qualifying heat followed by the finals. Two drinks had to be made on stage, with a minimum of 2 people on stage at once flairing in unison. The judges were looking for well choreographed, interesting performances that showed two people working together as a fluid team. There were marks for teamwork, synchronicity and appearing as one person, as well as performing tricks and moves that can only be completed by 2 people.

The winners of the competition were Evgeniy Yakovenko and Egor Rzhavtsev, who provided one of the most technical and best team performances on the night. Not necessarily the best in every category, Evgeniy and Egor came with consistency, scoring strongly in every section – you could see they had been training for a long time and it clearly paid off. £850 and the revered Roadhouse Trophy went to the winners as well as both individual and a team entry in the Roadhouse Grand Finals in November.

We spoke to one of the organisers and our very own Head of Gradings, @thomasdyer-3 about the event:

“The world of tandem flair has been too quiet for too many years. There are a whole swathe of moves and routines that have yet to be explored. It was great seeing so many people taking part in the tandem comp, particularly those who haven’t or don’t usually tandem. As a result we saw a taste of what I was just talking about, the creativity and new moves and styles that can evolve out of tandem flairing. A great example of this was Remi Brault and Cyril Cioli who created a routine specifically for this competition, you could see they were enjoying it so much on stage that they grasped the crowd with their energy and brought them along with them. I thought it stood testament to how you can affect the crowd if you are enjoying what you do on stage and show it!”

“I particularly enjoyed seeing some of the signature moves from the bartenders link in with their partner for the tandem performance, witnessing the synchronicity of the flair on stage was something very special. Each of the pairs of bartenders approached it differently, which was very interesting to see. I loved the way Ivan and Olya performed their routine using Olya as a prop to be flaired with herself at times. I also enjoyed Niko and Miika too. They are clearly a team to watch out for in the Roadhouse Tandem Grand Finals. The connection between the two on stage was the best out of all the teams, they knew exactly where each other was on stage without even  having to look and I’m excited to see what they bring to the final.”

Look out for the next Roadhouse Flair Heat, which is the UK Final taking place on the 19th August with the finals starting at 10pm. You can see all the performances from the night on the recording of the Live Stream here: