Barbecues, Christmas parties and other celebrations all have one thing in common here, and that’s music! At some point in the past, we started playing music together at these kinds of events and it is something that we always enjoyed. There has been a growing desire to come together and play as a proper band, but we never quite had the motivation or a goal to work towards .

However, when organising this year’s Global Purchasing Summit, we were set the challenge of putting on a team event for the whole Purchasing management team whilst keeping the costs as low as possible. And so the idea was born: we would set up the ‘PU Band’ and play a concert on the night! PU, of course, being an abbreviation of Purchasing.

The idea caught our imagination right from the start and we quickly had a suitable line-up in place. As soon as we told our boss, Hanno Höhn, he too was enthusiastic about the idea, pledging his support and booking us for the evening right away. We immediately came up with a plan, scheduled rehearsals, discussed the programme, and organised a practice room, where we all eventually assembled for the first time. So, of course, we just started playing and were all pleasantly surprised as everything seemed to work well together and it sounded really good. The extraordinary thing was that we would have to learn 21 songs in just seven rehearsals, which we all knew was going to be nearly impossible. But we believed in ourselves and hoped that our colleagues would turn a blind eye in the event if something did go wrong. During our time together, we developed a really great rapport and had a whole lot of fun!

Then, one week before the summit, we suffered a major setback as one of our band members surprisingly pulled out. This was a severe blow, as we couldn’t really perform without a bassist. However, we quickly came up with an idea and asked our colleague Sebastian Scharmach if he would like to join us and play in the concert, although he would only have two rehearsals to prepare. He looked us square in the eyes, then started to smile and said: “That’s crazy… I’m in!” And with that, the final line-up was decided: Tobias Wörner (guitar and vocals), Jürgen Jenner (drums), Tabea Bannert and Nina Weber (vocals) and Sebastian Scharmach (bass).

When our big day arrived, all the participants at the summit were very excited to see what the PU Band had in store, as we’d all kept it a surprise. Even Hanno Höhn still had no idea what he’d let himself in for, but he trusted us. And then, at last, it was our time to shine and there were definitely a few nerves in the group. But right from the top everything went to plan: our colleagues were immediately impressed and our set list went down well, meaning there was soon a great atmosphere amongst the crowd and it turned into a really great evening. The first part of the show was somewhat ‘middle of the road’, with songs from bands such as Status Quo, The Beach Boys, ZZ Top, CCR and Die Toten Hosen.

Then, after a short break, we really cranked things up, Tabea opening the second half with a solo rendition of Green Day’s ‘Good Riddance’. Since that was such a stomper, and after BAP’s classic ‘Verdamp lang her’ had really livened up the crowd, Helen Fischer’s ‘Atemlos’ almost brought the house down, delighting all colleagues alike whether from the Czech Republic, Brazil, India, Korea, the USA or wherever else.The two highlights of the evening, however, were ‘Highway to Hell’ by ACDC and ‘Westerland’ by Die Ärzte. We brought the concert to a close with our second encore of Guns N’ Roses’ version of ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, earning a well-deserved round of applause from the crowd.

Tobias Wörner

Many people came up to congratulate us afterwards, not only for the idea, but also for the excellent performance and in the end, we were all certain that this would go down in history as ‘the best summit team event ever’. After that, we received a number of requests for further performances and had to have a serious discussion as to whether we wanted to carry on. Ultimately, we agreed to leave this as an unforgettable, one-off experience and not to give any more performances. And, with that, the PU Band was disbanded again. Having said that, we have since fallen prey to our boss’ considerable powers of persuasion and agreed to make one more appearance, albeit in a slightly different form. And what will that be? Maybe you will find out in a future blog post …