I hope you will

 understand what this means to me.

Monday 9-3-2015

I could write a pile of un-interesting bumf about myself selling the show, like phoning agents night and day, doing auditions one after the other trying to get work from places I have worked in the past but the show sells itself, and I am so happy that it works for so many people.  

In 1966 I joined the British Army & that year went to a christmas party, I saw a band called "Unit 4+2" they struck me as a great band although I had not seen many live bands perform before, I stood at the back of the room and listened intently for a while then moved to the front right under the guitarist and right there and then I new this was the  life for me.

I had no idea how I was going to get there but this was it.

 It never dawned on me that I would be so involved with so many audiences and entertainers from here on, or even be popular enough to lead a life where people would pay to come and see me perform, people used to say that's not a real job your dreaming you'll never earn enough money to keep going for very long trying to reach stardom, but that was never the plan to become a star I just wanted to entertain.

 In a way they were right it has been hard and costly and I often found myself on the end of some very difficult times but I kept on getting through them I'm a fighter not a quitar and I live for what I do, and I've kept that belief right from the start of it all.

I had to keep going there was always that belief and passion deep inside me, not just for my sake but for the sake of every artiste in this country and everywhere people wanted entertainment. I look back on so many years of my life as an entertainer and am so glad I never gave up. I have enjoyed giving pleasure to others which has given me a history unlike anyone I know and makes me want to thank all those people that helped me make it so far thank you.

Tuesday 10-3-2015

My usual start to the day of a show is to rise and have a bath I always wish I could soak for longer but there is always the dog's walk to consider, a cup of tea and then another I think to myself o k I'm ready to take the dog for a walk wrap up well don't want to catch a cold or end up letting people down because I did not take care of myself.

 While I'm out with the dog I am constantly reassuring myself that I'm going to have a good night and everything is going to be, fingers crossed, spot on, there are so many things that can cock up a show and they are all going through my head at once.

 Dog walked now slowly a step at a time go through the equipment I need, no two shows are ever the same and I am constantly trying new things, trying to keep up with technology, so all is ready to load and I have only to put my special clothes in the suit bag and that's me ready to start my journey, sometimes it's not far away sometimes it's a 6 to 7 hour drive and that's when the penny drops and I start to worry will I get there ok it's a long long way, do I stay the night or start back while it's quiet on the roads, I hope my guardian angel is watching over me Oh yes I think we all have one.

Wednesday 11-3-2015

I like to get to a show nice and early so that I have time to plan and relax, it's not get there late set up go on do the show thanks for the fee tarra, not for me I need to get the feel of the place, see the audience take to their seats and hear the buzz of the audience as it grows, listen to what they have been doing today and realize that they have probably had a tough day and have still taken time out to be there for the show, listen to see if anyone in the audience has seen me before and where it was.

It amazes me how many people travel so far to come and see a show, so meeting the people I'm working for and to say hello I think is about respecting your audience and the people who have had the confidence to hire me deserve my thanks for the booking.

All part of the job.

Thursday 12-3-2015

The buzz that I get before entering the stage to do a show is nothing to the relief I get when the music starts and my voice starts trembling down the mike, the night's I have stood behind stage curtains and been worried sick about how is everything going to work, am I going to be able to please this audience, will my voice hold out, don't forget to smile look at the audience not a brick in the wall like so many other act's do, I don't want to sing to a brick when I have an audience that's silly I tell myself, and to me it makes sense.

 Do I look the part is my hair right could my tie be tied better so many things to think about and get wrong but when it comes right down to it the moment for me to make my entrance comes and all that has to be forgotten and I have to step out into the gaze of an expectant audience

Friday 13-3-2015

The feeling I get from the audience some nights when I first take to the stage can be really quite daunting, that deadly silence that cuts like a knife, yet so many silent voices saying well go on then entertain me show me that you deserve to have me sat here and to have charged me an admission fee to see you, after all they have probably seen it all before and seen the real Rod Stewart live, (frightening thought.)

Saturday 14-3-2015

Once the show starts I go into a totally different mode, the showman in me kicks in and I totally switch off the worrying me, and get on with it, and generally by the third number I am either ready to pull my hair out or relaxed and focused on performing a good show and enjoying it. There are however many reasons not to be complacent with things, there is always the element of the unexpected a problem on stage while you are working cannot always be fixed while trying to keep the show interesting, and an audience satisfied, till you come off, eg., guitar string breaking, mike stops working smoke coming out of your equipment a sudden electric shock that you either pick up from the mike while playing the guitar these are things that luckily do not happen too much these days but they certainly used too at venues where we used other peoples equipment, ie., clubs PA systems, I have had many many tingles and a few very strong electric shocks that made my hole body shudder to say the least.

Monday 16-3-2015

"Your only as good as your last show"

I have heard this said many times in the past, but find this to be a false statement in my book, your as good as your audience thinks you are on this night after seeing you before  somewhere, and then here they are again for an improved show. It's always nice to get people coming up to you when you get to a venue and remembering a great show you had the last time they saw you and I always hope I can go one step higher in their estimation with this show.

 I am not a person who hides away in the changing room between spots or at the start of the night, I like to get out there in my audience right from the start and say hello, out of respect for the support they give me by being there, for this show. I really do not understand that mentality of only being there to perform.  

There very often is a call for photo's to be taken with the celebrity performance and the willingness to do this has to be one of the most important parts of the job after all it's free publicity and the fact that your on someone's mobile phone as the star of the show also demands respect, most of the photo's are taken after the show,  and a little time must be given for me to re-dress and make sure I look the part there are many times in the past that I have regretted not taking that few minutes to make sure I look right bad photo's do not look good and it always seems that they are the ones everyone looks at or they turn up like a bad penny as publicity photo's that I would never dream of use-ing myself.

It amazes me that it's more young guys who want their photo taken with me as Rod with a pint in my hand, than it is women but that is the case.

I have worked the Social Club scene now since 1975 and put my voice down to so many smoke filled venues in the past, mostly all over Manchester and the North East it certainly has made my voice powerful and clear not that I like shouting I am a quiet person on the whole and enjoy a quiet life mid week now, unlike in the past when I would be doing shows every night and mostly in the North East it would be 10 shows in 7 days for many years, until it changed to 10 days which took up 2 weekends and I would do 10 shows in that time, this was in the 80s and 90s a very special time for artistes like myself to get up there and sing for packed clubs every night

 Where did it all go and who is to blame? 

Tuesday 17-3-2015

Why would I not want to do a television show now  that would get me noticed and maybe a lot more work, this is a question that I get asked over and over again, the truth is I think I'm too old now, TV does not like the club act and never has, we are acts who are already working in the business and most of us can ill afford to give up working days when we can earn a living, to do a TV show is also very hit and miss it can so easily put a real damper on your confidence, unless you have been singing for a long time and can get up from the knocks don't go there disappointment is really hard to get over and so is being in the limelight on a huge stage and then to go back to working in a local pub for pennies.

Wednesday 18-3-2015

 Planning the right way to approach an audience at different venues is quite important too the bigger shows with a sit down and listen audience it is best done by a good solid introduction most tribute acts have their own and this makes for a much better impact visually and professionally I have heard a few that were too long but that's another story short sharp and to the point gets peoples attention, a one minute introduction is about right I find.

In pubs & restaurants the introduction on the whole is not needed and more than not confuses the audience a casual approach usually works much better for me. 

Thursday 19-3-2015

I do like to go to auditions as they are of interest in many ways to meet people in the job for one to listen to different sound systems, and different types of equipment there are so many ways now to play backing tracks lap tops seem to be the general choice although for some years now it has been mini Disc players I pods CDs & the availability of backing tracks to buy on the internet is hugh.

Friday 20-3-2015

Today I play at The Octagon Live in Keighley Leeds done it before and really enjoyed it the room is quiet large and the acoustics great I took with me last time 2 Evs sx300s and 2 studio master 300 watt bass bins they sounded great but this time I'm going to take 4 Evs they will do the job just as well and are not as heavy as the bass bins to carry in.

I will be performing 2 x 45 minutes of Rod Stewart first spot cabaret second dance spot am thinking of putting in the show "Your Song" by Elton John it was one of the early songs that Rod did some years back and made a great job of but not many people realize that Rod did it too, the same can be said for Ruby Tuesday by the "Rolling Stones" Rod did a great version of that one and I love doing it. 

Saturday 21-3-2015

I arrived at 6 pm and started to set up a fabulous room just like I remembered it DJ was already set up and I was all set by 6-45pm sound check done everything working as it should the people came in 8 pm who had eagerly waited in the bar outside the concert room, the ratio was two thirds women a third men it was busy and everyone seemed to be up for a good night the owner bought me 2 pints of lager and I felt at home.

I felt at ease by the time I went on and the DJ warmed the audience up with light disco, even that early they were dancing and relaxed 9 10 pm I took to the stage introduction played and I walked into view they had seen it before and the reaction was limited but good, I finished the opening number "The Rhythm Of My Heart" and I new it was going to be OK second number and they were all singing at the top of their voices what an audience special Tonight's The Night and then straight into First Cut Is The Deepest I could relax now and enjoy it and I did.

Sunday 22-3-2015

Totally gutted today to say the least, last night I could not get to the gig at Chevin Country Park Hotel Otley in Leeds I feel terrible about it, I feel like I have let everyone down who had anything to do with last nights show I keep going over and over it could I have done anything to have prevented this.

I set off early 4 pm so I had plenty of time arrival time 6pm trip was 1 hour 10 minutes 20 minutes into my trip M61 flat tyre pulled over to the hard shoulder it was very busy and dangerous phoned the AA straight away eta 1 hour they arrived and changed my tyre on viewing the condition checked the other 3 tyres one of which had been damaged as well it was decided by the AA man that the vehicle could not be driven without a new tyre and at this time of night I had no chance of getting one alarm bells went off in my head and what am I going to do now phoned a couple of people who were out no reply it was Saturday everyone had made plans no chance of finding a way to get to Leeds taxi would cost a fortune and that's if I could get one unfortunately the gig was a No Pickup as well.

Meanwhile I had been in contact with the agent and explained the problem, as you can imagine, not good at all, the thing is you do not expect to get two punctures in one night and this is one of those very rare pradicuments that are a million to one chance, and you think will never happen, but it did. AHH

Monday 23-3-2015

Felt so low this weekend from Saturday night still thinking about it all going so wrong not easy to forget letting so many people down my stomach has been churning over all day I probably will feel better after working on Wednesday night in Chesterfield if I can just get my vehicle back with four good tyres.

Tuesday 24-3-2015

Just realized I have been doing the clubs since 1975 and this is my 40th year being an entertainer I wonder how many other people can say they have been around working since then and are still doing it well I'm one and am proud of the fact. I hope I can do it for another 10 years with a bit of luck. fingers crossed.

Wednesday 25-3-2015

Got up 9 am, took the dog for a walk, then took the car in for tracking done, would you believe it the tracking rods were totally undone, so no wonder the tyres were damaged, I could have been in a bad accident easily, main thing is back on the road and able to work again sometimes you have to bite the bullet and count your lucky stars your not in the hospital, and your vehicle is not written off.

Thursday 26-3-2015

Saint Helen's Beastro Chesterfield was a really nice little show and the people great could have done with a few more in but that's life enjoyed it and the agent enjoyed it too nice to see them there.

Friday 27-3-2015

Last nights show was at Deeside Naval Club Connahs Quay a charity show and a special night remembering a very dear friend called Tony Brutus the Iron Man who died last year of cancer we raised £1,750.00 for the charity a good night with Alisha Mckaye, Larry White, Joe Wall and myself a really good night to remember.

Saturday 28-3-2015

Last night at Bradford Leicester Street Community Centre had a great night I am the best Tribute act they have ever had at the club but they all say that to every act don't they.

 Sunday 29-3-2015

Heaton Mersey Club last night at Stockport they made me very welcome on entry got set up and relaxed with a couple of members I find it hard to believe but these day's clubs are beginning to get the message if you want people to come into the Club membership must be given the elbow and anyone who wants to come and see the show is welcome and this seems to be working in this clubs nice atmosphere and a good night was had by all. 

Monday 30=3=2015

Ignorance is bliss and this applies to those people that think I should work all weekend, what I like to do these days is work when I want to, make sure every show is top draw and the voice is at it's best and to be able to give it 120% effort nothing else will do

I have served my time as an artiste and realize that there are some people who simply do not understand the ways and structure of my job, mind you I was told once a long time ago I would never be able to make a living out of being an entertainer how totally wrong they were. A manager at Tesco's so there you are, he had never heard me sing anyway.

Saturday 4-4-2015

Sorry not been around for a few days nothing to write about.

Cleared my head at golf course on Wednesday Bidston scored a whopping 28 points,   week before the winner had 37 points so thought I had no chance of being in the top 10 never mind winning but won it I did to my utter surprise. And it never rained what a bonus.

Had no job on Saturday until a phone call from agent telling me Olly Murs had laryngitis and could not sing. Rock Stewart to the rescue not that I can sing like him or even do any of his songs I guess they will have to suffer Rod Stewart all night,         works work ya know.

Sunday 5-4-2015

Well I could not believe it 6 people at best a boring night and felt like a total failure not a nice feeling the pub had only had 12 hours to put up the publicity what a drag but the show must go on.

Tuesday 14th July 2015

The weekend was hard work to say the least

1100 miles of travelling totally pushed to the limit of endurance and not comfortable with the energy levels I had to do the shows with.

It was all day travelling to Isle of White 310 miles due to the booking of the ferry to the furthest point away from my destination

Lymington to Yarmouth and then drove over to Bembridge Coast Hotel on the other side of the Island.

From there after the show I set off for Nefyn North Wales 319 miles

arrived at 3.30pm Saturday afternoon for a 75th birthday

& then set off for home for some sleep till 11am

set off at 12pm to go to Grimsby arrived 3,30pm did an early show

then drove home to be sat in my club with two pints of lager looking like I had just been on holiday for a week lol & they say this job is easy ha!!

 Friday 11th September 2015

Well it has been a very stressful month but hopefully all the problems will be sorted out soon, car broke down and I could not get anyone to fix it a month ago still not fixed, then ended up in bed with pneumonia for three weeks nearly being taken to hospital, I was that ill, had to cancel three weeks work which really set me back, then I get a phone call from the TV show "Loose Women" asking me would I be willing to appear on their program with Rod Stewart, of course I would, they wanted me to sing a song to him with 2 other Rod tributes, it turned out to be a couple of lines and the best of the three would be chosen, anyway I got through it and won and got a Loose Women mug to prove it, and a photo of Rod and myself as my souvenir.

 It never ceases to amaze me how easily it is for people to sucker us into doing things with promises that get dwindled the nearer the time comes and I look back and think what would it have been like to sing a whole song of my choice for Rod Stewart, I wanted to do "In A Broken Dream" but apparently it was not popular enough so I did

"Reason To Believe" I sometimes open the show with this song just to prove it is all live, and I am singing.


When I walk in a place, I usually feel like I want to change the seating arrangements just to make the show easily acceptable to the eye, but now and again if the venue is a pub and the audience are not paying any attention then the emphasis is on me enjoying myself and convincing myself that I still sound good and there is nothing the matter with the sound, an audience does not have to listen, they are there to enjoy the music and if  they want to talk it is their right as a guest, getting upset about being ignored can happen to artistes but they have to realize they are not stars or the elite of the entertainment world to be listened to because they think they are good  and deserve it , if that were the case everyone would be able to sing like an Angel.

 Tuesday 29-8-17

 Over the years some really funny things have happened to me during my travels, here are just a few.

There was a time, all I ever wanted to do was play guitar I never wanted to be a singer, the days of everyone playing guitars were in the 60s & 70s, I remember auditioning for a band place as a guitarist and sitting for ages waiting to be heard, but I was not called upon and at the end of the audition the guys started packing up I stood up and said hey wait a minute don't I get my chance to play, one of the guys said what for you have already got the job, so utterly baffled I said but why have I been sat here all this time listening to some of the worst guitaristes I have ever heard and not had the chance to play, it was then that a voice laughing said no you'll never be a guitarist your the singer you did not need to audition for that  you already had the job, guitaristes are two a penny but a good singer is hard to find here learn all these words over the next month we have a show to do then. I could have dropped through the floor except for the fact there was thousands of lyrics to learn, but I did it.