Monthly Archives

April 2019

The Lion returns and ready to show his title credentials

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Lancashire boxer Brian ‘The Lion’ Rose reckons he is in the best shape of his life as he gets ready to return to the ring.

The Fylde coast middleweight’s comeback continues on Friday night as he meets Belgium’s James Hagenimana at Olympia in Liverpool.

It is Brian’s second fight back since announcing his return to boxing and comes after months of intensive training both here and in the USA.

Brian – who is sponsored by Fleetwood Town, together with club sponsors BES Utilities and Card Saver – said: “I can’t wait to get back in the ring.

“I feel really sharp – the best shape of my life – and I’m looking to put on a really good performance in Liverpool.

“I’ll be honest, I was sluggish and ring-rusty in my first fight back against Alistair Warren. However, all the hard work I’ve put in over the last few months, both here and in the Sattes, can only stand me in really good stead.”

Brian and coach Bobby Rimmer spent two months in California where they worked with former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

Renowned strength coach Paul Herrera and nutritionist Eric Huerta were also brought into the camp and their expertise is set to pay dividends.

Brian, the former British Super Welterweight champion, explained: “I’ve been working with some great nutritionists and strength and conditioning coaches and their help has been invaluable.

“I’m going into Friday’s fight at 11st 6lbs which is more than half a stone lighter than the Warren fight.

“Going over to the States has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career, and I’ll definitely be going back.”

Although Brian is fully focused on Friday’s Hagenimana fight, which is on the undercard of the James “Jazza” Dickens v Nasibu Ramadhan Commonwealth title eliminator, there is now talk of a possible all-Lancashire fight with rising middleweight Scott Fitzgerald.

Brian added: “With Scott being from Preston and me based on the Fylde coast it would be a great fight for Lancashire – a real Red Rose derby!

“I know a lot of people would love to see that fight and I’ll be honest, it’s one I’d love to see happen. But before anyone gets carried away, I’m fully focussed on Friday night and James Hagenimana.

“I’ve come back to fight for titles, and thanks to the support from all at Fleetwood Town, I can give this my best shot. But you have to earn that right to challenge for titles and that’s why I’m not looking any further ahead than this fight.

“As I said, I’m feeling great, really ready for this. It’s time to show people that there is still plenty left in the tank and that The Lion is a credible title challenger.”


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Event promoters Cuffe and Taylor are delighted to announce National Holidays as one of Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s official partners for 2019.

This is the seventh year running that the UK’s foremost specialists in short breaks and holidays by coach will be a leading sponsor at the Yorkshire coast venue.

More than 160,000 people have attended concerts at Scarborough OAT over the last two years, bringing a multi-million boost to the local tourism economy.

And National Holidays, which offers travel packages to concerts and festivals across the UK and Europe, will again be bringing music fans to the Yorkshire coast to enjoy what promises to be another sensational summer of live music at the UK’s largest open-air arena.

This year’s Scarborough OAT line-up includes headline shows from the likes of Kylie, Cliff Richard, Madness, Jess Glynne, Years and Years, West End Proms, Hacienda Classical and two shows from UK chart-topper Lewis Capaldi.

Martin Lock, Commercial Director of National Holidays, said: “National Holidays are delighted to be an official sponsor of the Scarborough Open Air Theatre for another season. Our Showtime breaks are going from strength to strength and the combination of this venue, with its superb selection of headline acts, and the delightful seaside town of Scarborough is proving to be a winning combination!”

Cuffe and Taylor, which is part of Live Nation (Music) UK, programme and promote all live music events at Scarborough OAT.

Director Peter Taylor said: “We are delighted to once again be working with National Holidays. This partnership, just like the venue itself, continues to go from strength to strength.

“We pride ourselves on creating a really varied programme of events that bring music fans from across the UK and beyond here to the Yorkshire coast.

“To do this we need trusted partners like National Holidays. They offer fantastic travel packages which enable music fans from all over the country to not only enjoy shows at Scarborough OAT, but also holiday in this stunning part of the UK.

“It is fantastic to once again welcome National Holidays on board as our official partners and we cannot wait for the season to start.”

Tickets are available for all events from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723 818111), online at or by calling 0844 844 0444.

For more information about National Holidays visit or call 0844 477 8000.

West End Star Kerry Ellis Joins Rock Tribute Royalty For World Premiere

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The music of rock legends Queen is to be celebrated like never before as West End leading lady Kerry Ellis joins Scandinavian tribute stars Queen Machine for a fully orchestrated show at Scarborough Open Air Theatre.

Queen Machine Symphonic featuring Kerry Ellis will see Queen’s greatest hits performed by leading European tribute band Queen Machine accompanied by the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra and conducted by Matthew Freeman, creating an unforgettable night of rock anthems.

This stunning show – which embarks on a full UK Tour in 2020 – will make its world premiere at Scarborough OAT on Saturday August 31.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, April 19 from

Making their UK touring debut, Queen Machine are the go-to tribute band for the Official International Queen Fan Club and are one of the most popular bands in their native Denmark and neighbouring Scandinavian countries where they repeatedly sell out shows.

Joining them will be the UK’s leading lady of musical theatre Kerry Ellis, who originated the role of Meat, in Queen musical We Will Rock You. Since then, she’s forged a long-standing musical relationship and friendship with Queen guitarist Brian May, who describes the stage star as having “Britain’s most beautiful voice”. He produced her debut album Anthems, and they jointly released the follow up Golden Days in 2017, as well as extensively touring the UK and Europe together.

Conducting the tour will be Matthew Freeman, a platinum and gold disc award-winning conductor and arranger. He originally reworked the music of Queen for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014 and conducted their Symphonic Queen concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 and 2017. The Symphonic Queen album was released in 2016.

Bjarke Baisner fronts Queen Machine, sounding and looking like a young Freddie Mercury, joined by Peter Møller Jeppesen on guitar, Henrik Østergaard on keys, Jens Lunde on bass and Paolo Romano Torquati on drums.

The Official International Queen Fan Club hails Queen Machine as: “Quite simply one of THE best Queen tribute bands we have ever had at any of our events – don’t miss them.”

Since forming in 2018, the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra have recorded for Sir Cliff Richard’s Rise Up album and performed live with the Trevor Horn Band on Trevor Horn Reimagines The 80s at the Southbank Centre.

The Scarborough Open Air Theatre show is presented by Cuffe and Taylor. Director Peter Taylor said: “For fans of the incredible music of Queen this promises to be a must-see show. Brian May describes Kerry Ellis’s voice as ‘perfect’, and she’s long been associated with her versions of Queen tracks.

 “Bringing together the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra with the powerhouse performances of Kerry and Queen Machine, to perform those iconic hits – We Will Rock You, Killer Queen, Somebody To Love, Barcelona and, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody – promises to create a truly sensational celebration of one of the most iconic bands in musical history.”

Queen Machine Symphonic featuring Kerry Ellis joins a superb line-up at Scarborough OAT this summer. Kylie, Jess Glynne, Hacienda Classical, Years & Years, West End Proms, Madness, Cliff Richard and two shows by Lewis Capaldi have already been confirmed with more acts still to be announced.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, April 19, via or in person from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723 818111) and the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau (01723 383636).



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Celtic-folk and Americana band Johnny Mac and the Faithful will be the special guest act before Rod Stewart performs on his outdoor UK tour this summer.

The Glasgow-based band have been invited to perform at all 10 stadium shows for the Rod Stewart Live in Concert tour in May, June and July after attracting the attention of Rod.

Johnny Mac and the Faithful previously opened for Rod at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro in 2017 at a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Celtic Football Club’s 1967 European Cup victory. A friendship was born from that and Rod invited frontman John McLaughlin to co-write the song Julia which appears on his latest number one album Blood Red Roses.

And this summer Johnny Mac and the Faithful will be the special guest act at the following shows:

Weds 22 May – Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium

Fri 31 May – Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium

Sat 1 June – York, York Racecourse

Tues 4 June – Milton Keynes, Stadium MK

Fri 7 June – Ipswich, Portman Road Stadium

Sat 8 June – Wolverhampton, Molineux Stadium

Weds 12 June – Aberdeen, AECC

Fri 14 June – Bolton, University of Bolton Stadium

Sat 15 June – Sheffield, Bramall Lane Stadium

Fri 12 July – Brighton & Hove, The 1st Central County Ground

Tickets are on sale now from

Johnny Mac and the Faithful are a band of lifelong friends who can kickstart any party with their jamboree of celtic-folk and Americana.

Made up of John McLaughlin (lead vocalist), Gordy Goudie (lead guitar), Ryan Hassan (drums), Tam McKinley (bass), Gary McDowell (guitar), Terry Dourish (keys and accordion) and Lisa Petticrew (fiddle), the band are a tombola of musicians with Scottish and Irish roots. Like a raggle-taggle hoard of troubadours they roll from gig to gig, playing their own brand of uplifting, joyful 3-chord wonders, covering Irish folk classics such as Ewan MacColl’s Dirty Old Town and Steve Earle’s Galway Girl as well as a string of original songs including new single Took a train and You make my Monday morning feel like Saturday night.

Frontman John McLaughlin is an award-winning songwriter and producer who has penned hits for artists such as Westlife, Busted, Echo & The Bunnymen, Shane MacGowan and Sandi Thom.

John said: “Individually we have been blessed to have played and worked with some of greatest and infamous stars of our time from the Pogues iconic frontman Shane MacGowan, to the enigmatic Echo and the Bunnymen, Glasgow’s own sons the Simple Minds and Ireland’s finest stompers The Dubliners.

“Our proudest moment to date though, as a band, has to be supporting global rock icon Sir Rod Stewart at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro in 2017.  It was for Celtic Football Club’s concert to honour the 50th anniversary of their 1967 European Cup winning team The Lisbon Lions.”

Rod watched their performance at the Hydro show and realised they were the same band he’d heard blaring through the tannoy at Celtic on match days.

John added: “We couldn’t believe it… Rod Stewart the world-famous rock legend was digging our wee Celtic rock band… that was mind blowing!

“A few months after the Hydro gig Rod contacted me about doing a co-write for a song. Firstly, as a lifelong fan I was ecstatic. Me and my writing partner Dave Thomas had started a tune and Rod loved the melody and in a flash of inspiration Rod had written the lyrics for Julia which he then included on his no1 Album Blood Red Roses.

“As a songwriter I couldn’t have been prouder to have my name alongside Rod’s on his record, it truly was a dream come true. To get to work with your Rock’n’Roll hero…Wow, that really doesn’t happen so much, and then to discover what an absolute diamond of a guy he was that was a lovely bonus.

“Now we just can’t wait to get up on stage. To be on tour with Rod and play our music to hundreds of thousands of his fans makes us feel very proud, blessed and thankful.”

North West Festival Announces 2019 Charity Partners

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Charities across the North West will benefit from Lancashire’s biggest music festival this summer.

Lytham Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and up to 100,000 people are expected to visit the annual musical extravaganza from Wednesday July 10 to Sunday July 14.

And five charities from across the region will be represented at each of the festival’s headline concerts in the Main Proms Arena on Lytham Green when volunteers will be collecting donations.

The chosen charities for a second-year running are North West Air Ambulance, Brian House Children’s Hospice, Fylde Coast Women’s Aid, Blackpool Carers and Blue Skies Hospitals fund.

Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor said: “We are delighted to be welcoming these five charities back to Lytham Festival for our significant birthday celebrations.

“The charities and their armies of volunteers did a sterling job last year and we look forward to their return. Previously we invited applications for charity partners each year, but we took the decision last year that our partners would be able to work with us for a two-year period before we opened applications again.

“All of these charities do a fantastic job for our communities and are there for everyone so we would encourage our festival-goers to donate to them where possible.”

Charity volunteers will be evident throughout the Main Proms Arena on Lytham Green for each headline event.

Fylde Coast Women’s Aid will be the charity partner for The Human League on Wednesday July 10, Blue Skies for Stereophonics on Thursday 11, Blackpool Carers for Kylie Minogue on Friday 12, Brian House for Rod Stewart on Saturday 13 and North West Air Ambulance for Hollywood Proms with Michael Ball and Sheridan Smith on Sunday 14.

Last year the charities raised £12,000 thanks to donations from festival-goers.

Tina Hibbard, Senior Service Manager for Fylde Coast Women’s Aid, said: “Fylde Coast Women’s Aid had a blast at Lytham Festival last year and is over the moon to be coming back to do it all again this year.  It is a fantastic opportunity for FCWA to raise money and awareness. We can’t wait to shake our buckets on Lytham Green!”

Kila Redfearn, Head of Fundraising for Blue Skies Hospitals fund, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the charity partners for Lytham Festival for the second year running.  With the help of the customers at Lytham Festival, we can raise much needed funds, that will enhance patient care in hospitals in Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Cuffe & Taylor for their continued support and wish them much success in this, their 10th anniversary year.”

Head of Business Development and Funding at Blackpool Carers, Terry Hodkinson, said: “We at Blackpool Carers Centre are absolutely thrilled to be a charity partner at Lytham Festival again.  This helps to raise awareness for the 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 5 young carers out there who carry out a caring role to their loved ones every day.  Thank you for helping us to make a better life for carers.”

Michelle Lonican, Community and Corporate Team Leader for Brian House, said: “Once again Brian House is absolutely honoured to have been chosen as a charity partner for the ever-popular Lytham Festival.

“We are extremely excited to welcome back our friend Rod Stewart and can’t wait to see him back in action on the Fylde coast.”

Laura Irving, Head of Community Corporate and Events at North West Air Ambulance Charity, said “We are delighted to be working with Lytham Festival for the second year running. The North West Air Ambulance Charity is completely reliant on public donations so all money received will help to keep our helicopters and crew operational, which means we can continue to offer enhanced medical care and help to save more lives across the North West.”

Details of how to apply to be a Lytham Festival charity partner for 2020 will be released after this year’s event.

For more information about Lytham Festival 2019 go to


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Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank – winner of ITV’s All Star Musicals – will join the cast of West End Proms at Scarborough Open Air Theatre this summer.

West End Proms will be a breath-taking evening featuring songs from seven decades of musical theatre – including songs from such smash hit shows as Les Misérables, Phantom Of The Opera, The Greatest Showman, Rock Of Ages, Wicked, Sunset Boulevard and many more.

This sensational show comes to Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Friday July 5. Tickets are on sale now via

Daniel Brocklebank’s spectacular appearance on last month’s ITV’s All Star Musicals –  which saw him perform the song From Now On from The Greatest Showman –  was hailed as “outstanding”. The actor blew the judges and TV viewers away with his beautiful rendition.

Daniel, who plays vicar Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street, said:I absolutely love performing and I am so excited to make my first stage appearance with West End Proms. Winning All Star Musicals was a dream come true; I now can’t wait to sing live once again, on stage with this wonderful cast.”

 Daniel joins a top cast of stars for West End Proms, including John Owen-Jones (Les Mis), Ben Forster (ITV’s Superstar), Rachel John and Jon Robyns (Hamilton), Jodie Steele and Jamie Muscato (Heathers), Lauren Samuels (BBC’s Over the Rainbow), and Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls).

West End Proms – which debuts at Greenwich Music Time on Thursday July 4th before heading to Scarborough Open Air Theatre the following night – is curated and presented by live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor.

 Director Peter Taylor said:This is the first time we’re bringing West End Proms to London and Scarborough and it’s going to be an incredible evening. This is more than a concert; it’s a show worthy of the West End and Broadway. We’ve brought together some of the world’s most beautiful voices complete with a stunning live orchestra. It will be an extraordinary night.”

 Scarborough Open Air Theatre, situated on Yorkshire’s beautiful east coast, is the UK’s largest, purpose-built, open-air concert arena. West End Proms is part of a stellar 2019 line-up at the venue which includes headline shows from Kylie, Cliff Richard, Madness, Years & Years, Hacienda Classical, Jess Glynne and Lewis Capaldi.


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