Monthly Archives

January 2020

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS NAMED OFFICIAL PARTNER FOR 2020 SEASON

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Leading travel company National Holidays is joining forces with event promoters Cuffe and Taylor to support live music and tourism on the Yorkshire coast this summer.

The nation’s foremost specialists in short breaks and holidays by coach have today been named an official partner of Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the eighth year running.

This summer’s fantastic Scarborough OAT line-up includes headline shows from the likes of Lionel Richie, Westlife, Little Mix, Keane, Supergrass, Snow Patrol, McFly and Mixtape 80s’ and 90s’ night starring Mark Almond, Heaven 17 and Living In A Box. More artists and dates will be revealed very soon.

Almost a quarter of a million music fans have attended concerts at Scarborough OAT over the last three years creating a multi-million pound boost to the local tourism economy in the process.

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

Martin Lock, Commercial Director of National Holidays, said: “National Holidays is delighted to again be an official partner of Scarborough Open Air Theatre for what is now the eighth year running.

“Our Showtime breaks go from strength-to-strength as do the superb acts that this brilliant venue brings to the ever-popular resort of Scarborough.

“We look forward to working with Cuffe and Taylor in making 2020 a record year for this leading venue and wonderful resort.”

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: “It’s fantastic to once again welcome National Holidays on board as official partners. We have built up a really good relationship over the last few years so we are delighted they will return in 2020.

“We pride ourselves on delivering concerts which attract music fans from across the UK to this stunning venue and wonderful town. Having trusted partnerships, like the one we have with National Holidays, is very important

“We have already announced a really exciting and varied programme of concerts – which includes music legends to world revered rock stars and chart-topping pop bands – and we will be revealing more headliners very soon. It’s going to be a brilliant summer at Scarborough OAT!”

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

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

 

RUSSELL WATSON TO HEADLINE NEW LYTHAM PROMS CONCERT

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Russell Watson, one of the world’s most popular classical singers, will headline the brand-new Lytham Proms concert.

The celebrated tenor, hailed as The Voice following his debut album of the same name back in 2000, will be accompanied by The Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra and guest artists when he performs at historic Lytham Hall on Saturday August 29.

Remaining tickets for the event are available now from www.lythamproms.co.uk

Lytham Festival organisers Cuffe and Taylor are behind the Proms spectacular which will see ALL money raised gifted to historic Lytham Hall for the continued restoration of the venue.

Lytham Proms marks a return to Lytham for Russell following his performance at the traditional Lytham Festival Proms Concert in 2013. 2020 also marks Russell’s 20th anniversary as a chart-topping classical recording artist and he said he is thrilled to be returning to the town.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to Lytham for the brand-new Proms concert,” said Russell.

“This is a very special year for me. I am celebrating 20 years of doing what I love and now I can also look forward to sharing some very special moments when I perform at Lytham Hall.”

Russell’s first album The Voice raced up the UK classical chart and held the number one spot for a world record 52 weeks. At the same time, he held the number one spot in the USA, making him the first British male artist to attain a simultaneous transatlantic number one. The Voice subsequently became the first and only album by a UK classical artist to achieve 1m sales.

Since then Russell has released a further 10 studio albums, performed for some of the world’s leading figures and at countless prestigious sporting events while also touring the world.

Cuffe and Taylor director Peter Taylor added: “It is fantastic that we have Russell headlining the first Lytham Proms concert at Lytham Hall.

“He has the most wonderful talent and is also a great guy who will really entertain the crowd.

“Lytham Proms 2020 will be a very special event and our aim is quite simple – we want everyone to have an extremely enjoyable time while raising a lot of money for this historic Lytham landmark.”

The move to Lytham Hall marks the start of a new era for the ever-popular Proms concert and promises to bring all the pomp and circumstance of a traditional picnic proms event.

Cuffe and Taylor are underwriting the full costs of the event in year one so 100% of each ticket can be donated to the charity and go directly to Lytham Hall’s ring-fenced restoration fund – The Lytham Hall Appeal.

The Hall is managed by the Heritage Trust for the North West and all money raised from Lytham Proms will be used for further restoration and projects at the heritage venue.

General manager Peter Anthony said: “It is incredibly exciting that Russell will be headlining the first ever Lytham Proms at Lytham Hall and we can’t wait to welcome him here.

“This is going to be a wonderful event and we look forward to celebrating the pomp and circumstance of a traditional Proms picnic concert with a phenomenal performer while raising money for our beautiful Lytham Hall.”

Lytham Proms stands alone from Lytham Festival which will continue to take place on Lytham Green. The dates for 2020 are Wednesday July 1 to Sunday July 5 with headliners Westlife, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Lionel Richie and Little Mix.

Tickets are on sale now for Lytham Proms 2020 from www.lythamproms.co.uk and for more information about Lytham Festival go to www.lythamfestival.com

MUSIC FANS URGED TO BECOME YORK FESTIVAL AMBASSADORS

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York Festival organisers have today launched an Ambassador Scheme which allows music fans to earn free tickets and exclusive money-can’t buy gig experiences.

Global icon Lionel Richie, pop superstars Westlife and British music legends Madness will headline next summer’s brand-new live music festival staged at York Sports Club between Friday June 19th and Sunday June 21st.

And York Festival organisers – concert promoters Cuffe and Taylor – have today unveiled a dedicated Festival Ambassador Programme.

By becoming a York Festival Ambassador you will be able to earn:

  • Free tickets
  • A backstage tour for you and two friends
  • Side of stage access for an act for you and a friend
  • Drink tokens
  • The chance to win a ‘Top Seller Prize’ of four x VIP tickets and drinks for your group

The Programme works on a points-based system whereby the more festival tickets an Ambassador sells the more points they earn. These points can then be redeemed for free tickets and rewards.

Cuffe and Taylor director Peter Taylor said: “We run successful ambassador schemes at many of our events and festivals across the UK.

“They are a great way for people to get involved with the Festival, to not only secure free tickets but also exclusive access such as watching a set from the side of stage. These really are things that money cannot buy.

“We are really excited about York Festival. It’s going to be three amazing days of live music in this historic city – headlined by a host of global stars. We would love local people to get involved and become an Ambassador.”

For more information about the York Festival Ambassador Scheme go to
york-festival.com/ambassador

York Festival has a stellar line-up in its debut year.

Opening night headliners Madness, who have chalked up no fewer than 15 UK Top 10 singles and seven Top 10 albums, will be joined by indie chart-toppers Lightning Seeds, Craig Charles with his famous Funk and Soul Club DJ set together with Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and York’s very own Violet Contours.

Westlife headline on the Saturday night as part of their UK-wide Stadiums in the Summer Tour. The UK’s top selling album group of the 21st century will perform classic hits such as Swear It Again, Flying Without Wings and You Raise Me Up together with new songs from their forthcoming album Spectrum.

Joining Westlife on the night will be superstar pop group All Saints, Brit singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis Bextor, indie rock band Scouting for Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald, who will be spinning the discs for a very special DJ set.

Sunday night headliner is none other than international superstar Lionel Richie. The four-time Grammy Award-winner will perform a hit-packed concert that covers his extensive and much-loved repertoire.

Keane to play unmissable headline show Summer 2020

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Keane – one of Britain’s most successful and beloved bands of the last 20 years – are back and heading to Scarborough Open Air Theatre this summer.

The East Sussex chart-toppers delighted their legions of devoted fans by returning from a six-year hiatus in 2019 with brilliant new album Cause and Effect.

And Keane can today confirm they will play a massive headline gig at Scarborough Open Air Theatre – the UK’s largest open air arena – on Friday July 17.

Tickets go on general sale via www.scarboroughopenairtheatre.com at 9am on Friday January 31.

Before pausing in 2013, Keane had sold 13 million records worldwide, released four Number One studio albums, won two BRIT awards and an Ivor Novello award.

Their 2004 debut album Hopes and Fears, which gave the world such timeless classics as Somewhere Only We Know, Everybody’s Changing, This Is The Last Time and Bedshaped, is ranked among the UK’s 40 best-selling albums of all time.

Cause and Effect – which includes the singles The Way I Feel, Love Too Much and Stupid Things – was produced by David Kosten and the Keane themselves, and is the sound of a band rejuvenated.

However, the birth of the album came as something of a surprise even to the band. Singer Tom Chaplin had released two successful solo albums but missed his old sparring partner Tim Rice-Oxley.

When Tom, bassist Jesse Quin and drummer Richard Hughes heard the songs Tim had been working on they were immediately drawn to them, both sonically and lyrically, and Keane were reborn. As Tim says: “We’re not some heritage act. We’ve got a lot of great music in us.”

Together with Cause and Effect, which hit Number Two in the UK Album charts, Keane also returned to the stage last summer with a string of brilliant live shows which included two nights at The Royal Albert Hall.

Keane’s appearance at Scarborough OAT is presented by promoters Cuffe and Taylor. Director Peter Taylor said: “As soon as Keane announced last year they were back and ready to take to the stage again we knew we had to bring them to Scarborough OAT.

 “This special arena was created for artists like Keane. Their songs are beautiful, anthemic, the soundtrack to many people’s lives over the last 20 years, and I’m sure their army of fans cannot wait to see these songs played live here… I know I certainly can’t!

 “Keane are an incredible live band and this is unquestionably going to be one of the gigs of the summer.”

Tickets for Keane at Scarborough Open Air Theatre go on general sale at 9am on Friday, January 31 via www.scarboroughopenairtheatre.com
They can also be purchased, in person, from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723 818111) and the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau (01723 383636).

SEARCH IS ON FOR SINGING TALENT TO JOIN WEST END MARVEL ON STAGE

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Youth choirs and musical theatre groups are being given the opportunity to perform with Broadway and West End leading lady Marisha Wallace on her debut UK tour.

They will sing two songs with the West End star including a rendition of This Is Me from the blockbuster movie The Greatest Showman.

Marisha said: “This is my first ever headline theatre tour and I’m incredibly excited to get the chance to sing the songs I adore to audiences across the UK.

“Whether they are songs from the stage, screen or my own material, there are a number in the set I know will sound amazing when sung with a choir.

“As I really want to make these shows unique and extra special, what better way to do that than to be joined on stage each night by a different local choir or musical theatre group?

“I started singing with my church choir at the age of five and so vocal groups have always played such an important part of my life.

“So, what are you waiting for guys? If you want to join me on stage, helping me sing the songs I love, then get in touch today. This tour is going to be a truly magical experience and it would be great if you could join me.”

Beginning at Sale’s Waterside (March 8), Marisha’s tour then heads to Newbury Corn Exchange (March 11), Horsham Capitol (March 13), Birmingham Hippodrome (March 14), Leeds City Varieties (March 16), Lichfield Garrick (March 17), Glasgow Glee Club (March 18) and the Arts Theatre in London’s West End (March 23). Tickets are on sale now via www.cuffeandtaylor.com

If your choir or musical theatre group would like to join Marisha on stage at one of these dates email casting@cuffeandtaylor.com for more details.

Marisha was born and raised in a small town in North Carolina. But the small town never held down her big city dreams. From glittering New York, her unbelievable talent has taken her around the world.

Inspired by the likes of the late, great Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald, Marisha’s voice will pull you from your seat and to your feet. She effortlessly infuses jazz, gospel and R&B with a healthy dose of soul that will leave you feeling inspired and uplifted.

On Broadway, she starred in shows including Disney’s Aladdin, The Book of Mormon and Something Rotten and then here, in the UK, as Effie White in the stellar West End hit Dreamgirls.

Described by The New York Post as “a marvel”, Marisha’s spine-tingling rendition of ‘And I Am Telling You’ from Dreamgirls has quite simply to be seen and heard to be believed.

Last summer she starred alongside Will Smith in Disney’s big screen summer blockbuster Aladdin.

Together with her theatre success, this versatile talent has taken on the mainstream music world by performing at the Royal Albert Hall, The London Palladium and Cadogan Hall with such revered international artists as Seal, James Blunt and Gregory Porter.

Following her UK tour Marisha, who recently returned to her role of Becky in Waitress at London’s Adelphi Theatre, will play force-of-nature Motormouth Maybelle in the eagerly awaited West End return of Hairspray alongside Michael Ball.

YORK FESTIVAL NAMED HEADLINE SPONSOR LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

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York Festival has teamed up with Minster FM to celebrate the achievements of North Yorkshire’s most inspirational people.

Global icon Lionel Richie, pop superstars Westlife and British music legends Madness will headline next summer’s brand-new live music festival at York Sports Club between Friday June 19th and Sunday June 21st.

And organisers are delighted to announce York Festival will be the headline sponsor of Minster FM’s Local Hero Awards 2020.

The heart-warming annual awards – which are now in their 18th year – honour local champions of all ages who go the extra mile to help their local communities.

Peter Taylor, director of York Festival organisers Cuffe and Taylor, said: “York is a brilliant city and we cannot wait to bring a brand-new three-day festival here in June.

“We are delighted to be supporting Minster FM’s Local Hero Awards. These wonderful awards celebrate and recognise the amazing work of local community champions and they are something we are proud to be involved with.”

The Local Hero Awards evening will be held at York Racecourse on Friday February 28th and will be hosted by the Minster FM Breakfast Show presenters Ben Fry and Laura Castle.

Laura Harland, Minster FM’s Sponsorship, Promotions and Events Manager, added: “We are excited to welcome York Festival on board as the headline sponsors of our 18th annual Local Hero Awards.

“The awards are always a brilliant and heart-warming evening that honour our local heroes. Nominations are already flooding in and we cannot wait for the big night on February 28.”

The 13 individual award categories are:

Child of Achievement Award

Neighbour Of The Year Award

Parent or Guardian Award

999 Emergency Services Award

Sporting Hero Award

Teacher Of The Year Award

Make a Community Difference Award

Best Boss Award

Volunteer Of The Year Award

Bravery Award

Charity Fundraiser Of The Year Award

Environmental Hero Award

Ultimate Local Hero Award

To nominate your local hero go to minsterfm.com/localhero

The closing date for nominations is Sunday January 26.

For more information and tickets for York Festival 2020 go to www.york-festival.com

Smash hit tribute To Tina Turner heads out on second year of UK Tour

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Elesha Paul Moses has paid her dues in the entertainment world; she’s been striving for success in the music business for 20 years, via traditional grafting and TV talent shows.

And now, she’s taken her singing career to a new level starring in the mammoth tribute show tour What’s Love Got To Do With It?, celebrating the music and life of rock, soul legend Tina Turner.

Elesha, 39, who lives in Hampshire and grew up in Surrey, appeared on The X Factor in 2010, alongside One Direction, winner Matt Cardle and in the same category as the big-haired, bongo playing wild card contestant Wagner. She then reached the battle rounds – twice – on The Voice, with will.i.am in a duo in 2013 and Tom Jones as a solo act a year later. She had previously been mentored by Mathew Knowles – Beyoncé’s dad – on a Channel 4 talent show.

She is also touring the UK, and has performed in Europe and Brazil, as the late, great Whitney Houston in Whitney: Queen Of The Night – including five sell-out shows at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End.

Brought to you by the award-winning producers behind Whitney: Queen Of The Night, What’s Love Got To Do With It? is the ultimate tribute concert paying homage to one of the most iconic musical artists of the 20th Century.

We spoke to Elesha about her love of performing, and how she loves to party with Tina fans all over the UK.

What’s Love Got To Do With It? launched in 2019, you’ve been on the road for a year now – how has it been, paying homage to a rock and soul legend like Tina Turner?

It has been incredible. Heading into the start of the show, I’d been pretty full on with Whitney: Queen Of The Night so didn’t have too much time to think about it… Then it was full on into touring mode for What’s Love Got To Do With It? and we’ve been up and down the country ever since.

There has been so much love for the show from audiences and on social media – it’s been amazing. I’ve been working hard on the vocals, and the band, backing singers and costumes are fantastic. We love being on the road, meeting all the fantastic fans and that’s made preparing for the 2020 tour even more exciting, as we know what the reactions will be.

Fans have loved the show. What does it feel like to see such brilliant responses from the audience, and to receive the amazing reviews online?

It’s surreal, especially for someone like me as I’m really self critical; I’m always thinking ‘What could I do better?’, even when people are saying the show is fantastic. The comments we get are actually a little overwhelming, and we’re so very grateful for each and every one.

Seeing people in the audience having a brilliant night out, dancing and singing along is what it’s all about.

You perform as both Whitney Houston and Tina Turner – they’re very different artists. What’s it like recreating these iconic female performers live on stage?

It’s been a big learning curve, in the sense of keeping pushing on with everything I do for the two shows.

Doing Whitney as well as Tina, you need a huge amount of stamina – vocally, physically and mentally, but in such different ways for each performance. Tina is much more the physical challenge, Whitney is the vocal challenge. But working hard to be at my best in both areas pays off on both shows.

And it’s funny really. They are such different sounding performers! Each role strengthens my voice in such different ways, but that only helps make me better in each show.

Tina’s not got a growl as such. People think it’s shouting but it’s not, it’s a very particular tone that she has, and she’s so free with her performance.

Then when I’m on stage as Whitney it’s almost the opposite. You’re so exposed and there’s nowhere to hide as it’s a much slower, more mellow pace of show.

Compare that to Tina and What’s Love Got To Do With It?… Once you’re on stage, there’s no letting up from the moment you start. I love that very strong contrast between the two.

You have such a busy schedule with both shows running alongside each other. With two young children, how do you manage that with family life?

Mark, my husband is amazing; I have the best man in the world. I definitely couldn’t do it without him.

My eldest daughter Kookie is turning eight soon, and she’s only ever known me to be a singer. So, in some ways, she’s used to it but occasionally she’ll say something. My little one Teddy doesn’t know any different to the schedule we now have, I’m lucky she’s so young.

For me, I’m able to shut it off to an extent, as I know this is all about building for their future – whatever job you have, you have to balance family life. I also think we’re so lucky to have things like Facetime now so you can catch up easily and see them if you are away for a few days at a time.

What’s your favourite song to perform as Tina Turner?

There are so many I love. Proud Mary is obviously so much fun, but I also love Typical Male and I Can’t Stand The Rain. But for my absolute favourite… I’ll go Proud Mary. It always used to be Simply The Best which people really loved and went mad for – but these days it’s definitely Proud Mary.

Tina Turner is still such a huge name in music, why do you think she’s still so popular?

She is just such a great all-rounder, and she appeals to men as well as women. She’s a great rock and roll artist. Her songs have never gone away. Even youngsters now, they know tracks like Proud Mary. You do those songs and they’re all over it.

Tina’s had difficult times too over the years, but she came through it. I think people like that side of her story too, as well as the brilliant music.

How did you get into singing and performing as a tribute artist?

When I first realised I could properly sing I was about 13 – I was always mimicking others and that’s how I taught myself. But that real big belting voice wouldn’t necessarily come out. Then, listening to people like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, those kind of artists, was when it really came to me. Funnily, I didn’t really listen to Tina Turner when I was younger, my parents played her music in the car, but it wasn’t what I took to at the time.

I was singing in a club and a friend said ‘We should do something different’, I said ‘Shall we try Whitney or something?’. I went home, put down a couple of lines of Whitney and thought ‘Oh, I can sound like her’. It went from there, and a similar thing happened when I started with Tina.

You’ve been working in the music industry for a long time – you started writing with a record company aged just 17 and have been on TV reality talent shows. Can you tell us about the switch to the world of tributes?

I never used to do tributes, I was striving to do my own stuff and put out my own music. Things happened in my life, and I was in between things not really knowing what to do. I didn’t know how to get into the tribute business, but at the same time I felt that by doing that I would miss doing my own thing too.

But I’d done my album and did lots of trying to make it before doing the TV shows. I’d tried the traditional, old fashioned methods to get signed. It was just never meant to be. So, I decided it was time to take it away from being me and into being someone else.

How was your time on The X Factor and The Voice – and what did you learn from the experience?

When I did X Factor – in 2010, 10 years ago, wow – I was in the year of One Direction and Cher Lloyd, and Wagner, he was in Louis Walsh’s Overs category with me, but I went home after judges’ houses.

I was asked to audition for The Voice, and I first went when I was pregnant with Kookie – but I realised the live shows would be on when I was due with her so had to back out. But I auditioned again in 2013 as part of a duo [getting to the battle rounds in Team will.i.am], and again in 2014 [again, getting to the battle rounds with Team Tom].

Doing both of these did give me a boost at the time, even though I got so close but ultimately wasn’t successful. I don’t know what people think of me as an artist having done those shows, but I’m so grateful and glad to have moved on to what I’m doing now.

I’m 99.9per cent – no, make that 100per cent sure I wouldn’t be tempted to do it again.

Forget being mentored by Louis Walsh – tell us about working with Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s dad!

So, yes, I did a TV show a long time ago, where I was mentored by Mathew Knowles – Beyoncé’s dad – that was pretty mad. It was Chancers on Channel 4’s T4, and I won the chance from UK auditions to spend a month in Houston, America, where the group of us chosen had various challenges. Mine was to sing at the same studio where Whitney Houston had recorded.

That experience gave me a really tough skin, to know that whatever you do don’t worry about what’s happened in the past; it’s all brought me to where I am now.

Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

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