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Richard Alcock

Q & A With Richard Alcock, founder of Committed to the Blues Brothers Band

Q. Why is performing music important to you?

A. I think it was something I was meant to do. From the age of 7 I started to learn guitar and my parents paid out a lot of money for me to go to music college and learn to read music and classical guitar. To be honest classical wasn’t my thing, and started to dislike playing. To their dismay (and after the money they had spent) I gave it up after 6 years, which in honestly if I could do it all again, there is no way I would have given up!

Being on stage, entertaining, singing and performing is something I enjoy and wish I could do every day of the week. A major regret was not pursuing a career in music from a young age.

 

Q. If you had one wish, what would it be?

I would love for my wife and I to perform in a show with BB King on guitar and Ray Charles on the piano. Thanks to my wife, I have been lucky enough to have seen BB King live in Manchester, playing beside another hero of mine Gary Moore. What a show!

 

Q. Which musician or performer do you look up to the most and why?

There has been many, BB King would have to be at the top, along with Ray Charles, but my youth heroes would include Suggs of Madness….Great music.

 

Q. What’s your day job?

Construction Buyer.

 

Q. If you could do any other job, what would it be?

I would like to write shows for theatres (musicals of course) or write tribute shows performing the life stories of famous musicians past.

Q. And finally, what is your earliest memory of connecting with music?

I remember my mother buying my first personal cassette player at Romford market, it was mustard colour and I pretty much was going through batteries daily, playing the one and only tape I had of early 80s music.

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Q&A
Dave Denby

Q&A With Dave Denby, Bassist of Committed to the Blues Brothers

It’s time for our Summer break, so with took some time to catch up with Dave Denby, bassist of Committed to the Blues Brothers, prior to his time off. Here’s a Q&A with Dave.

Q. Why is performing music important to you?

A. I love to see people enjoying music being performed that I’m a part of.

 

Q. If you had one wish, what would it be?

To be at a Stevie Wonder gig and have to fill infor the bass player who’s flight has been delayed!!

 

Q. Which musician or performer to you look up to the most and why?

I  guess that bass players such as Nathan Watts (Stevie Wonders bass man), Nathan East, Marcus Miller and Vic Wooten have played a major part on the bass scene I can’t play anything like them though 🙁

 

Q. What’s your day job?

In a garden centre.

 

Q. If you could do any other job, what would it be?

If I couldn’t be Stevie Wonders bass player, then I’d choose to be a photographer. Looks like I’ll be a photographer then!!

Q. And finally, what is your earliest memory of connecting with music?

Being taught to play Sunny Afternoon by my mad uncle Sid on his Greed Jedson (Woolworths) guitar.

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Q&A
Lou Perryman

Q&A with Lou Perryman

Lou is keyboard player for Committed to the Blues Brothers. A man of few words, we asked him to give us his answers to a few questions ahead of the show at Millfield Theatre.

 

Q. Why is performing music important to you?

Firstly the applause! and then personal satisfaction gained from the art.

 

Q. If you had one wish, what would it be?

The Chase was on 24/7

 

Q. Which musician or performer to you look up to the most and why? 

Stevie Wonder

His songwriting ability

 

Q. What’s your day job?

Musician

 

Q. If you could do any other job, what would it be?

Test driver for Aston Martin

 

Q. And finally, what is your earliest memory of connecting with music?.

 ‘Sweet Caroline’ playing in a Status Quo tribute and at the ripe old age of 14.
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Q&A
Ritchie Hicks

Q&A with Ritchie Hicks

Q. Why is performing music important to you?

A. For me, it’s the relationship with the audience. When a show is going well there is an energy in the room which you don’t find anywhere else; it’s very intimate. Get it right and everyone goes home with a night to remember.

There’s also a natural high from the pressure of performing. Knowing that there are hundreds of people watching you and knowing that if you make a mistake they’ll all know makes endorphins run high. Some people like to jump out of a plane, I like to put myself under the microscope of the stage.

 

Q. What’s your day job?

A. General Manager of a licensed asbestos removal contractor (shameless plug!)…and most importantly, Dad.

 

Q. If you could do any other job, what would it be?

A. I’m a huge fan of racing cars, in particular Formula One. I’d love to be able to drive an F1 car for a living, but I don’t suppose they make a cockpit big enough for me to fit in.

 

Q. If you had one wish, what would it be?

A. I know I should probably say World peace, but I’m going to be more selfish and wish my family and friends long, healthy, happy and prosperous lives. That’s probably 4 wishes.

 

Q. Which musician or performer do you look up to the most and why?

A. There are a few and for various reasons. I guess my favourite performer of all time has to be Freddie Mercury. We all know that Freddie was a one-of-a-kind performer, but the personal and social battles he went through to get there were amazing. It’s easy to forget nowadays just how the odds were against a gay immigrant becoming as famous as he did; and what a voice! I’d also have to say Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. I just love Soul and Rock.

 

Q. And finally, what is your earliest memory of connecting with music?

A. Probably one of my earliest memories of music is my mum playing her vinyl collection when I was a kid. She was a huge fan of Elvis and The Beatles. I never really got The Beatles, but I definitely got Elvis. I guess that’s where my Blues influence began.

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Q&A

Brentwood Blockbuster!

Thank you to all who came to see our show at Brentwood Theatre on 17th June.

Despite the oppressive heat (it measured 32 degrees on the stage at one point) the feeling in the auditorium was buzzing. Many members of the audience got up to dance alongside the band on the intimate stage. The entire band remarked on what a great time they had and feedback from you was amazing at the aftershow meet-and-greet. One fan also remarked that it was the best show he’d seen for “many, many years”.

We’re really looking foward to our next show at the Millfield Theatre in Enfield!

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Andrew Strong: 26 years after the Commitments

Many of those who have seen the cult Irish film ‘The Commitments’ may already know that Andrew Strong was just 17 years old when he was cast for the role of Deco, and was just 18 when he starred in it. He was even nominated for a BAFTA Award as best supporting role. So what happened to Andrew after the Commitments and where is he now?

In a recent interview with The Irish News, Andrew Strong spoke about his love for oven roasted beef fillet, nutritional food and trips to the the gym. It seems that as Andrew has grown old he’s personal life has made quite a shift from the overweight and obnoxious Deco Cuff. “I do try to keep my cardio in shape as I find, as a performer, this really helps” he said during the interview.

Solo career

After The Commitments, Andrew Strong performed live on a few TV shows but was keen to stay out of the celebrity limelight, instead focusing on writing music. The albums ‘Strong’. ‘Out of Time’ and ‘Gypsy Kiss’ would follow over the next 10 years and he spent a lot of time touring the United Stations, Europe and Australia. He would later release his last solo album – Greatest Hits – in 2005.

Return to The Commitments

Despite Strong leaving the Commitments shortly after the film was released, the band continued to tour without him for two decades and with different front-men. Eventually (and to the delight of fans around the world), Andrew would re-join the band alongside some of the original cast and begin touring once more in 2011.

Still going Strong

Andrew continues to perform around the world with different bands, including his own ‘the Bone Yard Boys’ in which he plays guitar and sings lead vocal. Here’s a clip of one of their songs:

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A sell-out in Colchester!

Colchester Arts Centre is a venue that even Sister Mary would be proud of, and the venue once again provided a great backdrop to our second show of 2017.

The sell-out event was made even better by the superb help of Chris and Pete of the Arts Centre who provided superb sound and light for the show.

Feedback was excellent and the crowd was rocking; a great night had by all.

Our next show is at Haverhill Arts Centre on 13th May. See you there!

Photo credit: Alan Wareham

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Hello Colchester!

So it’s almost time for our gig in our home town of Colchester, and we’re really excited.

We’ve already sold 190 tickets for the show with more expected to go over the next couple of days.

Colchester Arts Centre is a beautiful venue and we can’t wait to go back. Bring it on!

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Thank you, Braintree Arts Theatre

It feels like a distant dream now, but our maiden show at Braintree Arts Theatre was a roaring success; and the people of Braintree made us feel very welcome!

Deco was as cocky as ever, Jimmy donned a shirt that Noel Edmunds would be proud of, and the Commitment Blue-ettes had their harmonies spot on. We even had a surprise guest appearance on harmonica by Chris Mallandain.

We’d also like to thank Phil and his technicians for being so helpful and accommodating on the night. Braintree Arts Theatre is a lovely venue. It’s modern, clean and the sound is great. If you’ve never visited you should.

So, on to the next show….Colchester Arts Centre on 6th May 2017. See you there!

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Thank you Tony Fisher and BBC Essex

A big thank you to Tony Fisher and the team at BBC Essex for having a chat with Richard on his show this afternoon.

Both Tony and Richard spent some time reminiscing about the Commitments and the Blues Brothers films. In fact, if turns out that Tony is quite a fan and even know the lines from Bob’s Country Bunker!

If you missed the interview you can listen again here (skip to 1hr 17m to hear the chat).

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