Category Archives: The Big Stage

The Moody Blues Concert 2013

The Moody Blues consisting of Guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, bassist/vocalist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge are one of the most important rock acts to ever come out of the U.K.

For over thirty years, The Moody Blues have been musical mainstays on concert stages, recordings and the airwaves. Their remarkable consistency has generated the sale of over 55 million albums and created a standard for classic rock music which has brought them numerous awards including the NARM Number One World Group Award 1972, an astonishing 18 platinum records, The Playboy Vocal Group of the Year Award, the Golden Ticket Award for the sale of 100,000 tickets at Madison Square Garden, as well as ASCAP and Performance Awards, the Ivor novello Statue (1984 Outstanding Contribution to British Music), and a priceless place in rock history.

Their incredible roster of hits includes: “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Ride My See Saw,” “The Story In Your Eyes,” “Isn’t Life Strange,”   “Question,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name a few.

The Moody Blues’ No. 1, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 40, Multi-Platinum, Platinum and Gold albums and singles, have generated sold-out tours on a consistent basis over the course of several decades, making them one of the topgrossing album and touring bands in existence.

The Moody Blues’ first full studio album, Days Of Future Passed, was released on November 11, 1967 and stayed on the Billboard charts for over two years.

Sports Play

Just a Must in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum London present:

Sports Play

English Language Premiere of Nobel Prize Winner Elfriede Jelinek’s theatrical meditation on sport and violence
An unflinching exploration of the close relationship between sports, nationalism and violence by the Nobel Prize winning author of The Piano Teacher, Elfriede Jelinek, receives its English Language premiere on the eve of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Blurring the boundaries between a theatre event and a sports event, punctuated by live reporting of results from the Olympics and elsewhere, actors perform feats of linguistic gymnastics, their capacity to memorise and articulate non-naturalistic, punning and unpredictable lines stretched to the limits.

Premiering in 1998 in Vienna’s Burgtheater as Ein Sportstück, the play received a 55 minute standing ovation.  The production began a new vogue for choric works in German language theatre, and Just a Must’s staging emerges from the performers’ improvisation with the text, which treats the text as a musical score. The postdramatic play explores pertinent themes of the commodification of the human body through sport, and gender relations in the sporting world.
Elfriede Jelinek (born October 20, 1946) is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 for her “musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.” Her best known work, The Piano Teacher, was adapted into the film by Michael Haneke in 2001. Past work also includes We are Decoys, Baby!; Women as Lovers and The Children of the Dead.

The production is the principle showcase of Austrian culture coinciding with the Olympics, and is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum London, the organization that promotes cultural contacts between the UK and Austria by organizing events and supporting artists and projects in the fields of music, performing arts, visual arts, literature, film and science.

Just a Must company was founded by producer Berislav Juraic and director Vanda Butkovic in 2009 to promote intercultural and cross-disciplinary cooperation in the British performing arts arena, and to introduce to a UK audience contemporary and innovative European works. In particular, the company’s work focuses on post-dramatic theatre, contemporary dance and circus. Past productions include Woman Bomb at the Tristan Bates Theatre (2011) and El-Harrag in Algeria, Croatia and Middle East (2009-10). | @justamust | #sportsplay

Running Time: 100 minutes | Suitable for ages 16+
You can see ‘Sports Play’ @

The Bike Shed Theatre
23 – 24 July 7:30pm
01392 434 169

Mafia Babies Live @ Pierpoint, Torquay

A bright crisp Sunday lunch time beckons and with great anticipation this edition’s local review is of the multi talented, highly acclaimed acoustic duo, The Mafia Babies!

Mafia Babies are Christian Pitocco – Vocals – Rhythm guitar and Jonathan Lee – Lead and Rhythm guitar, Logarythm Stompbox, and Backing Vocals. Over the years these guys have gained the reputation as being one of South Devon’s premier acts. I wasn’t going to look at this review as an opportunity to state the obvious but seeing these guys in a laid back different environment got me curious to see if they could rise to every occasion.

As you can appreciate a Sunday afternoon set list is going to differ greatly from a jumping Saturday night. That is one of the real great advantages of acoustic music, there is a lot of versatility to be had but the right feel and song choices are essential not too dissimilar in painting a picture – light and shade and different moods very rarely work out of their comfort zone. In reality a quiet acoustic gig hunting for the mood is as ever challenging as entertaining a pub packed full of people. Also the softer more attentive songs make a band a lot more exposed and vulnerable, even to the most avid listener.

The first thing that struck me was the sheer level of ability and talent that these guys have.

The set list was very well chosen and well delivered and effortlessly blended into the panoramic views this venue has to offer.

Classics like Rod Stewarts ‘Handbags & Gladrags’ and Newton Faulkners ‘People Should Smile More’ gently filled the room.

They also did fantastic versions of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Heard it through the Grapevine’ and Al Greens ‘Let’s Stay Together’. The set was very played down, very methodical and very relaxed which just goes to show their versatility.

Capturing the art to create music to complement the moment is an incredibly difficult thing to do yet these guys delivered exactly what was needed effortlessly. The singing and harmonies were soulful yet powerful and the playing was to a level very
few local musicians seldom do achieve. For any local musicians aspiring to get to their level it wouldn’t do any harm in watching how these guys just melt into a collage of meaningful sound. The Mafia Babies are one of the most hard working acoustic duos around in the South Devon area. They have been playing together for the past 5 years and they are available for pub gigs, private parties, weddings and in short whatever occasion you would like!

I would highly recommend these guys if you appreciate a high calibre of music and also equally to any aspiring musicians who want to up their game!


The Australian Pink Floyd Show Live @ Plymouth Pavilions

Exposed In The Light Tour 2012

THE SUNDAY TIMES described them as “the best tribute band in the world” and Floyd drummer Nick Mason has gone on record as saying that “they probably do Floyd better than we do”.

TRIBUTE band extraordinaire The Australian Pink Floyd Show, whose skill at their renditions of Floyd classics led to them being the band chosen by Floyd guitarist David Gilmour to play at his 50th birthday party, is touring the country again
with an updated show.

Their sound is uncannily like the original band and during a concert, if you close your eyes, you could easily believe that they were the originals.

But it’s best not to close your eyes though, as like the band they so faithfully reproduce, they have a light show that is second to none, with not just lasers, but massive inflatables making their shows a treat for all the senses.

It helps that all the band are Pink Floyd fans, and some of the backroom team behind the Aussie Floyd Show – or TAPFS as the name is usually shortened to – worked behind the scenes for Pink Floyd themselves!

One such veteran is Front of House Engineer Colin Norfield, who is controlling the state-of-the-art sound and light system.

The band is renowned for pushing the boundaries both sonically and visually and last year they introduced 3D visuals to augment the songs.

“They actually went very well,” says keyboard player and founder-member Jason Sawford.

“OK, they were a bit of an experiment, but it was pretty successful. Definitely a ‘Floydy thing to do.”

Jason, relaxing in Wroclaw, just before the Polish leg of the ‘Exposed In The Light’ tour (with the name taken from a line of the lyrics in the song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ says.

“We’ve just arrived here from the Czech Republic and so far the tour is going well. From Poland we go to France, Germany, Holland, Ireland and then the UK.”

The band, which was originally formed in 1988 in Melbourne, still has two of the original members in Jason and guitarist/vocalist Steve Mac, explains that they constantly update the show.

“Well, this year we have more video material with some psychedelic themes, a redesigned light show, the inflatables and quadraphonic ‘surround’ sound; all of which is controlled by Colin Norfield, who handled Pink Floyd’s ‘Division Bell’ tour.

From humble beginnings in Australia, TAPFS has become a worldwide phenomenon, with ticket sales of over three million.

Bassist Colin Wilson, who joined the band in 1992 states, “For us, of course, the music has always come first. We like to breathe life into some material that would otherwise not get heard.”

During last years’ tour, they did indeed cover some lesser known tracks including ‘Dogs’ from the ‘Animals’ album.

“Yes,” agrees Jason, his once strong Australian accent now almost non-existent. “We’re still doing some older tunes, but a different selection exploring the psychedelic, space-rock side of Floyd.”

“We are doing ‘Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun’ and a newer version of ‘Astronomy Domine’ and from ‘Animals’ we’ve got ‘Pigs’ and ‘Sheep’.

“Also, we’ve got a few references to Syd Barratt (the genius behind the early Floyd whose reliance on drugs led to him being sensationally sacked by the band).”

The boys from Oz are not forgetting the best-known songs though.

“No, we are doing a fair selection from ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ with songs like ‘Time’, ‘Money’ and ‘Us and Them’ plus ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ and ‘Within The Flesh’”.

Also, for this tour, they have a special guest. Singer Lorelei McBroom will be joining the band on stage. Lorelei toured as a backing vocalist with Pink Floyd on their ‘Momentary Lapse of Reason’ and ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ tours.

“It’s quite an honour to have Lorelei with us,” Jason tells me.

“It makes for a spectacular performance of ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ and she has been telling us stories about Floyd.”

There’s been a few new faces in TAPFS recently.

“That’s right,” says Jason, “And they’ve all been doing nvery well.”

“David Domminney Fowler on guitar in particular. He’s a great asset and also helps out behind the scenes.”

Some of the venues on the tour are in theatres and some in arenas, but apparently the size of the venue doesn’t detract from the shows.

“No,” asserts Jason, “We have a capable crew who can get as much of the show in as possible. All that may happen is that we might not be able to fit all the inflatables in at some of the smaller venues.”

He continues, “However, we should be able to get all the lights and lasers in – plus the smaller places are a bit more intimate.”

“We try not to alter the show too much.” He reassures me.

But what happens nest? They seem to have now out Floyded Floyd in almost every aspect of the show.

“There’s always the problem of what to do next,” says Jason.

“We could perhaps pay tribute to another album like we did with ‘Dark Side’ a few years ago; we could do different themes – say the Syd Barratt years et cetera.”

“Our plans vary from year to year, but for this year we are looking at doing some summer shows, plus we hope to do a lot more in America; we had a very successful tour there in 2011 and we are going back later this year.”

“And we are taking footage during the tour and we hope to put together a documentary DVD.”

The Australian Pink Floyd Show will be performing Pink Floyd’s classic songs, at the Plymouth Pavilions on Tuesday 27th March. Tickets are priced at £29.50 (subject to a booking fee) and are available from the Box Office and all the usual agencies.

Written by Martin Hutchinson.

For more information and to book tickets for Plymouth Pavilions contact the box office 0845 1461460 or check the website

For more information and tickets for other tour dates check their website

A.J’s Big Band @ Devonport Playhouse, Plymouth on Sunday 25th September

A.J’s Big Band play big band classics from the Glenn Miller era.

Big Band enthusiasts are in for a treat when A.J’s Big Band play an afternoon concert at Devonport Playhouse, Plymouth on Sunday 25th September at 3 p.m. The acclaimed 17 piece, now into its 27th year, has released 6 recordings over the years the latest being Fascinating Rhythm. Under the leadership of top saxophonist Ken Parr the band blends stunning ensemble work with exciting jazz solos in a packed two set programme which includes swing classics from Miller, Ellington, Basie and much more. The instrumental line up is complimented by A.J’s excellent vocalist Paula Mitchell with a fusion of beautiful ballads and uptempo numbers. This is an unmissable show from a band which always delivers a show rich in entertainment value. “………brilliant music making…….”Somerset County Gazette. Ticket reserved £13.50p.

Booking Kerrys Music, 51, Ebrington Street Plymouth, PL4 9AA. Tel. 01752 227120.
Hotline 01392 411194.

A Mid Summers Evening of Classical Music

Live at The Spanish Barn, Torre Abbey Thursday 23rd June 2011

The spectacular concert will be held at the Spanish Barn, located in the picturesque grounds of Torre Abbey, Torquay. This charismatic venue dates back to the 11th century and with its’ cathedral like grandeur it is the perfect venue for an evening of classical music. The concert features the highly acclaimed Corelli string Quartet from London and exceptional local talented operatic vocalist Keddie Babb. The Corelli Quartet will be playing many of the great classical music pieces from composers such as, Pachelbel, Mozart, Handel, Bach and the highlight of the show will be an arrangement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Keedie will be singing operatic classics including Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, My Reason, La Rhondine & Time to Say Goodbye. There will also be a licensed bar serving a fine selection of wines, beers and spirits and even an after show party at the Bay Brasserie, located a few minutes from the concert venue.

General admission tickets are £15.00 and there are a limited number of V.I.P tickets available for this spectacular event.

As a V.I.P. ticket holder you will be treated to the following.

  • Complimentary Parking Passes for the Riviera Centre Car Park, until 10.00 the next morning.
  • An Italian Sparkling Wine Reception at the Bay Brasserie, from 17.30.
  • A 3-course pre-show supper served at 18.00
  • Chaperones to take you to the Spanish Barn, from 19.30
  • Reserved V.I.P. seats at the front section of the auditorium, concert starts at 20.00
  • Access to V.I.P. section at the after show party in the Bay Brasserie, 22.30 to Midnight, where you will be able to meet the stars of the evenings performance to sign autographs and have photos taken.

The Corelli Quartet

The Corelli Quartet was formed in 2003 whilst its members were studying at the Royal Academy of Music. The players are among London’s leading young freelance musicians and are engaged in orchestral work, chamber music, Fabulous West End shows, recording and sessions. Recent live appearances include the Glastonbury “Classical Spectacular” (for which they were support act for Nigel Kennedy and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), the Times Film Festival, the opening of “The Cult of Beauty” exhibition at the Victoria
and Albert Museum and The Red Cross Gala Ball.

They also have performed alongside Muse, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, Brian May, Josh Grobin, Tim Minchin, Katherine Jenkins, Kerry Ellis and Michael Buble. They are really delighted to be heading down to Torquay for an evening of Summer Classics at the beautiful Torre Abbey on 23rd June 2011.

Keedie Babb

British born soprano Keedie Babb shot to fame when she sang a duet with former Blue band member Duncan James on the soundtrack to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Woman in White’. She subsequently signed a seven-figure multiple album deal with EMI Classics and released her debut album, which featured classical favourites Pie Jesu’ and ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ alongside her own material. Keedie has since appeared alongside many great artists such as Katherine Jenkins and Tina Turner and the list goes on!

Keddie is delighted to a part of this event and looking forward to playing at the Classical concert at Torre Abbey.

Tickets are now on sale at The Riviera Centre Box Office on 01803 206333, 9am to 5pm or for further information & to buy online please visit

Live & Unsigned Competiton 2011

Live and Unsigned is the UK’s biggest unsigned music competition for original artists and musicians in any genre have the chance to get their hands on over £100,000 worth of prizes. So whether you’re into pop, R&B, punk, indie, alternative, rock or acoustic, the competition has it all.

Each year the competition prize pool gets bigger and better as acts take to the stage and battle it out for equipment, festival slots, clothing, studio time and master classes. Other prizes up for grabs include a UK tour with up to 100 dates, a selection of Marshall amps, extensive coverage on MUZU TV and YouTube and a recording contract with up to £50,000 investment!

All acts in the competition are auditioned live which is what makes Live and Unsigned so unique, there are no demo submissions. Those who make it through the audition stage will get to perform to industry judges, A&R associates and celebrity guests in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues. And those who make it to the grand final will get to share the stage with some of the UK’s best musicians at the Live and Unsigned Festival at the O2 in London!

Plymouth auditions are taking place on 20th February at Plymouth Guildhall.

Acts are now being urged to enter as places are in high demand. For information on how to secure your live audition for 2011 visit