Happy New Year everyone, and what an exciting year it promises to be!
We are already looking forward to doing a lot of shows with Mark Andrews Productions, our old friend Brian Walker, Jeff and Helen from the D.W.C.S, Warner’s Leisure Hotels, the list goes on.
There are lots more shows that we will tell you about later when we have finalised the details.
The two most immediate ones that I’d like to remind you about are the charity event we are headlining at the Middleton Arena on Sunday the 25th of January and the Saint Patrick's Weekend at Tiffany’s Hotel Blackpool on the 13th of March. More details of these shows can be found on the 2014 page.
We have always avoided bringing out a CD of our live show because we think people at home just want to listen to the songs. With that in mind we are going into the studio soon to record the songs from our act that we have never recorded and bring out a CD titled “THE BACHELORS SHOW” which will include all the favourites people ask for.
Each year seems to bring a new milestone and this year is no exception. It was late 1995, twenty years ago that John Stokes asked me would I like to be “A Bachelor”
Boy, am I glad I said "Yes"!
People are always asking, since we have been so many places where do we like to go to chill (as they say today). Well, John likes Spain, Dave likes Portugal and I like Lanzarote - in fact I’ve just come back from there. I know a lot of people there read our site as I would guess there are more Irish bars in Puerto Del Carman than there are in Dublin and I’d like to thank “The Dublin City Ramblers” for a great night. Highly recommended.
If you are a Manchester United supporter (Which I am) the place to be on match day is “The Chill Bar” close by the shopping Centre. Salfordian Chris Royale will make you feel at home and beer at 2 euros a pint can’t be bad. If you like Chinese food (which I do) my favourite place is a small family concern called the “East Wind” in the old town. Its high in quality, low in price and you must try the salt and pepper ribs plus you get a great welcome from Xiong (Sean) the owner.
Promoter Mark Andrews has been on to me already with more dates to be added to the list you’ll find on the 2014 page. Thursday the 18th of June, THE ORCHARD THEATRE, DARTFORD, Wednesday the 14th of June, THE EVERYMAN THEATRE, CHELTENHAM (rearranged date) and Thursday the 8th of October, THE FLORAL HALL, NEW BRIGHTON.
Our next show will be Sunday Night at THE MIDDLETON ARENA. Hope you can make it if not I’ll tell you all about it in the next instalment.
We would like to thank all our fans, who over the years have become more like friends, for attending the charity event at THE MIDDLETON ARENA on Sunday. A full house contributed much needed funds for Tomas Leighton’s medical care. Everyone on the show gave it their all to make it the success it was and we were just glad that we could play our part in closing the show. However the real star was Tomas himself and no one could help being moved when he appeared on stage with his equally brave parents. This charity is ongoing and to find out how you can help log on to tic-charity.com
Margaret our secretary received this email.
“I was at the benefit show last evening and was delighted to be entertained by 'The Bachelors'. It was a wonderful show and I was very humbled that everyone had given their time for Tomas. Please thank the boys for their generosity and all good wishes for the future.”
From Dee (a.k.a. Grandy to Tomas).
We have had several queries about our mini Saint Pats tour which we start at Tiffany’s Hotel Blackpool on Friday the 13th of March then Alvaston Hall Cheshire on Saturday the 14th followed by Hartley Hall, Mill Hill, London on the 15th & 16th where we will be supported by Johns brother Bob.
More details of these events can be found elsewhere on the site.
|COMING TO HARTLEY HALL|
WITH JOHN STOKES
AND FULL SUPPORT PROGRAMME
Performing the hits the way you remember them. Come and be entertained as John Stokes, a founder member of The Bachelors recalls the stories behind the hits and revives memories of his days touring with some of the legends of Rock 'n Roll and pop music.
|SUNDAY 15TH MARCH & MONDAY 16TH MARCH 2015
DOORS OPEN AT 6.15PM
SHOW STARTS AT 7PM FINISH 9.45PM
BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW
*ONLINE BOX OFFICE : www.thebachelors.ticketsource.co.uk
|HARTLEY HALL, 3 FLOWER LANE, MILL HILL, LONDON NW7 2JA|
It is now the 23rd of March and I have just recovered from our Saint Patrick's Day mini tour. All the shows went extremely well but the one that stands out for different reasons was Tiffany’s Hotel Blackpool on the 13th. Tiffany’s holds many happy memories for us as we worked it many times when the three of us first got together. The audience, the staff, the management and our great friend compere JUNE MARTELL all gave us a great reception. We dedicated the show to our dear friend Kevin Neil, as it was the fifth anniversary of his passing. R.I.P. KEV.
Incidentally I happened to mention this on my Facebook and the number of tributes that came pouring in was quite overwhelming. His daughter Lorraine asked me to thank everyone for their kind thoughts.
Another venue worth a mention was the Grand Theatre Swansea where we did two shows on March 4th. It’s quite a few years since we were last there in a Brian Goddard touring show featuring Cannon and Ball, Craig Douglas and The Roly Poly’s. It’s a marvellous theatre with friendly staff and a terrific audience. Both shows got a great reception as they all enjoyed our singing and the hilarious comedy provided by special guest Duggie Brown.
With it being a Mark Andrews Production, it goes without saying that the rest of the show was superb including his use of young local talent which was excellent.
It has been about seven years since the release of our last C.D “Making Memories” and as I have already told you we have been working on a new one. Well it is now finished and is available on line and at our venues.
The title is ”THE BACHELORS SHOW” and that’s exactly what it is. Seventeen studio recordings of all the songs we do in our act including, by popular demand, Dave’s instrumental “Caravan”. The bonus track is “The stars will remember” which was the B side of ”Diane “and the most played B side on Juke boxes in 1964.
If you would like to purchase it just contact our secretary Margaret McCormick, email@example.com
The same applies if you would like tickets for our only show in Manchester which is at The GMP club on Saturday the 30th of May (See poster) I know the club have sold 100 already so book early.
Jeff and Helen Kemp who as most of you know are dedicated to keeping the memory of David Whitfield alive have a magazine which comes out quarterly called Curtain Call. It is with their permission I am inserting some excerpts from it, some of which we find very flattering and much appreciated.
AH! I hear you say” but do you tell us when you are criticized”
Here’s looking forward to our next show for Mark which is at Darlington Civic on Wednesday the 8th of April at 2.00 pm.
It is now near the end of May and time to reflect on the last few weeks.
I feel I must say how much we are enjoying the fabulous reaction we are getting on the Mark Andrews Music Hall shows. The Civic Darlington, two shows at the Guild Hall Derby, the Palace Mansfield and the Corn Exchange Kings Lynn. All beautiful Theatres and mostly full houses, which is quite an achievement in this current economic climate. I try not to sound repetitive and I’ve probably said this before but it really is a pleasure to work with so many lovely talented people and in Mark you have someone with a genuine love of live theatre.
This leads me to Duggie Chapman M.B.E. who we did two shows for on the 6th of May at The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton. I don’t think we would have had the success we have had over these last twenty years if it had not been for the faith he showed in us at the outset. Five summer seasons at the North Pier Theatre Blackpool speaks for itself.
This Bill had a Water Rats feel to it with former King Rats Chas McDevitt and Keith Simmons, with his son, going down a storm. John always likes appearing with members of the Water Rats as he has been one himself for many years.
We would all like to say how disappointed we were that “Sapphire” had to pull out of the show. They are a terrific illusionist act who we have known since our first season for Duggie in Blackpool. Apparently Jane is not too well so we send her and Stuart our best wishes.
Of all the theatres I have just mentioned I would like to single out one, The Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn and the reason being it is the first time we had ever been there. Before the show I got a chance to walk around the town and it really is lovely, wish we could have stayed longer. The theatre itself has a great atmosphere and of course a full house does help. It’s always good to hook up with old pals so it was great to see Stu Francis on the bill. Stu is as funny as ever which is not easy when you support Bolton Wanderers.
A lady we had not worked with before was Tammy Jones, she had a big hit back in the 70s with “Let me try again” and has really had an international career. The audience sat enthralled as she rolled back the years with a great selection of songs. You would not expect anything less from a Welsh Girl. Special praise should go to that fine young entertainer Mark Walsh who as chairman did an excellent job.
We have lots to look forward to this year, some new dates have come in and the one we are looking forward to especially is The Festival Theatre in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. You might remember we were there last year and had a great time and it’s always a pleasure to work for Jeff and Helen who stage these shows to keep alive the memory of the late David Whitfield. All the information is on the poster but if you would like tickets through the post just ring Jeff on 01623 458154.
It is now the 18th of August and summer is nearly over. ”What summer?” I hear you say. I honestly can’t remember what day it fell on this year, or maybe I was on holiday in Greece or Turkey.
Anyway that’s my moan about the weather out of the way so let’s go back to where I left off.
May 30th found us at the Hough End Centre; this incorporates The Manchester Police Club. It was our first show for promoters MNM Productions and we were pleased that it was a huge success. That great young comic BOBBY BENDER got everyone in a relaxed mood before introducing sixties tribute band CARNABY STREET who pack more sixties classics into fifty minutes than you would believe possible. Max & Nathan have asked us can to pick another date is being for next year.
Two new venues were The Orchard Theatre in Dartford on the 18th of June followed by The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham on the 24th. These shows were part of the tour we have been doing for Mark Andrews and were just as successful as the others. When we are in great shows, in fantastic theatres, with audiences who give us standing ovations it reminds us how lucky we are to be doing something we love.
Rainford is a village near Saint Helens in Lancashire and the residents save money all year and then as the say “Have a proper Do” in other words they have dinner with cabaret in the hundred year old village hall. As the hall only holds 160 they have to do it over two nights so we were more than happy to be asked to appear there with CARNABY STREET on the 3rd and 4th of July. We have been there a few times since we were first invited over ten years ago and it’s always a pleasure to accept as they are lovely people.
As our site goes back over twenty years it’s highly likely that I repeat myself. I don’t want to bore any readers so I try to mainly mention new venues, but of all the non-theatres we work our favourites will always be Warner’s Holiday Hotels. We were in Bembridge on the 8th of August and as usual we had a great night. Thank you all the staff, the backing -superb as usual - and the fabulous audience, especially the ones who bought all the drinks after the show. This is a top venue that we have been returning to for at least 15 years.
When we talk to our fans after the show we are always asked lots of different questions. For example “What is the connection between ”THE BACHELORS with John Stokes” and Eastbourne?
Well the answer of course is Dave Pearson our lead guitarist who was born there and I am inserting a photo of Dave that is dated showing he is not exactly new to the business! More info on Dave can be found on his biog.
Looking back over the last few months three particular venues are more memorable than others and stand out for different reasons.
For example The Festival Hall in Kirkby in Lonsdale on the 23rd of September for Helen and Jeff Kemp who as I have mentioned previously are committed to keeping the memory of David Whitfield alive. These shows are like family reunions as the whole bill is made up of talented friends who we have worked with many times over the years. Namely that lovely songstress Caroline Fields Johnny Pat, Freddie Wilkinson plus those great musicians Martin Saint James and Phil Jefferys. The audience was so responsive you would have thought they were handpicked for their good taste. HA! The show was attended by Trevor Benton who is a one man Alma Cogan dedication society. He had all sorts of memorabilia on display including one of Alma’s famous dresses which John, Dave and I were happy to be photographed with. All in all a great day.
The Floral Hall, New Brighton on the 8th of October was special as it was our last show on the tour that we had so much pleasure doing for promoter Mark Andrews. We have mentioned Mark quite a few times on our site, any more praise and it will look like creeping. Ha! Suffice to say all three of us have had a ball working Marks Theatres with so many talented people. It was great to meet up with old pals like Johnny Casson, Duggie Brown and Stu Francis plus we made new friends with Wendy, Wink, Neil and many more. Thanks Mark for everything.
It’s always nice to work Manchester as we all live there and the 16th of October seen us appear at Urmston Working Men’s Club. It is one of the longest surviving W.M.C. in the city and after appearing there we can see why. It is a really nice venue with a very professional attitude. We were supported by our good friends Carnaby Street so the whole show had a real sixties feel to it. Thanks to Laurie the compere and all the staff for making us most welcome. Our fans gave the club 10 out of 10.
At the end of the year we feel we should acknowledge the passing of someone we have had a past connection with and the loss of Cilla Black was such a shock that it was hard to take in. John had done Summer seasons with her in Blackpool when she had her first hits we even recorded ”You're my world” on our album, Renaissance. John remembers her fondly as I’m sure will all of her fans.
On December the 8th our dear friend Johnny More lost his battle against cancer. He was one of the country’s top impressionists appearing on numerous TV shows the most memorable being “Who do you do”. Johnny worked with us on quite a few occasions but I personally didn’t get to know him well until I joined the “Wooden Hut Club” (sort of Northern Water Rats) He was a true character and so full of life, a life he lived to the full. R.I.P. Johnny we will miss all those voices but most of all your own.
JOHN DAVE and JONATHAN (that’s me) would like to thank all our fans who have become more like friends for traveling to our shows and making our 20th anniversary year such a huge success. Also to all the entertainers, musicians, promoters, Theatre managers and all their staff, we will be forever grateful.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!