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The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Back for its 2018 tour, it hits Malvern
Forum Theatre on March 2nd and again on March 23rd with a different set of films
showing each night
You can get more information about the festival and its Malvern dates here: www.banff-uk.com
Siobhan is a young singer who hails from
Fife and who is releasing an impressive debut album called Cover Stories,
appropriately named as it contains tracks from a wide range of songwriters in a
wide variety of styles, from JJ Cale to Booker T. and from JJ Cale to
Claude-Michel (Les Misérables) Schonberg. With a ton of guest musicians (19 in
all), backing vocalists (11) and a string section of of 17, this is an
accomplished album which has some classics like Let's Go Round Again (the old
Average White Band standard) and even one in both French and English versions
More Stars Than In The Heavens! The MGM Musical - Robert Habermann
With more than forty of MGM's iconic songs including Over The
Rainbow, The Trolley Song, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Show Business,
Stranger in Paradise, Just In Time, Hi Lili Hi Lo, That's Entertainment, the
show, which is staged at the Swan Theatre on March 2nd,
certainly sounds like a great evening out
You can get more information about Robert here: www.roberthabermann.net
Opera Boys - Rob Cherry
Making opera accessible to the masses, The Opera Boys combine
their exceptional classically trained voices with their experience, showmanship
and personality to deliver a wonderfully entertaining show
You can get more information about the Opera Boys here: www.operaboys.com
Hydrate - Feel Great!
This is a new campaign run by the Royal
Volunteer Service to help promote healthy food and drink options, in particular
during the period 16th January - 12th February when they will be running special
offers and competitions
You can get more information about RVS here: www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk
A new song by Keith has been released by
Keith and it is one which has a very special meaning.
You can get more information about Keith here: www.roadwestguitar.com
You can get more information about CLIC Sargent here: www.clicsargent.org.uk
You can buy the song here: Buy from iTunes
Alex James Brierley
Despite being only 20, Alex has a
considerable pedigree when it comes to music, having started with the piano at
the age of six, moving onto guitar at ten, songwriting by twelve and having a
video featured by UNICEF by sixteen.
You can get more information about Alex here: www.alexjamesbrierley.com
Tom hails from Scarborough and has been in
the music for 25 years but has only just sorted his first solo album, Leave it
up to me, which is a superb mix of funky, emotive and powerful tunes.
You can get more information about Tom here: www.tomtownsend.co.uk
Following his success as one half of the
duo Jonathan & Charlotte on Britain's Got Talent in 2012 at the age of 17, he
has carved out a successful career as an opera singer
You can get more information about Jonathan here: www.jonathanantoinemusic.com
You can find out more about Anti Bullying Week here: Anti Bullying Week 2017
Liza is back in Malvern, this time with
her show Liza Sings Streisand on November 18th.
The acclaimed singer & comedienne and
one third of the satirical and much loved comedy trio Fascinating Aida,
celebrates the songs of the great Barbra Streisand with her six piece band, the
You can get more information about Liza here: www.lizapulman.com
You can book tickets for the show here: Malvern Theatres
Leee John from Imagination
Unbelievably, it is 36 years since the
band's first single Body Talk went to Number 4 in the UK Charts. The band may
have stopped recording back in 1992 but Leee has been very busy since and is now
back on the road touring and promoting his new and varied album entitled
You can get more information about Leee here: www.leeejohn.com
You can get more information about Leee's new album here: retropia.co
Les McKeown - The Bay City Rollers
Les will be known to many from his time in
the band in the mid 70's.
You can get more information about Les here: www.lesmckeown.com (which automatically plays some great unexpected tracks!)
Julia Ignatowa - Russian State Ballet And Opera House
Julia joined David Bower for a chat about their presentation of Romeo & Juliet, which takes place at the Malvern Forum Theatre on November 5th and featuring an impressive cast and accompanied by a large live Orchestra with over 30 musicians, directed and choreographed by former Bolshoi Ballet Soloist, Konstantin Uralsky
You can get more information about the ballet here: www.russian-state-ballet.co.uk
Tally is an Israeli-born singer-songwriter
and producer who we last chatted to a year ago. Since then, she has been very
busy indeed and is currently in the process of overseeing the inaugural National
Schools' Poetry Competition which has a closing date of October 31st and has a
list of judges which includes Katie Melua, Don Black and Chairman of the William
Blake Society, Tim Heath
You can get more information about Tally here: www.tallykoren.com
2017 - Kathryn Roberts
Kathryn is one half of
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, a very successful singing and songwriting duo
who have twice won Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
For more information about Kathryn & Sean, click here: www.kathrynrobertsandseanlakeman.com
2017 - Malvern Autumn Show
Over two days in September,
the showground was host to the last of the RHS Flower shows as well as host of
2017 - Alexander O'Neal
30 years after his iconic
Hearsay album was released, the man from Minneapolis is back in the UK with a
2017 - Christina Johnston
Despite her young age,
Christina has a vocal range which many could only dream of and has been
performing in Europe, Asia and South America
For more information about Christina, click here: www.christinajohnston.co.uk
2017 - And finally... Phil Collins
Back again at the Swan Theatre is this fine tribute to the
music of Phil Collins, this
time on their 10th Anniversary Tour and appearing
on September 21st
For more information about the band, click here: www.andfinallyphilcollins.com
2017 - Stephanie Sounds
Stephanie started out singing
in the London Community Gospel Choir and it wasn't long before she branched out
into backing vocals for the likes of Celine Dion, Will Young and, last night,
Rick Astley at the Manchester Arena.
For more information about Stephanie, click here: www.stephaniesounds.com
For more information about Stephanie's fashions, click here: www.solondonboutique.com
2017 - Gary Fletcher
Paul Jones and the Blues Band
is heading our way over the coming months, the nearest gigs being Solihull on
November 15th and Cheltenham on November 17th as well as,in 2018, Huntingdon
Hall on February 14th
For more information about The Blues Band, click here: www.thebluesband.net
2017 - Nozstock
The Now and the Show were
welcomed back to review this years Nozstock festival in Bromyard during July.
Once again the organisers provided a weekend full of fantastic music from a host
of artists offering something for everyone. Headline acts included Seasick
Steve, The Sugar hill Gang and Happy Mondays alongside a host of artists
covering all the genres including the jump up legend that is DJ Hazard, Nero
funk pioneer Break, The Incredible General Levy, the beautiful Hayseed Dixie,
Krafty kuts and Levelz to name but a few! This years theme was ‘Keepin’ it
surreal’ which provoked crazy costumed festival goers, unique art installations
around the site alongside family entertainment, film, comedy and art. Rob Mace
from the Now and Then Show said “ only the Nozworths can put on such a unique
event, it’s a fun family friendly atmosphere that maintains an authentic
festival feel every time. With a small 5000 capacity it really is a gem in the
festival scene”. A huge thank you to Ella and Damo for organising our visit and
remember you can get your early bird tickets for next year online at
2017 - Marvin B Naylor
Marvin traces his musical
influences back back to July 1973 when, as an impressionable 11 year, he sat
transfixed in front of the TV where Top Of The Pops was showing David Bowie's
Life on Mars
For more information about Marvin (including some great videos of the songs) click here: marvinbnaylor.com
2017 - Ben Portsmouth
Ben has been presenting his
tribute to Elvis since 2005 and is now on the road
accompanied by his 10 piece band with his new show
"40th anniversary of Elvis"
His nearest show to here will be in Cheltenham on December 1st
For details of the shows, click here: Taking care of Elvis
2017 - Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor of University of Worcester
On the day when A-level results were announced, Ross chatted to David Bower about the part the University can play in the future of Worcester students and what it can offer them in terms of their studies
For details of the support service, click here: Clearing at the University
2017 - Lakefest
Choice Radio had the pleasure of returning to Lakefest set near the beautiful grounds of Eastnor Castle this year.
There was a wide variety of bands playing including the legendary Charlatans and Feeder. The atmosphere was electric and the crowd were eager for the bands to keep playing at the end of their sets.
It was also nice to see some homegrown talent playing in the infamous BBC introducing stage tent including Sweet Talk, Willow Robinson, Chevy Chase stole my heart, Daniel Trigger and Arcadia Roots.
There were plenty of family activities on tap with lots of children enjoying the fun. All in all Lakefest 2017 was a class act and we hope to return next year
2017 - The Commandery enters a new phase
The Commandery re-opens on Saturday 29th July with a brand-new Civil War attraction.
We were lucky enough to get a glimpse of the final stages of the transformation of a whole wing of the building dedicated to this pivotal event in English history and to have a chat with David, Helen and Charlie from the museum about how it had gone so far...
Worcester residents now get a whole year's access to the buildings and organised event days for just £5
2017 - Robert Ross
Robert is an expert on
British comedy (seen below as himself (!) and with various famous faces), often
appearing on TV talking about comedy shows, comedians and the characters they
And, hot of the press, a new Carry On is on its way...!
All the new book details are here: Forgotten Heroes Of Comedy
2017 - James Dinsmore
Graham Greene's Our Man In Havana from Creative Cow was on stage in Malvern and our own David Bower chatted to one of the stars - James Dinsmore - revealing that he was not just an actor but also had a sideline in opera...
2017 - Debbie Bond
spent a good part of her childhood in Britain before returning to the States,
running away from home and heading to Alabama, renowned for its love of the
2017 - Kristyn Murphy
shortly be touring with a Welsh folk crossover band called The Meadows (siblings
aged between 13 and 23)
George is a wedding photographer turned
author and now has 5 books to his name.
More information on George here: www.georgemahood.com
Tony Clay & Niamh Webb
Another visit from 12-year old Niamh,
presenting her choice of music with her grand-dad, our very own Tony Clay
Mama are a Genesis tribute band fronted by
John Wilkinson and very ably assisted by John Cornish's
technical wizardry on keyboards, the stunning guitar work of Darren Dean and
Dave Jones and newbie (though you would hardly know it) Tim Rothwell on
the all-important drum kit
And the whole set was finished off neatly with one final track as the band certainly know what we like in our wardrobes...
After the show, Pete Phillips and Ian Raine went backstage to chat with all 5 band members
More information on the band here: www.mama-genesis.co.uk
Rachael Hawnt and Ash Cutler from The Beautiful Secret
Rachael and Ash have a beautiful new album
out at the moment - amazingly their first - and in addition have had their first
single What's Inside chosen to represent World Autism Awareness Week (from March
27th to April 2nd)
More information on the band here: www.thebeautifulsecretmusic.com
Paul Carroll's MHT
The Music Hall Tavern will be at the Swan
promising a night of comedy family drag variety with plenty of great music and
The band which hails from Tiree in Western
Scotland had a recent gig at Huntingdon Hall, followed by another one 2 days
days later at the Barn at the Fleece Inn in Bretforton.
Jeremy, who played Spratt in Downton Abbey
(a character which continues in the forthcoming film version) and was also in
The Durrells, has another career as a singer songwriter
Flint hails originally from Zimbabwe but
now resides in Leeds where he is making a name for himself in the music business
Former Eastenders actress, Strictly winner
and Maria from ITV's live version of The Sound Of Music, Kara is in Malvern
Theatre's very effective psychological thriller Gaslight
Nell Teasdale - Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
The tour is back in Malvern on March 2nd
and 3rd with a different set of films each night - well worth it for armchair
action men and women
Johnny Cash Roadshow
The Johnny Cash Roadshow - Clive John's tribute to the legend
- arrives at The Swan Theatre on March 4th
Joanna - a classical crossover soprano -
has a brand new album out, entitled Stars Are Rising
Kevin is one of the founder members of The
Celtic Fiddle Festival, currently on tour and coming to Huntingdon Hall on
This new 3-piece London-based band was created by Will Bright and have just released their first and excellent 4 track EP
Will chatted to Pete Phillips about how the band came about and what they are looking forward to be doing in the future as well as explaining how he got into music which has something to do with his dad's 4,000+ collection of vinyl records...
Click here to hear the interview with Pete - this includes all EP tracks: Prescription for Fun, Coffee Talk, Jackdaws and Great Expectations and a one-off, Walk you home
Neil has a new play which has been
commissioned by the International Brigades
Neil chatted to Pete Phillips about how the play - and the friendship of a speedway start and literary critic - came about.
The play is at the Swan Theatre on Tuesday February 7th at 7.30pm
Djanan hails from Turkey but has spent
many years in London contributing to the music scene with crossover dance
rhythms from the West and East.
Gillian Wright and Rebecca Wheatley
That's wicked Carabosse and The Good Fairy
as far as Malvern panto-goers are concerned!
Kludo plays "cool music for cruisin'
in a campervan that turns any vehicle into a surfbus!" according to Ultra VW
Magazine (so who are we to argue?!)
Kludo chatted to Pete Phillips about the new album and how it came about as well as his acting career and the fact that he has met Santa for real in a wetsuit on a beach in Devon...
The interview includes two songs from the album: Santa is a Surfer and It's Christmas time again
The duo of Paul Sartin & Paul Hutchinson
are, according to the Independent On Sunday no less, "one of folk's great odd
Michael Armstrong’s new song Little Girl (Bells Of Christmas) is, in fact, a previously unheard oldie with a bit of history. It was written 49 years ago by the then-owner of the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, Alan Geoghegan and originally called On Christmas Day. Michael was given the song by his daughter Debbie Greenberg to see what he could do with it. Working with Warren Bennett, the track also features Warren’s dad and Shadows band member Brian on drums. Luckily, Debbie was absolutely delighted with the result and it had its launch at the Cavern Club
Debbie has also written her book of memoirs called, appropriately enough, Cavern Club: The Inside Story
It's Panto Time - with Lucy-Jane Quinlan as Cinderella and Sam Patrick as Buttons
Lucy-Jane and Sam chatted to Tony Deakin and Pete Phillips about the show just prior to starting the day's rehearsals with the show's writer Chris Jaeger in charge
For Lucy-Jane, this is her first time with the Rep here and for Sam ("jobbing actor", "not a star"), it really is his dream role in panto
Also in the interview is fellow actor Gemma Martyn Smith who is arranging all the publicity for the show
Rosie hails from Edinburgh and whilst being a jazz and blues singer, has a very different line in song when it comes to the three albums she has released so far
Rosie chatted to Pete Phillips about the albums, including the new one Scrapbook, and how the very personal song There Was A Man came about
The song is included on the interview which, as an added bonus, also includes the new and the seasonally appropriate" Being a Child Again in the Snow and her latest song Dry Your Tears
Clare Teal is coming to Malvern Theatres with her new show "Ella, Peggy, Doris: The First Ladies of Swing & Beyond" on November 30th
Clare chatted to fellow Northerner John Boardman about what we can expect
Mick Flinn for Movember
November is now Movember and to promote this month of hairy faces promoting awareness of prostate cancer, Mick has, after 44 years of considering it, finally produced a song fitting for the occasion
Mick chatted to Pete Phillips about Curl A Mo and how it came about after so many years
The song is included in the interview but you can download your own copy from all the usual suspects...
And it's not just humans who suffer - it's the same for dogs and they have their awareness month in November too
Carolyn Griffey from Shalamar
No strangers to the UK charts with hits such as Take That To The Bank, I Can Make You Feel Good & A Night To Remember, Shalamar have been going since 1977 when the band first featured Howard Hewitt and Jeffery Daniel, having been created by Soul Train booking agent Dick Griffey and producer Don Cornelius. Now with Dick's daughter Carolyn on board and still with Hewitt and Daniel, the band are still touring and appearing at the London Indigo and, on November 30th, at Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Carolyn took time out to chat to Pete Phillips about what it is like to now perform in the band that she grew up watching and other things such as the cute differences between American and British English...
Mike Peters and The Alarm
With a brand new release of In The Poppy Fields, Mike provided the perfect song to commemorate Remembrance Sunday
But Mike's career with The Alarm has achieved so much more than just music for entertainment - a sufferer himself of leukaemia for many years, through his concerts he has made the audience aware of how important it is to be on a bone marrow transplant list through his Love Hope Strength Foundation and has encouraged more than 150,000 people to sign up which has led to more than 2,500 life-saving matches. And with wife Jules having also been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, the work which Mike does has an even greater significance
You can get more information about the band here: www.thealarm.com
You can get more information about the Foundation here: www.lovehopestrength.co.uk
Norman Washington "Junior" Giscombe (better known as just Junior) is at the forefront of a new movement to bring British Sould music to a new - and old - audience through a new band called The British Collective, which also includes other soul artists Don-E, Leee John, Noel McKoy, Omar and the rest of their soul family
Junior chatted to Pete Phillips about how this collaboration came about and where it goes from here
You can get more information about the band here: www.thebritishcollective.com
After many years of playing in other people's bands, Steve has finally achieved something he has long wanted to do and created one of his own - Rare Orchid
Drafting in musicians he has worked with from many different areas - BBC Big Band, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ten Years After, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, the list goes on - Steve has crafted a brilliant album which not only gives an entirely new take on some classic tunes but also introduces his audience to some of his own compositions. One of each type is included in the interview with Pete Phillips - Petula Clark's 1966 hit I couldn't live without your love and Steve's own A Lady Who Lunches with many of the tracks featuring the gorgeous vocals of Louise Cookman
Good to hear album number two is also almost ready!
Occupational Therapy Week 2016
This takes place between November 7th and 13th
To help our listeners understand and get involved, we have produced a promotion with the details
We will also be welcoming some practitioners into the studio during the week
You can get more information about the College of Occupational Therapists here: www.cot.co.uk
Legend Of A Band is a tribute to the Moody Blues, incorporating 6 very talented musicians, including Gordy Marshall who chatted to David Bower about the show which comes to Malvern Forum on Friday 11th November
David started by asking Gordy about how popular the original band are these days
You can get more information about the band here: www.legendofaband.com
Elles hails from Bristol and is at the forefront of Blues music, being dubbed a "Blues Princess". She is in the middle of a tour (appearing locally in Worcester at The Chestnt) and is working on a number album, after releasing a 6-track EP entitled The Elberton Sessions
Two of the tracks are featured on the interview with Pete: Wildfires and Girl That Owned The Blues, a song written in honour of Janis Joplin
You can get more information about Elles here: www.ellesbailey.com
Nigel is the creator of band The Sad Song Co. which has a new album "in amber" being released on November 18th.
As well as being the front man for his own band, he works extensively with Frank Turner as drummer
The two tracks already featured from the album are exceptionally beautiful and are at the beginning and end of the chat which Nigel did with Pete Phillips
You can get more information about the band here: www.thesadsongco.com
"And Finally...Phil Collins' 2016 Tour, Take A Look At Him Now", which is the UK's Official Number 1 Phil Collins tribute show, comes to the Swan Theatre on October 29th
David Bower chatted to the show's producer, Tim Harper
You can get more information about the show here: www.andfinallyphilcollins.com
Dennis Greaves - Nine Below Zero
No new kids on the block these - Dennis formed the 4-piece band back in the late 70's and they are still going strong with the same members
Currently on tour with their own blend of rhythm and blues and as an enlarged 8-piece, they also have a brand new album (having made 22 of them during their years together!), called appropriately 13 Shades of Blue. Dennis chatted to Pete Phillips about the last 39 years...
You can get more information about Nine Below Zero here: www.ninebelowzero.com
All Or Nothing
A little bit of Mod Cool comes to Malvern with the hit musical ALL OR NOTHING - written and starring Ex-Eastenders actress Carol Harrison
With rave reviews, the show is likely to get a rapturous welcome in Malvern and, in advance of its arrival, Roger Bartlett chatted to Carol
You can get more information about the show here: www.allornothingthemusical.com
David is Artistic Director of the Orchestra Of The Swan, based in Stratford Upon Avon
The Orchestra has a number of evenings of entertainment lined up for Huntingdon Hall (September 21st, November 2nd and December 14th) as well as a tour which will take them to Mexico and New York
David chatted to Pete Phillips about the Orchestra and how they manage to undertake tours to far-flung places which have also included China and Turkey (David's tip for travellers - wear a Father Christmas hat!)
You can get more information about OOTS here: www.orchestraoftheswan.org
Famous for his many years spent on the radio and TV (and cricket, being a "bloody good opening bowler"!), you may not have heard or seen much of Mike lately but that is about to change when he fronts a new TV show
Instead of endlessly promoting the performers and their emotional back stories as done in X-Factor and The Voice, Mike's new show Tin Pan Alley is about the song-writers, without whom there would be no music business as we know it
In a competition to find the best new lyrics, around 700 never-before published writers have been whittled down to 12, at which point the show kicks in to produce and judge the cream of the cream involving a range of producers such as Mike Stock and Stuart Epps and a panel of judges which include Lamont Dozier, David Grant & Cathy Dennis
Tin Pan Alley starts on Showbiz TV (Sky Channel 266) on Sunday October 2nd at 6.30pm
In advance of the show's launch, Mike chatted to Pete Phillips about how it came all happened and about life in radio and TV...
You can see more about the show (and hear the final 12 songs) here : www.tinpanalley.biz
Tally is an Israeli-born singer-songwriter and producer who is now based in London. She chatted to Pete Phillips about her career which includes not only being a voiceover artist and finalist in the Eurovision Song Contest but also having a part in the James Bond movie Quantum Of Solace. And with her new album A Love Song For You comes a new new single Just Wanna Be Loved By You. The interview starts, however, with a track dedicated to those affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Two Kisses, and ends with a song of hope, Free Will
You can get more information about Tally here: www.tallykoren.com
An evening of Dirty Dancing
An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show comes to the Swan Theatre on 16th September
David Bower chatted to leading lady, Amanda Coutts about the show
Please note this production is not affiliated with Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage on tour in the UK or worldwide
The Magic Of Motown
The Magic of Motown comes to the Malvern Theatres on 15th September
David Bower chatted to Lejaune Andre about the show
The Now and Then Show was back in Bromyard this year to check out the Nozstock Festival. Once again it was jam packed with a variety of festival antics with music and entertainment for all of the family. Headline acts included legends such as Jurassic 5 and Imelda May alongside cutting edge artists such as Jaguar Skills, DJ Marky (pictured), Goldie and Gentlemen’s Dub Club. The family farm was buzzing with festival vibes with an Aztec theme, Greek goddesses and lots of togas!
Rob Mace from the Now and Then Show said “it's always a great festival to review and everyone there is so friendly. Ella Nozworth joined us for an interview on the show and talked about the 18 year history of the family run event and how they aim to make it accessible, authentic and something for all musical tastes, and we couldn’t agree more. It's amazing to have such a perspicuous event so near to us in Bromyard and it consistently maintains a true festival spirit capturing the body, heart and soul.”
Following their performances at Nozstock, we then welcomed Brighton based Hop-hop and soul band Normanton Street onto the show to find out more about their summer tour. Some of the tracks from their recently released ‘Life’s Real’ EP were showcased at the festival and we spoke to them as they were getting ready for the European leg of their tour. You can now listen to some of their tracks on Choice radio so don’t forget to drop us a request! For more information on their distinct sound of laid back soulful vibes, hip hop beats, stunning vocals and thought provoking lyrics go to www.normantonstreet.com. Thanks to Ned and Nicholson for joining us on the show and not forgetting Phoebe and Nico too for their performances at Nozstock.
A big thanks to the Nozworth family for letting us review the festival and make sure you get your early bird tickets for 2017 at www.nozstock.com
Nozstock Photos courtesy of Gareth Dalley. Normanton Street - Lifes’s Real E.P is available now
Panto launch 2016 - Cinderella
It's August Bank Holiday Weekend so it's...
Well, at least it was the official launch today of Cinderella in High Street with all the characters on show to the musical accompaniment of the Melton Mowbray Toy Soldiers Band
Ben Humphrey there looking particularly fetching in his white frock - and enjoying himself maybe a little too much!
Lakefest Music Festival - August 14th
We attended the legendary Lakefest Music Festival set within the beautiful backdrop of Eastnor Castle. It was a fun-filled day with plenty of activities for families and adults including bubble shows, copper making workshops and a BMX bike dirt track display. There were also some great live performances from Erica, Star Sailor and Foreign Affairs who really captured the chilled mood of the day with the sun beating down
Frederick Forsyth C.B.E.
It's not often we get to chat to a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
But we achieved that when Pete Phillips chatted to the well-known novelist Frederick Forsyth. Freddie has written a poem in tribute to all those who have fallen serving their country over the last century and this has been put to music by Gareth Ellis Williams and sung by Royal Opera House soprano, Melissa Alder
In addition to the song, Freddie chatted about his long career as an author, laments not going for his gut feeling on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (missing out on £250,000 in the process) and Brexit - being a stanch EuropeanUnionSceptic (not EuroSceptic), his views are clear...
You can get more information about Frederick here: www.frederickforsyth.co.uk
Following a long tradition of Scottish singer/songwriters (Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, Sharleen Spiteri, Annie Lennox...) Carol Laula is no stranger to the business having been producing music for more than 25 years, with her song Standing Proud representing Glasgow in the city's year of culture back in1990. But Carol keeps her head under the parapet whilst still producing beautifully-created songs and working with some of the most talented Scottish musicians around. Now with her eighth album release, The Bones Of It (from which comes the gorgeous August Leaves), Carol chatted to Pete Phillips about how she got into music in the first place and what it means to have her songs and Scottish music in general heard by a wider audience
You can get more information about Carol here: www.carollaula.co.uk
Ray is perhaps better known as Mungo Jerry who had the multi-million selling hit In The Summertime in the 70's
With a new double CD Rewind celebrating the music of the past and the present day, Ray chatted to Pete Phillips about his career, how that song first came about, maxi-singles (remember them?!), the "other" hit single he wrote (sung by Kelly Marie), his work with a whole host of other famous musicians and bands and what he is up to these days...
You can get more information about Ray here: www.mungojerry.com
Tim hails from Liverpool and at the grand age of 60, has embarked on a career as a country singer. Tim chatted to Pete Phillips about his sudden change of lifestyle and the reason behind it...
You can get more information about time here: www.timredmond.co.uk
Graeme is appearing in Invincible at the Malvern Theatre. Now living locally, Graeme chatted to Roger Bartlett about the show and also the other activities he is involved in around the area
Stevie Jones & The Wildfires
Hailing from Northamptonshire, Stevie Jones & The Wildfires is an acoustic-based rock band but one which takes in plenty of other influences and the band has just released their excellent first album Stratigraphic Heart. Stevie - archaeologist by day, rock musician by night - wrote all the songs himself and with his 3 other band members Lou Short, Jake Patrick and the recently-recruited Vassilis Damitriadis, has produced an album which is clearly based on Stevie's own experiences during 25 years in the music industry
Stevie chatted to Pete Phillips about how the band came about as well as the other work which Steve does around the area in promoting music via open mic nights and his other duo, The Waltzers. And also thankfully explains what stratigraphic means!
You can get more information about Stevie and his band here:
Back in the 70's, Dean Friedman had hit after hit - Lydia, Ariel, Rocking Chair and, of course, the classic Lucky Stars. So what has happened since those golden days? Well, quite a lot actually. He wrote the incidental music to Central tv's hit show Boon, for a start. Kenny Everett introduced him on his show whilst hanging upside down in the studio (Kenny, that is, not Dean!). And more recently he performed the strangest of Lucky Stars duets - with The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets! Never a dull moment...
Dean, a regular performer in the UK, is back on tour which includes an 11-date residency at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as 31 other dates around the country, including Wolverhampton Art Gallery on June 11th and Bromsgrove Artrix on September 25th.
Dean chatted to Pete Phillips about the heady days of talking to Rocking Chairs and then moving on to writing songs such as Death to the Neighbors...
Katherine Senior - Creative Cow
A different take on a Graham Greene play this week in Malvern as Creative Cow presents Travels With My Aunt. Different not only because the dozen or so characters are played by the cast of four (3 male, one female) but also because some of them are played by all four, all at the same time! Indeed that is how the play starts, with four Henry Pullens sitting around the Crown and Anchor bar (the sole location, whatever the setting being depicted). The death of Henry's mother reunites him at her funeral with his Aunt Augusta, someone he hasn't seen for many years. But there is more - much more - to his aunt than he thinks, ultimately leading him on his travels - via many countries using clever sound effects - to South America and a realisation as to who this retired bank manager's aunt really is... You might think it would be confusing to have so few people playing so many characters but because of the clever way it is done, this is not the case at all. In fact, it is a useful device because there is a fair amount of narrative and this is broken up by being spoken by different actors. The play itself is gently amusing though there are a number of laugh out loud moments and the cast carry it off well and are clearly enjoying themselves playing the different characters
Earlier, our own David Bower chatted to Katherine Senior, who plays 7 characters and is herself a founder member of Creative Cow
Nicholas McCarthy is a remarkable musician. Born without a right hand, at the age of 14 he decided to play piano. 10 years later, he was the first left-hand-only graduate at the Royal College of Music and performed alongside Coldplay during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Paralympics and he now has his first album out called Solo. No mean feat by anyone's standards
Visit www.nicholasmccarthy.co.uk for more information about Nicholas
Brother Strut are an unusual band in a number of ways. They have been a huge hit on Facebook where they have been releasing their unique blend of soul/funk/jazz music to their growing fanbase without relying on big record labels to publish their work. Their first album was rated 10/10 by Blues and Soul Magazine and with a new album What We Got Together just released on their own record label and a tour underway, their future in this lively fun genre of music seems assured
The band was brought together by Stevie Jones and he chatted to Pete Phillips about how they go about recording their songs, which annoyingly addictive! So in the interview below, Stevie is happy for three of his songs to be included. Take a listen... (and he does explain the rather curious artwork!) - real earworm music
Visit www.brotherstrut.com and you can even get three free tracks - what a generous guy he is!
Malvern Spring Festival 2016
Plenty of things to see at the show this year and the weather was even favourable for the four-day weekend this year (which is more than can be said for the weather during the previous three weeks of preparation!). Pete Philips and Tony & BArbara Deakin attended the show and a number of the prize winners were interviewed
Fresh from his trip to the BBC Radio 2 Fold Awards in London where he was nominated for the Folk Musician Of The Year award, Dan Walsh is currently on a solo tour (nearest venue is the Bromsgrove Folk Club on May 12th) having just finished touring with his other band, the Urban Folk Quartet. Dan chatted to Pete Phillips about the tours and the difference between being a solo act and being one of four in a band and how he came to be an accomplished musician on the banjo
Ian Parkin is appearing at the Malvern theatre next Friday evening and Saturday afternoon/evening with his new show 3 days and 3 minutes with Larry. Written by Chris Mellor and co-starring Lee Peart as his spiritual healer, the show charts the last few days/minutes before Larry Grayson's final performance which was at the 1994 Royal Variety performance
Ian chatted to Pete Phillips about the show and his earlier days as a founder member of Jonathon Ross' house band 4 poofs and a piano, which stayed with the show for 9 years
Save The Last Dance For Me is at Malvern Theatres this week with Lola Saunders in the role of Jennifer, one of two sisters off on holiday to Lowestoft with a nearby US Air Force base close by... The show combines the writing talents of Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, co-stars Blue's Antony Costa, has a great soundtrack played live and X Factor's Lola certainly sounds like she's enjoying herself, as can be heard in our own David Bower's interview with the singer
Liza Pulman & Shannon Rewcroft
Two lovely ladies interviewed on the same day!
Our first interview today was with the very lovely Liza Pulman - one of the voices of Fascinating Aida - who is coming to Malvern on May 6th with her own show The Sounds Of Hollywood. Liza chatted to our own David Bower about the show and her background in music and singing
And there is a video of what to expect here
Our second interview was with the equally lovely Shannon Rewcroft who is at Malvern Theatre this week in Shadowlands, though not getting the chance to show off her beauty as she plays Douglas, the stepson of C S Lewis! John Boardman was lucky enough to have a chat with Shannon about her career so far and why she ended up being cast as a boy...
Dean is a busy chap... Not only is he producing and directing the forthcoming Sez Woody show at the Malvern Theatre, he also has other shows coming to the area - Chaplin (also at Malvern) and Carole King and James Taylor - You've got a friend (in Malvern and at the Swan)
He somehow managed to find time to chat to Pete Phillips about the shows, whilst also looking forward to baby number two's arrival in a couple of months at the Worcestershire Royal shortly as well!
These are the dates for his
Trevor is back at Huntingdon Hall on April 9th with another in his series of presentations about murders and murderers. After re-examining the Jack The Ripper case (something he is about to do again after new information has come to light) and the World's Worst Serial Killers, this time he is concentrating on the UK's Worst Serial Killers. Who are they? Trevor won't reveal that so you will have to go and see the show! But you are guaranteed a somewhat gory evening demonstrating man's inhumanity to man (and woman)...
Trevor chatted to Pete Phillips about the show and about what exactly is a "serial killer"
For more details about Trevor and the show: www.trevormarriott.co.uk
Rachel has a new book out: Connor The Conker and the Breezy Day
Drawing on her years of experience as a professional dancer/choreographer and as a Master Trainer and Examiner in Pilates, Rachel has now taken to the page to publish the first in a series of books introducing Pilates to children as a way of getting them to be more active in a fun way
She chatted to Pete Phillips about the book
Lesley has a new book out: Imagine - Where were you the night John Lennon died?
Drawing on her years of experience in the media interviewing showbiz and rock stars, Lesley has written a book about a fictitious rock journalist who suddenly finds herself the common link between five murders...
She chatted to Pete Phillips about the book
The very funny Mark Watson was back at Huntingdon Hall for a wonderful show which appeared to be centred mainly around the raffle!
Fortunately he had time for a another quick chat with Pete Phillips after the show...
The very lovely Hannah Layton Turner from the Hannah's Yard musical collective had a chat with Pete Phillips about her new debut single and her forthcoming album "Beginnings". If you like the music of female artists such as Minnie Ripperton, Norah Jones and Katie Melua, you’ll certainly enjoy this 19-year old’s contribution to the music scene www.hannahsyard.com for information
Annie Kennedy - Birmingham Bach Choir
A pre-Easter treat for fans of Bach and choral music when the
Birmingham Bach Choir perform his St John Passion at Great Malvern Priory on
Mick Flinn was once the lead singer of The Mixtures, who had
a UK hit with The Pushbike Song. Now with his own band M.F.B.,
Mick chatted to Pete Phillips about his career and the new album
Nell Teasdale - Banff Mountain Film Festival
Nell Teasdale is one of the organisers of the Banff Mountain
Film Festival World Tour which comes to Malvern for two completely separate sets
of films on March 3rd and 4th
Toast is playing in Malvern this week, with Matthew Kelly, Matt Sutton and Simon Greenall. Matt plays Peter, one of 7 characters in the play which is based in a bakery in author Richard Bean's home town of Hull (where coincidentally Matt comes from as well). Matt chatted to David Bower about the show and his short stay in Malvern
Ed and Eloise Barker
Saxophonist Ed has a brand new single out which features the vocal talents of both his sisters, Eloise and Annabelle. Ed and Eloise chatted to Pete Phillips (Annabelle was busy being a midwife!) about the song, its Downton Abbey-influenced video (filmed at Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire) and how it came about, given that Ed was previously working in Los Angeles having had a number one album there and his past life included being a writer of political speeches in Westminster...
Paul is one third of Tenors Un Limited (The Rat Pack of Opera) who, with a brand new album out called The Journey, are appearing at Malvern Forum Theatre on Friday 5th February. Paul chatted to Pete Phillips about how the trio came about and, with their different backgrounds, what influences them musically
Craig is an Australia-born classically-trained guitarist who, now based in the UK, is currently on tour with The Orchestra Of The Swan, based in Stratford-Upon-Avon. He'll be doing two completely different shows, one at Huntingdon Hall on Wednesday 3rd February and another at Malvern Forum Theatre on Wednesday 24th February. Craig chatted to Pete Phillips about his roots in Perth, how he came to settle in the UK where his mum was born and his music career
Dave has been in the music business a long time and since 1979 has been playing with the Blues Band, which he formed with Paul Jones (ex-Manfred Mann. So Blues is definitely in his blood as his fascinating chat with Pete Phillips revealed. Dave will be playing with Paul at Pershore No 8 on January 30th and then is back with Maggie Bell at Huntingdon Hall on March 23rd
Clive John - Johnny Cash Roadshow
In our first interview for 2016, long-time Cash fan David Bower chatted to Clive, who brings the show to the Swan Theatre on February 13th
This time, in our last interview for 2015, Pete Phillips nipped over to Malvern to have a chat with Hannah-Jane Fox, who plays not just Mrs Darling but also a mermaid...
one of the Blake vocal trio, who are appearing in Malvern On December 3rd, chatted to Pete Phillips about how the group came about, their new Christmas album, A Classic Christmas, and their collaboration with Dame Shirley Bassey for the Christmas single which is released on December 18th
a former Worcester Ambulanceman came into the studio to chat to John Boardman about his life and a little something he has done for Christmas...
is directing Mr Popper's Penguins which comes to Malvern Theatres on November 30th and December 1st, the world première of this brand new family musical, adapted from Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book (which also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey)
David Bower chatted to Emma about the show
Lawrence O'Shea - Talk-Show
Lawrence fronts his new band Talk-Show - a band with a good pedigree as the always wonderful Boo Hewerdine is involved, Lawrence chatted to Pete Phillips about how the band, and the collaboration with Boo, came about And the dinosaur? You'll need to listen to the interview to find out what that's all about (and to hear the title track "All Messed Up (and nowhere to go)") !
is bringing Islands In The Stream to Pershore's Number 8 on 21st November
David Bower chatted to Gary about the show
Hannah James appears at the Malvern Cube on Friday 6th Nov in
only the second show of her very first solo tour which is entitled Jig Doll.
Hannah chatted to Pete
Phillips about what the show entails - there are clogs involved! For more
details listen to the interview, as well as one of her songs, here:
is a young up and coming singer/songwriter from Edinburgh with a brilliant new song out now called These Walls. Pete Phillips chatted to Greg about his singing career so far, a large element of which was either touring pubs or on booze cruises! The music is great though and the new song is at the end of the interview
The lovely Judy Collins is appearing at the Malvern Forum on Saturday 24th after having released her first studio album in four years, Strangers Again, for which she invited a cast of icons and young talents to sing with her from Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne and Jeff Bridges to Glen Hansard, Ari Hest and Bhi Bhiman and in doing so, performs a revitalized “Send In The Clowns” and breathes new life into “Hallelujah"
David Bower chatted to Judy about her career and tour
Ocean Film Festival
This comes to Malvern Forum Theatre on October 27th and promises to showcase the world’s most amazing ocean films film above and below the water’s surface - seven different films in fact
Organiser Nell Teasdale, who is also responsible for the venue's Banff Mountain Film Festival, chatted to Pete Phillips about the evening
Nothing to Hyde
This is a new play which is being performed by 4Front Theatre at the Coach House, Malvern
Their artistic director Rob Holman (who is also the actor playing Jekyll / Hyde), chatted to David Bower and Tony Deakin about the show
Well, not quite yet but we were invited over to Malvern to chat with some of the stars of this year's show, Peter Pan
Tony Deakin chatted to Andrew Agnew, Jessica Punch and Mark Moraghan from the cast
The Portraits are Jeremy and Lorraine Millington and have been around for a decade or so with some 5 albums under their belt. October 2nd sees the release of their new album Lions and Butterflies and this contains their utterly gorgeous new song Walls of Silence. Tom Robinson loves their music as does Lembit Opik! Jeremy chatted to Pete Phillips about how they came about and what lies ahead and the following week, it was Lorraine's turn for a chat
More details on the band are available here: www.theportraitsmusic.com
Iain presented his show Iain Lee Vs Radio at Huntingdon Hall and very funny it was too. Being a former hospital radio person himself, was more than happy to chat to Pete Phillips and Tony Deakin after the show
Ten Strings and a Goat Skin
A long way from home, the three lads who form the cleverly-named Ten Strings and A Goat Skin treated the audience at Huntingdon Hall to a superb set of folk music from their native Canada as well as Scandinavia and France with touches of Ukraine and the Middle East.
The three lads (Caleb Gallant,18 years old, as percussionist with older brother Rowen on violin and Jesse Périard on guitar) were clearly genuinely thrilled to be playing to UK audiences and this was only their second night of their short UK tour (last night performing in Milton something-or-other...) and Worcester welcomed them with open arms, particularly enjoying their chatty and friendly nature on stage and expert musicianship, and after the show. Pete Phillips got to have a chat with them
The Upbeat Beatles
The Upbeat Beatles are performing at Malvern Theatres on
Saturday 5th September at 7:45pm in a concert in aid of Malvern charity EIL UK
Monday nights Now & Then Show was kindly invited along to this years Nozstock Festival: The Hidden Valley on 24-26 July 2015. The family run festival is situated just outside Bromyard, Herefordshire. Accommodating up to 5000 festival goers it’s an intimate affair packed with friendliness, fun and a musical line up suited to all tastes. Nozstock reached new heights this summer with its brilliant and bold lineup whilst retaining its sense of escapism and eccentricity. With the 9-stage site housed across a fully working farm and filled with a vibrant crowd, a magical weekend of music, comedy, theatre, dance, film and much more unfolded. Each stage is set around different areas of the farm itself, all brimming with character and a real life atmosphere and charm that other events struggle to achieve.
The intermittent rain also didn’t manage to knock anyone’s spirits as big names were welcomed to the stages including Hip Hop pioneers De La Soul, the soulful sounds of Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Fuse ODG, Neville Staple Band, Beardyman, Hollie Cook, Molotov Jukebox, Will and The People, By The Rivers, The Mouse Outfit ft. Dr Syntax & Sparkz, DJ Hype, Congo Natty and many more all put in amazing performances.
Rob Mace, Now and Then Show Presenter, said “it was great to see such an eclectic line up at such an intimate festival. It's rare to get such a mixture of artists in one place, from soul music to ska, folk to grime, right through to jump up jungle! It’s a great reflection of the diversity of music nowadays, something which we cover on our show each week. Friday nights Hospitality Takeover made a welcomed entrance to the festival this year and it was great to see well established DJs there too such as Kenny Ken and the one and only DJ Hype! A special thanks to the Rob, Pete, Ella and Julie Nosworthy, Andi Spowart, Toki Allison and Damo Jones.”
A relative newcomer to the music scene, Michael has certainly hit the floor running with a brand new - and superb - debut album of self-penned songs plus a couple of covers, including a brilliant version of Billy Joel's Allentown. Michael chatted to Pete about how he got the where he is today. He is on tour with Leo Sayer and later, with Vonda Shepard who appears at Huntingdon Hall on October 15th. More info on Michael on his website: www.michaelarmstrongmusic.co.uk
Thank you for the music - The ultimate tribute to Abba and the Bee Gees
comes to Malvern on Saturday July 18th. David Bower chatted to producer Gary Mac and revealed something we didn't know about himself too!
Vita Ross from Vita And The Vicious
chatted to Pete Phillips about her band and their current EP release Bender and admits that in addition to her current music tastes of pop/punk/synth/rock, she would really rather like to do a 1940's style gig or sing with The Rat Pack...
An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show
is presented at the Swan Theatre on July 11th. Julian Essex-Spurrier leads the production in a fully choreographed, highly interactive celebration of the music from the iconic movie including the songs Big Girls Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Wipeout, Do You Love Me, Hungry Eyes and the Oscar-winning (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life . David Bower & Tony Deakin chatted to Julian about the show
The Royal Three Counties Show Ross
The showground again hosted a wide variety of serious livestock judging and entertainments for the whole family, with the usual plethora of tradestands and the Red Arrows too. Included in the show this year too were dancing sheep...!
Robert is an expert on all things comedic - "a fine writer, an invaluable comedy historian and an all round good chap" according to Bill Oddie. He chatted to Pete Phillips about his involvement in ITV3's recent series Carry On Forever and about all sorts of other funny stuff. And next time we get him back to chat to, we'll be discussing Doctor Who!
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival
The weather stayed predominantly good for the visit by Tony & Barbara Deakin and Pete Phillips and there were plenty of photo and interview opportunities
is on tour, coming to Worcester on May
8th, has a new album With The Dawn (which according to The Sunday Times is
"Nothing short of a masterpiece") and is none other than BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer
Of The Year 2014
Pete Phillips also chatted to her after the show
Tony Deakin caught Rusty during rehearsals at Malvern Forum for Show White, where she plays a Fairy Reporter (no skates required!)
Mike Hall - Classic Clapton
Mike is back playing at the Artrix in Bromsgrove on Friday April 17th. He chatted from his home in the North East to Pete Phillips and Chris Smart about the current tour and revealed that this may well be the last one south of his homeland...
Tom pays Captain Brice in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia which is
currently playing at Malvern Theatres
Meadow Birth Centre
This new unit, separate from the maternity unit, opens in March giving lucky mums-to-be the chance to use the brand new facilities. We were given the chance to look around the new unit and Tony Deakin chatted to Patti Paine, the Divisional Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Louise Turbutt, Meadow Birth Centre Team Leader and two Amy's, mum-to-be and James, expectant father, whilst David Bower took some photos of the new unit and people involved
The band played a superb gig at Huntingdon Hall all all 5 members - founder and guitarist Ian Jones, vocalist Hayley Griffiths, guitarist Enrico Panni, Keyboardist Cagri Tozluoglu and drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi - happily chatted to Pete Phillips and Ian Raine after the show. Great music from a truly international and talented group of musicians
The lovely Clare will be appearing at the
Malvern Forum on March 26th with her show, A Tribute to Doris Day with
Clare's Hollywood Style Orchestra and Matthew Ford
Wayne Denton - A Celebration of Neil Diamond
appear at Huntingdon Hall and Tony Deakin chatted to him about the show
will be appearing at Huntingdon Hall in March and Pete Phillips chatted to vocalist Hayley Griffiths & the guy who started it all off, Ian Jones. An obvious question is where does the name come from. All is revealed in the interview...
Kathryn Tickell & The Side
appeared at Huntingdon Hall and we enjoyed a great evening of superior musicianship - and clog dancing!
After the show, Kathryn chatted to Pete Phillips and Chris Smart
The Richard Alston Dance Company
This pioneering dance company are celebrating their 20th anniversary and are coming to Malvern Forum on February 25/26. Martin Lawrence’s new dance work ‘Burning’ has been setting fire to dance floors across the country, alongside the breathtakingly fast Overdrive, and Nomadic with its hip hop and urban music influences
Tony Deakin chatted to one of the performers, Elly Braund, about the show
The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
comes to Malvern Forum on February 27th & 28th - showing 8 different adrenalin-packed films (with some quieter moments too) of extreme sport and living
Pete Phillips chatted to Nell Teasdale about the event, the third time it has come to Malvern
10 hours of drumming to fund-raise for the charity. Who doesn't like making a noise?!
Pete Phillips chatted to Jane Roberts about the day's event
Make a donation- you know you want to! www.justgiving.com/snoezelendrum-a-thon
possibly best known for playing the infamous Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street, will be coming to Malvern in February in Oh What A Lovely War, where you will get to see a totally different side to this talented actress...
She chatted to Pete Phillips, Tony Deakin and David Bower about her career and the forthcoming show (which runs from 16th to 21st February)
Jane Horrocks & Sally Bankes
Both are currently starring in Ayub Khan Din's new presentation of East Is East - a real treat in store for audiences. Both chatted to Pete Phillips after the show...
Ian Ashpitel & Jonty Stephens
who will be in the production of Eric & Little Ern at the Malvern Theatre on December 2nd chatted to David Bower about the role
Celtic Guitar Journeys
A Scotsman, a Welshman and a Frenchman walk into a Hall
And Worcester in Welsh? Caewrangon. You live and learn...!
who's appearing in J. B. Priestley's Dangerous Corner at Malvern Theatres chatted to David Bower about the show, her career and life in the North...
musician, writer, actor and composer (of The Chicken Song amongst other notable titles...) chatted to Pete Phillips about working with Rory McGrath on their current show which comes to the Bromsgrove Artrix on November 15th and about the nightmare of having his 20 year old son require a heart transplant. You can read all about that, his meeting with the young donor's father and the importance of organ donation here: www.willpope.co.uk
whose company Uninvited Guests is currently touring with This Last Tempest and Love Letters Straight From Your Heart (both coming to Malvern) chatted to Pete Phillips about the show
under the guise of Eric Clapton plays Huntingdon Hall and chatted to Pete Phillips about the show and how the last 29 years as a tribute act have treated him...
chatted to Tony Deakin at the opening of the exhibition "World War One - In the words of the Worcestershire people" which is at the City Art Gallery & Museum until March 14th
is currently on tour in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at both the Alexandra Theatre (w/c 6/10) in Birmingham and Malvern Theatres (w/c 13/10)
He chatted to Tony Deakin about the show and one of the draws of Malvern - a Waitrose!
had a great gig at Huntingdon Hall and afterwards chatted to Pete Phillips about the show and our unusual venue, as well as re-instating "the raffle will be drawn from the stage!)
The Three Counties Autumn Show
A very pleasant two-day event in the glorious September sunshine with plenty of stalls and things to see and enjoy. Tony & Barbara Deakin and Pete Phillips interviewed some of those there: Rob from Pheasant Acre Plants (Gold Medal Winner), Adrian from Bringsty Forge (noisy!) and Markus Kobelt from Swiss fruit plant company Lubera (tasty!)
Dean Elliot - Paul Simon of the Simon & Garfunkel Story
Dean, currently touring with his show, visits Malvern on Friday October 3rd. He chatted to Pete Phillips about the show and the forthcoming move to the West End
The inaugural Worcester 10k run
This took place at Pitchcroft and around the city and our intrepid reporters Tony & Barbara Deakin went down at some unearthly hour on a Sunday morning to get the facts from, amongst others, runners Paula Radcliffe and local guy Tony Whiteman
Rory, along with Philip Pope, appear at Huntingdon Hall on September 18th. Pete Phillips chatted to Rory about his career from the early days at the BBC writing lines for the likes of Frankie Howard and Windsor Davies to his latest escapades in the 7-series Three Men In A Boat and the books he has written
Worcester Music Festival
is back for 2014 and Pete chatted to Mick from the organisation about what we can expect this year
A Summer Of Festivals
As part of the Monday night Now and Then show,
Chris Aggrey and Rob Mace have been providing a guide to music festivals
throughout the summer season. This has involved information features and
exclusive access to festivals to find out for themselves what was on offer.
A special thanks to the Global Crew, Ella Nozworth and Damo for allowing us access and dont miss out on early bird tickets for next year!
Chris has a new CD of predominantly blues music out at the moment and he chatted to Pete Phillips about how the album had come about.
Entitled Chris Bevington and Friends, it is obviously a collaborative album and is available from I-Tunes etc and also tracks can be heard Soundcloud and Youtube. Chris' own website is www.chrisbevingtonmusic.co.uk
My Choice is live!
Months in the planning, we have launched our brand new show My Choice daily at 4pm
Music with a meaning, chosen by and presented by a wide range or hospital staff, station members, local celebrities, musicians, charity volunteers, etc, this one hour show features music which says something to the people who chose it - and will mean something to you too
We were privileged to have the jingles for the show, as well as the launch itself, performed by BBC/IRN/TalkSport/Global Radio presenter, Howard Hughes and voiceover of many of the annual British Comedy Awards (formerly of Radio Wyvern too!)
TruckFest South West and Wales 2014
This once again came to the Three Counties Showground and with good weather, a great time was had by all. We did interviews with local hauliers A B E and Whites, had a chat with the guys aiming to hit the speed record of 1000 mph in South Africa and their Supacat support crew and saw an impromptu recovery of trucks as they struggles to get out of the main arena. We even had an interview with former Corrie star Michelle Keegen!
29th Upton International Jazz Festival
Chris Aggrey attended this annual event. A special thanks to Tanya Gledhill who helped organise the 29th Upton International Jazz festival the weekend of the 27th June 2014. There was a whole heap of festivities, talented acts and live music. The highlights were the youth Jazz band orchestra and the influential duo on violin and guitar Ben Horde and Will Barnes. Looking forward to the 30th event in 2015
Open All Hours
comes to the Swan in July - Tony Deakin chatted to Jane and Gary from the show
came to the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham and Tony Deakin chatted its Production Manager
Guests at the Royal Three Counties Show
As usual, we were invited to cover this event, which this has added the "Royal" to its title. It certainly added good weather as well and two exhausting days were spent there enjoying the entertainment and interviewing those who helped put on the shows, including the Red Devils Parachute Regiment Team, the Bolddog Lings and the Husqvarna English Pole Climbing Competitions
The Magic Of Motown
came to Malvern and David Bower chatted to its producer, Michael Taylor
Guests at the Throckmorton Airshow
Invited to the show for the first time, this was a wonderful day out for anyone even vaguely interested in planes. The weather improved dramatically for the air displays and everyone enjoyed the hospitality of organisers Samantha Jones and Angus Nairn. Back next year for sure!
Thank you for the music!
Prior to this tribute to Abba appearing at the Pershore Number 8 Community Arts Centre - and celebrating 40 years since Waterloo stormed to victory on the day of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 final itself! - David Bower talked to show producer Gary Mac about this lively presentation of many classic Abba songs
Five days after chatting to Boo Hewerdine, we
chatted to Iceland's Hafdis Huld, for whom Boo has written two tracks on her
brilliant new album, Home (he gets everywhere!)
Boo was in Eddi Reader's band at the concert in Worcester and happily chatted to Pete and Chris whilst the support was playing. By far, the most enjoyable and funny interview we have ever done at a gig! Enjoy!
Mario will be performing in The Elvis Years at Swan Theatre in Worcester on Friday May 9th at 8pm. David Bower chatted to Mario about the show
The Elvis Years is born out of the same people that were behind (and in) Jailhouse Rock in the West End including original star Mario Kombou and is led by legendary producer, musical director and Ivor Novello award-winner David Mackay. The show goes from the early days of Sun Studios and That’s Alright Mama, through the Hollywood years of GI Blues and It’s Now or Never, the ‘68 TV special with All Shook Up, culminating in the legendary Las Vegas concert, with In The Ghetto, Suspicious Minds and American Trilogy.
As a special treat, buy your tickets now and get two for the price of one. Just call the box office on 611427 and quote CH241
Peter Miller - live from Australia!
Guitarist Peter, who hails from Brisbane in Queensland, called us up to have a chat about his excellent new album Songs Without Words and chatted to Pete Phillips and Chris Smart about the album and how he gets his influences for a Celtic-tinged set of tunes (www.petermillermusic.com)
The Searchers - again!
Almost hot on the heals of their pre-Christmas show, the guys were back in Worcester after a tour in Australia. Before an excellent singalong St George's Day show, Pete Phillips spoke to lead singer Frank Allen
Appeared at Huntingdon Hall and, although nothing had been arranged, we got to chat with Peter Morrison and Ross Couper after the show, whilst their set was being dismantled. Smashing guys and the show, it has to be said, was absolutely superb and played to a capacity audience which was great to see!
HBA Awards Night 2014
Although we did not manage this year to improve on the 5 Top 10 placings which we achieved (so no Gold, Silver or Bronzes this time around), a good time was had by all
or rather Paul McCartney in The Magic Of The Beatles coming to Huntingdon Hall on April 4th, chatted to David Bower about the band and the concert
will be coming to Worcester to promote her brand new album, Vagabond. In this extensive hour-long special, she chatted to Pete & Chris about her life and how vital it is to keep folk and roots music alive today, topped and tailed with two tracks from the album
Choice, Worcester Male Voice Choir & Snoezelen
We brought together the Choir and Snoezelen which resulted in a concert at a coffee morning at St Martin's Church in Worcester with proceeds going to the charity
Chris Smart, our Programme Controller and member of the choir, is pictured here with Jane Roberts from Snoezelen and with the choir in full flow
Theatre of the Damned
bring The Ghost Hunter to Worcester's Swan Theatre and Pete and Chris chatted to writer Stewart Pringle and actor Tom Richards about this fascinating one-man play
will be coming to Worcester to promote her brand new album, Vagabond. In this extensive hour-long special, she chatted to Pete & Chris about her life and how vital it is to keep folk and roots music alive today, topped and tailed with two tracks from the album
is promoting the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour which was due to visit Malvern and spoke to Tony Deakin about the films
Grant Simmonds MBE
chatted to Tony Deakin about all sorts of topics from leaving school at 15 to working in the Stock Exchange and his involvement in the Battle Of Worcester Society
is out on tour and has a new album, Here She Comes. Prior to coming to Huntingdon Hall, Hazel chatted to Pete Phillips from her home in Ireland about her past and her current musical inspiration
is looking for happiness. At least, that is the name of his new show and, prior to his appearance at Huntingdon Hall, chatted to Tony Deakin about it
is one of the actors in the Reduced Shakespeare Company's "The Bible - abridged" which plays at the Swan Theatre. He chatted to David Bower about the play and his career
is bringing his unique take on skiffle music to Huntingdon Hall and chatted to Chris and Pete on the Sunday Supplement about the origins of the music
takes on the persona of Michael Jackson in Jackson Live In Concert at the Malvern Theatre and prior to the show, he chatted to Chris and Pete on the Sunday Supplement about the show and his career to date
popped in to David Bower's show to chat about Worcestershire Telecare and all that the service can provide to people in the county
came to Malvern to star in The Perfect Murder alongside Les Dennis, Claire Goose, Steven Miller & Simona Armstrong in Peter James' play
Worcester Chiropractic Clinic
asked us to help in promoting an Open Evening for back pain sufferers so we produced a trail to tell listeners what it is all about
came to Malvern to star in Blood Brothers as Mrs Johnstone and chatted to Tony Deakin about the play and the role
Getting nominated for awards!
5 nominations in the HBA Awards for 2014:
Station of the Year (all presenters represented in this entry)
came to Huntingdon Hall for what is now an annual Christmas show. Frank Allan, who has been with the band since 1964, chatted to Pete Phillips and Chris Smart about nearly 50 years of life on the road...
They will be back in Worcester at the Swan Theatre on St George's Day (April 23rd) and for the next Christmas show on Dec 19th 2014
Snoezelen for Christmas
The Snoezelen charity presented a day-long concert of Christmas Carols at the Crowngate Centre to help raise awareness and funds
with Glenn on keyboards and Andy on percussion
The Two Worlds of Charlie F
returns to the Midlands in 2014 and is coming to Malvern from March 31st to April 5th
David Bower spoke to Cassidy Little about the play and where else it is going to
Sam Buttery talks to Tony Deakin
Sam, currently on tour in Viva La Drag!, spoke to Tony about the show, prior to it coming to Malvern
A Christmas song for Help For Heroes
Georgina & Chrissy have written this beautiful song with every penny raised going straight to the 'Help For Heroes charity
Vote for your nurses!
The Patient's Choice Award is one where you can vote for a nurse, midwife, health visitor or healthcare practitioner who has made a real difference to you or someone you love. You have until January 3rd to vote - click on the image for more information
Adele Silva talks to Tony Deakin
Adele, currently on tour in the one-woman show 51 Shades Of Maggie, spoke to Tony about the show. No, that's not him in the photo!
Penny Venables talks to Tony Deakin
Penny, the Chief Executive of the Trust, spoke to Tony about life in office since she joined the Trust early in 2012
Max Boyce talks to Tony Deakin
Max, who is appearing at Huntingdon Hall in October, had a chat to Tony about his career and his current 40th anniversary tour
Gina Price goes Back To Broadway
Gina spoke to Pete Phillips about the show prior to its arrival in Malvern
This local charity has just celebrated its 20th birthday. To celebrate, Jane Roberts and Glenn Pettit came to the studio to talk to Tony Deakin all about it...
In an exclusive interview direct from Kabul, Afghanistan, Pen Farthing - the creator of NOWZAD, a charity which looks after stray dogs and cats in the city - spoke at length to Pete Phillips about how and why the charity was first created, the work that it does and how it has launched an appeal for funds to secure its future
The Film Orchestra
Just prior to their first ever performance, at the Swan Theatre on August 24th, creator Jane Whittle came up to the studio to chat with Tony Deakin about its beginnings and how it has developed, as well as what people can expect on the night
TruckFest, along with more than 1800 trucks, came to Malvern for the very first time and we went along to cover some of the events, including interviews with Ice Road Truckers Lisa Kelly & Alex Debogorski
It was enormous fun and the good news is - it will be back next year!
The Vaccine Research Trust
contacted us as they are running low on funds
2013 - Cycles of a Sunflower
We were invited to attend the preview night of this collaboration between New College, Worcester Arts Workshop and Worcester Snoezelen, this presented both an exhibition and a live musical performance. Some of the participants are pictured below and there is also an interview with co-ordinator Glenn Pettit and some of the performers
2013 - 16th Worcester Beaver Scouts visit Choice
Some of the Beaver Scouts, along with some Cubs, mums and dads came up to the studio and each of them explained to presenters Peter Phillips and Tony Deakin what they had been doing and what they enjoyed about the organisation
2013 - Tony Deakin interviews the Mayor, Roger Berry
as he approaches the end of his year in office
2013 - Steve Carley interviews Tony Deakin and Julian Pugh
In a complete role reversal, Steve from the Worcester News interviewed Tony, as well as Julian (co-author of The Official History of Worcester City Football Club) about the club's 100+ year history and its future beyond the last game at St George's Lane at the end of April
2013 - Chris Aggrey visited the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival in March
Above are images from some of the sessions
Next year's festival is already in the planning - no doubt, more new to follow!
2013 - Bob Lawrence from the West Midland Safari and Leisure Park popped in to talk to Tony Deakin
About all things animals... and the night 130 baboons decided to wander into Kidderminster!
2013 - Chris Jaeger wrote about us in the Worcester News
Thank you, Chris!
2013 - Oliver Carpenter introduces us to his new band Stomp and Holler
As well as discussing his other musical interests, Mumbo Jumbo and the Blues at the Fold festival...
2013 - Jane Whittle and Dave Etheridge from The Film Orchestra
Jane and Dave came into to talk about their new venture - a new project for grade 6+ musicians who want to play original music for film, TV and radio and enjoy the experience of ensemble music making
2013 - John James from Re-Con Malvern
John James organises unsigned bands to appear
at the new Re-Con venue in Malvern, under the name of "Cakie Presents"
2012 - Worcester Snoezelen launch their Big Build Appeal
And we are helping them to promote it
2012 - Phil Mountford
Phil is the creator of Fordante, the critically-acclaimed and award-winning crossover classical ensemble who perform music from some of the greatest film soundtracks alongside their own beautiful and enchanting original music, chatted to Pete Phillips about their forthcoming concert at the Ledbury Market Theatre
We had the pleasure of hosting a number of members of the Hospital Broadcasting Association - our national umbrella organisation - prior to an excellent training day which the HBA organised to which all member stations were invited. Also present was Andy Carter who was one of the trainers. Given that Andy was going to be training us in presentation techniques, Tony just had to put on a great show!
We have produced two trails to promote the work of ChildLine - thanks to Adrian Ross-Jones and Nick Wilkes for the voice-overs!
2012 - Trevor Marriott
Former Murder Squad Detective Trevor Marriott chatted to Pete Phillips about his exposé of his investigations into the 1888 Jack The Ripper murders at Huntingdon Hall on Friday 13th July
2012 - Blues at the Fold
Oliver Carpenter, organiser and participant in Blues at the Fold in Bransford on July 7th, came up to the studio to chat about the event to Pete Phillips, who also went to the event
2012 - Three Counties Show
We were guests at the Three Counties Show, a wet and windy but nonetheless enjoyable day out, proving the weather is no match for us Brits! Apart from the array of animals, we also chatted to chefs Peter Lien and Sophie Grigson and Linda Scott from the University of Worcester
2012 - Marie-Claire Berreen - album launch
A recent guest on Choice, Marie-Claire invited us to the launch of her new debut album ‘Box and a Ribbon’ at the Worcester Arts Workshop. Her trademark bells made an appearance too...
2012 - The Olympic Torch came to the city
And Worcestershire resident Sally Flood did us proud by lighting the flame at the Worcestershire Cricket Ground
2012 - Birds of a feather
The popular TV comedy Birds of a Feather has become a stage show and visited both Malvern and Birmingham
Tony & Barbara Deakin spoke to the cast at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham
2012 - David Rex
(translated from the French by Tom Stoppard) is coming to Ledbury's Market
Theatre for one night only
2012 - WMF at the Hive
The Hive in Worcester opened its doors to a wide array of bands and musicians, many of whom we interviewed
2012 - Phillip Gandey
Phillip Gandey, Director of the Chinese State Circus, had a chat on the phone to Pete Phillips about their performances over Easter weekend at the Birmingham Alexandra Theatre
2012 - HBA Awards
Our entry "Worcester 1651", based on the re-enactment of the final stages of the English Civil War on Powick Fields in September 2011, won the Gold Award in the Special Event category.
Judge Barnie Choudhury (former BBC Social Affairs editor and regular on Radio 4's Today programme - see first picture below) commented that it was "creative and something different"
Fellow judge Paul Sylvester (head of presentation at Absolute Radio) said it was "brilliant - massive respect"
Richard Smith - The A to Z of Pop's creator - joined us for a celebratory picture too
Other commended entries were a station promotion and an interview with the ladies of Busting Out
2012 - Judie Tzuke
Judie Tzuke, who is appearing at Huntingdon Hall on April 2nd (www.tzuke.com) had a chat with Pete Phillips on the phone about her music, touring and her new album "One Tree Less"
2012 - Dr Charles Ashton, Medical Director
Dr Ashton visited the studio to talk about the norovirus
Dr Ashton also voiced a trail which will be played out regularly to the patients
2012 - Penny Venables
The Trust's new Chief Executive, Penny Venables, popped in for a chat with Tony Deakin
2012 - Alexis Strum
Singer and actress Alexis Strum (www.alexisstrum.com) - appearing at the Swan Theatre in Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story - chatted to Pete Phillips over the phone about her work
2012 - Steve Carley
Worcester News sports reporter Steve Carley popped in on New Year's Day for a chat with Tony Deakin
2011 - Pantos!
Tony went to the Swan to interview two of the stars of the panto at the Swan Theatre, Ben Humphries and Fiona McGregor
Tony & Barbara also went up to see the star of Grease at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, Robin Cousins
2011 - University of Worcester Drama Students
India, Lydia, Becky, Hannah and Helen came in to the studio to chat about their production of Franz Kafka's classic horror story "Metamorphosis" and very enlightening it was too!
2011 - Battle of Worcester
We went down to High Street, the Commandery and Powick Fields and did a few recordings and took a few pictures
2011 - Tim Clarke
Editor of the Worcester Standard dropped in for a Friday evening chat with Tony Deakin
2011 - More success at the HBA Awards
Third year in
2010 - Robin Walker pops in for a chat
Worcester's MP Robin Walker visited the studio and his appearance was featured in the Worcester Standard
2010 - The Mayor pops in...
As usual, the Mayor of Worcester Andy Roberts, coming to the end of his year in office, came up to the studio to discuss the highs and lows of the past year and to choose some of his favourite music. The programme was covered by the local press
2010 - More success at the HBA Awards
The national awards took place in March 2010 and our entry in the Special Event category entitled Choice Across The Atlantic, based on the Atlantic Challenge below, was credited with second place.
What the judges said:
"Rowing our name across the Atlantic - an ambitious project according to the judges, instantly interesting, makes you want to hear more of it. A good original topic"
The judges said the entry was ambitious, and instantly interesting making you want to listen to hear more. They said it was a good original topic, fun production in song choice and informative
Pictured below are Tony Deakin, Peter Phillips & Barbara Deakin
2010 - The Atlantic Challenge
The race finally started nearly a month late and with a very unexpected twist of fate less than a week in for the team we are following. Check it out at www.insightatlantic.com
And the great news is the documentary which have produced has been shortlisted in the HBA Annual Awards in its category, Special Event
Last year we came out top in the same category with Blood, Bile, Leeches and the NHS
Here's hoping for a double this March!
2009 - A very big thank you!
To our friends at the Worcester Music Festival who managed to raise a staggering £4068 pounds during their festival weekend, half of which has been donated to Choice.
A big thanks also to all the people who attended the concerts and events and who gave their money so freely
Here we all are receiving the cheque...
2009 - Worcester Feast!
The weekend of 4th to 6th September was a feast for food and drink lovers in Worcester with a three day festival
We went along to enjoy it, as well as having a chat with Rustie Lee, one of the many chefs who were giving demonstrations
And Ian Escritt later came upto the studio to chat about his product, Mrs Willis' Honey and Lemon cordial, and how he managed to get it from initial idea through to on the shelves at Holland & Barrett in just one year
2009 - Out and about
29th August saw presenter Dave Webber at Brockhampton Hall, providing the entertainment along with our display banner and board
2009 - A weekend of music
The Worcester Music Festival got underway on August 21st, opened by the Mayor of Worcester. Eight bands and artists played over more than 3 hours, which was broadcast live on BBC Hereford and Worcester
Chris Jaeger, Andy Roberts Mayor of Worcester, Andrew Marston & Lisa Ventura
2009 - Madness across the Atlantic...
The guys from Team Insight (Andy, Benjy, Dominic and Paul) came up to the studio to explain what on earth they think they're doing rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic for charity! We put together a promotion for the trip, which you can hear in the Current Promotions section. Our station name will be on the boat and we will be following their progress from now until they return
Local band Loungetree from Wolverhamption came into the studio to chat about their new album and the gigs they will be performing at during the Worcester Music Festival in August (the interview and tracks from their new album Seasons are available to listen to above)
2009 - Insight Atlantic
Four men, one boat, 3000 miles of ocean - mad or what?
Decide for yourself by listening to the 3 Counties Show and studio interviews and the promotion we have produced (all available above) for the 4 lads who will be setting off in December in a rowing boat with the name of Choice on it. If you can help out or donate, go to www.insightatlantic.com where you will see full details of what they need and the charities they are raising money for
2009 - Mayor's visit
As usual, the mayor made a visit to the studio to review the previous 12 months in office. This time it was the turn of Lucy Hodgson who, in addition to telling listeners what had been the highlights of the last year, also presented her choice of music. Her eclectic selection varied from choices such as Carmina Burana (as an avid fan of the Worcester Warriors), Elgar’s Nimrod and Carnival of the Animals and through to Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, with this decade represented by Duffy and Alesha Dixon, though she did also confess to still being a great fan of Abba after many years!
2009 - HBA Awards
At the HBA 2009 Awards in Blackpool, Choice Radio won the GOLD award for our entry in the Special Event category
The event covered was the NHS 60th anniversary Open Day in 2008 in which Peter Phillips and Ian Raine interviewed the people involved and music from each of the decades
Our entry was entitled "Blood, Bile, Leeches and the NHS" and the judges commented that "it was a well thought out documentary marking the 60th anniversary of the NHS. Its title, Blood, Bile, Leeches and the NHS, may not have sounded the most gripping name for a radio programme but perfectly described the events"
Above from left: Barbara Deakin, Peter Phillips, Tony Deakin and Kevin Rushbrooke with the award and certificate
Above from left: Peter Phillips receiving the award from This Morning's Dr Chris Steele
And then it was back to the studio for a repeat presentation
We had an article about in us in the Worcester Standard
and another in the Worcester News and Worcester Journal
as well as a brief and succinct item on BBC Hereford & Worcester News
2009 - We interviewed Lisa Ventura and Chris Bennion from the Worcester Music Festival
And as a result, we produced an advance promotion with Lisa for their 2009 festival on August 21/22/23
You can visit their website by clicking here: www.worcestermusicfestival.co.uk
2009 - We interviewed Sue and Robert Wilson from the Midland Musical Theatre Group
And as a result, we have produced a promotion for their Christmas show
You can visit their website by clicking here: www.mmtg.biz
2008 - Long Service Awards
On September 18th, we held a Long Service Awards evening to mark those members who have been with the station for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
Along with Choice members and our President, Sally Young, we also had the pleasure of the company of June Snowden (President of the HBA), Worcester's Deputy Mayor (Andy Roberts), Trust Chief Executive (John Rostill), Volunteer Services Co-ordinator (Liz Williams) and the Chairman of the Friends (Mrs Westcott)
A good time was had by all...
2008 - NHS 60th birthday
We participated in the NHS 60th birthday celebrations at the Charles Hastings Education Centre on Saturday 16th August. There were plenty of interview opportunities...
Below are some of the pictures we took
2008 - WODYS sing live for the patients
Members of the Worcester Operatic and Dramatic Youth Society and their Musical Director and PR officer (plus a couple of parents) came upto the studio
Listeners were treated to some live accapella music and some chat, all in advance of their show "Back to the 80's" at the Swan Theatre from July 29th to August 2nd
Below are some of the pictures we took
2008 - Outside broadcast from the hospital reception
Below are some of the pictures we took
2007 - HBA Awards
Our entry for the HBA awards 2007 based on Dave Webber's show was in the Top 10 and gained a very respectable Commended award from the judges
This page was last updated on Sunday, 25 February 2018