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Blake

Photo Copyright Blake

After performing with Blake and Helen Vereker Singers at The Courtyard, Hereford in October, I am delighted to welcome Blake to answer some questions for us. Many of you may already know that the widely tipped Number 1 for Christmas  2015 will be Blake and Dame Shirley Bassey!

As their website says 'Revealed today in the Daily Mirror newspaper, Dame Shirley Bassey and Brit-Award winning harmonisers BLAKE have joined forces to record ‘The Christmas Song’ for the band’s debut festive album, available now on PledgeMusic.com with 10% of profits going directly to Variety the childrens charity!' Let's all keep our fingers crossed this is a chart topper!

Blake

Photo Copyright Blake 

 Blake

Humphrey guiding us through a rehearsal at the Courtyard 

Photo copyright Brian O'Donoghue

Have you always been interested in music from a very young age?

Stephen: We have all been interested in music from an early age. Both Humphrey and Ollie were choristers and all us have studied music in some form or another. As most musicians will tell you there is something in your blood that brings you to music and draws you to it as a career. It’s almost irresistible.

Blake

Photo Copyright Brian O'Donoghue

I see that Facebook played a part in re uniting you all in 2007, how long ago that must seem now! Do you think you would have become solo artists had you not formed Blake?

Ollie: I cannot imagine my life without music in it. Maybe I would have gone on to teach or write music but there isn’t anything else I’ve ever really wanted to do. Humph: I feel the same – I love teaching and working with choirs so it was always on the cards.Stephen: I love to write music too so that would have been a possibility – I do a little modelling too so that could have been an option, but I’m so glad to be part of Blake. It’s the greatest job in the world.

Where did the name Blake come from?

It’s quite straightforward really we are all fans of William Blake. Someone suggested it (can’t remember who) but there were no arguments, it just seemed to fit.

Blake

Photo Copyright Brian O'Donoghue

As you have and still are touring worldwide and have visited many countries, do you have a favourite holiday destination?

We all love to travel and have been so lucky to visit some of the most amazing places including China, USA, Australia, The Caribbean, New Zealand, The Philippines and Russia. We have more overseas tours planned for 2016 and we’re hoping to slip in a holiday or two.

Who would you each choose as a dinner guest?

Ollie: Stephen Fry and Dame Shirley Bassey of course!
Stephen: Frank Sinatra
Humphrey: Maria Callas

Blake

Photo Copyright Brian O'Donoghue

Do you prefer to listen classical or pop when you are at home?

We all have a very wide range of musical tastes, Ollie: I prefer to listen to classical on the whole but when we’re travelling to concerts we have a whole range of music playing. Stephen: I like to keep up to date with all the new releases across the board and spend a lot of time listening to music when I’m at the gym or training so therefore dance music tends to be better for this. Humphrey: I will listen to anything and give it a go. I take my dog and my mp3 player out every day and listen to a broad range of things – often recommended by friends and family.

There are far too many amazing achievements you have made in such a short time to single out just one, can you each give me one that has stayed with you and why?

Up until this year it would have had to be winning the Classical Brit Award, then performing in front of Her Majesty the Queen, but to be honest recording the new single with Dame Shirley Bassey has topped everything. It has been an amazing experience – we are all still pinching ourselves.

Blake

Photo Copyright Brian O'Donoghue

How do you relax?

Ollie: A hot bath and a cup of tea.
Stephen: Video games or the gym
Humphrey: Taking my new puppy Claude for a walk or a lovely meal with my wife.

Do you prefer a small theatre or stadiums?

That’s a tough question. We all love the thrill of being on stage anywhere but the intimacy of a small theatre is hard to beat but when you’re on stage in front of thousands of fans, the feeling is just sensational.

Blake

Photo Copyright Brian O'Donoghue

After a very busy year, what are your plans for 2016?

Much more of the same we hope. A few more tours overseas including China and Northern Europe along with a few more outdoor events in the Summer – these are really hard to beat.

I have been reading plenty of news and information on your website. You are certainly mega busy! 

Many thanks to you all for your time. I hope you and your families have a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 

If any of you who live in or around Herefordshire and would like to come along for a FREE taster session with the choir I belong to, please do! We have loads of FUN! See below photo for details. Gardner Hall is in Venns Lane, Hereford and there are plenty of parking spaces.

Blake

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