So as I mentioned in a previous post, I was very fortunate to have signed for Global Artists off the back of my last tour Bohemian Rhapsody. Me and my agent Michael had a few conversations about the direction we think we should approach auditions and the very first one Michael put me up for was Thriller Live. I had around four or five rounds of auditions and it was quite a difficult process.
What I didn’t realise was how incredible Michael Jackson was as a vocalist. I always knew he had the charisma and was an incredible dancer but his songs are some of the hardest vocally I’d ever encountered for an audition. To sing ‘She’s Out Of My Life’ straight into ‘Beat It’ straight into ‘Dirty Diana’ is no mean feat! I genuinely came out of the final audition thinking I’d got no chance. However the call did come and I was over the moon is been offered the role of Man 3 – the rock guy, on the UK and European tour of Thriller Live. I think even my agent was a little shocked that I’d been offered a lead role in the first show I’d auditioned for.
The cast I am part of are incredible. Cleo Higgins from Cleopatra and more recently smashing it on ‘The Voice’ has one of the most incredible voices I’ve ever heard, some of the things she can do just blow my mind. Lascel Woods has got the tone of an angel and can riff for days. Tyrone is the glue that binds us together and brings some smooth soul to the group and Rachel Adedeji (who was on the X Factor 2009) is also amazing. She sings like a real diva and is beautiful inside and out. Special mention must also go to my boy Sean Christopher who plays MJ. I’ve learnt a lot from him already about energy and feel. He nails the emotion and intent behind every MJ move which is something that I think is really important for any performer. Stay true to the material. Sing for the song. We’re also really lucky to have Craig Thomas and Jayde Nelson who are the swings they have to learn everyones parts for when we’re off. It’s crazy how many lyrics, moves and positions they have to learn these guys are machines!
Rehearsals were in Neasden near Wembley and we worked really hard nailing the intricacies of Michael’s music with John Mayer. Again Michael’s music seems a lot more simple on the surface than it is in reality.
Also complicated, (especially for me) is the choreography. Gary Lloyd is an amazing director and choreographer. He sees everything. It’s credit again to MJ that we have for me, ten of the best commercial dancers in the country, to be able to bring to life what one man did on stage. Each bring their own personality to the show and are all lovely people. We’re around five weeks into the tour now and I can genuinely say that everyone is really cool. We all get along and I think we have a really nice blend of people.
The band is packed full of musical royalty. Mike Lindup from Level 42 on keys, Francesco from Incognito on drums, Johnny Copland on Bass, Rob and Tom on guitar/keys and percussion and the Andy Chisolm who’s tour MD on guitar and is also an absolute legend. I hang out with the band a fair bit because deep down we all know I’m a muso!
We’ve had some amazing reviews so far, (I’ll try and post a few links shortly) and are having a wicked time.
Some people are already thinking about what they’re gonna do next. But for me the exciting bit is now. Traveling around getting to visit different towns and cities across Europe singing great songs to big audiences. It’s easy to forget how lucky you are sometimes. So I’m very humble and privileged to be part of this amazing show.
Pictures and reviews to follow.
Hopefully see you at one of the shows soon.
For info and tickets please visit www.thrillerlive.com