Behind the scenes:
putting together “The Matt Sings Monro Tour”
The tour that I am doing this year
to mark my dad’s 20th Anniversary has been a
dream of mine for 28 years.
Back in 1977 when I was 13 years old,
my dad was doing a summer season at The Windmill Theatre
in Great Yarmouth. On the final night, unbeknown to
me, my dad brought me up on stage to do a duet with
him and it struck me for the first time that this
man was not my dad, he was Matt Monro, the singer.
It was the most frightening night of my life but it
was also the greatest. That evening I swore I was
going to share the stage again with him but unfortunately
it never happened.
The closest to it was when I was invited
to record an album for EMI. The technical age has
advanced so much that it was suggested that we merge
both dad’s voice and my own and thus produce
a CD of duets. The result: “Matt Sings Monro”
which includes 14 tracks some of which are among my
own personal favourites.
To mark the 20th Anniversary EMI has
re-released the album with new artwork and an eight-page
mini-booklet, which includes the very photograph taken
from that night in Great Yarmouth.
I have been singing professionally
for over 18 years and this is the first time that
I am doing a tribute to my father. I had thought about
it seriously over the last five years but there were
times when I worried that I would not do it justice.
I didn’t just want to go and sing a selection
of my dad’s songs. I wanted to make it a great
show, an intimate evening full of memories and nostalgia,
a fitting tribute to a man who has left such a legacy
of music behind him. Since putting the show together,
I think the one thing that has come across to people
is the love I have for this man; the man I am so proud
to say is my father.
I needed a good promoter, a promoter
is the person that puts all the pieces into place,
they make my vision a reality and in Tony Clayman
Promotions I found the perfect person to put the tour
together for me.
41 dates were taken on board, many
more than what is normal but we wanted to make sure
we reached all areas. The sound and lighting units
were booked and Gus Douglas was given the unenviable
title of tour manager. Contracts were sent out and
signatures scrawled and it was at this point that
I thought I should get the musicians in place.
Putting the band together was no easy
task. I wanted a musical director to come on board
who had worked with my dad extensively and the one
name that sprang to mind was Colin Keyes. He had been
my father’s musical director for several years
and had toured with him worldwide. He is one of the
most experienced musicians in the United Kingdom and
has worked with many of Britain’s top singers
and entertainers. When I first approached him I never
thought in a million years that he would agree to
do it primarily because of time but let’s face
it who wants to schlep half way across the country
and back. But amazingly he agreed to do it as well
as putting all the other musicians in place. I am
so honoured that he is a part of this tour.
Then came the act for the first half,
it is normal practice for a male singer to have a
female artiste open the show and it doesn’t
hurt to add a bit of glamour to the proceedings but
for this I didn’t want the norm, I wanted someone
special, someone who would compliment the material
that I do and that someone was Roy Leslie. Now living
in Spain I met on my travels a young man with a stunning
voice. Roy’s competence and immaculate presentation
on the stage, is that of a mature accomplished performer
belying his real age. His execution is outstanding,
he sings from the heart and has the rare ability to
entertain audiences of all ages. I am sure you will
I hope each and every one of you enjoys
this show as much as I have had in putting it together
and I will have performing it. All those years ago
I had a dream, 28 years later it is now a reality,
I will now share the stage with my dad once again.
Here’s to the next 20 years
of the music of Matt Monro