The Great British Invasion is coming to Brookside Theatre on Saturday 17 March 2018. The show will feature a collection of some of the biggest hits of the 60’s with Johnny Warman as the front man. Band members are Richard Willoughby, Steve Tilling and Matt Backer and Steve Chilling together they are the Magic Bus Band.
I was fortunate to interview front man Johnny Warman. Find out more about his life, career and the up and coming show ‘The Great British Invasion‘
Tell me about the show Johnny;
“The Great British Invasion show celebrates the music between 1964 and 1966 when British Bands invaded the US charts, bands such as Beatles and Hendrix and Cream. I have got a brilliant band. ”
Why the Brookside Theatre?
“When I came to Brookside Theatre, I got a feeling about the place, as I walked down the alley it took my breathe away , it is a beautiful gem! I had been trying to find a theatre and knew this was the one. It is a great sound there, our first one there and we cannot wait.”
What is special about the show?
“It is exciting we give you everything we’ve got for 2 hours, it’s the soundtrack of our lives and we are the we are without doubt the best bank in the country.”
Who influenced your love of music?
“When I was 13 I was fortunate to see the beatles. Jimmy Hendrix and Cream influenced me.”
Are you still writing music?
Yes, in fact I am writing a song for Ringo and hope to finish it when he comes over to receive his knighthood.”
How did your career begin?
When I was 11 I heard Love me do by the Beatles, it had such a pull however 2 years later I sang at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and knew I love this. I was part of the rock band Bearded Lady for 5 years until I decided it is time to go solo due to the band members selling their equipment.”
Who signed you for your first solo album?
“Ringo Star signed me to his record label. Screaming Jet reached number 9.”
Tell me about the power of the recorded sound?
“We put on Hey Joe, by Hendrix someone put it on at a party and we was transfixed we must of played it 19 times”
What artists have you collaborated with?
“Peter Gabriel, many more. I was also asked to join Humble Pie”
Who have you written songs for?
“Sonia ‘Our World’ which was written for the Eurovision Song Contest and we came second in that. I also made 2 albums for Elton John.”
Have you been on Tv or in films?
“Yes they wasn’t huge films but they get shown sometimes, Leon the Pig Farmer, Clock Work Mouse, Terry Pratchett films.”
What film would you like to be in?
“Blade Runner as a robot.”
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
“If I had my time again I would work even harder, practice everyday”
Do you like to keep fit and healthy?
“Yes, health is all we have got, I intend to be playing when I’m 100.”
Have you performed at live festivals?
“Yes its where the money is, I performed at the New Pop Festival in 1980 in
front of 65,000 people. It was great just the biggest thrill in the world.”
Where do you see the future of music with downloads and streaming?
“The future of music is in performance, downloads have made things hard. You can’t take anything away from records, you could smell your album. You couldn’t wait to get home to sit and play them this show makes all these memories come back to me.”
Why was the 60’s so significant to you?
“It gave me direction it gave me a belief It changed my life, it gave me excitement, a dream and I was hooked. I have touched a lot of people with my music. There is probably around 4 million records out there with my name on it. I gave it everything I possibly could.”
Tell us about your career during the 80’s;
“I love the 80″s, I was huge in the 80’s I supported the XTC, I played at the Rainbow. I supported Adam Ant. I gave The Jam their first gig at The Marquee we had the same produced. I was asked to sing at the Steve Marriot memorial concert. I sang with Steve Ellis who was in Love Affair.”
Do you have a favorite artist today?
“There are no talents coming forward like Jimmy Hendrix or like the bands that were locking themselves away playing their music. The fact you can download and sample and put stuff together means You don’t learn the craft of making music by going into the studio and making a proper album. I was very fortunate to record in the Town House studios at Shephards bush owned by virgin, Richard Branson along with the Manor House in Oxford. I recorded in Electric Lady Land, Jimmy Hendrix studios in New York and the House of Music in New Jersey. I have been very fortunate”
What else are you doing now?
I am still writing music and we are performing up and down the country. We play at Norfolk and Suffolk a lot but also open air in Brighton and the Apex in Bury St Edmunds and Portsmouth. We are also back here later in the year for the ‘Mods and Rockers” show, for more information go to www.magicbus.co.uk
The British Invasion Show at Brookside Theatre starts at 8pm on Saturday 17 March 2018. Tickets cost £19. For tickets;