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Blake perform at the King’s Hall in Herne Bay and the Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Brit Award-winners Blake mix pop, classical and musicals.

The three singers who knew each other from choirs and music college, launched their first album in 2007, just six months after reuniting as friends on Facebook. The album reached No.1 in the UK Classical Album Chart and crashed into the Top 20.

The band are Humphrey Berney, who studied at the University of Kent; Stephen Bowman and Ollie Baines.

They have appeared on the Graham Norton Show, the One Show and Strictly Come Dancing with Dame Shirley Bassey over Christmas performing their single, A Classic Christmas, which they recorded with her.

Here, one third of the trio, Stephen Bowman, talks famous fans, as libs and bikes ahead of their next show.

Blake are Ollie Baines, Humphrey Burney and Stephen Bowman
Blake are Ollie Baines, Humphrey Burney and Stephen Bowman

Shirley Bassey saw us on TV one morning in her hotel room and decided she wanted us at her 70th birthday party...

An hour later her agent was on the phone and we jumped at the chance! At that point we could only have dreamt of being in the same room as her. It was an amazing night and since then she has come to our concerts and we recorded her first ever Christmas song with her. Everyone has massive respect for what she can do vocally and her presence on stage.

We performed at Beijing’s Chinese New Year celebrations...

Everything we have done in China is on steroids! In this country we might perform to 6,000 people: there it’s 60,000. The Chinese New Year event was watched by up to 30 million people. It was fantastic.

We always tour every year in the UK and do about 40 shows...

Although we have played to massive venues, the good thing about ones where there are 500 people is you can see when there are tears; when you make someone laugh. There’s much more of a chance for interaction with the audience.

We don’t script our shows...

It is a lot more fun when you go ‘off-piste’. It means our shows are different every time. They are 75% the music and 25% banter. It makes it more fun. We also change the music around and no two shows are the same.

Blake with Dame Shirley Bassey
Blake with Dame Shirley Bassey

We named the group after William Blake...

We wanted something very British, and an artist we all respected. It just fitted.

I wanted to be Michael Jackson when I was little...

Well that didn’t happen! My dad was into rock music and my mum opera so I had a mixed house of music – I had the opportunity to go one way or the other. I respect both forms – classical and pop music.

I write songs for Blake and for other people...

Everyone has to have a hobby! The song-writing takes second fiddle to Blake. Some is for fun, some is a bit more serious.

I have a couple of motorbikes in the garage and it’s my way of getting away from it all...

I put my leathers on and jump on the bike. But I take music with me. I have headphones under the helmet.

Stephen Bowman of Blake
Stephen Bowman of Blake

Blake played Herne Bay in March. They play the Orchard Theatre in Dartford on Thursday, July 21. For details visit www.orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.

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