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Vocal harmony group Blake's UK Tour 2014 stops off at Dartford's Orchard Theatre

They are the Brit Award-winning vocal harmony trio of nice, clean boys...but Blake member Stephen Bowman has a wild side and he’s not afraid to show it, he told Jo Roberts.

Vocal harmony trio Blake - from left, Stephen, Humphrey and Ollie
Vocal harmony trio Blake - from left, Stephen, Humphrey and Ollie

You heard it here first – Blake singer Stephen Bowman will be pulling up at the stage door of Dartford’s Orchard Theatre donning full leathers and with a powerful machine between his thighs.

That’s this Friday, July 11 if you want to get it in the diary, ladies.

“I am getting to every one of our shows on a motorbike, which is a joy for me,” said Stephen, 33.

“I leave my suits and bags in the main car that drives on to the venues, so I tend to turn up at the stage door in full leathers and a helmet. It’s my favourite way of getting around. I have a Honda Fireblade which is a street version of what you see in the races at Brands Hatch – it’s very fast, very sleek and very beautiful.”

In fact all three of the Blake boys have a very different and rather wild side to their clean-cut, classical public personas. Behind the scenes, the trio are all skiing mad, and while Stephen is a petrolhead, Humphrey is into wake-boarding – a high-speed cross between water-skiing, surfing and paragliding – and Ollie has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and rafted the Nile.

With not only the singing but the lust for adrenaline sports in common, it was inevitable that the boys should form a powerful group. As well as a Brit Award to their credit, Blake have sung at Buckingham Palace, on the Great Wall of China, at the White House and on the soundtrack to the Da Vinci Code sequel Angels and Demons.

Video: Vocal harmony trio Blake in action

Despite the elite worldwide acclaim they’ve achieved, it is an unexpectedly humble social media source that Blake credit with bringing the group together in 2007.

“I got in contact with Ollie over Facebook, and later with Humphrey, and it all started from there – it was rekindling friendships and Facebook’s the modern way of doing that.

“It would have been very difficult before Facebook to reconnect with people you’ve only met fleetingly or had a few conversations with,” said Stephen.

The three are all classically trained vocalists with a long history of choral singing, but they also share a love of contemporary pop music.

“Blake at its most basic is a harmony group, but it’s a group with very eclectic tastes in music and very eclectic types of performance, so we will move from classical to rock to pop to folk in the same two-hour concert.

“We’re very open-minded, it’s a very large mix of music.”

Classical boy band Blake, from left: Ollie Baines, Humphrey Berney and Stephen Bowman
Classical boy band Blake, from left: Ollie Baines, Humphrey Berney and Stephen Bowman

Stephen adds: “Every style we sing in is always with this very unique layered harmony sound so we take inspiration from groups like the Bee Gees, the King’s Singers, the Lettermen.

“It’s about bringing out the harmonies of the song as opposed to just the melody.

“We always allow the melody to come through. When we’re on stage with our Royal Philharmonic backing tracks and big projections and lightings – it’s a very theatrical and visual show – it tends to be those harmonies that provide the emotion.”

Blake’s only Kent date on their current UK tour is at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre this Friday, July 11, at 7.30pm. Tickets from £19. Call 01322 220000.

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