Spotlight on ....

Matt Monro Jnr.

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 enjoy him.

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