I met up with Ian early on a cold Jan day in Poulton, and the poor guy had literally just got back from London at 2am that morning.
Self-taught at a very young age, his grandma bought him an upright piano for his 8th Birthday, and it’s sweet to report that it’s still in his home today.
Leaving school he took the brave decision to pursue a career in music, and his first regular gigs were at the Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, with school mate Angus (who went on to play Buddy Holly in the West End for a record breaking 11 years).
His influences are singer/songwriters such as Billy Joel, Lennon & McCartney who play to accompany their voice instead of vice versa, so the voice is the MAIN instrument, and he’s also naturally drawn to lyrics that tell a story you can relate to. His modern references are diverse – artists such as Muse, Ed Sheehan, Rag & Bone Man and The Lottery Winners are amongst his recent playlist. Eclectic too – skilled singer songwriter Francis Dunnery a particular favourite, who Ian’s company recently booked to perform at the Lowther Theatre in Lytham.
MOVING ON (UP)
As Ian’s reputation grew he has gigged all over Europe …….but there was an itch he need to scratch to spread his love for music and performing. He set up Up-Beat Rock Academy (find them on Facebook, links at the end of blog), which teaches young musicians the dynamics of working and performing together in a band, improving their confidence with each lesson, leading to performances at local events.
Ian has always believed in the POWER of Music. There is a scientific FACT that dopamine, a mood enhancing chemical, is released when you sing BUT recent research suggests this is doubled when singing or performing in a group, and to take this out to a larger (and corporate) market, Ian’s company gbmusicevents.co.uk design bespoke and innovative team building experiences based on this amazing piece of science.
GB Music Events have delivered events for, among others, Cisco, Google, British Gas and the NHS. Packages include Rock Choir, Recording Studio, Musical Theatre and even the very popular Rock Samba workshops. Here he is with Jewson (the building contractors) for an amazing Rock Choir Studio Package at Abbey Road Studios in London:
CHARITIES & CONNECTIONS
Ian is a believer in giving back, gigging at and supporting many charity events, and has recently cycled from Paris to Pisa for the local Brian House Charity, raising more than £40,000 on the way.
So it is actually surprising that he finds time to consult on local events, but he does!! Ian has been involved with Lytham Festival and programmed some of the ‘satellite’ events that were introduced at last year’s Festival, including a pop up choir on the Main Stage on the Last Night of the Proms
ST GEORGES DAY FESTIVAL
I was introduced to him as part of the St Georges Day Festival Committee, as the Festival stgeorgesdayfestival.com is growing year on year, there are many more musical aspects, Ian is putting together a fantastic programme of artists & bands to play at the various lunches and balls, and the Festival also includes Busking, a Choir Competition, BBC Unsigned Acts and the famous Kings Division Band. Make sure you come to some of the Events and check out his choices.