Choir and Nor­we­gian brass band in con­cert for char­i­ties Sing along to pop­u­lar songs from the shows

Bangor Mail - - Your Guide -

THIS week we talk to Mark Nils­son, from the band Mas­saoke, a sing-along night of songs from the Mu­si­cals, which will be at Wrex­ham’s Wil­liam As­ton Hall on May 25.


Tell us about your fam­ily


My great-grand­fa­ther was a fa­mous theatre im­pre­sario: Basil Dean. He gave Lau­rence Olivier his first break, and was friends with Noel Coward. Ev­ery­one else since then has been an ac­coun­tant or a lawyer... ex­cept me.


Tell us some­thing about your­self


I stud­ied Drama and Theatre Arts at Birm­ing­ham Univer­sity. I was al­ways into mu­sic, and got into a band at uni which went through var­i­ous in­car­na­tions, but ended up as 50Hz. The pin­na­cle of our achievemen­t was hav­ing songs on the sound­track to the Ewan McGregor mo­tor­cy­cle doc­u­men­tary ‘Long Way Round.’ We never made it to the big time. But The Mas­saoke Band has taken me around the world, so I’m fi­nally, and un­ex­pect­edly, liv­ing out my rock’n’roll dreams.

Q How would you de­scribe your mu­sic? A Mas­saoke is a sing-along night out. We play all the hits, with lyric videos on a big screen, and the whole crowd sings along to­gether. At our ‘Mas­saoke Night at the Mu­si­cals’ show we play noth­ing but songs from the mu­si­cals... from The Greatest Show­man to Disney to Lloyd Web­ber.

Q Do you have any gigs/ tours com­ing up?

A Manch­ester Academy from 7.30pm on Fri­day, May 24. Wil­liam As­ton Hall in Wrex­ham from 7.30pm on Satur­day, May 25. And hope­fully a full UK tour in the au­tumn.

Q What are you best known for? A Rock­ing the gold span­dex.

Q What can peo­ple ex­pect from your gigs?

A The best night out they’ve ever had. Se­ri­ously – the at­mos­phere is eu­phoric, and it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up ev­ery time. If you’re a fan of mu­si­cals, then this is your chance to sing along to all your favourite show tunes with your friends.

It doesn’t mat­ter if you can’t sing – you’ll be drowned out by hun­dreds of other peo­ple, and it will sound amaz­ing.

There’s some­thing mag­i­cal about large groups of peo­ple singing to­gether.

That bit at the end of a well known band’s gig, where the singer holds the mic out to the crowd and lets them take over – it’s al­ways the best bit of the night.

And that’s es­sen­tially what the whole show feels like when The Mas­saoke Band is play­ing. Com­mu­nal singing brings peo­ple to­gether like noth­ing else. In these dif­fi­cult times of po­lit­i­cal and so­cial division we need it more than ever.

Q Tell us five things which make your set great?

A 1. The au­di­ence singing along. 2. The per­for­mance: we like to mess around on­stage, and cre­ate an at­mos­phere that en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to let go and have fun. 3. The vi­su­als: our VJ Ethan has cre­ated spec­tac­u­lar lyric videos that am­plify the moods of the songs. It’s not just a reg­u­lar karaoke

screen. 4. The play­ing: all the mu­si­cians are bril­liant – it’s the best band I’ve ever played with. 5. The amount of fun had by ev­ery­one, us in­cluded!

Q Tell us what’s good about the venue

A It’ll be our first time play­ing there, so we look for­ward to find­ing out!

Q What are your up-and-com­ing plans with your ca­reer?

A We’re play­ing a lot of fes­ti­vals this sum­mer, in­clud­ing Glas­ton­bury and Lat­i­tude.

We al­ways go up and put on a late night party at Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe for the whole of Au­gust.

Then we’re plan­ning a UK tour of ‘A Mas­saoke Night at the Mu­si­cals’ in the au­tumn. And be­yond that, we’d love to break Amer­ica in 2020. We’re off to New York for the sec­ond time later this year.

A con­cert with Côr y Pen­rhyn (pic­tured) and Sta­vanger Brass Band from Nor­way will take place on Satur­day, June 1, at Ban­gor Cathe­dral, 7pm, to raise funds for St David’s Hos­pice and MNDA. Tick­ets at £10 can be bought on­line at: https://neuad­dog­

Mas­saoke will bring a night of singing along to songs from the Mu­si­cals at Wil­liam As­ton Hall

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