Rossendale Free Press

Phoenix music man has a night on town

- FLORA BYATT @florabyatt­MEN

THE man behind the music for Peter’s Kay Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere is to host a one-night only ‘audience’.

Toni Baker, of Haslingden, who is also the longest standing member of 60s band The Dakotas, will be in Rochdale on Sunday, December 5, for an audience at the Radcliffe Suite at the Crown Oil Arena.

Toni grew up in Milnrow, but now lives in Haslingden, Rossendale.

Toni has worked with numerous artists over the years, including Billy Ocean, Sheena Easton, and Lisa Stansfield.

He has also written music for Waterloo Road, which was filmed in Rochdale, Bottom, League of Gentlemen and Early Door.

At the event, Toni will be talking about his career, having just published his biography, and fans will be able to ask questions.

He will also be bringing his keyboard.

Toni, who is now 72, is now married for the third time, and has three children.

He said: “I’m in Rochdale quite a lot because I have family and friends there, every couple of weeks.

“The Dakotas started in the 60s and I joined in the 80s.

“I have been all over the world – America, Australia, the Middle East, Holland, Denmark... My music has taken me everywhere.

“I was going through divorce when I met Peter Kay.

“He wanted to learn Dancing Queen to play at his wedding.

“He was busy writing Phoenix Nights and he asked me to write the music.” Toni has been involved with music since he was 17.

He added: “It’s great – I feel very fortunate and I have loved every minute of it.

“My wife Liz is also a musician and we have a boy together, Jonathan, who is 12.

“I have two grown-up children who are 28 and 26.

“I love everything I do it’s very varied. No two months are the same which is good.

“There’s a lot of travelling. It’s getting harder as I get older – the will to get up early and to have to drive for five hours.

“At the moment I’m on tour with the Dakotas.

“I finished writing my book in lockdown. I have kept diaries over the years which helped.”

Tickets are £7 for Toni’s Rochdale audience, and are available on Skiddle for £7.

 ?? ?? ●●Toni Baker was behind the music for Phoenix Nights (inset)
●●Toni Baker was behind the music for Phoenix Nights (inset)

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