Back to Bacharach comes to the G Live on Friday 19th January. A show that celebrates the musical genius of Burt Bacharach, one of the most accomplished popular composers of the 20th century.
A songwriter, a composer and a man who has composed some of the most memorable and iconic hits of all time, songs like, Alfie – What The World Needs Now – The Look Of Love – Close To You – I Say A Little Prayer – What’s New Pussycat – Do You Know The Way To San Jose – Walk On By and Magic Moments to name just a few.
To find out more about this fantastic show we caught up with lead vocalist Martin Neely to tell you more.
Guildford Fringe: Thank you joining us Martin. Let’s start by finding out a little bit about the show itself. What can we expect?
Martin: Well basically you can expect an evening of fantastic live music, it’s a simple as that. That is one of the most important things about this show, the live orchestra. These songs are so iconic that backing tracks just wouldn’t cut it, it had to be live musicians, and its a privilege to be able to sing these songs with these guys, they’re some of the best in the business!
Guildford Fringe: With such a prolific songwriter such as Burt Bacharach, how do you begin to choose which songs to feature?
Martin: It’s not easy, as you can imagine. With a guy who’s had over 70 top 40 hits over the years, there are a lot of songs to choose from. We started with the big hits from big artists such as Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield & Cilla Black then added to the list from there. The most surprising thing is the amount of songs you never realised were written by Burt Bacharach.
Guildford Fringe: What’s your favourite song to sing in the show?
Martin: Well I grew up in the 80’s, so it’s actually a song that I remember from my childhood, Arthur’s Theme. It’s one of two Oscar winning songs that Burt wrote and it’s the theme from the Dudley Moore film Arthur. It’s not only because I remember it but because there’s also a great saxophone solo in the song, which I love to hear. It’s a really great feel good song!
Guildford Fringe: Lets now talk a little about you, I know you have been on the West End and you’ve been in many shows. Where might we have seen you?
Martin: Well my first West End show was Starlight Express. I’ve also toured the UK with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins which was enormous fun. I was also in Les Miserable in London and was also part of the 25th Anniversary cast at the O2 Arena, which was a in incredible experience.
But I’ve actually performed in Guildford before, at the Star Inn as part of the Guildford Fringe, a musical called Jon & Jen. So you might’ve seen me there too.
Guildford Fringe: Yes, I think I saw you in John and Jen (!).
I would imagine your experience comes to the fore in a show like this, can bring your own personality to these songs as well?
Martin: Absolutely, I think that’s one of the strengths of these songs and why they’ve been recorded by so many artists over the years, every artist can connect with the lyrics and bring their own experience and interpretation to the songs and also why you can listen to them again and again.
Guildford Fringe: Who else can we see in the show?
Martin: Joining me in Guildford will be the fantastic vocals of Chloë du Pre, Jenessa Qua & Arabella Rodrigo.
Guildford Fringe: I was also pleased to hear that Back to Bacharach are supporting the charity Breast Cancer Now, tell us more about this.
Martin: Yes we are. We decided that while we were touring the country, singing these amazing songs to all these lovely people, that we’d try to raise some money for a charity through the ticket sales and merchandise sales. We’ve already achieved our first goal of raising £10,000, we’re now aiming for £15,000!
Guildford Fringe That’s great news, congratulations.
Well I can’t wait to see the show!