British 3 piece vocal collective, Blake have been a busy band over the past few months. Having ended a hugely successful tour of the UK which closed off 2015, the band have also released a collection of festive covers to add to their growing catalogue. Titled A Classic Christmas, Blake have plucked the creme of the Christmas song crop to form the collection of classics, reimagined by the popular threesome and have also invited musical royalty into the record with Dame Shirley Bassey being invited to duet on the album centrepiece, The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).
With demand from fans to see the band like at an all time high, we caught up with Blake in the middle of their current tour of the UK to discuss the recently released collection and the bands impressive career to date. Here is what they had to tell us…
Brendon Veevers: How are you guys?
Blake: We’re all very well thank you. We have just arrived back from China where we were filming for a TV station in Beijing which will be broadcast during the Chinese New Year. It was amazing.Wwe love traveling the world and are so lucky to get the opportunity to visit so many incredible places.
BV: The festive season may now be over but you recently released a brand new festive collection called Christmas Classics. What led you to decide to record a Christmas album?
Blake: We have always had a few Christmas favourites in our repertoire and we had spoken about it for some time – it just seemed like the right time.
BV: With so many songs regarded as Christmas classics, how did you finally decide on those that would feature on the record?
Blake: We had many meetings and discussions throughout the early part of 2015. We all had our long-lists, then our short-lists and then we rehearsed each song a few times with different ideas to see which tracks worked best with our harmonies.
BV: The record features a collaboration with Dame Shirley Bassey. How did that collaboration come about? How did you find the experience of working with the living legend?
Blake: It has been extraordinary working with Dame Shirley. The relationship first formed 8 years ago when Blake performed at her 70th birthday. This summer we were at Variety’s – the children’s charity 70th birthday party – and we were lucky enough to meet Dame Shirley again. We were attending as we are ambassadors and Dame Shirley was guest of honour. We had a great catch up and mentioned we were making a Christmas album. She said she had always wanted to record a Christmas and had never done so in her 60 year career! We asked to join us on ours, she said yes and the rest is history!
BV: What is the groups personal favourite Christmas songs?
Stephen: It’s changes all the time as with a lot of my musical taste but this year it had to be The Christmas Song.
Ollie: I always favour the Christmas classics so I would probably settle on In The Bleak Midwinter.
Humphrey: Who doesn’t love White Christmas?
BV: You have toured all over the world: are there any places that you particularly love to perform?
Blake: We all love traveling and adore the places we get to go. None of us could favour one of the other as they all have such great memories. There are many places we would still like to go though! Japan would be top of that list.
BV: What is your favourite show out of all of those you have played?
Blake: Again this is too tough to choose – although we have to say playing outdoors at the proms style concerts are enormous fun (particularly if it’s sunny!).
BV: Say you’re not recording, not touring… do you all hang out together?
Blake: We all live close to each other so from time to time we’ll get together for dinner or to throw some ideas around. We do all have our own families and friends though!
BV: What would you say your greatest musical accomplishment to date has been?
Blake: Without a doubt singing with the great Dame Shirley Bassey.
BV: What would you say has been the best part of Blake’s journey so far?
Blake: These last 12 months have been an enormous learning curve for us all. For the first time we have chosen, recorded, produced and promoted our album without the support of an outside record label and this has been the most exciting thing we have done to date. But we look forward to many more exciting projects in the future.
BV: Are there any plans in the pipelines to tour in 2016?
Blake: We have a UK tour planned this year already with more dates being booked all the time. We have already been to China, are due to go back in the Autumn and have a few other overseas concerts being negotiated now. See www.blakeofficial.com for more details.
BV: What else is on the Blake calendar for fans to look out for?
Blake: We have three outdoor concerts already booked in the summer, an even bigger Christmas tour for Christmas 2016 and a full tour of the UK throughout the year.
BV: Tell me something you’ve never told an interviewer before.
Blake: When Fredric Baur the inventor of Pringles passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in a Pringles tube!
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.