Henley Life - page 25

HENLEY
life
| DECEMBER 2017
25
CHRISTMAS CHARITY
Local performer, musician and singer
songwriter, Mike Rowbottom, has
produced a feelgood Christmas CD in aid of
a very good cause. MatthewWilson spoke
to him about it just before its recent
release.
Mike Rowbottom is a man of
many parts, he has recently
reviewed blues legend John
Mayall, and he also regularly
plays with the Rolling Stones
cover band, Crossfire
Hurricanes.
He is also a novelist, a
playwright and an actor in
his spare time. The former
broadcast journalist from
Stoke Row has added a fresh
string to his bow—
recording artist.
Last Christmas Mike was
invited to give a reading at
the
Spirit of Christmas
event
at the Christ Church Centre
in Reading Road. This annual
fundraiser is organised by
Peter O’Sullivan from the
Thames Valley branch of
Muscular Dystrophy UK.
“Peter uses the local talent.
Loads of my colleagues from
am-dram have performed
for him in the past and last
year he asked if I’d do a
reading,” said Mike.
“At the same time, I offered
to sing one of my songs,
which was
I Still Haven’t Met
Father Christmas.
“Once Peter had heard it, he
thought it would be great to
put in, and when I sang it, it
went down very well. I
thought ‘There might be mileage in this yet’.”
Mike explained that as he had written a
suite of Christmas songs over the years he
had the material, but had always lacked the
impetus to produce it publicly.
Raising the awareness and funds for
Muscular Dystrophy UK was that impetus,
and the game was on.
“I thought, I’ll see if I can do something,
make it the sort of thing where you think,
there it is, five pounds, it’ll be a bit of fun —
it can be a stocking filler or something for a
friend.,” said Mike.
“And I’ll ask my talented colleagues to sing
and perform on it. And that happened — it
all happened. I’ve been quite surprised by
just how it has come together. It’s followed
the timetable that I’d set, which really did
surprise me!”
One of the musicians who joined Mike on
the album is singer Samantha Fields, a long-
standing member of the Henley Amateur
Operatic and Dramatic Society who also
works with the professional theatre
company Full Tilt.
Once Mike and his friends, along with
Feelgood music
I’ve been quite surprised at just
how it has come together
Xmas Xcess
A sideways look at Christmas
Available as a CD, from selected
places in Henley and as a download
from Amazon and iTunes.
The CD features eight tracks in all,
including a rendition of
Silent
Night.
Of the remaining seven, six have
been written by Mike Rowbottom
with one —
Father Christmas Blues
— by Abner Turnipseed.
According to Mike, all the songs
on the album are comedy songs. So
here is the track by track guide
from the man himself:
1.
I Still Haven’t Met Father
Christmas
— the story of a middle-
aged man who yearns to meet
Santa and will never stop.
2.
Father Christmas Blues
— a weary
Santa sets off once again on
Christmas Eve, but he’d rather be in
bed and takes solace in drink from
around the world, until...
3.
The Office Christmas Party
— a
party girl pins her hopes on the
annual party to get the man she’s
had her eye on for months, but...
4.
The Present
— a hungover
husband finds his gift is not
appreciated.
5.
The Pantomime Dame
— a
dignified actress lowers herself to
play in panto, but regrets it.
6.
Christmas Lunch
— unrestrained
eating leads to...
7.
The Rugby Club Carol Concert
not much explanation needed
here.
8.
Silent Night.
To find out to what
extent, if any,
Silent Night
is given
the comedy treatment, you’ll have
to buy the album!
Samantha, had recorded the tracks, and he
had edited and produced it on his home
equipment, they were ready to go.
Together Mike and Samantha have played
some promotional concerts and on
December 7 Mike will play at this year’s
Spirit
of Christmas
Event at the Christ Church
Centre.
Samantha Fields
Mike Rowbottom
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