The B S Collective, with support act Ben Milbery
"Brand new, but naggingly memorable, classic old-school soul-funk and jazz-tinged ballads for the 21st century".
Performing in home-town Folkestone after many years working and playing in London, songwriter/musician Simon Lethem and singer Rachel Gerrard will be featuring songs from their recent album Lessons in Life, plus some super-funky new material for the next album. Backed by a tight groovy five piece band of professional musicians, expect a night of uplifting funky grooves, dancing, lush harmonies and great tunes. Find out more about Simon and Rachel on www.simonlethem.com/news.html and Facebook @SimonLethemRachelGerrard
Ben Millbery is a 29 year old soul singer, blind since birth, living in Folkestone. An exceptional and talented vocalist, guitarist, keyboard player, gospel singer, bagpipe player and much more. Ben will be performing a solo set showcasing his emotional soul interpretations of classics, with possibly one or two original songs from his recent collaborations with songwriters John McQuarrie and Simon Lethem
Sometimes it is worth waiting for the good stuff - although starting a serious writing and performance career was as much a series of happy accidents as a considered plan for songwriter and musician Simon Lethem: "it just built from something quite modest and become unstoppable- mainly with the support and confidence from working with some really great people."
Moving away from London and teaming up with singer Rachel Gerrrard was a key moment: "I love these songs. But I realised pretty quickly that I needed a great singer if I was going to make anything serious from them. If I'm honest, I just got luck with Rachel because I never has moment's of doubt, nor needed to look further- she came back to me quickly and we started working together. And from Rachel you don't just get the great voice: she is a seriously gifted musician and for me when she said how she'd fallen in love with the songs - especially as she said so on the radio (laughs)".
So with the album out it became irresistible to take the songs out live: "we're realistic - although global success is surely only a matter of time (more laughs) we know this material will get people dancing and talking, so step by step this is part of the master plan to share some cool songs. Build a base of fans and supporters, and have a lot of fun along the way. And we're genuinely thrilled to have these wonderful musicians choose to be in the band - actually it's quite humbling for me - they all have busy musical careers and lots of options, so their belief means a lot. I PROMISE you will NOT be disappointed when you hear us!"