This is the first blog post I’ve written since September. For those of you who don’t know, my dad, show business journalist and broadcaster, John Hannam, died that month, following a short illness. He was 80.
Following his death, I decided to take a few months off, to deal with family matters and try to come to terms with his untimely passing. However, in true entertainment tradition, the show must go on, so today I’m updating Say It With Garage Flowers with some news that also acts as a tribute to my dad’s extraordinary career and his wonderful legacy.
On Sunday February 6 2022, I am staging a charity concert in honour of my dad. It will take place at Shanklin Theatre, on the Isle of Wight, where my dad was born and bred and spent his life.
Dad loved the Island – he made a name for himself there and was never lured away by the bright lights of Fleet Street, or national radio, although his great reputation was known all over the UK and across the world.
During his amazing life – almost 50 years of it spent interviewing stars of stage and screen, as well as local people – he decided to stay on the Island, with his family and friends. Shanklin Theatre was a venue that my dad was very fond of – it’s where we held the wake for his funeral in November – so it’s very fitting that the tribute concert will take place there.
‘On Sunday February 6 2022, I am staging a charity concert in honour of my dad. It will take place at Shanklin Theatre, on the Isle of Wight, where my dad was born and bred and spent his life’
As a nod to the showbiz TV series, Sunday Night at the London Palladium, I’ve called the concert Sunday Night at Shanklin Theatre – A Tribute To John Hannam. The line-up of performers will include national and local musicians who dad liked, admired and supported – most of whom he interviewed at some stage during his career.
So, who’s on the bill? Headlining the night will be British husband-and-wife country duo, My Darling Clementine – Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish. Last year saw the release of their fourth album, Country Darkness – a project which saw them collaborating with Elvis Costello’s keyboardist and right-hand man Steve Nieve (The Imposters/ The Attractions) and reinterpreting some of Costello’s country and country-soul songs.
Also performing on the night will be singer-songwriter, Matt James – the former drummer of ’90s anthemic indie-rockers Gene.
Earlier this year, Matt launched his solo career with his debut single, A Simple Message. The follow-up, Snowy Peaks, is released digitally on December 10, and there’s an album planned for next year.
Also on the bill will be another Matt – singer-songwriter, Matt Hill, a folk and Americana artist from the North of England, whose latest album, the politically-charged Greedy Magicians II – Return of the Idle Drones, came out earlier this year.
The consumer magazine Hi-Fi+ called Matt, ‘A very gifted songwriter and a master of telling stories.’
Local Isle of Wight musicians, or those with a connection to the area, will also be performing on the night. There will be appearances from Andy Strickland (The Loft, The Caretaker Race and The Chesterfields); professional singer and actress Amy Bird; reformed ’80s band Bobby I Can Fly; Chris Clarke, who was the bassist in UK Americana act, Danny & The Champions Of The World and runs Reservoir Studios in North London; local guitar legend, Brian Sharpe (The Cherokees) and, finally, local duo Bob and Bertie Everson.
Tickets are available here and cost £10. Proceeds will go to the British Heart Foundation and the Wellow Ward, St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight. Doors open at 7pm.
My dad loved music – of all different styles. Thanks to him, my sister Caroline and I are both big music lovers too. I have fond memories of him playing music in the house when we were growing up.
Through my dad, I got my passion for ‘60s music. For Christmas, birthdays and Father’s Day, I always used to buy him albums by current bands and artists that I thought he might like. Luckily, he always did – usually because they sounded like ‘60s acts he’d got me into in the first place…. I shall really miss our listening sessions and chats about music.
Dad got me into legendary twangy guitarist Duane Eddy – one of dad’s musical heroes and also one of mine.
In 2018, Dad and I were lucky enough to be invited to see Duane play a gig at the London Palladium. We sat in on the sound check – it was basically our own private Duane Eddy gig – and then we watched the show and met Duane backstage.
It’s a night I’ll never forget, especially as when I shook Duane’s hand, he said to me: “This night is all about heroes.” I was with two of mine, and dad was with one of his. It was truly special.
Let’s make Sunday Night At Shanklin Theatre: A Tribute To John Hannam a night to remember too.
Please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – if you need any more information about the concert.
Sunday Night at Shanklin Theatre – a tribute to John Hannam: Sunday February 6 2022.
A night of live music in memory of legendary Isle of Wight journalist and broadcaster, John Hannam, who died in autumn 2021.
Featuring My Darling Clementine, Matt James (Gene), Andy Strickland (The Loft, The Caretaker Race, The Chesterfields), Matt Hill, Brian Sharpe, Bobby I Can Fly, Chris Clarke, Amy Bird, Bob and Bertie Everson.
Proceeds will go to the British Heart Foundation and the Wellow Ward, St Mary’s Hospital.