Great Escape: band that’s happy to stay away from fame

By Christine Ong


Great Escape’s performance at Carey’s Club & Bar on 7 February certainly brought the crowd a great escape from another long, hectic week of work and stress.

The five-piece band with three lead vocals is possibly one of the most unique and versatile bands in West Midlands today, having the most diverse music to offer. Each vocalist is talented in their speciality genre, which they bring into their show to keep the crowd happy.

Their two-hour show set covered a wide variety of famous musicians from the 60s to the 80s, such as ZZ Top, The Beatles, Tina Turner, ABBA, Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, as well as young artists like Adele.

They  have evolved from being strictly old-school-rock band and admitted to have slowly adapted to mixture of old, new and diverse genres including country, rock, pop and soul in order to suit mass interest. But most importantly to deliver their ultimate purpose as a band, to entertain and have fun.

They welcomed everyone as they stepped on stage, and put on the most energetic and funky vibe into the venue. As vocalist Josie Kenny hit her notes, a couple in their 30s or 40s wasted no time and let themselves out on the dance floor. The two danced awhile before others did. Amusingly, I also found myself, a 20-year-old, swaying along to Eighties music.

The band has been playing in different venues in Coventry and Warwickshire for some years now, with double identity as the Great Escape and the City Limits when playing Tina Turner tribute. On 1 March they will be performing as City Limits once again at Rialto in Coundon, Coventry.

But being a local, old-school band and all, Great Escape has no strong, special significance to the wider, modern and mainstream-orientated society of today, although members as individual artists have made appearances in some of the most recognised, large-scale live shows, which may be considered a huge deal to people today.

The band’s guitarist played with Elvis Presley’s superstar guitarist James Burton on a holiday weekend concert in the East Coast two years ago.

Lead singer Josie and her husband, second vocalist and pianist John, made it to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent’s in 2011. The experience was “really scary,” they said. “The buzzer was like, amplified, it filled the whole auditorium.”

But despite the differences in their music influences and experiences, and their double lifestyles (having separate “real” jobs), their passion and friendship commit them to keep entertaining without serious pursuit of fame and fortune.

Visit Great Escape website to discover more and keep updated for upcoming gigs.

Sub-edited by Simon Pipe

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