Xclusive Interviews

An Exclusive interview with Christian REILLY by Pete Austin!


The synthesising of music and theatre has brought satisfaction to the life of Christian Reilly who is topping the bill at Kettering Arts Centre’s Rolling in the Aisles Comedy Club night on July 23.

In a career that has seen him performing in bands and working alongside such other luminaries including Bill Bailey, Rich Hall and Richard Herring he has become a much respected musical comedian on the stand-up circuit.

It all started from an early age when an enterprising mother took an eight year old son to a concert.

“We went to see Adam and the Ants,” said Christian. “I liked the way he brought music and theatre together. After that, probably when I was 12 my mum’s boyfriend brought a Flying V guitar and a home-made fuzz box round home and I really enjoyed the sounds it made.” Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with Kris DOLLIMORE by Pete Austin!

Chris 7It is said that a change is just as good as a rest and that is precisely what guitarist Kris Dollimore, the 2014 runner-up in European Blues Awards, did back in 2002.

Realising that the career of the rock band Del Amitri was, as he put it, ‘fizzling out’, and becoming ever more despondent about the whole music industry, he decided it was time to head in a different direction.  With a complete disregard for his financial future he turned his back on the corporate machine to continue his musical journey as a solo artist. Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with Robin BIBI by Pete Austin!

Robin BibiAward-winning guitarist Robin Bibi has experienced both the embarrassing and the thrilling in this interview tells more about a career that has seen him share the stage with some of music’s greats.

As any aspiring guitarist would acknowledge, a thumbs up from Jimmy Page is no bad thing.

“That has to have been the most thrilling experience of my life so far, “said Robin. “Before I had my own band I was a session musician which I really enjoyed. I worked with several singers, working the S E London circuit of clubs. Unfortunately some of those singers, including two Kings, BB King and Ben E King, are no longer with us. Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with Dave Thompson – By Pete Austin

Heading to Kettering Arts Centre for the first time is quirky comedian Dave Thompson who has been making people laugh for many years on the comedy circuit. For full event details please click here.

Dave, who will be appearing at the June Rolling in the Aisles comedy club night on June 18 along with Mitch Benn and Sarah Callaghan, is also an author and a TV star. If you are parents or grandparents the chances are that you will have seen him in his most famous role, but maybe not recognised him. He starred in one of the world’s most popular children’s programmes, The Teletubbies, in which he played many people’s favourite character, Tinky Winky. Continue reading…

An Exclusive Interview with A PANTALOON – Chris Smart by Pete Austin!

Chris SmartRarely do I get the opportunity to speak with my ‘victims’ with a face to face interview but there are, happily, exceptions to the norm. When the Pantaloons visited Kettering Arts Centre in May with their take on Oscar Wilde’s, The Importance of being E(a)rnest, fortuitously for me, if not the actor, Chris(topher) Smart was with the touring theatre company but not actually taking part in this production.

Chris, or Gulliver as he will be in June when the company returns with Gulliver’s Travels, snuck away from the cast members before the show began (in E[a]rnest) to tell me a little about being – A Pantaloon. Continue reading…

An Interview with: Simon Evans by Pete Austin

SE3Simon Evans is a busy man. When not touring the comedy clubs he is in much demand on the after-dinner and corporate circuit, appearing on the television screen or making his opinions heard on the radio. Not for the faint-hearted, Simon excels in routines that are adult in the best sense of the word, and his current show, which is called In the Money, will leave few stones unturned as he explores the world of high finance. Aspects of French, American and British lifestyles all get the Evans treatment which you can experience yourself as this tour is stopping off at Kettering Arts Centre on Saturday, April 30. Continue reading…

 An exclusive interview with: Peter Donegan by Pete Austin

Peter Donegan 3By following in his father’s footsteps and playing again with original band members of the Lonnie Donegan Band, Peter Donegan is definitely putting on the style.

Growing up in the home of the man responsible for changing the musical direction of popular British music it was inevitable that the son of Lonnie Donegan would also find himself equally at home on the stage. His entertainment education started at the age of five and by the time he was 18 had not only achieved Grade 7 for piano but was also proficient on harmonica, banjo, mandolin and guitar. It was at this age that he joined the Lonnie Donegan Band as the keyboard player, on what was to be his father’s last tour. Continue reading…

An exclusive Interview with Mark Steel by Pete Austin

MarkSteel B&WMark Steel is looking forward to returning to Kettering Arts Centre on April 16 with his new show, Who Do I Think I Am.

He said he loves the place and described his show in 2013 as being his favourite night and having a ‘genuinely funny’ night.

“It’s a lovely venue,” he said: “some theatres can seem soulless but at Kettering Arts Centre it’s just like going into someone’s living room, and the vicar is very funny and delivered the best closing line I’ve ever had to a show.” Continue Reading…

An exclusive interview with Chris Conway of Govannen

By Pete Austin

Govennon_01Amorphous in number but certainly not in content Govannen constantly delights audiences with an eclectic mix of songs and tunes. Originally a trio, the group is now a regular four-piece band but has the benefit of another member to call upon when a fuller sound is required – as the new album, The Endless Road, testifies. Although several members had known each other for more than 20 years and, on occasion have played within the same group, Govannen as an entity, only came about in name around ten years ago. Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with Patrick Monahan

Pete Austin has interviewed the headliner of our first event in 2016 to add to our list of exclusive interviews, read on for some amazing insights in the life of the much loved and admired Comedian Patrick Monahan. Event details here.

Patrick 3The year 2016 has started much the same as the whole of 2015 for Patrick Monahan.

Our telephone conversation was punctuated by the sounds of platform announcements, whistle blasts and the grunts of trains pulling away from the station. The comedian was waiting for the connection to continue his journey from Manchester where he had performed the previous night to his gig in Sheffield that night. It would be another train journey to London for the following night’s show. Continue reading…

An Exclusive Interview With – Robert Habermann

Pete Austin has had the pleasure to interview Robert Habermann anticipating our first event in 2016 “I Got Gershwin” who never in the proverbial million years did  believe he would be living the world as penned by a Russian lyricist 1946.

robert Habermann pointing 2011 (2)Growing up in London during the 50’s Irving Berlin’s words ‘There’s No Business like Show Business’ were far removed from his everyday life. For him the business orientated family background offered little encouragement for the young lad who enjoyed singing in the school choir. At the age of nine he remembers having to stand up in front of the headmaster and sing (a situation I also experienced so know how nerve-racking that can be), but at that time thoughts of making a career in show business were nowhere on the agenda. (Actually I was picked out by the headmaster from my school choir as the only boy that looked as though he enjoyed singing. I was consequently given free singing lessons by a Miss Kane, who sang with The Bach Choir and who also worked with the composer John Taverner). Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with Paul Kerensa

Just in time for our very popular and sold out event Comedians & Carols, here is another one in the series of exclusive interviews by Pete Austin.

Event Date: Tuesday 22nd December – Tickets £10 (Concessions £7) – Sold Out!

Doors open 7pm – 7.30pm start

Paul Kerensa 2011 2An exclusive interview with Paul KERENSA or (in a turn of phrase) – A Portrait of a Comic as a Young Dog, all will be explained later

On December 22 the comedian and writer Paul Kerensa will once again be hosting the Comedians and Carols event at Kettering Arts Centre. It is a gig he has been doing now, pleasurably, for more than five years. He has also organised many of the acts who have appeared at the monthly Rolling in the Aisles Comedy club nights. He is relinquishing this role at the end of December to allow him to concentrate fully on an increasing number of projects. Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with – Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer

winter_warmerBy: Pete Austin

Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer have been creating music together since their late teens after meeting at the local youth orchestra. They first formed a three-piece band in 1999 but five years later concentrated their efforts playing as a duo, though each has their own individual musical projects. Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with – Jim Tavaré by Pete Austin

Jim Tavare 2Time differences and pressures of work made it difficult to arrange a time to speak directly with Jim Tavaré.

When I sent the L.A.-based double-bass playing comedian a request for an interview (email is quicker than letter writing when the servers are up and running) he replied that due to filming commitments he was unable to arrange a day/time to speak with him.  However, if I could send him a set of questions he said he would do his best to answer them. The headline act for our November Rolling in the Aisles (RitA) Comedy Club night did not disappoint. For more about the man who has worked alongside Andy Serkis, gave Ricky Gervais his first TV spot and who can count Prince Charles as a person friend – Continue reading…

Exclusive interview with Jane Nichols Co-founder of Boobs and Brass – By Pete Austin

boobsandbass_foundersIt would be fair to say that for the co-founder of the (virtually) all-female brass band, Boobs and Brass, music has always been a way of life. From the age of 11 years, the then school girl at Wollaston Secondary Modern School (as it was formerly called) answered an appeal made during a school assembly for pupils to join the school band. Along with a couple of others, Jane responded, and went along to rehearsals where she was first given a baritone horn. As the school had a policy of swapping things around to give pupils the opportunity to try other instruments she was soon holding the one that would decide her future musical career. Continue reading…

An Exclusive interview with: Peter Knight by Pete Austin

Gigspanner1Peter Knight is the founder of the trio Gigspanner and he spoke to me from his home in France ahead of the upcoming UK tour which takes in Kettering Arts Centre on November 5th. For the many people who love folk music Peter is known for being the fiddle player in the… Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview – John Ryan

JR1Prior to his headline spot at our October session of the Rolling in the Aisles Comedy Club night John Ryan was happy to share a few insights into the career he believed he was destined to follow. That career was comedy, but for John it means more than just standing up on stage in front of a boozed up audience. Continue reading…

An exclusive interview with Gary Fletcher

Gary Fletcher & Tom Leary 2In terms of learning how to play a musical instrument Gary Fletcher was a late starter. Inspired by Cream’s version of the Willie Dixon song ‘Spoonful’ (as recorded on the Wheels of Fire double album), the 17 year-old lad picked up his sister’s six-string acoustic and started to pick out that distinctive bass riff. It was not straightforward. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview With Dominic Holland!

Dominic Holland 5Since he first hit the comedy circuit in 1991 Dominic, or Dom, (he said: “Both are correct and I answer to both.”), has never looked back on his chosen career. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview with Phil Nichol!

phil_nichol03The actor, writer, musician and stand-up comic Phil Nichol was on a train heading north out of London when I spoke with him about another journey. Despite a late night gig the previous night he was relaxed, open and honest as we discussed his career. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview with My Sweet Patootie!

MSP02The trio My Sweet Patootie (I’ll get back to the name a little later) who play a fusion of jazz, funk, vaudeville, R&B and more is performing at Kettering Arts Centre. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview with Mark Hayward!

Mark HaywardDirector of The Pantaloons Theatre Company. The house lights go down and the stage lights fade in to reveal the interior of two separate rooms in two distinctively different houses. A curtain hangs between them to signify the distance between them. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview with Robin Ince!

robin ince_097 (1)It is only the second time Robin has been to the town. His first visit was around 10 years ago when he played at a nightclub, and he is happy to be returning, this time to Kettering Arts Centre, with his latest, and probably his last tour show: Blooming Buzzing Confusion. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview With Jeffrey Holland!

Mr Laurel webAhead of his month long stint at the Edinburgh Festival in August the actor Jeffrey Holland found time to talk to me about his one-man show which comes to Kettering Arts Centre in September. In , …and this is my friend, Mr. Laurel, he plays one of Hollywood’s most endearing comedians from the era of the black and white films. Continue reading…

Exclusive Interview With Sean Hughes!

Sean 2“It is a beautiful venue,” said Sean Hughes who is returning to Kettering Arts Centre on October 3, as part of his Mumbo Jumbo Tour. Sean’s previous visit was in March 2014 and he said he is looking forward to coming back again with his latest act. Continue reading…

Tickets for this and other events are available from Waterstones, High Street, Kettering. By post including an SAE to Jaime Ferreira at 4 Litchfield Close, Kettering NN16 9BS (cheques made payable to “PCC of St Andrew’s Kettering”).

You may also buy tickets by emailing office@ketteringartscentre.com or online at We Got Tickets (subject to a booking fee) or call 07759765824 if you prefer to pay by card. All major credit cards accepted (subject to a booking fee).


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  3. Pingback: An exclusive interview with Paul KERENSA |

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