The 4Tunes, who are mesmerising audiences with their breath-taking voices and stunning harmonies in their first UK tour, will be appearing at the Blake Theatre, Monmouth on March 4th followed by The Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl on March 12th.
The Porthcawl concert will be a return to home turf for two of the quartet, lead singer Michael Conway and Owain Williams. They were brought up in the town and trained and performed at The Grand Pavilion in their youth before going on to appear in a host of top West End shows. Andy Howells recently put questions to the pair.
How did The 4 Tunes come together?
OWAIN: We were all working in the West End in different shows in 2013 and had always wanted to sing together. We got together for a friend’s wedding and loved it so much we did a few gigs in London, which went down really well. As with all the performers in the West End, you never know when your next job is coming from, and in October 2013 we were all not in shows so did a cruise on the Aurora. The 4Tunes were born and we have never looked back
You all have immense singing experience how different is performing songs from shows as opposed to performing in a show?
MICHAEL: It is great to sing with a live band on the ships and do ‘our own thing’. We can sing songs from shows we had never been in and also our favourite songs from composers we would never normally get the chance to sing. So when we decided to do the tour, we all came up with favourites and classics, and as we say every night “there’s a song for everybody” on the tour. Being in a show is great but it can get boring and sometimes you want to just sing what you feel, so in the tour we chop and change to suit the day! The sound man never likes us doing that!
You are both from Wales originally, how important is it to you to be back on home ground performing these songs?
MICHAEL: It is great to travel around the country and later in the year we will be in Newcastle where Dominic is from, so he will have all his family with him. I was born in Port Talbot and have sung as a child many times at the grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, so it will be an emotional time and honoured to be back. Owain is from Carmarthen and works in Cardiff on a TV show and knows how special it will be to sing in his home country, and maybe even do a song in Welsh!
What can people expect from your forthcoming shows?
OWAIN: Well it is 2 x 45 minute sets, both different and features a song for everybody. So we will do numbers from shows we have performed in like Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Jersey Boys, the classic Sinatra/Buble songs and modern day classics from Queen. The first half tends to be more ballad like and second have songs to get you on your feet and dance and sing along, as long as you are in tune!
Is there a particular song you enjoy performing?
OWAIN: We love singing Bohemian Rhapsody, as not even Queen sang it live as it’s too difficult. It always brings the house down and we are left exhausted after a 7 minute assault course on our vocals. We also all have a solo which we change to suit the mood, which is an indulgence and love to make each one personal to maybe somebody in the audience.
What has been your best live experience?
MICHAEL: We have too many AMAZING experiences but Michael played the lead in Jersey Boys in the West End and to take the bows singing Frankie Valli was life-changing. Owain sang for the Prince of Wales in Wales and also at The Phantom of the Opera’s 25th anniversary at the O2 in London. Jimmy sang with Brian May and Queen whilst in We Will Rock You but seeing the many fans who have supported us over the years come out and see us on tour is just amazing! We always stay behind to chat and to have pictures taken too, so bring your cameras!
Where can people find out more about you and your shows?
OWAIN: Well we have our new Twitter page and our website which is www.the4tunes.com
- A version of this Q&A with Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on February 26, 2016.