James Reay

 

James has been entertaining audiences from a very young age. One of his first performances was at the Gaumont Theatre in Ipswich performing in ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ James started singing with his best mate Colin. Touring the pubs and clubs in and around Ipswich. During that time they gained quite a name for themselves and strong following.

 

James later decided to team up with a woman called Jean. Together they formed the Jasmine Duo. This was the start of his professional performing career. They toured up and down the country singing to countless audiences. But this wasn’t enough, James needed something more. He’d heard from a friend that an agent in the popular seaside town of Blackpool was looking for new acts. James packed up his belongings shoved them in his car and headed North.

When he arrived he found that the rumours of ‘The streets being paved with gold in Blackpool,’ were greatly exaggerated. But He did like the atmosphere. He was very quickly picked up by The Micheal James Entertainment Agency and was set to work. For the first few years he was performing 3-4 shows a night in the various hotels and clubs. But with the declining visitors to Blackpool and cheaper holidays abroad, work started to decline. That didn’t stop James who is, even today’ in high demand.

Once in Blackpool, making a name for himself, James opened a recording studio (VoxBox Recording Studio) with his partner Simon. Together they built a popular professional business. The studio was initially created to provide a quality affordable service to the many artists in Blackpool. It was very busy very quickly. They soon hired Stage Producer, Actor and close friendĀ  Basil Soper to help in the business. Through Basil and their reputation they soon had the likes of David Essex, Roy Walker, Fred Talbot, Frank Carson, Ian ‘H’ Watkins and more all recording in the studio. It was a great time but sadly had to end when major contracts were unwilling to pay for the services. During this period James was approached by DJ/Producer Ross Alexander to provide vocals for a dance track he was producing. When James heard it was a remix of Neil Diamonds America, he jumped at the chance. Since then he has recorded many remixes with other producers Such as Ian Parkinson for FYLF records, recording Rock Me Gently and Electric Dreams, all of which were recorded at James’ Studio, VoxBox Recording Studio, all as a main vocalist. America hit Number One in the European Dance Charts.

In 2009 James was stricken with a throat problem and had to have his uvula and part of his soft palate removed. He was told that he may never sing again. James is never one to give up so soon after the operation he visited his parents in Felixstowe to recover for two weeks, determined to give his throat the best chance of healing and therefore, hopefully, reducing any chance of damage to his throat. The first time he sang after the operation his voice had altered so much he didn’t recognise himself. So he decided to hire a vocal coach. Long story short he worked and worked and got his voice James & Leslieback. This was great timing as not long after the operation he was asked to sing at the Lytham Proms with Opera Supremo Leslie Garrett. He went on stage hoping his voice would hold out for the performance. It did, and it is the highlight of his career. He loved every minute of it. Leslie Garrett was gracious and a wonderful lady and has the most amazing voice in the business.

During his time in Blackpool James has had the opportunity to appear on screen in shows like: Hollyoakes, Where The Heart Is, Blackpool and Funland. He was also one of the main presenters for the TV show Backstage Blackpool. He loves acting but his passion is always music.

in 2010 James teamed up with his, now, business partner Karen and took over the running of The Winterbourne Hotel. in just 12 months they turned it around. They were later joined by Simon and in 2013 James and Simon were featured on the Channel 4 show Four In A Bed. They were competing against 3 other hotels for the coveted best value award. Spending 2 weeks filming with Dom & Steph (The Posh Couple from Gogglebox) was a blast. They quickly became friends and quite a few of the nights after filming were spent swapping stories and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. To their surprise they won! During the show you can catch James performing in the Theatre, later followed by the rest of the Four In A Bed hoteliers providing chorus vocals for Any Dream Will Do. Needless to say Dom & Steph stole the show.

That brings us on nicely to Fosses. A Bijou Theatre created by James & Simon to provide Blackpool with something different. The idea sprung from a night of brainstorming, when james looked down to the bottom of the room and saw in his mind a theatre stage. The room definitely leant itself to the idea. So just before filming Four in A Bed they set to work and in March 2012 James performed their new show ‘A Night At The Musicals’ in the newly built theatre. It was an instant hit with the hotel guests.

James and Simon have driven Fosses to it’s current iteration and in June 2017 they were granted a license to open to the publi

c. With a lot of advertising and pounding the pavement they got a huge interest and have had great nights ever since.

 

2017 has also seen James release his debut single ‘Just Let Me Cry’ A charity single raising awareness and funds for actionforme.org.uk. This charity supports people with the lifelong illness M.E. and their families. They also fund research into this debilitating mysterious illness. James wanted to do this for Simon who was diagnosed with illness in 2016 with very little chance of full recovery. At the time Simon was diagnosed all funding and services were removed from the area by The Clinical Commissioning Group. Without support Simon turned to the charity who helped come to terms with the illness and provide much needed support for

James Reay - Just Let Me Cry
Debut Single from James Reay ‘Just Let Me Cry’

both of them.

The single is released on the 27th December and is available from all major music sites.

That’s it for the moment, we’ll keep you updated with everything James does on the home page. Thanks for reading.