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Chesney puts his new songs in the spotlight

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 06, 2013

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He was one of the freshest-faced pop icons of the 1990s, all smiles and boyish charm with the massive chart-topping single The One and Only.

The son of singer Len "Chip" Hawkes, formerly with the 1960s band The Tremeloes – who coincidentally is heading this way soon with the Sixties Gold live show – and former actress and game show hostess Carol Dilworth, a stage career was almost inevitable.

He stepped out of the spotlight for a few years while he established himself as a world-renowned songwriter; now 41, Chesney is so well respected in this field that he has a place on the judging panel for the coveted Ivor Novello songwriting awards. But that doesn't mean he has lost his passion for performing or recording.

He made a swift exit from ITV1's skating programme Dancing on Ice last year after fracturing his ankle, and now he is back on more familiar ground.

This weekend he comes to Totnes to showcase his latest album, Another Fine Mess. His first record for many years, he has released it on his own Sargent Poppy label. The fruit of three years' work, it's a collection of 16 songs, all co-written by Chesney except for one track, Come and Get It, a personal favourite which was written by Paul McCartney and recorded by Badfinger, reaching number four in 1970 – the year before Chesney was born. Producers on the album include Charlton Pettus, acclaimed for his work with Tears for Fears, Nik Kershaw, who also co-wrote the title song and a certain hit from years ago. Rest assured that he will be playing it on the night, but there will be lots of less familiar tunes to discover.

Chesney Hawkes plays South Devon Arts Centre, Totnes on Sunday, September 8.

Counterfeits stay close to the truth in celebration

In the realm of tribute bands, few come with more entertainment value than The Counterfeit Stones who are combining celebrations for their own 22nd anniversary as imitators and Sir Mick Jagger's 70th birthday with their Knock Up Your Daughters tour, which comes to Truro's Hall for Cornwall on Friday, September 13.

The Counterfeits "sham rock" experience skillfully mixes up a cocktail of classic hits, retro costume and humour, with the emphasis on good musicianship and faithful reproduction of an extraordinary back catalogue of hits and album tracks.

"We don't mess about with arrangements, so when Stones' fans come to listen to Stones' songs that is just what they'll get," says frontman Nick Dagger. They do, however, bend the truth a little in hilarious "mockumentary" films that they craft especially for each tour.

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