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Chip and Chesney Hawkes heading to Romford as part of ‘dream’ tour

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 February 2017

Chesney and Chip Hawkes (centre) with Chesneys brother Jodie (right) and guitarist Gary Nuttall. The band are playing at Romford's Brookside Theatre on Sunday

Chesney and Chip Hawkes (centre) with Chesneys brother Jodie (right) and guitarist Gary Nuttall. The band are playing at Romford's Brookside Theatre on Sunday

Brookside Theatre

Keeping it in the family when trying to set the world alight with music can be a common thing: think The Bee Gees, The Jackson 5, The Beach Boys, The Kinks.

The Tremeloes: Rick West (Westwood), David Munden, Alan Blakeley and Leonard 'Chip' Hawkes. Picture: PAThe Tremeloes: Rick West (Westwood), David Munden, Alan Blakeley and Leonard 'Chip' Hawkes. Picture: PA

Now a father and son who have forged their own musical paths have joined together for the first time, for a tour which sees them head to Romford’s Brookside Theatre on Sunday.

Chesney Hawkes and his father Leonard ‘Chip’ Hawkes will take to the Eastern Avenue stage with Chesney’s brother Jodie – on the drums – and Robbie Williams’ long-standing guitarist Gary Nuttall for a night of nostalgia, featuring family favourites and songs from both Chip’s time with The Tremeloes and Chesney’s solo career, including a certain hit from 1991.

“Really it’s something in the sidelines that we’ve wanted to do for a long time, it’s a dream for us,” Chesney told the Recorder.

“Obviously I grew up with music in the house and instruments propped up in the corner. The three of us [siblings] had no chance – we were always going to be in music, and dad took us to see The Tremeloes first-hand.”

Chip joked: “When they grew up I thought fantastic, I’ve got some time to myself, and now they’re all back!”

The father and son are no strangers to audiences in the borough: both have clocked up performances at the Havering Show and Chip lived close by in Dagenham for much of the 1960s.

Chip joined The Tremeloes in 1966, replacing bassist Alan Howard, who had joined frontman Brian Poole in leaving, and the band – which had beaten The Beatles to a contract with Decca Records – went on to a string of hits from 1967, including Here Comes My Baby, Hello World, Suddenly You Love Me, I’m Gonna Try, My Little Lady and the huge Silence is Golden.

Since leaving the group, Chip has toured with other bands and as a solo artist, reuniting with his former bandmates on occasion.

Chesney Hawkes performing on stage during the Summer XS pop festival at the Rivermead Centre in Reading. Picture: PA/Yui MokChesney Hawkes performing on stage during the Summer XS pop festival at the Rivermead Centre in Reading. Picture: PA/Yui Mok

He is excited to bring a fusion of different material to the Brookside Theatre audience.

“We thought we’d do something different because throughout my years and career I have basically just played Tremeloes hits – I’ve never really played other songs on stage,” he said.

“This time we thought we’d drag some out of the bag that have been around for years. Some have been recorded but never performed on stage.”

Speaking after the tour’s opening night, Chesney added: “There are songs I remember dad writing when I was very young, songs nobody would have really heard.

Chesney Hawkes with his mother Carol and father Chip. Picture: PAChesney Hawkes with his mother Carol and father Chip. Picture: PA

“It’s the same for my songs, that part of the show went really well and the crowd really warmed to it.”

Chesney may be best known for his 1991 smash hit The One and Only – which held onto the UK number one spot for five weeks – but he has toured worldwide in the years since, released new material and appeared in musicals such as Can’t Smile Without You (based around the songs of Barry Manilow) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, as well as pantomimes.

The Father & Son tour is only the latest addition to Chesney and Chip’s action-packed careers.

“Part of it is we are doing songs from the ‘70s, so it naturally has that vibe: we are not dismissing the hits, we are still doing them, in a much more intimate way,” said Chip.

“I took up the bass again which I haven’t played for years and I’m really enjoying it again now.

“If the first show is anything to go by, it will be an amazing month.”

Father & Son will take place from 8pm on Sunday, with tickets £19. To book, call 01708 755775 or visit brooksidetheatre.com.

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