Andy Abraham in Croydon
Former binman Andy Abraham has certainly done the rounds - from X-Factor to Eurovision, and is now preparing his own stage show telling the history of the Big Band.
Launched into the limelight when he finished runner-up in The X-Factor in 2005, Abraham has not sat on his laurels but instead has gone on to represent Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest, record four studio albums and even begin a career in theatre.
At the close of last year the 47-year-old surrounded himself with some of the country’s leading female singers in Respect the Diva at The Garrick Theatre a three week stint that gave him a taste for the big stage.
He says: "It took me out of my comfort zone, but I don’t think you are a true performer if you are not taking on the challenge. Respect the Diva was fantastic, we got such a good response and it really gave me a thirst for doing something like this."
Supported by a 13-piece band including some of the leading players in the country, Abraham will give a narrative account of the emergence of Big Band and its enduring influence today.
He says: "I think people tend to forget just how great music from the era really was. With the emergence of people like Michael Buble the genre is getting a much needed revival."
Featuring songs from artists such as Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie the show takes all the hits from a golden era of music.
Beginning the tour next month, Abraham is also releasing his latest album Remember When, a selection of songs personal to the performer telling the story of his life.
The album will be released on March 5 with an accompanying book explaining the decisions and giving details about the artist.
Andy Abraham’s History of The Big Bands, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, March 23 7.30pm