A swing singer who received the seal of approval from Wayne and Coleen Rooney after playing at a party hosted by the couple has top billing at the Lindisfarne Inn this weekend.
Geordie crooner Glen Roughead is kicking off a long line of events the Beal hotel is laying on for the yuletide period.
And a self-proclaimed lover of all things Christmas, Glen can’t wait to get into the festive spirit.
“I’ll make no bones about it; I absolutely love Christmas,” he excitedly told ‘WOW’.
“I’m not cool at all I love everything about it.
“I don’t know why but the link between the festive season and swing music just seems to be getting stronger. I love the kind of Christmas gigs where I only need to sing a few lines of a song before the audience are up on their feet singing away.
“The best gigs are the ones where people just get up and dance, interaction with the audience is what it’s all about.
“I’ve got 18 shows in the diary so there are most definitely going to be a few swing versions of Christmas songs in the set.”
Glen is a lover of all kinds of music from Rihanna to Frank Sinatra via Jay-Z, but said he felt swing was in a class of its own.
“Without naming names, you see some stars who seem to have no respect for themselves or their families judging by some of the antics they get up to, whereas swing is a real gentlemen’s genre. Through the years it’s been sung by classy musicians for classy audiences.
“To me when I started off singing swing I felt like I had to get to know the genre and the songs and really earn my stripes.
“To me tunes like ‘Moon Dance’ and ‘Mr Bojangles’ are timeless; they’re the perfect pop songs.”
As with many entertainers in this day and age, Glen is an active user of social networking sites and it was a quick glance at Twitter that led to him performing at the Rooney’s event at Aintree racecourse.
“Someone had put a tweet out looking for a swing singer for a do in Manchester,” he explained.
“I replied and ended up getting the gig; a bridal fair at a lovely country house. Well someone who knows the Rooneys saw me and passed on my details. The next thing I know I was approached about a party hosted by someone, but I wasn’t allowed to know who.
“When I arrived at the venue I had to sign a form agreeing not to take pictures and it was then that I clocked Coleen.”
Glen made a great impression on the Rooneys and he has since played at Alan Shearer’s daughter’s 18th birthday, and an event attended by Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic, as well as providing match day entertainment at St James’ Park.
And one of the highlights of his Christmas calendar is the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at Newcastle’s St Nicholas’ Cathedral where he will share the stage with X Factor star Amelia Lily and ‘Emmerdale’ actress Chelsea Halfpenny.
Glen is also looking forward to headlining a show at The Sage Gateshead on Friday, March 14.