LEVELS of excitement and expectation have not been this high since your birthday, Christmas, the FA Cup Final, the World Cup, a Royal baby AND a Royal wedding all occurred on the same day, and even I can’t remember that far back…

But a music project which started some nine months ago, gradually evolving and tweaking into the pinnacle of perfection, is coming to a brilliantly bee-hived head and will be unveiled to the public next Friday, May 25, at Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Room as Amy: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse makes its full debut.

As singer Stacey Thomas, en route to one of the band’s last rehearsals before the big night, tells me: “It’s just so exciting.

“We had a run through with the three-piece DB Horns brass section and that was THE game-changer.

“They really have made it happen,” she enthused.

The band of guitarist George Hall, bass ace Dan Brackley, keys maestro Lucy Hackett and drummer Rob Davis have been working hard since last summer on the 90-minute show which features all of Amy’s Grammy award-winning Back to Black album, most of her Mercury Prize-nominated debut Frank, plus songs from the Lioness selection, which was released after her tragic and untimely passing in 2011.

It’s also amazing to think that Stacey and the whole band can be found, in one guise or another, entertaining the punters around the pubs of Weymouth virtually every weekend.

“They’re all so reliable,” says Stacey of the band.

“And if I should wander into an Amy-style ad lib, I know they’ll follow me.”

But it’s inevitably Stacey who is the centre of attention and she manages to mix the heady cocktail of supreme sass and fragile vulnerability which made Amy such a star.

And as for her vocals, I’ll leave that to Frankie Tontoh, Amy’s former drummer who toured and recorded with her: “Wow! You sound just like her,” he says.

Next Friday’s showpiece is a huge step up and reaction to the two warm-up dates, at Kyps in Poole and at Lymington Yacht Club, has been phenomenal with a host of management agencies and tour representatives all expressing interest.

The attention to detail in order to make this THE most authentic and accurate tribute has been forensic, and not only musically, but also with regard to stage sets and costumes.

Even the iconic lampshades, identical to those used by Amy on her live performances back in the day, have been located and manufactured to order by a firm in Harrogate.

As Stacey says: “I love Amy and everything about her.

“ I understand and relate to her lyrics, which also makes it so much easier for me to remember them all.

“When I’m being Amy, I don’t need to change. Of course I get nervous but I do a wiggle and clutch the hem of my dress, just like she did, and go into my own little bubble.”

It really does promise to be both a night to remember and the start of something rather good.

Tickets for Amy: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse are available at £17.50 from the Pavilion box office on 01305 783225.

Till next time…



The Shakespearos (Finns, Weymouth)

Peacock Suit (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Innocent Bystander (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Mike Walker (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Darren H (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Jolly Boys Outing (Park, Weymouth)

Grand Reunion (Pilgrims House, Hope Square, Weymouth)

Average Wyke Band (Royal Exchange, Portland)

Rob Davis (Market House, Weymouth)

Skinful (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Lucky Ol’ Sun (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Skint Imperials (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Stacey Lou (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Mark Davis (Lugger, Chickerell, Weymouth)

Strings and Reeds (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Bring Me the Pistols (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Snakesnakesnake (Ropemakers, Bridport)


The Riffs (Finns, Weymouth)

Cherry Pickers (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Tripod (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Stereoironics (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Darren H (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Chris Woodchuck (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

The Silhouettes (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Neil Wale (Conservative Club, Weymouth)

Average Wyke Band (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Vanilla Radio (Tom Browns, Dorchester)

Psychedelic Fridge Project (Hardy’s, Dorchester)

V8 Hearts (Junction, Dorchester)

Total Madness (Kimberlin Club, Portland)

Sprex Mafia (Star, Weymouth)

Blazing Strings (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Toxic Fish (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Moonshine Hillbillies (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

The Tracks Band (Centenary Club, Weymouth)

The Black Lines (Punchbowl, Portland)

The Ferals (Wyke Regis Social Club, Weymouth)

The Lost Tribe of the Tea Cup Turtles (Borough Gardens, Dorchester) From noon.


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Freezer (Park, Weymouth) 4pm.

Brian Donnelly (King’s Arms, Weymouth) 6pm.

Aaron (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Ricky Solo (Sailor’s Return, Weymouth) From 3pm.

Folk, Country and Blues Evening (Old Town Hall, Weymouth) From 7.30pm.

Bitter and Twisted (Royal Exchange, Portland) For Junie’s birthday, from 4pm.

Martin Weston (Vinny@6, Dorchester) 4-6pm.

Martin Freed (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth) 3pm.

Darren H (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth) 6pm.

Scots Dan’s Open Mic (Duke of Albany, Weymouth) 6pm.

Sheryl Lee (Black Dog, Weymouth) 4-7pm.

Jim Reynolds (Ropemakers, Bridport)


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)


Nathan Jon (Boot, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Open Mic Night (Royal Exchange, Portland)

Open Mic Night (Rock, Weymouth)


Roger’s Singalong (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Julie Lewis Jazz Jam (Park, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove House Inn, Portland)

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return, Weymouth)


Go Now: The music of the Moody Blues (Weymouth Pavilion)

AMY: A tribute to Amy Winehouse (Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Rooms)

Dead Man’s Clique (Finns, Weymouth)

Mad Hatters (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Elijah Wolf (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Phil Denton (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Brass Monkeys (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Charlie Hodds (Park, Weymouth)

Lewis Craven Band (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Electric Shakes (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Shooter (Bull’s Head, Fordington, Dorchester)

The Silhouettes (Admiral Hardy, Weymouth)

Sheryl Lee (RAFA Club, Weymouth) 3-6pm.