Such sad news this week with the passing of celebrated crooner Ronnie Fedora.

Ronnie, who passed away on Monday at the age of 71, was a familiar figure and popular personality around the live music scene in Weymouth with his frequent appearances with The Rat Pack.

He was also affectionately known as the Singing Barber, having for many years worked at Modern Barbers hairdressers in St Mary Street where he dispensed short back and sides, along with wise words of wisdom and hilarious anecdotes in that extraordinary chocolate-coated gravel voice of his.

Ronnie, whose surname was Uttley, was instantly recognisable by his trademark hat and stylish suits, frequently decorated with a carnation buttonhole.

He had spent many years in the entertainment business, having toured extensively back in the day with the James Last Orchestra and also worked with a young Chris Rea in their native Teesside.

His long-time Rat Park singing partner Du Kane told me: “It’s such a tragic loss, it really is.

“He’d not been too well recently but he was on fine form at our last gig at The Park.

“He had such a lovely dark velvet tone to his voice and his stagecraft and presence was just spot on.

“To me, he was not just LIKE Sinatra or Tony Bennett or Dean Martin, he WAS one of them.

“He was the best dressed man in town and he lent me several hats and ties when we were out gigging. Obviously, I could never pull the look off as stylishly as Ronnie,” he added.

Who could, indeed?

And fellow Rat Packer Georgie Broad joined in the tribute, saying: “He was very much ‘Our Ronnie’.

“He put his heart and soul into every gig and every song, and he won the hearts of people of all ages from senior citizens to youngsters. He was such a gentleman and I’ll miss him terribly,” she told me.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced although there will a celebration of Ronnie’s stylish life with an afternoon of his favourite music in his honour at the Park pub in Weymouth on Sunday, July 28, from 3pm. I’ll see you there…

Moving on, and while we’ve been enjoying a run of glorious sunny weather, spare a thought for those poor folks in France (okay, you can stop now…) who have been enduring 40 degrees-plus temperatures recently, and that includes popular folkie outfit The Churchfitters who have been touring over there.

They’ll be no doubt delighted to return to the relative tundra of Osmington village hall this Sunday, July 14 for a Bastille Day concert.

The Anglo-France foursome of siblings Rosie and Chris Short, Boris Lebret and Margaux Scherer have been hailed by Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg as ‘the most musically inventive quartet in decades’ so they’re well worth checking out.

Tickets at £12 are still available from 07816 832554, so toot sweet, mes enfants.

Till next time…


Gig listings:


Coasts, Dr Meaker, Sledge Head and many more (Jurassic Fields, Askers Meadow, Bridport)

Tina Turner tribute; What’s Love Got To Do With It? (Weymouth Pavilion)

The Shakespearos (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Alexander Soulman (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Speedway Snails (John Gregory Weymouth)

Chief Lazarus (Boat That Rocks, Portland Marina)

Jolly Boys Outing (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Matt Wallis (Weymouth Working Men’s Club)

Jim Etherington (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Shauna and Nicky (Wyke Regis Working Men’s Club, Weymouth)

Campeel and the Quarter Turn (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Flying Camels (Lazy Lizard, Weymouth)

Psychedelephant (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Rock Apes (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Strings and Reeds (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Mark Davis (Black Dog, Weymouth)


Dreadzone, Coco and the Butterfields, Sam Green and many more (Jurassic Fields, Askers Meadow, Bridport)

Beach Boyz tribute show (Weymouth Pavilion)

Balance of Power (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Alexis (Little Ship, Portland)

The Scribes (Belvedere, Weymouth)

The Katz (Hope and Anchor, Bridport)

Studio 55 (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Afro Tallawah (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Replay (Red Lion, Hope Sq, Weymouth) 2pm.

Skinful (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Higher Ground Duo (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Matt Wallis (Weymouth Conservative Club)

Rich Baxter (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Richard Cooper (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 2pm.

Old Dogz New Trix (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Billy Hutchinson (1652, Weymouth)

Zoe Schwarz and Rob Koral (No 10, Bridport) Noon-2pm.

Zoe Schwarz and Rob Koral (Reloved, Dorchester)

The Riffs (George, Portland)

Fuzzy (Stone Pier café, Weymouth)

The Mighty Small (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Speedway Snails (Punchbowl, Portland)

Vanilla Radio (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Monkey Jump (White Hart, Yetminster)

Leanne Jackson (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Dakota (New Vic, Weymouth)


The Churchfitters (Osmington village hall) Tickets £12 from 07816 832554

Roger’s Singalong (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Replay (Red Lion, Hope Sq, Weymouth) 2pm.

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 3pm.

Richard Cooper (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 8.30pm.

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

Bitter and Twisted (Britannia Inn, Portland)

Rob Davis, Dave Mein (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Brian Stone (Ropemakers, Bridport)

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


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)


Folk Night (Drax Arms, Bere Regis) with Richard WIrdnam, Ted and Beth and the Bere Essentials.

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Open Mic Night (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return, Weymouth) Acoustic folk

Open Mic Night (Rock, Weymouth)


Open Mic Night (Drax Arms, Bere Regis)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove House Inn, ChiswelI, Portland)

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return, Weymouth) Strum on down from 8pm.

Ben Waller (1652, Weymouth)

Tripod (New Vic, Weymouth)


Fluke (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Stacey Lou (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Studio 55 (John Gregory Weymouth)

Mama Feelgood (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Skint Imperials (Waterloo, Weymouth)

Mike Walker (Weymouth Working Men’s Club

TBC (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Abba’s Angels (Wyke Regis Working Men’s Club, Weymouth)

Andy Grant Trio (Royal Portland Arms)

The Shakespearos (Club Bambooza, Weymouth)

BEMIS (Ropemakers, Bridport)