Take That – your chance of Gary Barlow tribute to serenade you at your wedding
Published on: 05 May 2015
HOW do all you brides and grooms-to-be fancy Gary Barlow singing at your wedding party?
The former Take That crooner turned solo artist caused a sensation on Twitter when he announced he would play at three fans’ weddings this year.
And although Downend Voice can’t promise you the real Gary Barlow we can offer you the next best thing - step forward Bromley Heath’s Lee Stinchcombe.
The 34-year-old has been busy carving out a name for himself as a Gary Barlow tribute act.
It follows a successful career as the lead singer of a Take That cover band called Just Tribute - an act which performs the 90s boyband’s greatest hits such as Relight My Fire, Could It Be Magic and Back For Good.
After taking redundancy from his bank job of 16 years, Lee decided to branch out and perform as a solo Gary Barlow under the name of Just Gary Barlow, although he remains lead vocalist of Just Tribute.
When he heard Gary wanted to perform at fans’ weddings he thought it was such a good idea he would also offer his services free of charge.
He has just launched a competition where prospective brides and grooms can enter to be in with a chance of Lee playing at their evening wedding reception.
Lee, who lists his favourite Gary Barlow song as the recent Let Me Go, said: “I’m jumping on the bandwagon because Gary Barlow said on Twitter he would do three weddings where he just turns up and sings.
“I’m not Gary Barlow, but I am offering a free 45-minute set of Gary songs, which always go down well. It’ll also save people some money on their evening entertainment.”
Lee, who lives with wife Helen and their four cats, has been singing since he was a pupil at Mangotsfield School and has been in various bands.
Just Tribute was formed for a one-off charity concert at the Tunnels night club near Temple Meads.
Lee said: “We went down really well and enjoyed it so we decided to carry on. Five years later we’re still going and still gigging regularly.”
Originally a four piece, the band is now scaled down to three and also features Lee’s brother Ross and pal James Pearce.
Lee said: “As a kid I listened to Take That. They did great songs and I enjoy singing them. The best bit about being in a Take That tribute act is that everybody else likes the songs as well; we’ve never had a bad gig. It’s always gone down well and we are good at what we do because we work hard at it, but it’s the songs that carry us through.”
And although the original Take That fans are now much older, it seems they’ve not lost their enthusiasm.
“We get underwear thrown at us. It’s a hard life, isn’t it?” joked Lee.
When Barclay’s Bank offered Lee redundancy at the end of December, he saw it as an opportunity and grabbed the bull by the horns.
“I decided I could probably do this on my own as well. Obviously I’ve been singing ‘Gary songs’ for the last five years but instead of having all of us perform, it’s just me.”
Lee is clear about one thing - he is not a Gary Barlow impersonator.
“There’s something very cheesy about trying to impersonate someone else. I’m Lee when I’m up on stage and I just enjoy singing his songs. It’s the same with Take That, we don’t look like them and I don’t particularly sound like Gary but the crowd always seems to like it.”
To be in with a chance of ‘Gary Barlow’ performing at your wedding, you need to do three things - Like Lee’s Facebook page, share his Facebook page and find the answer to a question hidden amongst Lee’s website, www.justgarybarlow.co.uk.
Full competition details, including a humorous video, are also on his website.
• You can next catch Lee in action as Gary at Bromley Heath Primary School’s summer fete on June 19.
Just Tribute will play at the Hilton Hotel on May 22 where they will also perform a set of boy band covers including hits by East 17, Back Street Boys, Blue and Five.