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Tristan Darby of the Bristol Wine School takes the stage with other legends of the trade for Skin Côntact

Published:  19 April, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage next month in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage next month in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

Skin Côntact LIVE AGAIN! is taking place on Thursday 12 May 2016 at the O2 Academy, Islington. Skin Côntact LIVE! is sponsored by Côtes du Rhône wines, and is a partnership that made it possible to stage this event and allow 100% of the proceeds to go to charity.

All in aid of a good cause 'The Band' including Richard Hemming - he of Jancis Robinson fame; Alex Hunt MW of Berkmann, Matt James of Bordeaux Cellar and Ben Smith of CyT will be performing along with a number of other personalities and talents from across the wine trade.

A series of guest stars will be on hand to wow spectators, including the very talented Tristan Darby of the Bristol Wine School.

The Islington Academy stage has hosted Beck, Muse, Eminem - and now you! But who are your musical heroes?

I'm an utter muso so highlights of a very long list include: Sinatra, Neil Finn/Crowded House, Ella, Bjork, Beatles, Harry Connick, Sammy Davis, and (no word of a lie) Gene (Matt the Drummer's Band).

What's the largest audience you've sung in front of?

In my old life as an actor I used to sing in musicals and with a Big Band or two in main house theatres, so probably around 1500. I've also earned my stripes as a singer in the 90s playing local venues with my band to no-one but the sound engineer and a reviewer (actually our best ever review!).

And how would you like to be introduced on stage?

Tough question and I honestly don't know.... how about Bristol's Buggles Belting Baritone?!

What are you listening to a lot at the moment?

I've been revisiting my 90's collection in the car recently so lots of indie, hip hop and drum and bass. Also more up to date stuff like Gregory Porter, Villagers, Elbow and London Grammar - and always LOTS of Sinatra, Bennett, Basie, Ella, Bille and Chet.

And what was the most memorable live musical performance you've ever seen?

Probably my first ever big gig-Gene at Manchester Uni in '97! I spent the whole gig down at the front captivated by Martin's camp, confident and cocky showmanship- by far the best frontman of the 90's and beyond. I saw them another 8 or 9 times but this was the defining moment I realised I wanted to be a singer.

Quickfire round! Côte-Rôtie or Gigondas?

Not fair! But at the moment Gigondas.

Adele or Madonna?

Oh god, certainly not Adele (great vox, dire music) - so Madge.

Viognier or Marsanne/Roussanne?


The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?


And finally, what's your most embarrassing musical secret?

Probably how embarrassingly excited I am to be singing at Skin Côntact with Matt on drums. Hope I don't get star struck and make a prat out of myself.