Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings singer on Rose Theatre gig

Beverley Skeete, third from right, will appear at the Rose alongside Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

Beverley Skeete, third from right, will appear at the Rose alongside Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

For the first time later this month, the Rose Theatre will become a bona fide gig venue.

The dust will have barely settled on Reel Big Fish's appearance at the High Street venue, before the seatless auditorium is swept clear of plastic glasses and ticket stubs in preparation for Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.

The former Rolling Stones bassist brings his long term project to Kingston on Wednesday, July 30 - the last of three UK gigs planned this summer.

Singer Beverley Skeete has been with the group since its formation in 1997, and is looking forward to reuniting with the old gang.

"It's been a long time and it's like being part of a family, so we always look forward to it," says Skeete, a solo artist in her own right whose last record, Personal, was released late last year.

"I went to the Rose years ago - I've got family who live around that area - although I can't remember what it was I saw."

Even after 17 years together, Skeete still enjoys performing with the Rhythm Kings, "By and large we do change the set up quite a lot," she says. "I can get bored quite easily, although there are some things Bill absolutely loves that he has to keep in.

"But what keeps it interesting is that we've had so many different people coming in and playing with us over the years. We always have somebody new."

While Skeete talks about the Rhythm Kings 'staple diet' - the regulars such as Wyman, Terry Taylor, Frank Mead, Nick Payne, Geraint Watkins and Georgie Fame - she also lists some huge names who have all been part of the set up at some point: Peter Frampton, Albert Lee, Gary Brooker and Maria Muldaur, for example.

"Bill liked the idea of bringing different people in all the time," says Skeete. "So not only have you got the usual Rhythm Kings, we're bringing new things from whoever the guest artist is."

Skeete reveals that the audience for the band's Rose Theatre appearance is likely to see either Albert Lee or Amen Corner's Andy Fairweather Low join the line up.

Fairweather Low is himself undergoing something of a resurgence of late, and is currently on his own tour. "Andy is back out there at the moment but whenever he gets the chance he asks us to leave a space for him," says Skeete.

"Everybody still wants to come back, which is testament to Bill.

"He's very generous and very understanding. It isn't about him as far as he's concerned, it's about the whole. He wants everyone to be happy and want to be there."

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, Rose Theatre, High Street, Kingston Wednesday, July 30, 8pm £33.50 rosetheatrekingston or call 020 8174 0090

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