Singing superstar Michael Buble will be celebrating his 39th birthday on September 9 with a concert in Santiago – making it an expensive round trip for his British fans to join in the party.
But now they can cut down on their costs and enjoy the next best thing – Mikey Powell’s acclaimed tribute to the Canadian crooner which is being featured at the Sands Venue in Blackpool from September 4 to 10 as part of Trevor Chance’s Legends show.
Liverpool-born and bred, Mikey first hit the headlines 12 years ago when he won television’s Stars In Their Eyes as Scott Walker singing The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.
Since then he has added the likes of Matt Monro, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole to an act which has seen him appear at leading venues throughout the nation.
And more recently Michael Buble joined his repertoire of stars.
“I added him to my set list because a lot of people were asking if I’d seen ‘that new guy that’s singing all the old swing stuff’ which was basically what I was doing with my own Crooner Tribute show,” says Mikey. “It felt natural to include Buble’s versions, even before he was famous in the UK and as his popularity grew so did my tribute to him.”
Despite some of his earliest memories being filled with music – singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody, aged five, using a kettle lead as a microphone – his singing career developed almost by accident.
“Before Stars In Their Eyes I wasn’t a singer and I didn’t even enter it myself,” says Mikey, also a graphic designer and photographer. “My daft karaoke version of David Bowie’s China Girl had my friends thinking it was good enough to get me on one of the biggest television shows at the time.
“It was a surreal and frightening experience – especially when I actually won it singing one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite singers. That was a huge start to showbusiness especially because my own family didn’t even know I could sing at the time. Quite simply it changed my life.”
Although in Legends he is joined by tributes to Meat Loaf, Adele and Elvis Presley he admits he could fill the evening with own act.
“Matt Monro, Engelbert, Nat King Cole, Scott Walker etc – they are all still part of my set even when I do my full Buble tribute show,” he says. “I’m lucky enough to be able to change my voice to suit each tribute and thankfully they are all well received.”
This is Mikey’s first season with Legends, in its 25th anniversary year, and he admits he was a little nervous at first.
“I do feel like the new kid on the block but also part of a big family of great people who helped me settle in very quickly,” he says. “It’s definitely one of the highlights of my singing career to date. It’s great to appear alongside all the other amazing tribute acts. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy considering how fantastic they all are but I like to think that I must be doing something right to be part of it all.”
Mikey has never actually seen a Michael Buble show or met the superstar.
“It’s not because I don’t want to see him live, I just think that might be a bit weird and stalkerish,” he says. “If I did meet him though I’d probably play him some Matt Monro and Scott Walker just to see his reaction to their voices, as I’m sure he’d love them.”
Getting the Buble voice right was only part of his tribute challenge: “He seems to ooze confidence – something that I’ve always struggled with,” says Mikey. “He’s also very good-looking and charismatic so there’s a lot of pressure and I hope people don’t judge me too harshly on my shortfalls. I hope my vocal makes up for them.”
And if the Buble bubble ever bursts?
“I’m still a busy graphic esigner and photographer but I’ve been singing since Stars In Their Eyes. My Buble tribute is like a hobby that’s got a bit out of hand!”
n Legends runs Wednesday to Sunday, weekly, at the Sands Venue until November 1.