The Purnells Final Curtain

Teesside favourites The Purnells play their final gig this weekend on Saturday night at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton. It will be a sad but doubtless unforgettable night as one of the area’s most exuberant live bands calls it a day. A great stage to bow out on also, the revamped Georgian is a fantastic venue now. With support acts of Be Quiet Shout Loud this show is not to be missed.

Singer Stu tells us that he may have some new masks up his sleeve, so expect theatrics and expect high emotion.

But hang on a minute, before the show I thought I would ask that, there Stuart Blackburn a few questions about the life and times of The Purnells.

Q: Do you remember The Purnells first gig?

Stu: Our first gig was at The Sun inn, Stockton. It was set up for new bands by Kingsley Chapman and we supported Be Quiet Shout Loud, so it’s great to be doing our last show with them.

Q: Is it important to you to really put on a show?

Stu: Massively important, who wants to see people just standing there? You have to go for it every time.

Q: There is real drama in the music as well live theatrics. Is that a key element to The Purnells?

Stu: I suppose it’s always just been something that comes out, a little bit of drama is always a good thing.

Q: You enjoyed working on the videos too didn’t you?

Stu: Very much so, it’s always been a regret we didn’t do more.

Q: Most of the band stayed together throughout. Did the different bass players add facets to the sound and direction?

Stu: Definitely, every bass player has brought something exciting to the table, I mean we liked Ian so much we let him stay!

Q: What was it like playing festivals?

Stu: Personally festivals have always been my favourite, maybe for the outdoor atmosphere but mainly because it’s not your crowd and you have to fight to grab and hold their attention.

Q: You must be very proud of the recordings. Some fine songs and great albums. Any personal favourites?

Stu: I’ve always loved the more bluesy ones, mainly because that’s my thing. I can’t really pick a favourite song, but if it’s dark and bluesy I’m probably a fan! I’m proud of all the albums we’ve done, I think Half Step Into the Shadow is my fave in a way because I’m proud of a lot of the lyrics on that album.

Q: You personally love putting your acting skills to the test on and off stage?

Stu: Again, it just kind of comes out, I do enjoy a bit of drama.

Q: What are you going to do with your masks now?

Stu: I may set up a museum in my garage! I could play the albums on repeat and serve chip butties or something; I think it’d be a winner.

Q: The album launches have always been special events. Very enjoyable to watch but must have been enjoyable to prepare and perform?

Stu: Very enjoyable to perform certainly, and we are at home when we play the Georgian. Enjoyable to set up? Not really, it is weeks of worrying if folk will turn up and alienating everyone with constant harassment to buy tickets. I don’t know how promoters do it everyday.

Q: Will there be excitement but also sadness for you all with the last show?

Stu: It’s very sad, as ten years is a long time. I think it’ll kick in on the night. I’m going to really miss it!

Q: Any plans for a Purnells tribute band in 10 years time?

Stu: We could form our own tribute band, there are many who say we have already! Why wait ten years? I’m free after Saturday!

The Purnells Final Gig – supports Serinette + Be Quiet Shout Loud – Sat 29 April Georgian Theatre – tickets £6 advance

Photos Tracy Hyman

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