Interview with Rickie Arthur
Michael Buble Tribute Act
How does it feel being a tribute to one of the biggest male stars of recent years?
It's bitter sweet – being a huge fan of him and his music its an accolade and privilege performing as him. But it’s also strange being someone else, not your own voice and songs. Obviously I’d like to have his success, wealth and freebies – I’m driving a Honda Civic. I’m sure he wouldn’t swap with me!
Do you ever feel in Michael’s ‘shadow’?
Yes, quite a bit. Everyone is going to compare me with Michael Buble in every way – looks, voice, mannerisms. He has a huge fanbase and his fans can be very very demanding and critical – some won’t come to the show because its disloyal to their hero!
What is the weirdest thing a fan has done to you?
So many stories. I’ve been propositioned sexually, they have stolen my life-size cardboard cut-out that’s used for show promotions many, many times. We caught two fans running off with my banner with my picture on at a show recently. I’ve had underwear thrown at me on stage. And during my shows we have a live text facility for the audience to text song requests and dedications. Some of those texts are not strictly song related requests and make me blush!
2011 has been a pretty successful year for you – what’s been the highlight?
I didn’t think we could top 2010 when I shook Michael Bubles’ hand at gig in Sheffield. He did a double take – a great memory. But the Buble Fever theatre tour of the UK this year was so well received by press and public that’s been the best thing. On a more personal note there were two celebrity highlights for me in 2011 – I met my hero Steve Balsamo in September, a singing legend and incredibly talented songwriter. And it’s always a thrill for Rickie Tomlinson to introduce me on stage at the Green Room in Liverpool where I play regularly.
We’ve heard you’ve gone into the studio to lay some tracks down of your own… Do you not want to be a tribute artist forever then?
No – I trained at performing arts school and always wanted to be a recording artist, performing live. My genre of music is the same as Bubles, I am fortunate to look like him (some would say!) and have a voice that lends itself to sounding like him. But being an artist in my own right is where I am ultimately headed.
What is in store for 2012?
We have theatre dates till March, personal appearances, hopefully some festivals and large events later on in the year and of course, lots of writing and recording.
What’s your ultimate wish and goal in life?
I really want to be happy, singing to audiences that love swing jazz music, and singing every day. Of course I would love to sell as many albums as Michael Buble, of my own songs, and play in some of the amazing venues he has played.
If you had to choose any other career what would it be and why?
I wouldn’t have any other career. This is my job, what I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s the best job in the world.
If we want to come and see you in the New Year what do we need to do to get hold of Buble Fever tickets?
You can call any of the theatres direct and see my gig dates on www.michaelbublefever.com or www.rickiearthur.com and www.ents24.com