www.glos.info Interviews G4's Jonathan Ansell

Cheltenham

G4 Live 2018, Cheltenham Town Hall, March 22nd 2018

www.glos.info Interviews G4's Jonathan Ansell

Hands up who remembers the first ever series of X-Factor, any of the acts and, more importantly, who won it?

No?

It was back in 2004 and the winner was Simon Cowell’s act, Steve Brookstein. I doubt many of us will know what happened to old Steve or most of the other artists, but there was one act for whom the show was a springboard to greater things.

Despite losing out on the top spot – they were runners-up – classical crossover quartet G4 immediately signed a £1.5 million album deal with Sony BGM and their self-titled debut album reached number one in 2005.

Although they split up after three years, citing disagreements within the band, seven years later in 2014 they decided to reform and are now back on the road with a new tour that will bring them to Cheltenham in March.

Frontman Jonathan Ansell described the show as a coming of age for G4, who are now minus bass Matt Stiff, replaced by Nick Ashby in the new line-up. Still there along with Jon are tenors Ben Thapa and baritone Mike Christie.

Their addictive sound of operatic pop, rock and swing have found a place in the hearts of a new generation of fans, as well as the old ones still around from their post-X-Factor days.

“We’ve been blown away by the response we’ve had second time round and, now we’ve established ourselves back out there, we can now enjoy ourselves on stage with a real mix of material and have a great time with people,” said Jonathan.

“It’s escapism for both sides from the stresses of life. You can immerse yourselves in the music, have a sing-along, and go out with a little spring in your step on the way home.”

Jonathan’s solo career after G4 split tootled along nicely, with albums, TV appearances (he won Come Dine With Me and won Lungs of the Year), and performed Hearts of England live at Wembley Stadium Hearts as the Rugby League World Cup anthem.

“It’s an unbelievable career to be in and I count my lucky stars every day that I am able to do it. I feel very blessed to be able to share that every year; there’s nothing quite like that.”

He still watches X-Factor although admits fast-forwarding it on catch-up because of the length of the shows these days. “I feel obliged to keep up as people often ask me about it, but I do end up only watching bits as I’ve got other things to do with my life.”

“I’m glad we were on the very first one as it’s the best way to do it. People aren’t quite sure what the shows going to be, there are no preconceptions either from production, content and audience. But I do still think it’s a great opportunity for talented artists to come through and potentially build careers.”

G4 perform at Cheltenham Town Hall on March 22nd 2018. Tickets cost £29.50 or £77 for a meet and greet with the band. Click the link below for more information.

Interview taken and written by Helen Gadd on behalf of www.glos.info

 

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