writing and recording songs from 1972 to 1986
pictures and listen to some songs on 'Studio' page)
also thought it was very amusing changing the words of well known
and playing them
to anyone who'd listen .....
these were usually very rude, which
went down well on 'lad's weekends away'.
It was about 1991
when an old mate of mine called Mike Brocklehurst
to karaoke ......
Mike had a very good singing voice, so he was
as keen as me to seek out karaoke venues, that's how we met
Stuart Dutton ...... he loved to sing and had a great
dragging my friend Pete Drinkwater out on many Fridays to karaoke
shows, and Pete didn't sing ..... sorry Pete.
became apparent that not many of these KJs (Karaoke Jockeys)
knew much about sound and mixing, so in 1992 Stuart and I
decided to get our own
gear as a vehicle for us to sing and be
We put in £5,000 each to buy a Pioneer system (laser
discs were over £100 each!!!).
Although Pioneer were market
leaders in karaoke players and discs,
their amplifiers and
speakers were not good enough for larger venues,
so we went to
HW Audio in Bolton and spent another £10,000.
This was way over the top for karaoke, but as I
said, we wanted the best gear for ourselves, but it
meant we had to do over 200 gigs before we were to break even.
We kept upgrading the equipment and buying the latest discs, and
eventually we made up another karaoke system suitable for smaller
so with Mike Brocklehurst's help we could do 2 gigs on the
In 1993 we did 187 gigs, and in 1994 we did
Our busiest year was 1995 .......
I still find it
hard to believe that we actually did 298 gigs that year.
was too many really, it killed the enjoyment somewhat, so in 1996 we
less gigs (207) for more money .... we had an
advert in Yellow Pages that said,
"If you can find someone more
expensive, we'll match their price".
In 1997 and 1998 we were
just averaging 3 gigs a week,
and we also started doing gigs as
a vocal duo.
On our karaoke shows, Stuart and I would always
start off with a few songs,
then invite our regular singers up, then we'd
do a couple more songs in the middle, then some more karaoke, then
we'd finish off the night with some great rock songs that we did
We were fairly famous for
finishing the night off with songs like
'Taking Care of
Business', 'Unchain My Heart', 'Caroline', 'Just A Gigolo'.
Because we were set up for quality rather than the average way
karaoke was done, we had great singers travelling miles to show off
on our equipment,
which brought in a good audience who wanted to
see them perform.
We had Mike
Brocklehurst, Steve Swarbrick, Keith Myerscough, Frank Driver,
McDonough and Derek Dutton to help us, which was lucky
because Stuart discovered he had cancer in his eye and was being treated from
I did the gigs with Steve for a few months until
and then he had to take it easy.
smokey pub wasn't the healthiest place to be at the best of times,
and I've always wondered if the smoke could have caused the cancer
in the first place.
We only did 95 gigs in 1999 because I
just wasn't interested
when Stuart wasn't around.
Our longest running weekly gig
was at the Crown Hawk Green from 1993-2002.
Louise was one of our
regular singers from when she was only about 16.
Joan used to bring her along and
encourage her ... she's just as enthusiastic now.
Adi & Jamie, Greg Morton, Wayne,
Jessica, Zac, Maria, Pete, Chrissy &
came along most weeks, and many now do singing gigs of their own
Pete has become Pete Valentine - George
Morton Jessica Maria
Baker Street Bar (above the Bamboo
Club) Hazel Grove was another weekly venue
from 1994-1999 where we had
regular singers like Lisa, Jo, Pete, Prince Andrew etc.
We did the Crown in Bredbury weekly
Our highest paid gig was 31st
Millennium Eve at the Summer Palace Hazel Grove
Stuart had more time off in 2000, so we only
did 67 gigs,
but quite a lot of them were as a vocal duo.
similar story in 2001 until August when Stuart discovered
secondary cancer in his liver.
He was having
tests and missed a few more gigs,
sometimes he'd call in at the
venue just to sing a couple of songs.
The last time was at our
first duo gig at the Blue Pig, Steve stood in,
and Stuart turned
up to do a 'guest spot'.
He loved it, and so did the audience,
but he left early because he felt tired.
Three days later it was
9/11, and 4 weeks later it was 10/11 ......
Stuart died on
Thursday 11th October 2001.
I'm writing this four and a half
years later and I'm in tears!!!!!
I'm just adding a bit more in
June 09 .... and I'm in tears again.
11th October 2009: It's 8 years
ago today that my friend & singing partner Stuart
As sad as it is, it's nice to
remember all the good times, and there were many.
We did around 1400 gigs together
between 1992 & 2001.
Well, here we are, another year on, I can
only repeat the above .... I'm filling up again. 11th October 2010: It's 9 years ago today
that my friend & singing partner Stuart died. As sad as it is, it's nice to remember all the good
times, and there were
We did around
1400 gigs together between 1992 & 2001.
11th October 2011: It's 10 years
ago today that my friend & singing partner Stuart died, but his
memory and his songs still live on. Feel free to add to the
11th October 2012:
It's 11 years ago today ..... still thinking of
Fortunately, I recorded many of our shows on minidisc
.... here are some of the songs
Fond memories indeed
for lots of reasons.
You guys were great
together - 'Just a Gigolo' & 'Unchain my Heart' still bring
a tear to my eyes. Going to to see the 'Karaoke
Kings' certainly changed my life!
10 years on, Frank
& I are in Florida with a framed picture of you
& Stuart above
the desk in the
(that brought a tear to my eye Sandra - Chris xx)
Gosh, RIP Stuart,
those 10 years have flown past.
Used to love Thursday
evenings at the Crown Hawk Green
and Sundays at the
Crown in Bredbury.
What a lovely man and
a wonderful singer.
I still listen
to the CD you made of him Chris.
Sweet Jesus, 10
years? It seems like the blink of an
Great fella, hell of a
sense of humour.
Together you were
instrumental in me falling in love with t'other side o'
There are very fondly
remembered chunks of my life that would never had
had it not been for
RIP the Karaoke
So sad Chris, he was a
amazement that it’s been 10 years since Stuart died. I really
miss the guy,
we all had so
much fun at The Mousetrap in Disley and also the Crown in Hawk
Green, those evenings were legendary and gave lots of people an good
opportunity to try out their voices on awesome equipment.
remember Stuart pretending to paint the walls of the pubs while
your pictures about how its gonna be”? Sadly missed
remember you & Stuart very well, very professional
and proof that karaoke done well can be a great night's
Was very sad to hear about Stuart (great
RIP Stuart, he
was a singing legend.
Joanne Oldham - "Here's to Stuart, Chris,
and boy could he sing xxx"
Julie Chorlton - "Brought a tear to my eye
Chris, remember Stuart fondly.
'Unchain My Heart' will always be a classic of yours
Keith Myerscough - "Fond memories of a top
He was always full of a happy-go-lucky attitude. Sadly
Steve Swarbrick - "Wow, 9 years!! It's a
rare person who can evoke so many positive
memories on a regular basis who isn't family.
He was certainly a great character with quite an
intriguing side to him,
but he made even the most casual acquaintance at a gig feel like
and were always welcome back. He really is missed"
Greg Morton - "Still remember meeting and
singing with you guys at the RNCM JCR
back when, always filling the place out.
That was one of the things that made me believe I could make a
singing. Sadly missed, but always a part of what I
Max Dutton - "'Just A Gigolo', what a song,
I can still listen to that CD all day long"
Danny Muldoon - "Top voice"
Neil Andrew Roberts - "Wow!!, really moved
by this Chris"
Published: 20th November
Chris Statham, left, and Stuart Dutton.
KARAOKE king Chris Statham is
dedicating a night of songs to
the other half of his popular
musical duo who died of cancer last month.
Stuart Dutton lost his battle with the disease that he
had been fighting since 1999,
leaving Chris devastated.
The pair have been putting on a
show together for over 9 years
and are well known in the clubs and
bars of Stockport.
Chris, 52, from Bank Road, Bredbury,
said: "We met while going to other karaoke nights
and it was something we had in
"Then we got our own gear in 1992 and started doing
the nights ourselves.
We specialised in quality singing and
concentrated on having good equipment.
It wasn't just a messing
about type show."
Stuart's cancer was first diagnosed after
he developed a tumour behind his eye,
which he eventually had to have
removed, and then secondary cancer of the liver.
He was one
month into his course of chemotherapy when he died.
going solo for the time being but finding it difficult to carry
He said: "He was the one of us that had the really good
We blended well together, but he was the best
Chris and Stuart, who was 46 when he died, met
hundreds of performers over the years
and Chris is hoping to get as many
as possible to come and sing a song in tribute to Stuart.
The special night will be held at The Crown in Hawk Green, Marple where
the duo became
a weekly favourite for the last nine
All the money raised will go to Cancer Research and
Chris will be singing some of
his friend's favourite
He said: "We'll do the songs that Stuart was well
known to do, maybe 'Just a Gigolo'
by Dave Lee Roth & 'Unchain my
Heart' by Joe Cocker."
Stuart lived in Hadfield where his
family own a flower shop currently run by his mum, Sylvia.
Chris, a former builder, says: "It will be hard without Stuart.
It is a difficult time at the moment. We're still at The Crown every
Steve Swarbrick has been helping us since Stuart got
"It was Stuart's wish that we continue doing
The tribute and celebration night in memory of Stuart
will be held on Saturday,
November 24 starting at
First published by the Stockport
Christie Hospital press release
12th December 2001
KARAOKE KING'S £4,000
The tragic death of 46-year-old karaoke king
Stuart Dutton, from Hadfield, Glossop,
has prompted donations totalling £4,050 to
Manchester's Christie Hospital.
The first £2,050 came
from a tribute evening organised by Stuart's karaoke partner,
Chris Statham, at the Crown Inn, Hawk Green, Marple,
where the duo often performed.
"People came from as
far afield as London and Newcastle-on-Tyne especially to sing
in memory of Stuart, who died from cancer in
October," says Chris, from Bredbury.
At the height of
their karaoke fame the duo performed in many Stockport pubs and clubs,
but the Crown Inn was a regular venue.
Chris still performs there with Steve Swarbrick, of
It was after Chris and Steve put on a karaoke evening
at Marple Golf Club
that a further £2,000 went into Christie's coffers.
The evening was one of several social functions that
businessman Peter Humphries
and about 30 friends - all regulars of the Railway
pub in Rose Hill, Marple -
had organised just to get together
and enjoy themselves.
"Chris told us about his fundraising
We had raised cash at some of our functions and
had about £2,000 in the kitty,
so we decided that should go to
Christie's too," says Peter.
He felt it would be a better
use of funds than when the group invested in a
racing greyhound called Rhino Shunter.
"All it did was shunt our money down the drain," adds Peter.
"At least the cash we re giving to Christie's will do
All £4,050 has gone into the Christie's against
Cancer Fund to finance the work
of scientists and clinicians who are researching and
developing new ways to treat,
and prevent cancer.
Christie Hospital press release
21st November 2002
More Cash For Christie's In
Karaoke King's Memory
Singer Stuart Dutton, known as
'the karaoke king', was just 46 when he died
from cancer last year. But his singing partner Chris
Statham ensures that his
legend lives on - by raising cash for Christie
Hospital in Stuart's name.
Chris, from Bredbury, has
just added another £1,000 to the cancer centre's coffers
from a karaoke evening at the Stock Dove pub,
"All the singers taking part were specially
invited, so they were all very good,
and each paid £10 to sing," says Chris.
He also boosted the evening's proceeds by selling CDs
who lived in Hadfield, Glossop.
Photo: Gill Tushingham, chair of
Stockport Campaigners for Christie, accepts
the cheque from
Steve Swarbrick (left) and Chris Statham.
Last year a
tribute evening organised by Chris, plus donations from others entertained
by his karaoke performances, brought
in more than £4,000 for Christie's.
The latest event was
co-organised by Steve Swarbrick, from Woodley,
who helps him run a regular
Wednesday karaoke evening at the Stock Dove in Romiley.
Chris and Steve presented the £1,000 to Gill Tushingham,
chair of Stockport Campaigners for
Christie fundraising group.
Says Christie regional appeals
officer Sarah Bate:
"We are very grateful for Chris's
It's not easy to carry on raising
funds when you have lost a friend or relative
because the reminders can be
painful, yet we know it can also help to
keep good memories alive.
We do appreciate the effort, both
practical and emotional,
that people make for us in such