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World premiere in Riga: legendary Chris Norman will present his new album “Junction 55”
Unforgettable concerts of the legendary original voice of “Smokie” Chris Norman, accompanied by his band, will take place in Riga and Daugavpils. The singer will perform not only his “golden” hits, but will also present songs from his new album “Junction 55” to the people of Latvia. The mood of the holiday will be enhanced by the charge of positivity, which will be shared before the performance of the legend by the star of discotheques of the 80s – the band “Ottawan”.
The pop-rock legend will give one concert on March 5, 2024 in Riga (Arena Riga), in Daugavpils the performance of Chris Norman will take place on March 9, 2024 (Daugavpils Olympic Center).
Music fans around the world don’t need much introduction to Chris Norman. It was because of his peculiar hoarse voice that the band “Kidness”, on the advice of the band’s managers, was once renamed “Smokey”. As the band members have repeatedly explained, Chris has a “smoky” voice and the band was later renamed “Smokie”.
Chris Norman (real name Christopher Ward Norman) was born into a family of artists in Yorkshire, UK. The boy’s father, whose musical tastes were influenced by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Little Richards and The Rolling Stones, gave his first guitar to his son when Chris was seven years old.
In 1962, Chris Norman entered Bradford Boys’ School, where he met his Smokie bandmates Alan Silson and Terry Uttley.
In the beginning, the band had many different names – “The Yen”, “Essence”, “Long Side Down”, “The Elizabethans”. However, the real creative success of the band was brought by a fateful name and in 1975 the long-matured debut album “Pass It Around” by the band “Smokie” was released, which was created together with famous producers and songwriters of that time Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.
1978 was the beginning of the golden era of “Smokie”: the album “The Montreaux Album” was released, the critically acclaimed single “Mexican Girl” became a mega-hit, and the song “Stumblin’ in” by Chris Norman and Susie Quatro hit the top ten positions on the US Billboard. What followed was a year of dazzling fame, concert tours across continents and stadiums packed with the band’s fans.
A dizzying solo career
Although Chris Norman completely left “Smokie” in 1986 and took up a solo career, his discography is very impressive: more than 50 singles and more than 30 released albums (9 of them as part of “Smokie” and 25 solo albums). More than 30 million records have been sold worldwide, and the artist still writes music and continues his concert activities.
After successful concerts by Chris Norman and Susie Quatro, he collaborated with Dieter Bohlen, founder, composer and singer of Modern Talking, Blue System, CC Catch.
With the song “Midnight Lady”, Chris Norman conquers the heights of the Olympus of popular music in many countries. In 2014, he formed the duo “Another Night in Nashville” with CC Catch.
For the past 23 years the musician has been living on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, and has been happily married to his wife Linda for more than 50 years. Chris and Linda have five children (Brian, Paul, Michael, Stephen, Susan) and four grandchildren.
“The happiest day of my life is getting married,” says Chris in his interviews, emphasizing the important role of his wife Linda in his life. However, in 2001, grief came to the singer’s family: his son Brian died in a car accident while riding a motorcycle. However, having recovered from the bitterness of loss, Chris Norman went on with his successful career, he is still a welcome guest all over the world.
All the hits and the premiere of new songs will be played
The artist actively performs around the world and surprises thousands of fans with his energy.
“Humor and gymnastics help keep you energized. Although I really want to be lazy, I force myself to go to the gym and make sports,” smiles Chris, whose concerts are scheduled for several years ahead.
Chris Norman’s concert in Riga will feature “Living Next Door to Alice”, “Midnight Lady”, “Needles and Pins”, “Mexican Girl”, “Oh Carol”, “I’ll Meet You at Midnight”, “Don’t Play Your Rock’N Roll to Me” and other world-famous compositions by the artist.
The name of the famous singer Chris Norman is associated not only with an “energetic hand”, but also with romantic songs, so the concert in Riga promises to be both rock’n’roll and romanticl. This is especially important, since the concert will be held on the eve of the Spring Festival, when not only nature wakes up, but also our senses.
Of particular importance to Chris Norman’s concert in Riga is the fact that the Latvian premiere of the legend’s new CD “Junction 55” will take place on the stage of Arena Riga, which includes 12 new songs written by Chris or in collaboration with other musicians. Three of the songs were written with his old friend and Smokie member Pete Spencer, two with Jeff Carline, his current band member, one with Mike Chapman, and the rest on his own. These tracks express the hallmarks of a true singer and songwriter with timeless melodies and unforgettable harmony. The CD was recorded and produced in Chris’s own studio.
“The title reflects the fact that I’m at a new stage in my career and it’s been 55 years since I turned professional,” says Chris Norman.
A boost of energy from “Ottawan”
Before the performance of the musical legend, the world-famous band “Ottawan” will take care of the positive mood of the guests. The lead singer of the French disco duo Patrick Jean-Baptiste, working in the famous company “Air France”, founded the group “Black Underground” and played music in the bars of the French capital. Here he was noticed by Daniel Vangarde, a producer who had worked with Dalila, Sheila B. & Devotion and others, and offered to participate in a disco music project with dancer and vocalist Aneta Eltis.
The first single “D.I.S.C.O.”, recorded in the Canadian capital Ottawa (from which the name of the band “Ottawan” originates) shocked Europe. Hearing the words from the hit “Hands up, baby, hands up…” everybody will want to plunge into the atmosphere of the parties of the eighties.
The performance of the musical legend and the “stars” of the disco of the 80s will give spring Riga a real celebration of creativity, which has been tested by time and millions of listeners around the world!