“Music got me through redundancy, marriage breakdown and illness” says Sheffield singer

Musician Nigel Barnes from Beighton is on the lookout for a female vocalist to join him at gigs. He has had a string of bad luck and want to turn his life around
Musician Nigel Barnes from Beighton is on the lookout for a female vocalist to join him at gigs. He has had a string of bad luck and want to turn his life around
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nIGEL Bane is hoping for harmony in his life.

After a year that would have left most people reeling, the 60-year-old is able to talk with remarkable frankness about his string of recent bad luck.

In the past year he has been made redundant, watched his marriage crumble and, most recently, been diagnosed with skin cancer of the foot.

Through it all, he says, music has been his saviour.

“I’ve had a challenging 18 months you could say,” the singer told The Star.

“Music has kept me going and I’m eternally grateful for that.

“It’s 90 per cent of my life and I can honestly say I feel it flowing through me all day long.”

Now the singer is looking for a female partner to duet with, so he can fulfil his dream of singing the big ballads of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

“It’s no funny business intended,” he laughed. “I’m looking for a professional partner, someone who is as passionate about music as I am.”

Nigel, from Beighton, in Sheffield, started performing in his 20s when he toured the pubs and clubs with his sister and brother.

He gave it up when he got married and didn’t pick it up professionally again until he was made redundant at the end of 2009.

“I missed singing horrendously when I stopped and when the chance came for me to take it up full time, I jumped at it,” he said.

“Of course it was difficult taking a pay cut from £30,000 a year to around £10,000 but I do it because I love it.”

Nigel now averages 16 gigs a month, mostly at care homes around Yorkshire.

“I had an agent when I was younger but these days I manage myself,” he explained. “I spent my whole working life as a salesman so who’s more qualified to sell me than me!”

Nigel says he quickly realised he’d love a female singing partner to harmonise with and take on songs by favourites such as The Carpenters.

“It is hard by yourself and bringing someone else into the mix opens up the possibilities so much,” he said.

“I’d love to move into corporate work and weddings, they’re so nice to do.”

And Nigel has a very clear idea of what his female partner must be like.

“She’d have to be 45-plus, otherwise I don’t think she’ll be interested in the music I play,” he said.

“Not that I’m a fuddy duddy, I’ll try anything if it’s got a good melody and lyrics - I’ve even put a couple of Miley Cyrus numbers into my set!”

Nigel confesses he rates his gigs depending on how much he enjoys them - and if it’s less than a six, he usually doesn’t go back!

“By the time you reach my age you realise life isn’t about money and possessions, it’s all about what you get out of it.

“It’s never too late to start your life over, and it’s better to be doing something you love.”

Anyone interested in singing with Nigel should email nigel@baneland.plus.com