It’s a bit eerie talking to Michael Jackson tribute act Ben Bowman, who has clearly immersed himself in the role he has been playing for eight years.
The voice on the phone sounds a lot like the troubled late superstar’s, fairly high-pitched and in an American accent, and he obviously takes the job incredibly seriously.
He said: “I grew up with the music. When I was seven in 1993 I went to see the Dangerous tour at Wembley Stadium and started dancing like him. When I was 16 or 17 someone asked me how does Michael Jackson’s new song You Rock My World go? When I sang it they said you’ve got to do something with that.
“I didn’t know there was a career in impersonating someone. I started off with private hall hire and here we are nine years later with the band.”
He said: “The show is based on Michael Jackson’s three world tours including concepts from the O2 project (which Jackson was rehearsing for when he died). It’s a spectacular with a seven-piece band and four dancers. It’s one of the most technologically advanced shows.”
He sings live so has to keep incredibly fit and says he is down the gym every day.
The show covers Michael Jackson’s biggest solo hits and a Jackson Five section takes up the first half of the second set.
Ben says that he has gone for the Dangerous tour look, when Michael Jackson still had curly hair, but his costumes reflect all the eras of Jackson’s career. His favourite song to perform is the iconic Billie Jean but his personal favourite is Man in the Mirror. He says: “It is such an amazing song.’’
Jackson Live in Concert is at the Rotherham Civic Theatre tomorrow, Friday (May 3) and the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield on Friday, May 17.