Dole queue duo turn to music to make a living

editorial image
Have your say

A CHANCE meeting at the dole office has led to two Doncaster area job seekers embarking on a totally unexpected career – as full-time musicians.

And now they are to treat Doncaster music lovers when they launch their debut album in the town.

Pete Sowerby and Rhiannon Scutt had both returned to the area after completing their university studies.

But though Pete had a degree in drama and a masters degree in sports journalism, and Rhiannon had a degree in music technology, neither could find a job. Pete reckons he applied for 329 jobs without even being offered an interview.

The couple, who had been at South Axholme School together and had both played in the school wind band, met again on the steps of their local job centre.

Pete, who lives at Belton, said: “We both agreed that we had to do something about making a living. We decided to team up as a duo and got some gigs performing covers.

“But we both hated that. We soon realised that we wanted to write and perform our own songs. And that is what we have been doing for the last 12 months.”

They call themselves Rita Payne, a name conjured up by combining their family names.

“We have played at more than 100 gigs since March,” said vocalist Pete. “It has been busy and hectic. But it is great fun – and more rewarding than looking for jobs that aren’t there.”

Their debut album will be out in the new year and will be introduced to the public at a special show at Doncaster Ukrainian Club on January 5 when copies of the album will be on sale at half price.