Cash tribute

Award winning Clive John brings the original Man in Black to the stage
Award winning Clive John brings the original Man in Black to the stage

A DYING friend was the inspiration which saw singer-songwriter Clive John fall in love with the music of Johnny Cash.

“A friend of mine passed away about seven years ago,” Clive says. “He was only 28. He had a brain tumour. About six months before he passed away, he bought me a double CD of Johnny Cash. He just thought that Johnny Cash’s music would suit me.

“I listened to it and I loved it and that was that.”

As Clive says, his friend did him a big favour - a favour which now takes the shape of a fully-fledged Johnny Cash tribute act.

Clive and The Spirit Band are joined by Jill Schoonjans to celebrate Johnny Cash, Cash’s band and June Carter in a show looking at all aspects of Cash’s life from the 1950s to 2002. All the greatest hits are included including Ring Of Fire and Walk The Line as well as Johnny and June’s duets such as Jackson and If I Were A Carpenter, accompanied by a video backdrop of images from throughout Cash’s career. They play Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on Friday, April 20 at 7.30pm.

As Clive says, there was just something about the great Cash delivery. Too many Cash tributes think it is enough just to lower their voice. They just end up sounding like John Wayne!”

No, there is more to it than that, says Clive. You’ve got to capture that mix of singing and half-speaking, that mix which made Cash so distinctively Cash.

The show covers his career in its entirety, but not necessarily chronologically: “We do them in an order in which they flow.

“We couldn’t just sing all the 50s songs together. We need to deliver them as a rollercoaster. We need to take it up and we need to take it down…”

Tickets for the show are available on 01903 206206.