Ramin and Rob’s broad appeal

Rob Richings
Rob Richings
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West End and Broadway royalty Ramin Karimloo will bring his unique ‘broadgrass’ fusion to Lowther Pavilion on Saturday.

The Olivier and Tony Award nominee will be performing his own personal blend of bluegrass and broadway music alongside a five-piece band.

Ramin is probably best known for playing the leading male roles in both of the West End’s longest running musicals: The Phantom and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, and Jean Valjean, Enjolras, and Marius in Les Miserables. He also originated the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies.

The term ‘broadgrass’ was first coined by Ramin upon deciding what to sing at his own concerts.

He said: “I don’t just want to get up and sing songs from the shows for the sake of it. I think singing Phantom out of context is odd.

“I’m not a bonafide country boy so I’m not really bluegrass but a good song should work with just guitar or piano and it did work.

“We added a banjo and a fiddle to ‘Bring Him Home’ one night, which added a really earthy sound and it just developed from there.

“I added some songs I’ve written, some country covers and it made for a unified sound. Every night is like a different set too.”

Ramin will be supported on the night by singer-songwriter Rob Richings (pictured).

Rob’s tale is an inspirational one, fighting back from a serious illness to pursue his musical ambitions.

In 2009 he was diagnosed with a rare and severe form of colitis, which after years of mis-diagnosis, metastasised into cancer. Now, following three life-saving and life-changing operations Rob is thriving as a musician, releasing an EP and an album.

He added: “I wouldn’t wish illness on anyone, and I wouldn’t wish what I had on anyone either but in the same breath, if it wasn’t for me being ill, I don’t think I’d be talking to you now or have this album.

“It pushed me to leave my job, there was nothing wrong with my job but in the back of my mind there was always music but if I wasn’t ill, I don’t think I’d have ever have gone full time into music.

“It spurred me on to follow my dreams and take a leap of faith I suppose.”

Tickets for the concert are priced at £28.50.

To book, visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk or call the box office on 01253 794221.