Sheila Gott

 

Sheila Gott has been in the business for a long time and has brushed shoulders with many well-known names in the industry. Rather than tell her story, here's Sheila in her own words:

 

'I've been singing all my life, I remember singing around the fire with my mother doing harmonies and my dad was in the business so music was a big part of my life. I'd sing whilst listening to the radio and following the charts on Sunday, I'd also be asked to sing by friends at parties, it was just something I did. I remember working in a handbag factory in Manchester, one of my colleagues approached me as they had heard me singing all the time to the radio and asked me to join their touring entertainment group, there were dancers, singers, comedians, we'd sing solo's, duets, in groups, we did a bit of everything. We were all very young and very green, we hired a bus, had our stage makeup put on for us and go round singing for charity. One night when singing on this amateur group tour, I got a knock on my door and was asked to join another group as a singer. I started jamming with them and I really enjoyed it. The manager of this particualr group decided he could manage me as a solo singer, so he approached agents and got me bookings and from there I started working semi-professional. I kept the day jobs going while I built up my experience, learning to engage the audience and building my confidence. Then I got my first summer season in Bodmin, Cornwall and became a professional. Working the clubs around Manchester was where I really learned my craft.

 

Touring

My singing performances have taken me on some amazing journeys. After doing session work with the BBC Radio Orchestra in the UK, I set sail to work as an entertainer on the QE2 for a short time, however I didn't quite get my sea legs so took myself back to dry land to perform.

Whilst touring as part of a girl group we stopped off at a club I didn't know, I looked up at the sign and it was the Golden Garter, Lulu's name was in lights and I knew that I'd be working there one day.

Funnily enough, some years later my premonition came to fruition.  I got to work The Royal Charity Gala at the Golden Garter. I had quite the experience, it was unbelievable, performing as a resident artist in a band for Her Royal Highness, Princess Margaret Countess of Snowdon.

Another wonderful memory was formed when I joined the Norman Beaker band as a backing vocalist for Chris Farlow and we got to open for Van Morrison in 1999 on his tour, playing the Royal Albert Hall, Leeds Castle in Kent, etc.  I used to listen to Chris Farlow on the Radio when I had my lunch in the hand bag factory, little realising that one day I'd be working on stage with him. Not only him but also Van Morrison, who I'd listen to when I was at school when he was in a band called Them, Lulu with Shout that I loved, and Helen Shapiro who sang walking back to happiness, if you'd have told me that I'd be singing up there on stage with them I wouldn't have believed you.

Others at the Golden the Golden Garter included:-

 

   The Three Degrees, The Hollies

    The Drifters, Dr. Hook

    Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Charles Asnavore

    Tommy Steele, Jim Davidson

    Des O`Connor, Lulu

    Black Lace, Ken Dodd

    Dana, Andrew Strong (The Commitments)

    Tommy Cooper, Hot Gossip

    Bruce Forsythe...and many more

Another moment of foresight was when I went to the NEC with some friends to a home exhibition in the nineties and I knew again that I'd be singing there. As chance would have it, I joined another tour, visiting theatres all over England, as a backing vocalist for some more of my sixties icons who I'd watch on the television and listen to on the radio, including Brian Poole (Do you love me), Dave Bury (Crying Game), Wayne Fontana of the Mind Benders, Mike Pender of the Searchers, Barry Ryan (Elouise), Susan Maughm (Bobby's Girl), Tony Crane (Mersey Beats), Derek Franks, Mike D'abo (Build me up Buttercup), Dave Dee (Xanadu), Chip Hawks (Silence is Golden), P.J. Proby (Hold me). Jasper Carrot approached the Derek Franks touring company and asked us to come on his annual Christmas show at the NEC. We joined the Christmas show for a few nights were I worked as a backing vocalist for Dave Bury and Dave Dee, alongside Bjorn Again, Bill Bailey, Lenny Henry, Robert Plant, Bonnie Tyler, Lulu and G4 who had just won the X-factor.

Voice Overs

Many people recognise my voice as being behind numerous TV and Radio advertisements and TV theme tunes, including the TV cartoon, "Dangermouse," Once I even got behind the lens on Mike Harding's TV show as a backing singer.

Studio Work

I've spent many hours in Studio's recording on albums and singles for numerous artists some of whom include:

 

    Eartha KittMarti Caine

    Lisa StansfieldEnglebert Humperdinck

    SoniaPaul Jones

    Ruby TurnerStephanie Lawrence

    Carol DeckerThe Nolans

    Lorna Luft (Lisa Minnelli's sister)Mike Harding

    ...and many more

 

Charities

Above all, what I love to do the most is the live performance and I'm never happier than when I can marry that up with giving back to people who have supported me through my illness. Many people know that I myself have had a brush with cancer, and during my treatment was blessed to have the support of the Beechwood cancer care centre, currrently running their Butterfly Appeal. In gratitude I have helped to raise money for them and others and continue to do so via donations from the Mercy Young Stars group.

After my treatment I continued on tour with Van Morrison and Chris Farlow and toured again in 2002, only this time as an Eva Cassidy tribute for Barry Hastings productions in theatres with a live band, this time to raise money for The Macmillan Nurses, who looked after me so well when I was ill. It was a positive show for me at this time in my life as the music got me through my illness. It also allowed me the chance to turn my experiences into a positive for others, and set the precedent for me and my work still today.

So when I got the chance to perform my Echoes of Eva tribute act again at the Bury Met, for the Bury Cancer Support Centre I grabbed it with both hands. It's the second year now that I've performed the Echoes of Eva tribute at the Bury Met and it's been well received with this year's concert welcoming John Henshaw as its host.

"....he tipped up at the Bury Met this week for an event billed as Echoes of Eva. It was in aid of the Bury Cancer Support Centre and was a magical evening of Eva Cassidy songs sung by Sheila Gott. Sheila delivered her moving versions of Cassidy's work to an enthralled audience. John introduced the concert, took his place alongside everyone else and made a discreet contribution to a great cause....."

The M.E.N, Saturday 27, 2010, WEEKEND page 2. Author Eamonn O'Neal.

This year the concert helped to raise a good amount of money to donate to Bury Cancer Support and with the kind help of cameraman Winston Carrington and photographer Judith Shaw at Get In The Picture. I've been able to capture some special moments of that performance for you to view. Many thanks to you both.

Coaching:

I'm available to teach any age group at any level of experience in any style. View my biography to find out about my experience in the music and entertainment industry.

I have worked as a vocal coach at various colleges including Mancat, Access to Music, Phil Winston's Theatre Works in Blackpool and for various record company managements. The following is a list of services which I am able to provide:-

  • Vocal Coaching & Technique:-
    • How to use the voice
    • Warm up routines
    • Breath control
    • Tone
    • Placing the voice
    • Relaxing the jaw
    • How to reach low notes
    • How to control transition from full voice to falsetto
  • Live Performance:-
    • Microphone Technique
    • Visual communication with the audience
    • Visual Image
    • Patter - oral communication
    • How to count the band in
    • Stagecraft, using the stage, movement
    • Choosing the songs for a balanced set of light and shade
    • Choosing the songs for auditions
  • In the Recording Studio:-
    • Vocal harmony arrangements, stings for vocal effect
    • How to use headphones
    • How to quickly learn original songs for demos
    • How to listen for cues
    • How to phrase with other singers
    • How to ad-lib
    • How to be directed by producers, etc
    • How to double track
    • How to sing in different styles