Blake: An exciting ‘crossover’ group | Sunday Observer

Blake: An exciting ‘crossover’ group

In a musical backdrop of hip-hop, funk, rap, house, garage and what have you, three young friends calling themselves simply BLAKE have taken the pop charts by Storm and have found phenomenal success by grabbing the No.1 rung in the UK Classical Album chart. Ollie Baines, Stephen Bowman and Humprey Berney are friends from their schooldays and their performances of classical and pop songs with stunning vocal arrangements have earned them fans the world over and also a reputation as “one of today's most eclectic and exciting classical 'crossover' groups”.

The year 2007 was a lucky one for BLAKE. It was the year they launched their debut album which went straight to No.1 in the UK Classical Album Chart. More than 100,000 copies of the album got sold in just three weeks and BLAKE earned their first Gold Disc and the album the prestigious Classical Brit Award for Album of the Year in 2008. This was a huge honour for BLAKE considering they were less than a year old.

Now with over a million albums sold, No 1 hits in 10 countries and more than 150 TV appearances around the globe, the popularity of the three-man group has escalated. What's more, they succeeded in making triumphant tours to Australia and Japan and a sellout tour of Scandinavia where they performed for 30 nights. To their credit they created a new record label Blake Records and released their third album 'Together' which enjoyed huge chart success. Their track Beautiful Earth was selected by World Wildlife Fund as its Earth Hour Anthem and the album was No 1 in the South African Classical Charts during the FIFA World Cup. Their show 'An Evening with Blake' was a huge success in Britain and BLAKE travelled the length and breadth of the country, performing according to reports, to over 50,000 people. To celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, they released All of Me.

Another high profile performance for them was for Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco. “Songs from Stage and Screen” was another live show which BLAKE performed in China, the USA and of course in the UK.

Blake continues to build their eclectic repertoire. At ‘An Evening with Blake’ show their songs range from selections such as My Romance, The Girl from Ipanema, There'll Never Be Another You, Save Your Love For Me, In a Sentimental Mood, Speak Low, Arioso (Bach), The Wedding, Air (Bach), Eventide, Moon River, Hallelujah, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Jerusalem, Up Where We Belong, Bridge over Troubled Water, Ave Maria, Nessum Doma, Johnny Mathis' 'When A Child Is Born'.... the list is long. Talking of Christmas, Blake released their first Christmas album 'A Classic Christmas' to raise money for the children's charity. The group teamed up with Dame Shirley Bassey for an incredible version of 'The Christmas song'. Blake's ongoing popularity meant that in March 2017 they had the honour of being asked to perform at the sellout event in London to celebrate the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn.

“We genuinely feel privileged and honoured to have got to know her so well, making it all the more special to be singing for her again in her 100th year. She's more than a national treasure; she's one of Britain's all-time greats!”

We here in Sri Lanka are keeping our fingers crossed hoping we'll see BLAKE on our stages.