Brentwood Live: Father and son duo bring top entertainment to the town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 November 2019

Michael Lee Taylor and his son James run Brentwood Live together. Picture: Brentwood Live

Michael Lee Taylor and his son James run Brentwood Live together. Picture: Brentwood Live

Brentwood Live

A father and son duo are bringing celebrities to Brentwood to try and make the town the premier entertainment destination in Essex.

Popular George Michael tribute act Fast Love. Picture: pawelspolnicki.comPopular George Michael tribute act Fast Love. Picture: pawelspolnicki.com

Former comedian Michael Lee Taylor and his actor-turned-promoter son James have joined forces to entice top performers and the very best renowned tribute shows to Brentwood Live, the new music hub based at The Brentwood Centre, in Doddinghurst Road.

Household names like comics Al Murray, Russell Kane and Jimmy Carr will rub shoulders with some of the world's best-known tribute acts like "Fastlove", which features Joseph Sansome as George Michael and was the biggest selling tribute show in Europe last year.

Entertainers, Michael and James' company, is becoming more well known with shows in every major theatre in the land, including The Magic of Motown, You Win Again and Islands in the Stream.

James said: "It's amazing because I've come full circle - my father brought the Four Tops and the Temptations to The Brentwood Centre when I was just 4-years-old and he took me along.

Omid Djalili is supporting men's health charity Movember. Picture: Omid DjaliliOmid Djalili is supporting men's health charity Movember. Picture: Omid Djalili

"Now 30 years on I'm the person putting on the shows."

The dynamic duo pumped over £500,000 into renovating The Brentwood Centre with state-of-the-art display screens, lighting, tech, updates to the venue and advertisement boards showcasing the upcoming shows and are now partnering up with Eventim, Europe's biggest ticket agency.

Michael said: "The skies the limit! We are really excited for the future of Brentwood Live and bringing the venue back to its former glory."

Harold Hill-born Michael, 69, said: "The transformation of our business is truly amazing.

"Since James got on board we have shot up from doing 200 shows a year to 1,000 and we are now sending shows all over Europe and to America and Canada.

"Thanks to his hard work, the company I set up single-handedly back in 1994 is now the biggest in the country in the tribute show space and now with our first venue, Brentwood Live, bringing entertainment back to Essex is really exciting for us, creating jobs and giving people somewhere to go and see shows and performers in there local area."

As a teenager, James was the resident DJ for West Ham Football Club and later spun discs at the exclusive Shoreditch House before embarking on an acting career in New York and Los Angeles, starring alongside Gabrielle Union in hit BET show Being Mary Jane.

James, who has moved back to Emerson Park to help revamp the new company, said: "The last three years have been like a whirlwind and I'm working 24/7 but loving every minute of it! I've just launched my latest production called Lost in Music. We had the opening night in Glasgow and it was crazy, I've never seen a crowd go as wild as they did at any show, they were singing from the first beat. It's going all over the UK and coming to us here in Brentwood in March - my plan is to develop it into a West End show.

"Our company ethos is to bring high quality, affordable shows to local venues across the country.

"Dad and I work non stop to create the shows we do and keep all the plates spinning. We have taken tribute shows to the mainstream and they are classy, stylish and full-on productions." n

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