Entertainer asks Bermuda to follow the rules so he can get back on stage
Jesse Seymour hopes Bermuda gets vaccinated, stays in bubbles and follows the rules – he’s desperate to get back on stage.
His band, Silver City, has a standing gig at Café Lido that’s supposed to start on April 30 but, with the mandated shelter in place and the number of people in hospital because of Covid-19, he just doesn’t “know if it’s going to happen now”.
“People are just kind of going out and doing their own thing. They’re not thinking of other people. It’s frustrating,” the singer said.
In the meantime he and band members Felix Tod and Ben Payne are practising separately, hopeful “that we’ll be able to have somewhere where people can see us all summer”.
Jesse and Felix were part of Tony Brannon’s band, the Big Chill, until his widely publicised racist comments forced them to walk away from it last year. In August the pair started Silver City Bermuda and, after a search, invited Ben to join them.
Because of the pandemic they haven’t had much chance to perform live as a group.
“When Felix sorted out the deal with the Lido I was ecstatic,” Jesse said. “Just to have my foot in the door and have somewhere to play on a regular basis – I haven’t done that in a while. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a weekly gig.”
Singer’s Message, the album he dropped a year ago, helped pay the bills until he was able to find more reliable work, painting roofs on his own and with Triton Maintenance.
“[Before I started painting] I didn’t really have income coming in because I wasn’t singing anywhere,” Jesse said. “So I did an album. I did 1,000 hard copies and sold them for $20 apiece and I was able to sell about 400 – which is good.”
When Bermuda opened up again he was ready to get back on stage and he and Felix began searching for a guitarist.
“Felix had mentioned Ben Payne to me and there were a few other guitarists I was looking at,” Jesse said.
Listening to Ben on stage at Docksiders, “I liked the way he played”.
“He was younger, more versatile and he seemed like a good fit for the band. I asked him if he would come to one of our practice sessions and he was able to pick up every single song we played. He’s that good.
“At that time we were all staying in Somerset. They call Somerset Silver City because when it comes to football and all that Somerset’s won a lot of silverware. So I said why don’t we call ourselves the Silver City band? That’s how we came up with the name.”
If all goes well the band will play from 6pm to 10pm every Friday beginning the end of the month. Audiences can expect everything from “Bill Withers all the way to Journey all the way to Bob Marley all the way down to Lionel Richie [and even] Marvin Gaye”.
Said Jesse: “This is definitely my calling. I think that whole thing with the Big Chill kind of catapulted me into having to step up, to sort things out and do things for myself.
“We have all the songs that we’re going to sing, we’re now going to have to practise individually until things open up. Felix is in charge of all the tracks, I’ve already put all the background harmonies and all that on the tracks. I just need to learn the lyrics to the covers and then hopefully when things open up we’ll be ready to go.”
People should not expect the same type of show they got from the Big Chill as Silver City has “a different vibe”, the singer said.
“I have more control. If it’s a song that I don’t feel like singing, then I don’t have to sing it whereas I didn’t really have control of the Big Chill because Tony put the band together; it was what he wanted to hear. We definitely have a wider range of music now. We’re able to not just entertain an older crowd but a young crowd as well.”
But in order to get there, Silver City needs everyone’s help.
“My hope is that Bermuda pays attention and just follows the rules and guidelines because the sooner we follow the rules and guidelines the faster we’ll be able to open up,” Jesse said.
“I also hope that people are getting vaccinated to not only keep themselves safe but keep other people safe who have underlying health issues. I think getting vaccinated and keeping your hands clean, sanitising and just staying in your bubble is what’s going to get everybody through this.”
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