Bev Jones Music Company branches out into classic rock with Steve Coates’s jukebox hits at Joseph Rowntree Theatre

The poster artwork for One Night Of Classic Rock at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

THE BJMC [Bev Jones Music Company] is going into partnership with the newly formed Steve Coates Music Productions. First up will be January 20’s performance of One Night Of Classic Rock at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York.

“Steve is entering York’s amateur music scene with a sell-out show,” says delighted BJMC producer Lesley Jones. “The show has a waiting list for return tickets, such is its popularity. I think Steve simply came up with a brand new idea and it’s worked!”

Lesley first met Steve six years ago. “He’s not a music theatre fan, but after going to a show he said, ‘why can’t I do a rock show from my jukebox?’. After a few drinks he says I convinced him he could and the rest is history,” she says. “The next show is in the diary already and Steve is now contacting other venues in other towns.” 

Billed as a “one-of-a-kind production designed for true rock fans, featuring a passionate cast of singers and six-piece band, all paying tribute to their favourite rock heroes”, the 7.30pm show combines “an impressive sound and light show with thunderous anthems from everyone’s favourite rock bands”.

“Get ready to have your mind blown with the familiar classic riffs everyone remembers,” says Lesley. “The sound will be phenomenal with perfect harmonies, solid rock accompaniment and fabulous vocals.

For those about to rock: BJMC cast members in rehearsal

“All the songs are taken from Steve’s own jukebox – a real original – that includes AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Meat Loaf, Tina Turner, Status Quo, Queen, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, plus many more.”

The One Night Of Classic Rock band will be led by Mickey Moran, joined by fellow guitarists Eddie Oktay Stock and Liam Stevenson, keyboard player James Rodgers, saxophonist Sam Lightwing and drummer Jez Smith.

Moran will be among the lead vocalists too, alongside York Opera singer and dietician Annabel Van Griethuysen, Clare Meadley, Jack Storey-Hunter and Chris Hagyard, restored to full health after illness forced the last-minute cancellation of the BJMC’s Guy And Dolls last October.

The sixth principal vocalist will be former York Light Opera Company leading lady Ruth McNeil, who is a “massive rock performer” in her home city of Nottingham.

The backing singers will be Adele Barlow, Alison Laver, Linsey Dawn, Rosie King, James Noble and Sam Lightwing, when not on his saxophone. 

Annabel Van Griethuysen: Switching from opera to classic rock

Looking ahead, the BJMC’s partnership with Steve Coates will lead to performance programmes spanning a variety of music genres, from West End musicals to opera, jazz to cabaret, as well as this month’s newcomer: rock.

“Steve has also offered to produce our Les Miserables Youth Edition next January, which I’m looking forward to staging as a one-off youth production, open to all young singers in the North Yorkshire area, with no financial commitments required,” says Lesley.

The next BJMC classic rock night is booked for January 11 2025 at 7.30pm at the JoRo. “As this month’s show is holding a waiting list for any return tickets, maybe next January we’ll do a matinee as well or two nights,” says Lesley.

“Steve says that with the level of interest we’ve had, we must definitely consider extra dates. It’s a shame to have a list of disappointed potential audience members. However, he hopes to stage another show mid-year in another venue elsewhere in Yorkshire.” Watch this space.

As for January 20, ticketholders should “dig out those leathers and boots, grab a glass of beer or wine, and let’s rock the aisles,” says Lesley.