If you are a fan of X-Factor you will remember when vocal harmony group G4 appeared on our television screens for the first time back in 2004.
The four-piece set an exciting new trend with their unique performance of a classical favourite, Nessun Dorma.
However, it was their cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody which became their signature tune, storming its way to the top of the charts in 2005.
Since then, G4 have gone from strength to strength with their debut album selling more than 245,000 copies in the first week and another three albums going on to make over two million copies in the UK.
They have also completed five sell-out tours across the UK and Ireland.
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Next month the boys are heading back out on the road with a brand new line-up. The G4 Concert Tour started in March this year and will continue in September after a slight reconfiguration.
Ben Thapa, an original member of G4, has decided to part ways with the band – due to an increasingly busy solo opera career – but after a nationwide search, he will be replaced by Lewis Raines.
The tour will start down south on September 1 before heading north and G4 are due to perform at Rothes Halls in Glenrothes on September 3.
Jonathan Ansell, lead singer of the group, told the Press what Fifers can expect from the show: “It’s a wonderful mix of old and new from G4 – we will be singing the great classics like Bohemian Rhapsody, Nessun Dorma as well as having some fun with the audience and a great rapport on stage.
“They will know most of the songs although there will be a few little surprises! It will be a night where people can listen to some good songs, wonderful music and enjoy themselves.”
When asked if they will sing tracks from their latest Love Songs album, Jonathan said: “Last year’s tour was more focussed on that album, whereas this tour is more about looking back overall on our career with G4, so it will include more songs from our X Factor days and the first songs we had. It is fantastic to be able to perform these again.”
He said the 2018 tour has been going very well so far: “It has been fantastic. The first leg of the tour started in March. We had a break there and the second leg of the tour will start in September.
“It will be exciting to take the tour back on the road and we will be adding a few new things to it and we are all looking forward to crossing the border and coming to Scotland.”
Jonathan said G4 has performed at Rothes Halls before. He said: “We did Rothes Halls two years ago and it was wonderful.
“The audience made us feel really welcome and we are looking forward to coming back. We love Fife audiences – the last time they were great and they are on your side which makes the show really fun.
“We have found that the further north you go the more relaxed the people are and they really appreciate you bringing the music to them. There is such a wonderful tradition of music in Scotland.”
Jonathan said there are a few songs in the G4 repertoire that he enjoys performing, although one in particular stands out more than the others.
He said: “There are so many songs to choose from! But Bohemian Rhapsody is a highlight for us because we are famous for putting our own stamp on it.
“It has become a mainstay in our repertoire and everybody knows it. Queen did an incredible job putting that song together – it doesn’t make sense, but it fits together perfectly.
“We have fun singing it and we can see the audience enjoying it too by their reaction. Beyond that song it is difficult to choose favourites. For me it is about the fun moments on stage – it is nice to give people a fun show.”
But do they ever get tired of singing the popular Queen hit?
Jonathan said: “It is one of those songs you can’t get bored of. I like to experiment a bit with it to make it slightly different each time we sing it. I might put in an ad lib to make it a bit different for example.
“I think if you performed the song exactly the same each time there might be a chance you would get bored of it, so we like to make it a bit different for the audience each time. It keeps us on our toes, so you aren’t just going through the motions.”
Jonathan said that new member Lewis Raines has fitted in perfectly with the G4 group.
He said: “It is very exciting to have Lewis on board, it is a change and a reformation for G4. We were sad to lose Ben but it is an exciting career move for him and it is exciting for us to have Lewis join the fold.
“Lewis is a great character and a huge hit with the ladies! He also has a fantastic voice and slots in really well. It is great to welcome him in and is an exciting time for us as a group.”
How did the process start to find a new group member?
Jonathan said: “We didn’t want to make a huge announcement that we were looking for a replacement so we put out a subtle advert saying we were looking for someone to be involved in a classical cross over group and we had international interest with a Spaniard and an Italian replying! It was exciting to see all the singers’ websites and listen to their recordings. But Lewis just fitted the mould and it was great to be able to offer him the role.”
He continued: “It was important that we found someone who could fit in with our group dynamic because when you are on tour you have to occupy the same intimate space and you spend a lot of hours together so you have to make sure the person is someone you are going to get on with. Lewis was definitely the right person for the job.”
After this tour finishes G4 will start their Christmas performances which they take to churches and concert halls. He added: “This will be the fourth year we have done our Christmas tour. We really enjoy it. It is wonderful to have audiences who still want to hear the variety of music G4 performs.”