Luke Blackall: Time to recalibrate the rock-star fantasy

Man About Town: The Tenors' 'groupies' seemed more wholesome and sure of themselves

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The Independent Online

I've not completely given up on the idea of becoming a rock star. Yes, I'm aware that 29 is a relatively advanced age to embark on such a journey. And if I'm candid, I've always been a bit repelled by the idea of men in skinny jeans. And bar sporadic appearances at weddings and football matches, my singing voice hasn't had a public outing in years.

But like my enduring ambition to play centre forward for Queens Park Rangers, it's a dream that I (and men of all ages, the rock star bit, not the QPR bit) continue to indulge.

However, I think that I may have found a niche for men who crave the stage and the adulation but are just too middle-class to front a rock band: classical men's groups. The thought occurred to me last week as I went to a showcase by The Tenors, a group from Canada.

I'll admit that when the invitation arrived, I was just as seduced by the thought of some early-evening cocktails in a nice London hotel as I was by the idea of the music. The performance, as it turns, out was a good rendition of some classics. And afterwards the singers, all in nicely-fitted suits, were treated like established pop stars who are about to release their third album - which they happen to be.

As I started to chat to the members of the group, the same thing happened: I was interrupted by women, all keen to meet them. It was a pattern I've observed when meeting rock and pop groups before: journalists generally offer less ego-inflating conversation than adoring fans. But unlike other groupies I have encountered, those who followed The Tenors seemed more wholesome and sure of themselves: clever lawyer-types in smart workwear.

Who can blame them for chatting the chaps up? Male or female, most of the classical "stars" that I have met have been charismatic, well-dressed and well-remunerated, and with the added bonus that they're a pop star you can bring back to your parents without fear that their outfit would clash with your parent's new sofa.

A couple of weeks ago I bumped into Blake, the classical boy band, who have been around on the scene for a while. They told me tales of similarly charmed lifestyles of travel, great invitations and the opportunity to sing before major sporting events.

Seems to me like it may be time for people to recalibrate their rock-star fantasies.