Lighting the stage with Birchington singer Mandy Reynolds

Music is like air, it’s not seen by the naked eye but it plays a vital role in our lives, helping us de-stress and deal with life’s constant ups and downs. It’s a universal language, one that translates across every corner of the globe, and our quaint village of Birchington is no different.

 

In this edition we speak to Mandy Reynolds, known by her stage name as Mandy Sings, who performs regularly at The Smugglers Lounge Bar and Restaurant, to delve into her career as a musician.

 

Growing up a stone’s throw away from Birchington in Seasalter, Mandy recalls watching talent shows like Opportunity Knocks and Come Dancing as a child, and even performing at the young age of 11 to a crowd in Cornwall, giving Mandy her first experience of stage fright.

 

This was not enough to sway Mandy from her destined career as a singer, and for the last 20 years she has been gigging in various capacities, singing a range of cover songs delighting lucky listeners.

 

Not taking time to rest, Mandy is also part of a band called Rubber Biscuit, a unique 11-piece band who have been covering rhythm and blues, soul, Motown, ska and 70’s disco since 1992. As well as being a solo act and part of a band, Mandy also runs an ABBA tribute duo in collaboration with another ABBA tribute duo called ABBA Lush.

 

What does singing mean to you? Why do you continue to do it?

“Where do I start? There are so many benefits and reasons why I do this. A good gig is very satisfying and uplifting both as a performer and for the audience. Rubber Biscuit just celebrated its 30th year as a band. As a solo artist I am sometimes invited to perform in care settings or for adults with learning difficulties. I get an awful lot out of these gigs as a performer when I see people come to life and respond to the songs that I am singing.”

 

What is the best advice you’ve been given and would pass on to any up-and-coming musicians?

“Get out there and do as many different types of gigs in various settings as possible.  It’s one thing singing in your comfort zone, it’s another turning up somewhere, setting up your PA and entertaining a cold audience; it’s the best experience you can get. Don’t take criticism to heart, see what you can learn from it in order to do better next time, and be as prepared as possible.”

 

To keep up to date, make sure you follow Mandy Reynolds on Facebook and Instagram @mandysingssongs.

by Callum Knowles

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