The Seatones launched themselves in August 2015… since then things have really taken off!We are a four-part female vocal harmony group (Christine, Dawn, Nicola and Yvonne) who love to sing a mix of vintage and retro songs. We perform songs covering swing, jazz and boogie-woogie genres from the 1940s through to the present day – all with a vintage twist!
Our strong vocal harmonies work well together as our partnership is based on friendship and a love of singing. As for our name – it stems from the fact that we are all proud to live within our home town of Seaton Carew!
Singing brings us so much pleasure and has certainly strengthened our friendship, there is never a practice which goes by without a bit of laughter! We like to show our fun and cheeky side and we think that people appreciate seeing that in our performances.
We all very much value the benefits of singing on our own health and wellbeing, and after performing at a couple of Residential and Care Homes we realised how helpful singing is for people living with Dementia. So we are now all Dementia Friends and are working with our local Dementia Collaborative to support Dementia Awareness week in May.
What is your performing background?
Individually over the years we have each sang in local church and community choirs. However, we all met at a local ladies choir in Hartlepool, called Mum’s the Word.
We have all played musical instruments over the years, Nicola teaches the piano, and some of us have even dabbled in amateur dramatics!
When did the group start performing?
Our first performance together was at the Hartlepool Music Festival in 2014. Our early days saw us performing songs acapella and very much as a Ladies Barbershop Quartet. This sparked our interest in the vintage genre and from there things just snowballed!
What aspects of the vintage scene influence The Seatones?
The clothes! In all seriousness, it’s certainly the music – regardless of whether its a toe-tapping catchy tune or a melodic ballad, we all think that the music from the 40s and 50s era is simply fantastic. The range of music from that era is so extensive and whilst we all know the popular tunes such as Mr Sandman and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy for example when you delve further into that era there are some wonderful songs that deserve to be heard again and we hope that we can do them all justice when we sing them. We enjoy finding new songs to learn, often on a weekly basis, and wondering how we can put our own twist on them as well as incorporate them into our sets.
Who are your musical icons?
There are the obvious icons from the 40s and 50s era; the Andrews Sisters, the music of Glen Miller, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald etc., however we like and admire some of the more modern day artists who adopt a vintage theme in their songs and style; the Puppini Sisters and Caro Emerald have brought both new songs to the fore and adapted older songs to give them a modern twist. Our latest ‘find’ is Postmodern Jukebox, an amazing mix of styles and voices.
How would you describe your performances?
A mix of toe-tapping songs, fabulous dresses and equally fabulous wavy hair styles! We like to think that an evening with The Seatones can take you right back to the 1940s and 50s and that when you leave you’ll be humming the tunes for days.
We love audience participation and encourage people to have fun while we sing, whether that be a bit of dancing or flag waving during our impromptu sing-along sessions at the end of our performances.
Does the group have a vintage look as well as a vintage sound?
We try! There has been lots of experimenting with curlers and setting lotion but we now seem to have the hairstyling mastered! We love dressing up in vintage clothes – just recently we had our own Land Girl dungarees made, which went down a storm at a recent gig!
If The Seatones could perform for anyone, who would they choose and why?
I think the original Glen Miller band would be one of the first names that springs to mind, that certainly would be an experience!
We’re just happy to perform to anyone, but most of all I think we get the most enjoyment from seeing the faces of those we perform to, its a real joy to see so many who remember that kind of music the first time around and the feedback we receive from them really warms the heart.
Photos: Mark Vincent Photography, location: Gelato Jo Jo, Seaton Carew