GARY PERKINS remembers playing harmonica in his junior school assemblies and learning to play guitar (albeit out of tune) when he was just eight years old. Ten years later, he made his debut stage appearance to sing three songs at the Ivanhoe Hotel in the South Yorkshire pit village of Thurcroft. That led to his first paid gig at the same venue, for the princely sum of £5 and Gary’s music career was born.
Gary gave up his job in construction to become a full time entertainer in 1991, working as an extra in various TV shows as well as continuing to perform in country music clubs. He joined Buxton based band The Breeze in 1995 and, in the same year, wrote his first self-panned album “”Ride The Wind”” with his day Harry.
Gary’s career took an interesting twist in 1999 when he became a street entertainer, performing his music in towns and cities around the UK and purely relying on CD sales to earn a living. He continues to perform in the street to this day, alongside his highly successful shows in theatres, in country music clubs, and at the summer festivals.
Gary Perkins and The Breeze are widely acknowledge as one of the best live bands in British country music. In fact, they won the British Country Music Band Of The Year Award in 2009 and 2011, with Gary adding the trophy to the Award he won in 2008 as Best British Male Solo Artist Of The Year.
The band all have extensive work and family commitments and so remain a part-time outfit, performing just a couple of shows each month. However, they are all the best of friends and thoroughly look forward to getting together and performing their unique style of country music.
Gary occasionally performs a John Denver tribute to his act. As well as performing Denver classics acoustically, Gary is brave enough to don a Denver-like hairpiece to ensure he looks and sounds the part.
Gary released his sixth album in late 2011 called “”Listen For A Moment””. The album includes a mix of covers and self-penned tracks “”Thunderhead””, “”Friends No More”” and “”Listen For A Moment””.
Towards the end of 2015, a self-penned album “”Stranger In This Town”” was released. The album, produced by John Taylor, contains 10 tracks including “”So Close Your Eyes”” and “”Love Me Like I Love You””.
In 2016, Gary realised an ambition by releasing an acoustic album “”Angel On My Shoulder””. The album features Gary on guitar with subtle added instrumentation from producer Steve Beighton on bass and piano and Pete Haywood on steel guitar and dobro. Self-penned tracks on the album include “”In The Mornin'””, “”Angel On My Shoulder””, “”The Clown””, “”I Want To Make Love To You””, and “”Big House In The Sky””.
Gary died in December 2018 after a battle with cancer.