Neil Diamond celebration in Crawley

Brooklyn Creed insists he never set out to be a Neil Diamond tribute. It was simply something that happened naturally.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 7:05 am
Brooklyn Creed - Ronny Van Casteren photography

He brings The Story of Neil Diamond to The Hawth, Crawley on July 28 (a show which was originally scheduled for the venue last April).

“It has been amazing really,” he says. “I just had no intention of doing this, but I have always been told that I sounded like Neil Diamond whatever song I was singing. And I always used to have five or six Neil Diamond songs in my set, so maybe I was just playing up to it.

“But for this, I was just approached by the producers. They had been trying to find a Neil Diamond for a long time, and someone mentioned me to them.”

Brooklyn is not the kind of tribute who puts a wig on. That’s definitely not his style.

“I would feel uncomfortable doing that. I have just never wanted to do that. You see tributes like that to Freddie Mercury and Rod Stewart and there is a bit of humour there, but with Neil Diamond, I can’t get the humour out of it. That is not what it is about.

“I have seen tribute acts where they are doing the American accent, and they lose it half way through, and it is all a bit of a distraction.

“I just find that what I do goes down well, and we get the real Neil Diamond fans coming along and sitting in the front row and they love it… and they say that when they close their eyes, I could be him.

“But they also say that they really appreciate the fact that I am not trying to look like him.

“I saw Neil Diamond at the O2.

“It must have been three years ago. He has retired now. You could see he was ill (Diamond has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease). You could see that something wasn’t quite right. He had slowed down considerably. The voice was amazing but his actions and his movements, well, you could tell there was something wrong. But how he does it… I do two hours on stage, and I am absolutely shattered by it. He was fantastic to be doing it at the age of 76.

“The guy is just a genius. The song-writing is fantastic. As a musician, you just can’t help but be in awe of him.

“I didn’t get to speak to him. We were just in the audience.

“But I would have liked to speak to him. I would love to meet him.

“I know his management are aware of us. They are letting us do the show.

“If they weren’t happy with it, they would get in touch. But we put 100 per cent into the show.

“Neil Diamond’s voice is great. It is interesting. He started as a song-writer, and you listen to the early stuff and you can tell that he was still trying to find his voice.

“If you are writing for someone else, you can hear that. You hear something like Solitary Man and you can hear that it would be ideal for someone like Johnny Cash.

“But his voice has changed over the years. His voice has matured a lot.

“He puts in lots of little nuances here and there, and he has different inflections in his voice, and also he changes the lyrics to quite a lot of the songs when he does them live.”

Tickets on 01293 553636 and www.hawth.co.uk.