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TEN YEARS ON…

It’s been ten years since the concept of ‘Cliff… As If’ began and now here we are in 2017 looking back on a very eventful decade. ‘Cliff… As If’ is now one of the most used tribute acts in the UK and in the top three of Cliff Richard tributes. I must admit that at the beginning I never envisaged it becoming so popular. There are many people that have helped along the way and each one has played a valuable part in helping ‘Cliff… As If’ to get where it is today. Of course I have faced a few difficulties but I suppose that comes with any new venture. Fortunately the lows have been few and when they have come along I’ve tried to learn lessons and adapt them to make ‘Cliff… As If’ stronger and better. The support for ‘Cliff… As If’ has been tremendous. I’ve been pressed a few times in regards to starting a fan club but to be honest I would feel undeserving of such. I like to think that I have many good friends who contribute by attending my shows and keeping up to date with all things pertaining to ‘Cliff… As If’ on social media. The stories of the experiences I could write of could fill quite a big book but that may have to wait for another time but between the shows, the CliffaGrams and the PR/lookalike stuff I’ve been involved with there are hundreds of lovely and funny tales I could tell.

The one thing that I have never done is to ever expect that anyone owes me anything in this business. What I mean by that is I have worked hard to get ‘Cliff… As If’ out there and never just sat back expecting the work to come to me. I have taken nothing for granted and that won’t start now even though the name ‘Cliff… As If’ is well known within the tribute world. There are other good Cliff Richard tributes out there and I am pleased for any success that may come their way, but I refuse to rest on any reputation I may have gained and just sit back waiting for the phone to ring. Every booking is precious to me and those of you who have seen my shows will know how much effort I put into my act. Next year (2018) Sir Cliff Richard will be marking 60 years in the music business and  ‘Cliff As If’ is determined to be playing a part in those celebrations. I’ll be posting news very soon of some exciting things that I’m going to be involved in.

2017 has been the best year yet for ‘Cliff As If’ and bookings for 2018 are stacking up. I am simply overwhelmed by where we are at the present and can’t express enough my gratitude to everyone who follows me.

Thank you for looking in and reading this blog. I wish you well and hope that you will be able to see ‘Cliff… As If’ in action soon. Thanks too for all the letter, cards and emails that you send regularly.

Love and God bless,

Will.

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Sir Cliff Richard with Cliff As If

THE PAST TWO YEARS.

On Thursday 16th June 2016 the Crown Prosecution Service announced that they had dismissed the sexual allegations case that had been brought against Sir Cliff Richard by the South Yorkshire Police. Cliff fans around the world celebrated this news and Sir Cliff himself was relieved that after almost two years of torment because of those absurd, vile and false allegations he could get on with his life. Sir Cliff has openly admitted the hell that he has been through over this time physically and mentally. We have seen and heard his personal account of this awful ordeal. He has had tremendous support from his family, friends and fans who never doubted him for one moment. So here at ‘Cliff As If’ we join with all the Cliff fans around the world in raising a glass to our hero and out loud we can Sing a Song of Freedom. I am certain there will be more to come from this like Sir Cliff championing the cause to help change laws about this type of thing and writs against those who have caused him so much heart ache. But for now we are pleased that this dreadful chapter is over and Sir Cliff can get back to doing what he does best.

As for ‘Cliff As If’ these past almost two years have been quite an ordeal too. Nowhere near what Sir Cliff has been through of course, nevertheless an ordeal of uncomfortable proportions. When the news broke in August 2014 I was going about my business preparing for the forthcoming weekend Cliff tribute shows. I received a text message asking if I’d seen the news about Cliff? I quickly went online to see the headline news about his home being raided and I couldn’t believe what was happening. I dropped everything and rushed down to the beach where Claire and Jude were with some friends having a picnic. I was shaking like a leaf. As soon as Claire spotted me she knew something was wrong so I broke the news to her. We returned home to see the news of the raid and the allegations were hitting the headlines on TV, radio and social media. I felt very sick inside for Cliff yes, but also for me as I realised that this was soon going to hit home. It didn’t take long for the telephone to start buzzing. I can’t recall just how many people called but each one found me at a loss for words. I recall getting a call from a newspaper, although the man on the other end of the phone didn’t say where he was from until I asked him. On answering the call a voice said, “are you worried about your career because of what’s happened to Cliff Richard?” I asked, “who is this?” He replied with his name and said he was from the Daily Sport. I cut him off immediately only to find out that the man who called me quoted my silence on Twitter later that day saying, “I was worried about my career” (his words not mine). His tweet started off a barrage of abusive texts from all sorts of people I’d never heard of. It hardly really stopped. Even up until the few days before the news from the CPS I was still getting abusive messages. There have been countless other ways that some people have been rude towards me. One of the worst moments was when I was walking down a street in Cromer with my then 12 year old daughter. A man shouted across the street, “Oi Cliff, see you’ve got another kid with you to molest.” The initial shock of it all was hard to take and I began to take the news of Cliff’s allegations personally. Having been told for almost 30 years that I resemble Cliff Richard so much I reckoned that it was inevitable that I was going to suffer a bit too now. What made this even more difficult were the times I had calls and emails canceling my appearances as a Cliff tribute because some found it inappropriate at the time. Ultimately my bookings suffered somewhat, they were down a whopping 50% on the same period the previous year. So not only was my personal life taking a knock but also my capacity to earn my keep. I had invested my whole career into ‘Cliff As If’ and up until that dreaded news broke everything was going well. Suddenly it felt as if my world was falling apart and I was helpless to do anything. I considered other performing options like just going out as Will Chandler or maybe seeing if I could do a tribute to someone else. I even thought about giving up completely such was the state of mind I’d got into. Every rude comment or dig was like being stabbed. Of course I did continue to do Cliff tribute shows and the support at them was good. It always seemed though that there were some who’d try to spoil it with snide remarks about Cliff and every time I managed to come back at them with a sarcastic retort, which it is not like me but I got so churned up inside that the only release was to say something back. I put on a brave face but inside I was breaking up.

So as you can imagine the news of Cliff’s case being dropped was the best ever that I could have heard. I was and still am overjoyed. Suddenly all those snide remarks have dried up and I don’t feel down anymore. I have a new dynamic to my shows and I’m expecting ‘Cliff As If’ to carry on from where it left off two years ago. I feel liberated and full of confidence once again.

Thank you.
There have been many who have stood by and supported me too. Although I never said it I somehow believe that those who knew me could feel my distress. My immediate family have helped me so much. Especially Claire who saw my tears when cancellations came through and heard the vileness that was unjustly aimed at me. Thanks to for the agents. clubs, and general public that booked me regardless, never believing the allegations against Sir Cliff and therefore giving me opportunities to perform.

Once again, I know that any discomfort I may have experienced has been nothing compared to Sir Cliff Richard and I am in no way trying to compare my situation with his. However, I felt I owed this story to the many that not only follow ‘Cliff As If’ but have also continued to send me messages of hope during the dark times.

It’s onward and upward for us all now. I for one can’t wait for Cliff’s next UK tour whenever it may be.

 

Hi to all of you who are reading my latest blog. I’m using this rare opportunity to update as my feet hardly touch the ground these days. Life and work have become so exciting and busy in recent times. I hope that I can even manage to think of all the things I need to tell you!

I’ll begin with the very latest and most important news. Claire and I finally tied the knot recently and enjoyed two wonderful ceremonies. Firstly our official wedding day at our home in Norfolk and secondly our wedding blessing ceremony at St Francis of Assisi Church in Port Grimaud, south of France. The two events were both memorable and beautiful in their own special way. Both of us would like to thank all those who sent us all manner of well wishes via the post or on the internet.

The world of ‘Cliff As If’ continues to go from strength to strength. The show has developed somewhat with a host of new material that I have at my disposal. I’ve teamed up recently with Paul and Wendy Marshall who have been providing me with amazing tailor-made backing tracks at their studio in Cheshire. Through their expertise I’ve been able to put together some great effects for my Cliff tribute performances. The comments from people who have seen my shows have been very positive and encouraging.

The Cliffagram service is continuing to grow and since this year began there has been a surge in bookings for them. All have been very well received and the amazing this is how people in the main really believe the real Cliff Richard has entered the room! I’ve been booked to do Cliffagrams at Clubs, restaurants, businesses, on board boats, at registry offices, hotels, race courses, football clubs, houses and backyards, even the odd mansion. The variety is amazing as are the people I get to meet. Long may Cliffagrams go on.

I’ve worked with some amazing people so far this year including Peter Day, Scott Dee, Alvin Printwhistle, John Montague and his band, the Shad-Ohs, and my friend and one of the most amazing guitarists I have ever known Nick McNulty. Working with such professional musicians and great people gives me all the inspiration I need to continue on with ‘Cliff As If’. So while I am on the subject of working with other people I can tell you about a new exciting project that I’m working on. It all began in 2014 when I warmed up for Alvin Stardust at the Lincolnshire Showground just three weeks before he very sadly passed away. At the event I was fortunate to meet David Harness (Alvin’s tour manager) and we became good friends very quickly. A couple of months after Alvin died David called me about working with Alvin’s band on a new project. I really got excited about this as I had been working on a new idea for my musical future for a little while and was wondering how I could make it happen. So here was the opportunity. Despite my resemblance to Sir Cliff (of which I am very proud) people have also said for many years that I reminded them of Marty Wilde too. I always thought I’d like to try my hand at doing a MW tribute but couldn’t see how. But now the opportunity has come through meeting David and Alvin’s band who are all really keen on the project. We have come up with a touring event called, “The Widle Rock n Roll Show” and although these are early days in its development things are progressing nicely. As soon as I have more details I’ll update on this blog page.

As you may know ‘Cliff As If’ continues to support various charities. Our main charitable organisation for present is the East Anglian Children’s Hospice and so far this year we have raised over £2000 through varying events. Other charities have benefited too from the shows of ‘Cliff As If’ and this kind of thing is something that is at the heart of everything we do.

The trips abroad have been great fun as usual and this year we have experienced in some parts soaring temperatures like never before. At one show in Spain it was 37c in the late evening while I was on stage. I literally had to peel my costumes off after each performance as it was so hot. I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be back in Cyprus the last week of January 2016 for three shows.

Like thousands of Sir Cliff Richard fans, Claire and I are really excited about his 75th Birthday tour, which begins later this month. We can’t wait to see the show as it promises to be very special indeed. Cliff is amazing and the way he has continued to hold his head high and press on despite the ludicrous allegations against him is a credit to him and those who surround and support him. I am proud to be waving the flag for Sir Cliff through my work with ‘Cliff As If’ and I’ll be shouting and singing at the top of my voice when he is performing live on stage. I am very pleased that he has released his song ‘Golden’ because I’ve been performing it for the past 5 years. It is a fantastic ballad and the fans love it to bits. It’s also good to see that it is on the BBC Radio 2 A list of songs. Like most people I’ll be glad when this whole pathetic allegation business is done and dusted and Cliff will be cleared. It’s gone on far too long now. In the meantime we will keep trusting, praying and believing for the best possible outcome and continue to love and support our man Sir Cliff Richard.

For now I would like to express my deepest gratitude as always to all those who keep up with the world of ‘Cliff As If’ by attending shows, sharing your thoughts and supporting all that we do. I really could not do what I do without you. #teamcliff are fantastic. A huge thank you also to the agents and venues that continue to show faith in the work of ‘Cliff As If’. To those who surround me with love and encouragement each day I cannot say anymore than I thank the Lord for all you do for me.

Until the next blog,

TTFN

Will x

Happy New Year 2015

Seasonal Greetings to you. I’m writing this blog on one of those peaceful Christmas days when friends and family are going about their usual business and I have a few moments to sit down and get online.

I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to all those (family, friends, bands, agents, promoters, Website folk, etc) who have played their part in all the various activities that I have been involved with this past year. I have had such an exciting time fulfilling the various engagements that ‘Cliff As If’ has been booked to do, and travelled well; Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and widely across the UK. I have enjoyed meeting lots of people along the way and I’ve been pleased with the enormous amount of encouragement and enthusiasm that has been expressed by so many.

As you know the ‘Cliff As If’ world has various aspects to its work. So I just want to give a brief overview of each one.

‘Cliff As If’ Solo – I reckon I’ve got this part of the show polished up nicely. The range of music that is on offer is amazing and covers many decades so it’s quite easy to reach a wider audience. Of course I am continuing to develop the solo act with up to date quality backing tracks, new outfits and stage effects. This year I have had audience sizes ranging from thirty to three thousand and the events have been many from private functions to music festivals. As well as the Cliff songs I’ve been including tracks from some great rock n roll artist like Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran and Elvis, also some modern pop songs by Barry Manilow, David Cassidy and the Bee Gees. I’ve been inspired to add these in the shows by listening and watching Cliff Richard’s many recordings and performances of covers. They always seem to go down well and it’s been such fun to do them as I imagine Cliff would do them. I’ve feel so blessed to be able to have similar looks to Sir Cliff, the same height and build too, which makes getting costumes not so arduous. I’ve acquired some great outfits this year and it’s amazing how I can get stuff from charity shops at a small cost. I’m a regular visitor to the charity shop world. How did I ever manage without them! If I was to nail down the best solo show I’ve done this year then I think it would have to be the Motorhome Show Finale at the Lincolnshire Showground in September. I was the first act on being followed by Chas n Dave and then Alvin Stardust who as you know very sadly passed away recently, in fact three weeks after this particular event. We shard a dressing room so it was good to meet him briefly. So why the best? It could have been that there were so many people in the audience I could hardly see where the crowds stopped, it could have been the enthusiastic ovation (standing from some) at the end of each song and when I finished my hour set, it could have been the amazing venue, literally the biggest marquee I’ve ever seen. I really did enjoy working with Alvin and Chas n Dave but the best thing about the gig was the sound. I don’t think I have ever had the opportunity to have my sound engineered so well in my whole singing career. It was amazing to me. There were engineers backs stage and front of stage. I really could not believe how clear and wonderful it all sounded. I didn’t get the name of any of those working on the pa as the sound checking schedule was tight but if I could thank them personally I would. I’ve been continuing to work with the fantastic Jukebox Legends and our Elvis/Cliff shows have been as popular as ever. The shows have now been brought to the UK from Spain and we have been working with some great acts such as Scott Dee who is amazing as Engelbert Humperdink and also Tony Lee who is superb as Roy Orbison and Gene Pitney. The whole JBL’s team have become very good friends, which is wonderful as they are all such lovely people.

‘Cliff As If’ Bands – 2014 has presented me with the opportunity to work with some amazing and fantastic musicians such as Nick McNulty, John Montague, Alex Warwick and Keith Brookes, also Paul and Brian from the Shaduows. I can’t tell you just how much I have enjoyed working with great musicians and doing it all live. We have done some theatre shows and clubs, and I believe that 2015 will bring us some new horizons to reach out to. The wonderful thing about these guys I work with is they are serious about their craft but also very relaxed and chilled about working together. This makes for a great atmosphere when we work and it rubs off on those watching. Also they are able to pull any song out of the bag I could present them with and that makes it all much easier for me. I know I’ll be getting the chance to work with some other great musicians in the new year… bring it on!

‘Cliff As If’ CLIFFAGRAMS – I never ceased to be amazed at the wonderful outcomes of doing these. I can only report great fun and laughter from such events. If I could ever only do one thing it would be CLIFFAGRAMS. The usual types of bookings have come in this year; Birthday parties, Anniversary dos, Hen parties, weddings, office based surprises and retirement functions.

‘Cliff As If’ Lookalike – Please believe me when I tell you that I am constantly flabbergasted by the amount of ‘lookalike’ work that comes my way, and being told on a regular basis the following statement, “You look more like Cliff than Cliff” always makes me feel overwhelmed. But it happens often so I’m trying to get used to it. So the work comes in and I play my part but always with great fun of course taking it all very lightly indeed. There has been some TV work come of it and this will be completed in January so hopefully at some point in 2015 you’ll see me having fun as Cliff on telly!

I’m optimistic that 2015 will be a good year for ‘Cliff As If’ and things will continue to improve on a personal level. You are fully aware of the awful and ridiculous allegations against Cliff in August, which caused me some discomfort in various ways. I can’t imagine how poor Cliff Richard is feeling about the whole thing, but hopefully this will all be cleared up soon for Cliff and everyone associated with him. On another level I’ve been settling in at my new home in North Norfolk. It causes me extra travel time but it is worth it. The beauty of my surroundings and being with Claire and my new family and friends makes up for the extra few hours I have to spend on the road each time I set off on my travels. I have been accepted so well into my local community and get called ‘Cliff’ by most people. But that’s okay and quite amusing really. My biggest regret of 2014 has been the decline of church shows. I’m not really sure what to put this down to as they are always well received and the churches where I have performed have always come back to me with positive words and news that the events have resulted in new church attendees. It is something that I’m going to look deeper into very soon and hopefully find a way forward. The charity work continues to flourish. We are still raising money for the East Anglia Children’s Hospice as our nominated charity but also helping to raise lots of funds for other causes.

Finally, on behalf of all those involved with the work of ‘Cliff As If’ I’d like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year in 2015. My prayer is that you will grow in faith, peace and love, grasping all the opportunities that come your way.

God bless,

Will Chandler
‘Cliff As If’

The latest news

Hello and welcome to the latest ‘Cliff As If’ blog.

We are fast approaching Christmas once again although it hardly seems like the last one has passed! Still, it’s always an exciting and busy time for me so I’ll be hoping that I’m on top form.

This year has been another one of growth for ‘Cliff As If’ and the new opportunities that have come my way certainly have opened up my mind to new possibilities in the future. One of those developments has been the coming together of the ‘Cliff As If’ band. It all happened quite by accident really, but thanks to the dedication and hard work of some professional and top musicians I now have a group that is ready to tour with me as required. I’d like to thank John Montague, Nick McNulty, Alex Warick and Keith Brookes for working their socks off with me to produce a superb sound. I’m really excited about the prospect of working with this group more often. As much as I enjoy performing with backing tracks there is really nothing like having a great live band backing me. I have also had the great pleasure working with some more Shadows tribute bands this year, and it looks like I’ll be working with a few more in 2015.

On a sad note I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and close friends of Alvin Stardust who passed away recently. I was privileged to be his warm up act at the Lincolnshire Showground Motor Home Show Finale at the end of September. We shared a dressing room. Clearly Alvin was very unwell and I had the opportunity to pray for him. He was such a lovely and gracious man who will be sorely missed. The consolation is that he passed on with a strong Christian faith having been introduced to Jesus Christ through Gerald Coates after Cliff Richard had taken Alvin along to a meeting.

So back to this year. I have visited Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal as well as travelling extensively across the UK. I am hoping to go further afield soon, to Australia and New Zealand to be precise as I have offers on the table to consider. My first trip abroad in 2015 will be to Benidorm, Spain in February where I am doing two shows with Tony Christie. Jukebox Promotions have currently left Spain to be back in the UK. Fortunately they have picked up over here from where they left over there and I am enjoying working with them very much. Our shows have included some other amazing tribute acts such as Nige Clarke as Engelbert Humperdink and Tony Lee as Roy Orbison/Gene Pitney. I will be returning to Spain later in 2015 so watch this space for details.

I’ve had some amazing experiences with ‘Cliffagrams’ this year meeting lovely people along the way. I have done birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, hen parties and retirement functions to surprise the unsuspecting celebratees. The usual and wonderful reactions were most memorable and lots of great fun has been had.

All in all 2014 has been a good year for ‘Cliff As If’ and I am optimistic of a bright future for me and all connected with the act.

You can find me on Facebook to keep up to date with all my news: https://www.facebook.com/cliffasif

Finally and more importantly I’d like to thank everyone who works with me behind the scenes and on stage and all those dear family, friends and promoters/agents who continue to support ‘Cliff As If. I could not do it all alone and without the support my act simply could not exist and so I am and always will be eternally grateful.

Thank you for looking in today. God’s peace and blessings be with you always,

Will Chandler

‘Cliff As If’

JANUARY 2014 UPDATE

Hey, thank you for looking in to ‘Cliff As If’ blog.

The gig and events page is updated as often as possible with public events so please keep a watchful eye on there in case there may be a show near you. I perform at lots of private functions such as weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, business and corporate events, and because of privacy I am unable to post the whereabouts of these. However, my hope is that more public shows and events will become available so that those of you who follow the work of ‘Cliff As If’ will be able to see the show when it rolls into a place you can get to.

I am really looking forward to all the events that have already come in. I feel very optimistic about the future of ‘Cliff As If’ and excited because of the new opportunities that keep coming my way. 2013 was the best year yet for ‘Cliff As If’. It’s looking like 2014 could be just as exciting and challenging.

There has been a change that I am sad to report. Regrettably I had to step down as Chairman of the charity ‘Me & Dee’ due to personal reasons, however the support of the many charities that ‘Cliff As If’ supports continues to thrive and already there are plans being made for several shows this year to raise much needed funds. The first one has already taken place and was on Saturday 11th January in Birstall, Leicester for the ‘Joy Bark Foundation’. It was an amazing evening and the Methodist Church in Birstall was packed with folk turning up in their droves to be entertained and support such a worthy cause.

I have been active on Facebook for some time now and this kind of social networking media has become quite valuable in aiding me to inform people of where and when I will be performing. My details are as follows; https://www.facebook.com/cliffasif. I am also on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Cliff_As_If.

Thank you again for looking in today and for the continued support you show. May God bless you and I hope to see you soon. Please keep in touch.

Will Chandler

‘CLIFF AS IF’

Hi and thank you for looking in to the ‘Cliff As If’ Blog.

I’d like to send you the warmest of seasons greetings and take this opportunity to thank all of those who have been instrumental in making 2013 the best year yet for ‘Cliff As If.’ As usual there are too many wonderful individuals to mention by name who have played their part in making this year so good, so to you who have worked hard and supported me I wish for you to know how appreciative I am for all that you have done and I thank you from the depths of my heart. 

Every event has been fun and enjoyable for me to do and there have been many highlights, a few of which I’d like to make mention of. The whole of June tour of the Costa Blanca with Jukebox Legends and later for Pro Acts International was the longest I’ve ever been on tour outside of the UK and it was fantastic. The ’60’s by the Sea’ event at Aldburgh and the two 60’s shows at Scarborough Spa and The Lowther in Lytham St Annes were most memorable. My first trip to do shows in Cyprus with Kendall & Morrelli was excellent. The ‘Virtual Summer Holiday’ campaign for BUPA created quite a stir and opened up a whole new aspect of work for me. The surprise appearance I made on the CBBC set of Young Dracula, switching on the Christmas Lights at Birtstall in Leicester, my first show ever in Edinburgh, the Huddersfield Popspel show with my good friend Simon Goodall, and the tribute show that I recently did in Blytheholme Social Club when a big gang of the North East Cliff Fan Club turned up to support and make the evening very special. All these and many more were amazing experiences that I’ll never forget. 

Also this year I became the Chairman of the charity Me & Dee. It has been such a privilege being able to play my part in an organisation that provides special memories when time is precious. There have been many interesting events but the two most memorable were the 111 mile sponsored bicycle ride that I took part in and also the Me & Dee Annual Ball at Burton Albion Football Club.   

The ‘Cliffagram’ service has been very popular in 2013 covering England, Wales and Scotland, in all types of venues and occasions. The response to them has been encouraging indeed as the ‘Cliffagram’ continues to thrill many Sir Cliff Richard fans. 

So here’s to 2014 whatever it may bring. There are theatre bookings already in in April and May for the Nottingham area, plus a trip back to Spain in June plus many more events. So please keep an eye on my gig page in case there is a show or event near you. 

Thank you once again for looking in today. I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year with blessings and peace.

Will.