Carluke's tribute to Liberace!
You wouldn't think there'd be any links between a tribute act to the USA's late '˜king of bling' Liberace, a barber in Lanark and a Carluke concert pianist.
However, they are, depending on where you live in the UK, one and the same.
While some womenfolk criticise men for their inability to multi-task, that’s an accusation that’ll never be levelled at Fraser Gillespie.
He first featured in the Gazette a dozen years ago as a teenage piano prodigy.
Since then, Fraser has been living something of a triple life, becoming a much-loved popular music concert performer with long residencies at various well-known English venues, the latest being at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Some years back, he added the string of a Liberace tribute show to his musical bow and he’s somehow also found time to become a qualified barber.
Now, while keeping his showbiz career going south of the border with monthly concerts and his regular Liberace show, he has returned to base himself back home here in Clydesdale due to family commitments.
While here, he has decided to take up his scissors again and has opened a traditional gent’s barbershop in one of the ground-floor units at Lanark’s Vogue Bingo Club in Bannatyne Street, returning some daily activity to the landmark building while its owner considers its long-term future.
In this, Fraser intends to play his part, redecorating his shop in the same art-deco style as the 1936 cinema the Vogue once was in the guise of the Regal.
He has high hopes that his new business will cut it with the public in Lanark and surrounding area, but he has not taken his eye off his stage career, saying: “I’ve now been given a long-term contract with Stageworks Worldwide Productions, based in Las Vegas but part of the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Group of companies, to play shows every month on Saturday evenings and also five annual Vegas-style Liberace shows, playing to large audiences of at least 500 people each evening.”
He hasn’t forgotten his local roots, recalling: “When younger, I played all over this area at events for the Lanark lord cornets, provost receptions and all sorts of other public functions.
“I come from a family of musicians and performers.
“My aunt Eleanor McGregor (the Gazette’s long-time Carluke correspondent) was a professional singer and toured with Jimmy Shand and was even offered a part in the Black and White Minstrels.”