Gig a family affair for singer Jess

Singer Jess Clemmons with her parents Arlene and Gary

Singer Jess Clemmons with her parents Arlene and Gary

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A TOP UK country act’s appearance in Wigan promises to be a special family affair as the audience will include a couple who have come all the way from the Lone Star State.

Arlene and Gary Clemmons, the parents of singer Jess Clemmons from Jess and the Bandits, will make the trip from Houston to the UK for the band’s show at Robin Park Indoor Sports Centre later this month.

The Wigan date is one of several gigs they will attend as they join the five-piece band for part of their latest trip around the country.

To make the occasion even more special, the trip over from the States also represents the first time Gary and Arlene have made the long flight across the Atlantic to see the band play.

Arlene and Gary said: “We are so excited to see our daughter doing so well in the UK and finally be able to see her perform as Jess and the Bandits for the first time.

“The last time we were over was in 2010 so it is definitely time to make it back.”

Jess and the Bandits formed after Texan singer Jess, who was previously a solo artist, met the four British musicians when supporting The Overtones in 2012 and have quickly become one of the most talked-about acts on the growing UK country scene.

The group will play at Robin Park on July 13 after their debut album Here We Go Again entered the UK Official Country Chart at number six, with their brand of country mixed with elements of pop and rock proving a hit with British fans.

Jess, who hopes her group will appeal to fans of the likes of Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, says she is delighted her mum and dad are coming to see the summer gigs and is hoping more of her American friends will make the trip across the pond to see the band.

She said: “One of the hardest things about having a career that has me based everywhere but home is not seeing friends and family.

“I’m usually the only one that doesn’t have anyone on my guest list but now I finally will. I’m so excited my parents will be able to come and see a few shows.

“I will even have girlfriends coming over in October for our headline tour. It’s all very exciting to share with friends and family.”

The Wigan gig is being organised by Leisuretec, with Americana-influenced singer-songwriter Chris Bannister playing a hometown support slot and award-winning Leigh country musician Gary Quinn opening with a solo set.

Jess and the Bandits will play at Robin Park Indoor Sports Centre, supported by Chris Bannister and Gary Quinn, on Monday July 13. Doors open at 6.30pm and the gig starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £15 and available by visiting the sports centre reception or Haigh Country Park reception, ringing 01942 828271 or online from https://boxoffice.wlct.org

To find out more about the acts, visit jessandthebandits.com , www.chrisbannistermusic.com and www.garyjpquinn.co.uk