Born Free

Born Free

Frank Sinatra called Matt Monro irreplaceable and listed him as one of his favourite singers. Ian Gallagher has certainly long been a fan of London’s most famous baritone and has great fondness and respect for his work.

He was honoured to be in the front row of the Barbican Theatre for one of Matt’s last and most legendary performances. The evening had a tremendous effect on the young man. Indeed, when Matt had finished his concert on that night after over an hour of perfect singing, young Ian was the first person in the Barbican to rise immediately to his feet and give Matt a much deserved ovation.

Ian then encouraged the other people to stand and led a 7 minute standing ovation which he later found out had meant so much to Matt, it was one of his proudest moments.

Born Free

He was also honoured to be invited to a tribute to Matt Monro organised by his daughter, Michelle, held at the Grosvenour House Hotel on February 22nd 1987 two years after his passing.

Matt’s wife, Mickie Monro, a lovely lady who Ian got know, confided to him shortly after Matt’s death that Matt had felt hurt that he may not be remembered as one of the greats. Ian confidently predicted to Mickie that Matt was indeed the greatest British singer there has ever been and would become a much bigger star as the years passed and his work would be appreciated in the fullness of time. Now, he is rightly considered to be one of our greatest singers and Ian could not be happier.

Don Black

Ian has always tried to mirror Matt’s style in his work and was delighted when Matt’s old friend and Manager, Don Black, invited Ian to sing for him, Ian didn’t know until he arrived at the venue that he was in fact working for one of the true legends of British music. Don was Matt’s best friend and had written many of Matt’s greatest hits including ‘Walk Away’, ‘On Days Like These’ and of course the song that Matt is most associated with and the first British song ever to win an academy award, the immortal ‘Born Free’. As Matt said, at the time when Don received his Oscar, ‘from ‘ackney to ‘ollywood, not bad for an east end boy’.

Don enjoyed Ian’s singing immensely that night and called Ian "a great singer". At the end of one of his concerts Don Black, to Ian’s surprise and delight, shook Ian’s hand, congratulated him on his performance and said ‘you have done Matt proud you have the gift of not over singing and understand the value of understatement in music.

Ian is delighted to present this important Matt Monro Tribute Show to the great man and he invites you to take a journey with him through some of greatest songs that have ever been written. Great singers like Matt take a classic and make it their own, and Ian will remind you of the singers’ singer as no-one else can. So sit back and let Ian ‘knock you off your feet’, enjoy the beautiful Born Free sound of Matt Monro with Ian Gallagher’s Tribute Act.