'It really was quite special': Singer reflects on his driveway gigs with high hopes for a busy summer

A Wakefield singer who entertained neighbours and online fans is hoping to return to the stage with lockdown restrictions set to ease.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 2:00 pm
Fake News: Calum with the letter he received which turned out to be bogus.

Calum Whelan had to scrap a diary full of gigs last year due to the pandemic, so took to singing 'live on his drive' on Ruby Street, streaming it across the internet.

He had quit his regular job before lockdown to become a full-time singer, only to find himself without any income.

With pubs set to open their beer gardens on April 12, he hopes it will be the start of a busier year, although he looks back at the driveway gigs with fond memories.

Calum singing live on his drive.

Reflecting on his performances, the 34-year-old said: "I really enjoyed it, it kept me sane and it brought a lot of joy to people.

"There's certainly no regrets, I came to understand how special it was.

"It feels like another lifetime ago, but it really was quite special. I ended it on the right kind of note I think."

However, not everyone was a fan.

Last year the Express spoke with Calum after he received what he thought was an official complaint letter from Wakefield Council asking him to silence his singing or risk being prosecuted.

The determined culprit had gone to extreme lengths by printing the letter on authentic-looking headed council paper.

It turned out to be fake, and to this day Calum has no idea who sent it, or whether it was meant to be a joke.

He said: "I'm still not sure who it was, I'm flirting with the idea it was a friend but it seems too personal, and I think they probably wouldn't admit to it now anyway.

"Someone even suggested I sent it, but there's no way I would have done that with the amount of grammatical errors it had!"

Calum, who is a singer with the local group Southwestband, now hopes that once the pubs and venues fully open, they can finally do away with the strict regulations imposed last year, which he say s was no compatible with live entertainment.

"Pubs started to re-open and there was a brief spell when I could get a few gigs here and there, but there were so many restrictions, people could not stand up, or sing or dance, so it was completely different," said Calum.

"Who knows, but come June, things could be back to normal-ish."