CC Smugglers head for stars

Shefford group CC Smugglers
Shefford group CC Smugglers

Only last year Shefford supergroup CC Smugglers were celebrating headlining Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World.

Tonight (June 3) they’ll be performing live on Bedford’s Iron Bridge as part of BBC Music Day for BBC TV Look East.

But both are small beer compared to their next major gig – opening for Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen at the prestigious Werchter Festival in Belgium next month.

“Yes, I’m living the dream,” smiled frontman and singer/songwriter Richie Prynne, who’s just turned 30.

“I’m not driving round in a Mercedes, I’m not a famous musician and I’m still struggling to pay the rent. But I’m doing exactly what I want – constantly gigging and working. I’ve even given up the day job to concentrate on writing music.”

And he’s looking forward to meeting the multi award-winning American superstar because he believes they have a lot in common.

“We come from a similar place,” he said. “We were both confident young men, really driven and self taught. There are a lot of parallels. I’m hoping to get to know him.”

He and the rest of the band – lead guitarist Ryan Thomas, rhythm guitarist Sam Barret, double bass player Dan Edwards, drummer Joel Barford and pianist Joplin Parnell - are bracing themselves to face their biggest audience yet . . . a whopping 60,000.

“Six times more than we’ve played before,” Richie admitted, sounding awe-struck. “Fear and excitement are the same sensation. But this is going to be pure adrenaline.

“Normally when we do a show I’m calm and in control. But when that gets pumping, I go a bit overboard, stretch my voice, run up and down.”

Last year the Smugglers played upwards of 45 festivals and won themselves some VIP fans. Princess Beatrice was spotted bopping on stage while Channel 4’s Jon Snow was filmed joining in a riotous singalong.

Richie, who lives in Old Warden and went to Samuel Whitbread Academy with Ryan and Dan, still dreams of sharing a stage with his heroes Jools Holland and American blues legend Seasick Steve.

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