Is Thomas from Dereham Level 42’s biggest fan?
- Credit: Archant
No prizes for guessing where Thomas Brennan will be on August 27.
The Level 42 fan of 30 years will be right at the front when his idols take to the stage at Holkham Hall.
The funky combo - famed for bass player Mark King's distinctive style - will be topping the bill at an eighties night which also includes Go West, Big Country and Jaki Graham.
'I have been a huge fan since 1986 and I first saw them in 1888 on the Staring at the Sun tour in Germany,' said Thomas, from Dereham.
'I have seen them countless times and on each occasion I have burst into uncontrollable tears when Mark steps onto the stage. I am a big softie when it comes to 42.
'My wife Theresa is also a fan, this has nothing to do with me as she was already a fan when we met which is very convenient for travelling to gigs.'
August's show in Norfolk marks another occasion - Theresa's 58th birthday.
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Thomas manages the John Innes Conference Centre, in Norwich, in his day job. Away from the office, he plays bass - in spired by Level 42's Mark King.
'I have spent the largest part of my adult trying to play like Mark with various levels of success,' he said.
'I can often be seen sitting in pit orchestras with my bass in venues such as the Theatre Royal or Cromer Pier.'
His next outing will be playing in a production of Grease, which is on stage at Dereham Memorial Hall from Wednesday, April 6 to Saturday, April 9.
Thomas doesn't just slap any base. He plays a special limited edition replica of Mark King's instrument, bought by Theresa as a birthday present. It was made by Status Graphite of Colchester to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary.
While he has never met the band, Thomas feels an emotional connection to their music.
'Throughout my whole adult life, no matter how bad things have been for me or how painful any of the personal tragedies I have faced have been to bear, the one constantly positive thing underlying all of that has been the music of Mark King and Level 42,' he said. 'Three and a half minutes of Mark Kings blistering slap bass playing is enough to put a smile on the most miserable face. I simply love Mark King and Level 42. There has never been any other band that would interest me.
'It is the only music that I listen to and when they come on the radio I feel like it is a personal message from all the people who love me saying that everything is going to be alright.'