John’s looking forward to meeting Joan in spooky Sunday session at Hitchin’s Club 85

Former EastEnders star John Altman will be sharing a stage at Hitchin's Club 85 with all-girl rocker

Former EastEnders star John Altman will be sharing a stage at Hitchin's Club 85 with all-girl rockers JOANovARC - Credit: Archant

The spooky season is not over yet as actor and singer John Altman tops the bill of Hitchin’s Club 85 this Sunday in what is set to be a hell of a Hallowe’en party.

John, best known as Nasty Nick Cotton from the BBC’s EastEnders, has always combined music with acting and will be showcasing his vocal talents at the Whinbush Road venue.

He said: “I’ve always done both acting and music – I did amateur dramatics as a kid, and at the same time learned drums in my bedroom. The neighbours could hear it half way down the street in Herne Bay so I had to play in the evening. I taught myself guitar as well.

“Playing music and singing helped in my acting career along the way. Early on I joined a rock theatre group and toured around Europe. Vocally, singing teacher Penny Harvey-Piper helped me work on my voice.”

John’s most notable musical performances include playing George Harrison in Birth of the Beatles in 1979 and Billy Flynn on stage in Chicago in 2002.


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Other work saw him make a brief appearance in the 1979 film Quadrophenia, which he cites as a stand out moment in his career.

“I had a ball, the film became a cult and I learned a lot,” he said.

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Soap stars often pop up in the charts but that’s not John’s style.

“I’m not interested in being commercial,” he said. “I want it to be about heart and soul, not making those sorts of albums for the sake of it – I got offered it once and turned it down.”

On Sunday John will be reunited with Herts-based all-girl rockers JoanOvArc – they first met when sharing a cruise ship gig.

He said: “Working with them is great. It was a natural thing that just happened. We’re going to be playing four of my original tracks, and cover versions by Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin.

“I’m looking forward to playing in Hitchin. If you like rock music come on down. It’ll be an action packed night – a big old Hallowe’en bash!”

Doors open at 6.30pm, music starts at 7pm with supporting acts Guido and the Hellcats, G LaRoche and magician Martin Cox.

Tickets are £10 on the door. The event is for those aged 16 and over, and photo ID will be required.

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