Simply Mo! The finest new talent to come out of the island of Tenerife!
Born in County Durham and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire (from the age of two) he was originally known as Iain Dodgson.
At fifteen he was given the life changing choice by his parents, Stephen and Cathy to either finish his last year at high school and get some qualifications or to jack it all in and start a whole new life with his family in the sunny island of Tenerife. He did what any other teenage lad would do and, in the words of Peter Kay he “booked it, packed it and f**ked off”, so to speak.
At first it was a big culture shock for all of them, going from rainy old England to a sun drenched island just off the coast of Africa. Well it wasn’t really a shock at first, it was actually quite nice. Still known as Iain at this point he started to get work in bars and restaurants standing outside trying to get people in off the streets. It wasn’t really what he wanted to do, but hey, what else can a fifteen year old lad do to make money?
The first year was a really rocky one for Iain as he was a teenager (stubborn little tw*t) and wanted to do whatever he wanted (which didn’t go down too well with his parents). After falling out with his dad, running away from home countless times and ending up on the streets, Iain thought it was time to grow up and pull his finger out of his arse. He called his mum one day in tears wanting to come home. The problem was that she was out at work and he wouldn’t be able to get in. Iain was devastated and thought that he’d hit rock bottom.
He quotes, “I remember sitting on the steps at the end of Veronica’s strip (where all the night clubs are) in the middle of the day. Dirty, smelly, tired and hungry, I just couldn’t take it anymore and burst into hysterical tears. The one thing I wasn’t expecting to look up and see was my dad (who I hadn’t spoken to for nearly 6 months) walking towards me. Only saying one thing to me “Come on, let’s get you home”. That was all I needed to hear.”
Ever since then Iain and his parents have got along like a house on fire.
His dad made him go out and look for other kinds of work. What else could he think of to do but the one thing that he loved to do? Sing!
He went around all the cabaret bars to find compere work, but to his disappointment he kept hearing the words “You’ve not got enough experience, sorry!” What a load of sh*t!!! How can people expect you to get experience if you can’t get the break to get you started?
Then, just as he was about to give up he walked into a bar in Fañabe called “Ye Olde Ocean” where Ray Wilde, a very well known and respected entertainer, not just in Tenerife but also in Blackpool, (he used to be the compere in a little place you may know called The Blackpool Tower) worked. He gave Iain that break that he needed, not as a compere, but as his “computer boy”. His job was to sit at the computer at the side of the stage and cue all the karaoke singers into the system.
Iain was allowed sing (his first ever song was Handbag’s and Gladrag’s by Rod Stewart) and after a while was also given the opportunity to compere on Ray’s nights off so that he could get used to working with an audience and try and get his confidence up.
One day sitting in Ray’s apartment after a few beers Ray turned to Iain and said “You need to get yourself a stage name”. Taking one look at him, this young lad with a huge Mohican, dyed bright colours. “How about, Mo?” A voice came from Jeff across the terrace. “Hmmm, Mo.” That was it from that moment on, he was no longer Iain the little guy that sits at the computer.
He was Mo, the little guy with the big voice!
After about a year he was offered his own bar to compere, just down the road in Puerto Colon (Hopper’s bar).
After about six months or more in that bar, that wasn’t enough for him, he wanted bigger things. He wrote his own cabaret show called “Soul, Motown and Mo” which started his cabaret career. It took a while to get him established there, but four shows and god knows how many hair styles later, he finally did it. After being introduced as Motown Mo, Little Mo, Mighty Mo and many more ridiculous names, he decided to just keep it simple, and became Simply Mo.
The next few years saw Simply Mo performing at many venues throughout the South of Tenerife, both as a solo artist, with other entertainers and even working with a live Irish Band!
September 2011 saw Simply Mo recognised as the Best Male Vocalist in Tenerife an award he is really proud of. Thanks to everyone who voted for him!
After working exclusively at Restaurant Margarita in Los Cristianos for a few months, Mo returned to the Cabaret Circuit in the South of Tenerife for a few weeks before flying to the UK at the beginning of December 2011 where he is now available for bookings!
That’s him so far really, oh, he does have a beautiful girlfriend, Claire who he met at Halloween in 2007 in The Full Monty. He says he now has all that he wants a great family, perfect job and a gorgeous girlfriend to enjoy it all with!
Update – September 2013
Well to start off with, Claire is no longer my Girlfriend… she is now my Fiancé, after saying yes to me on new years eve/day 2011 🙂
We are still living and loving it in Scotland and now have a wee ( check my Scottish! lol) addition to our little household. Introducing “Milo” the pug! He’s a little legend, with the personality to match lol.
If you haven’t noticed, their is a new section on the site called “The Band” as well! Yes! I am now also in a band as well as doing my cabaret shows. It’s still very early days with us, but so far we have a few good original songs, and a following that is getting bigger every day 🙂
So, all in all, life’s great! 🙂
Thanks to everyone that has stuck by me over the years ( and still are). Keep positive and it’ll all work out in the end! 🙂