Heaven and Hell: James Sutcliffe

James Sutcliffe

James Sutcliffe - Credit: Supplied by James Sutcliffe

Waveney based James is a senior executive in the music and entertainment business, with a glittering career working alongside artists such as Dua Lipa, Maroon 5 and Stormzy. Having worked for global brands such as Ministry of Sound and Monster Energy, he recently joined forces with Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani in new venture. Here he talks to Gina Long...

What’s the impact of Covid-19 and how are you adapting?  

When the pandemic began, I was working for Monster Energy. Whilst the business wasn’t really affected from a sales perspective, my role which was predominantly working in music events and with artists, changed completely. I went from regularly travelling in Europe and working at major music festivals and with major level artists, to being confined to my office at home! In December 2020, I joined LIVENow, which is a live streaming business, creating and streaming virtual events in music, sport, fitness and entertainment. I feel very lucky to have worked constantly throughout and have managed to adapt my career completely to future proof myself. 

What advice can you give to our readers?

It may sound like a cliché, but hard work and consistency has always been my approach to everything. Even during hard times, staying positive and reminding yourself that better times always follow a tough patch is the key to keeping yourself going. Surrounding yourself with good people is also vital.


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What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born and bred in Lowestoft. Whilst my career has taken me all around the world and after spending a few years living in London, my wife and I decided to make the move back home five years ago. I'm very proud of my roots and love being back closer to friends and family.

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What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

I live in Oulton Broad and for me, there is nothing better than the proximity we have to the beach, the broads and the surrounding countryside. To be able to retreat back here after either working in London during the week, or travelling further afield is a real blessing.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

My major frustration is the travel infrastructure, mainly the train routes. It’s a nightmare to get anywhere. A high speed rail link to London and a better road system linking us to Ipswich would not only make travelling easier, it would also help the local economy no end.

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

I love The Wildebeest near Stoke Holy Cross. The food is amazing and the atmosphere there makes it a great night out.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Oulton Broad has a few amazing pubs, in particular my local, The Commodore. There's nothing better than spending a warm summer's evening sat by the water with friends having a few drinks.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

The War memorial at Thetford. When I’m driving back from London, when I see it, I’m only an hour away from home.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Barbecue season in my garden. I'm a machine on that grill and the ultimate party host. 

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

Anything to do with the band Oasis.

What is always in your fridge?

Fresh apple juice.

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Work hard, play harder and treat people well.

What’s your favourite film?

Scarface.

What was your first job?

Stacking shelves in my local Spar.

What is your most treasured possession?

My watch collection.

Who do you admire most? 

My wife, for not only putting up with me, but for her unwavering support in allowing me to pursue my dream career, which takes me away from home. She keeps everything ticking. 

What is your biggest indulgence?

I’m a trainer addict. I literally have hundreds of pairs. They have their own room in the house.

What do you like about yourself most?

I like to think I’m fun to be around. I am super positive and love to have fun. I love nothing more than making others around me smile.

What’s your worst character trait?

I have OCD when it comes to being tidy. I annoy myself with it to be honest.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?  

Mexico

Best day of your life?

It’s a close call between my wedding day and our daughter being born. If I said it was when Manchester United won the treble in 1999, I would probably get in major trouble.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

Eggs Benedict, coffee, apple juice. Bosh!

What’s your favourite tipple?

I love a Malbec. I’m also partial to a Stella, or three.....

What’s your hidden talent?

I have a photographic memory. At school, I could memorise whole paragraphs of text from books. When it came to exams, I was convinced they would think I had cheated.  I reworded the passages I had memorised, to make them sound more like I had written them.

When were you most embarrassed?

I don’t embarrass easily these days. Another local paper got my name wrong on the front page. I got a lot of stick for that!

What’s your earliest memory?

My dad dropping me from his shoulders when I was about two. I think that bump to the head explains a lot to be honest.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Champagne Supernova by Oasis 

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

Those close to me know I have had two major cancer battles over the last 15 years. Last month I was given the all clear by the doctors and am now in full remission. 

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

Last orders at the bar please.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else

East Anglia has everything. Beaches, countryside, the Norfolk Broads, incredible restaurants, and more importantly, friends and family. It’s home. You cannot beat that.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

My new venture LIVENow! is changing the way people consume music and entertainment content. When the world starts to open up over the next few months, we are going to be bringing some of the biggest artists in the world, to people’s homes, giving them access to live concerts in a way that has never been done before. I would appreciate your readers taking a look live-now.com

 If you have a story, email gina@hallfarmfornham.com or follow Twitter: @geewizzgee1 Instagram: @ginalong_geewizz

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