CHRIS Hindle swapped his retail management job for the chance to strut his stuff as Jake in a full scale theatre production of the Chicago Blues Brothers, which is heading for Swindon next month.

Now, five years on, Chris and his old school pal Paul Boocock have a hit on their hands all over the UK, Europe and even further afield.

“They go mad for us in Poland,’’ said John. “We were even asked to play at the Jazz Oscars in Poland which was broadcast on television.The secret of the show’s success, Chris believes, is a great night out and full of fun.The concept has been running for 20 years and we took the franchise over five years ago, making it a bigger line-up, bringing more backing singers, a trombonist and changing the set every year. Our latest innovation is a 40-metre long by 20-metre high projection at the back of the stage for the cast to interact with.’’

Chris says he did do his research, but he doesn’t try to be John Belushi. In fact, if his American accent slips into broad Yorkshire the audience love it.

“I’m not John Belushi but I like to mess about on stage with Gareth, who plays Elwood. We won’t let an audience get between us and having fun. After the show we leave the band playing and the four vocalists go out into the foyer so we can chat to the crowd on the way out. It’s all about the personal touch and we have more than 20,000 Facebook friends that we keep in touch with too.’’

Chris was a choir boy singing in the Bradford Cathedral Choir. He also studied Italian opera with Michael La Costa in York.

“It was good grounding but I had alway been in retail. Music and singing was a just a hobby until we won a national tribute award, which was followed by an arena tour and then I turned professional. It was the best thing I could have done. I get such a buzz from being on stage,’’ said Chris.

The band played at the O2 in London recently and the Atlas Festival with Kylie Minogue and Lenny Kravitz.

“I still stay grounded because in the morning of the O2 gig I was walking the dog and picking up dog poo before popping into Asda. That’s the real world,’’ said Chris, who as a boy was a huge fan of Bros.

“I have sung with Matt Goss twice in Las Vegas. He called me up on stage and hopefully we will be singing at Mirage next year. He’s a nice guy and it’s a mad life. We should all live out our dreams and go for it,’’ he said.

Next year the show is off to Belfast, Oslow and working on a Christmas Blues Brother show but for Chris this is one ambition he has yet to fulfill and that is to perform at the London Palladium.

The show has more than 41tracks from the classic film including Think, Respect, Rawhide and Ghost Riders plus some classic funky Motown numbers. Tickets to see them at the Wyvern Theatre on February 9 are £26 from 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison