A SINGER has swapped rock and roll for sausage rolls.
Barry Hyde, colourful frontman of The Futureheads, has put his guitar to one side to become an apprentice at a Sunderland delicatessen.
The 32-year-old from Hendon has long been a fan of good food, and he says being able to indulge his culinary passions is a dream come true.
While the band takes a sabbatical, Barry is being taught the tricks of the gastronomic trade by chef David Gill at Juniper’s Pantry, in Barnes.
“Food is comparable to rock ‘n’ roll,” he said.
“They’re both about taking pride in what you do, entertaining people and being enthusiastic.
“I’m still in the rehearsal stage with food at the moment. I’m learning the scales, but hopefully, soon, I’ll be able to improvise.”
The Futureheads became one of the most successful bands from Sunderland after forming more than 10 years ago. Barry says it was travelling the globe with the band which introduced him to a melting pot of flavours.
“When music became a job, I found I’d lost a hobby,” he said.
“But food became my hobby. I started reading cookery books by people like Rick Stein and the Roux family, and would have cookery shows on in the background when I was writing songs.
“Travelling to places like Japan, America, Australia and Mexico, and experiencing how amazing food could be, made my fixation worse and I realised just how exciting food can be.”
Barry says although the band are taking a break, they aren’t splitting up. “Bands aren’t doing as much as they were when we were 21, 22,” he said. “Then, you would do three American tours in a year and it would take you out of the country for months, but it’s not like that these days.
“Dave is busy with Hyde and Beast, and Jaff is doing a degree, so there is time for me to do this now.”
David Gill put an appeal on Facebook looking for a new apprentice – but little did he realise that a popular musician would apply.
“It’s so hard to find people who aren’t time-wasters,” said David. “Although Barry has no experience in a professional kitchen, I knew he was really keen.
“He’s starting off making desserts for our supper club and he’s been really good. He’ll be moving on to sausage rolls and scotch eggs next. He’s learning everything from butchery to making stock.”
David returned to Sunderland in 2011 to open the fine food deli after years of working in Michelin-starred restaurants across the UK, Switzerland, Spain and France and cooking for the likes of Prince Andrew and former US president Bill Clinton.