A COUPLE from Earley have set up a new talent agency to supply event singers from solo acts to duos and bands.

The budding entrepreneurial couple, actress Sam Rogers and singer Fiona Cox, have set up Feather-Headed Operations.

The pair are no strangers to working together having set up a business five years ago to manage Fiona’s schedule as her vintage alter ego, songstress Kitty Mazinsky.

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It was a good time for teaming up as they also got married that same year.

Fiona, 36 and originally from Wokingham, sings popular music from the 1920s to 1960s, specialising in the American songbook and wartime songs for themed events and has been singing full-time since 2014.

Her diary has been filled with bookings for local events like the Pride of Reading Awards, the Thames Valley Hospitality Awards, Reading Sports Awards, and the Mayor of Reading’s choir competition, Let’s Sing.

Regular stints for festivals throughout the year meant it got to the point where ‘Kitty’ couldn’t fulfil all the enquiries that came her way and that’s where Sam, 45 and a Tilehurst native, stepped in.

Sam said: “There’s obviously a demand for good quality entertainers out there but Fiona can only be in one place at a time.

"We‘ve met so many talented musicians over the last few years, so it made sense to start offering more acts than just Kitty to those venues that were looking for live entertainment.”

Since starting Feather-Headed Operations Sam has been meeting with venues to book artists into gigs across Berkshire.

Fiona said: “As a musician myself, I approached the agency from the point of view of the acts, primarily.

“I’ve worked with bookers who don’t use contracts and who lack transparency.

"When you’re self-employed you’re vulnerable, and I’ve had cancellations without notification or late payments and other issues.

"You never know how much an agency is adding on the top of your fee; they could be making the same as you and doing far less work!

“We worked closely with the Musicians’ Union to ensure contracts were fair to all parties, and our acts always know how much we are making, which is 15 per cent of the total fee.

“The venue also knows that we aren’t pocketing a large portion of the fee and driving the gig price down, which results in underpaid artists - or you get acts who aren’t very good because anyone with talent knows they are worth more."