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Black Isle musician Josephine hops aboard The Good Ship Murder

By Margaret Chrystall

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A Highland musician is appearing in the new Channel 5 on Friday playing – a musician.

The Good Ship Murder with Catherine Tyldesley playing Kate, Shayne Ward playing Jack.
The Good Ship Murder with Catherine Tyldesley playing Kate, Shayne Ward playing Jack.

Josephine Sillars, originally from Culbokie, plays the keyboard-player in Shayne Ward’s band.

But though she and the other musicians in the band learned all the music, Josephine revealed the musicians were all asked to mime to the music during the filming!

The Good Ship Murder reunites Coronation Street soap stars Shayne Ward and Catherine Tyldesley, who played Aidan Connor and Eva Price in the ITV soap.

Josephine said: “In this series, Shayne plays a former detective who has left the police for reasons that become apparent in the show and he is following his one true passion – music – and joined the cruise ship as a singer.

“Though I have the feeling his detecting past comes back to haunt him,” Josephine joked before Friday’s first episode.

“I think I will be in every episode, as each one is going to have a musical number in it.”

Josephine Sillars.
Josephine Sillars.

Josephine, who now lives in Leeds playing with her band Robber Rose after staying on there when her music studies were completed. But the young musician often still works back in Glasgow, including playing session keyboards live and recording with Declan Welsh And The Decadent West.

It was through her Leeds connections that Josephine was offered the TV role.

“Our bass-player Jess Williams had been recommended by the musical director of The Good Ship Murder to play bass player in the band when the creative team decided they wanted to see a band behind Shayne Ward in the new drama series.

“Then Jess recommended me when they needed a replacement for the original keyboard-player.”

But though you can see Josephine in the episode when Shayne sings for the cruise ship audience, she explains why you won’t hear her …

“We were miming because the music had already been recorded by the music supervisor. I think the story was that it was just going to be the music supervisor miming originally.”

Josephine wasn’t sure where the filming was going to happen.

“Originally we were going to be flying out to the ship somewhere in the Mediterranean, but that fell through, so we ended up filming it in Manchester! “

But Josephine, was glad in the end.

“Had we been flown out I would have come back and immediately had to play the Barrowlands show with Declan And The Decadent West!

“But it was a shame we didn’t go abroad."

By coincidence, there might soon be a chance to see Josephine with a friend appearing in a music video – one from a famous pianist, but she can't give more details until it comes closer.

"Again it happened through a friend, who was working on a short student film and used one of the artist’s songs as a cover. Now we are in their video!"

So is a screen career appearing likely?

"I don’t have any acting experience!" Josephine laughed. "With the Channel 5 drama, I am doing a musician role and I didn’t have any lines so I probably won’t be credited!"

But are things working the other way? On social media in the last few days, a reach-out to actor Michael Sheen in one of the band's songs seems to have brought him on board to the project!

With her own music, Josephine is busy.

"I have an EP coming out next month called Move Higher (out October 31) and I’ve been releasing some singles this summer – That Boy and Slow – which has been fun and we have been gigging quite a lot.

"With the band Rubber Rose which is a heavy rock five-piece, at the start of the year we were in residency in a venue in Leeds for the first quarter of this year. I was curating an alt-pop night and the band played each of those. We were supporting marginalised performers and the band played each of those.

“And with Declan, I’ve been a session-player with for recording and and I’ve been playing with them since the Barrowland date and their second album coming out, including TRNSMT main stage!"

The Good Ship Murder is on Channel 5 every Friday at 9pm. Josephine’s new EP is out on October 31, more HERE: Josephine's music HERE:

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