Contents - click to go to the following topics
ST. ANNES ACOUSTIC ROOTS CLUB
THE "BIG GIG" - BBC MUSIC LIVE EVENT - May 29th 2000
St. Annes Bandstand
The day dawned bright and breezy. Very breezy. Although not quite gale force (so we were told), the winds on St. Annes Prom threatened to blow the performers off the bandstand! St. Annes Acoustic Roots Club had left their normal venue to host a five-hour free open air concert for BBC Music Live.
To cover as wide a range of live music as possible, other local groups and artists had been invited to participate, and at 11 a.m. the concert kicked off with the choir of the St. Annes Townswomens Guild, who, with the aid of good humour, gallantry and lots of clothes pegs, showed that the Dunkirk spirit was alive and well despite the high winds!
Next to play was a country music duo called "Country Tradition" who entertained the growing audience with easy-listening favourites on keyboard and pedal steel. They were followed by a rising young cabaret artist, Nikki Byrd.
By this time the sun had come out, the winds had dropped a little and more passers-by were stopping to enjoy the music.
After a musical comedy spot from the bucolically attired Alvin Glittawelly, a couple of club regulars, both guitarist/songwriters, treated us to different styles of solo performances, Nigel King's Jazz Blues style contrasting effectively with Tony Walsh's more laid back style, reminiscent of early Show of Hands.
Jim Smith and Heath Lavery were next. They have both been well known for a number of years in various groups around the Fylde, but have only recently got together, using the Club to hone their act. This was their first public outing as "Robbery With Violins", and their driving celtic style held the crowd (by now over two hundred) enthralled. Heath's spectacular fiddle playing is a perfect foil to Jim's accomplished guitar and vocal work, and brought a standing ovation from the crowd.
In a very contrasting style, Dave Read gave a polished performance of Country Blues. Again, the audience showed its pleasure in Dave's rich voice, and accomplished guitar playing, backed up by his trusty midi system! Dave had already been hard at work all day, running the superb P.A. system which he had generously provided.
All too soon, the pumpkin hour (four o'clock) was approaching, when the power was due to be cut off, and the club's resident band, Tinker's Cuss took the stage to close the proceedings with a mix of Folk, Irish and Blues.
It had been a stressful day, but a successful one. The audience had appreciated our efforts, and had donated over £240 to a collection in aid of Preston's St. Catherine's Hospice, and we felt that it had proved that there were people in the locality who still had an interest in the living tradition of making and performing music. As one happy spectator said "Keep the faith, keep playing, keep singing".