Reporter: Phil Barr Photographs and Videos: John Sargent
Our first gig of the year, 4th March was at the Ridings in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Once again the gig was led by David Broadbent and organised by Mike Hindley.
There was a fantastic turn out of 22 band members who put in an energetic couple of sets which were much appreciated by the ‘transient’ audience.
As our country appears, hopefully, to show Spring – like shoots of recovery from the Pandemic but the world seems to plunge in to even deeper trouble it felt like there was no better time for the band to be able to get back on the road to provide some entertainment and light relief to the people of Wakefield.
The commitment of the group was epitomised from the off as Richard was seen scurrying along Barnsley Road like a senior version of Sonic the Hedgehog , uke on shoulder, ignoring the drizzle, as he had forgotten he had a tip – bound mattress stuffed in to his car which encroached into the driver’s space
Once everyone had assembled in a prime position outside the M & S foodhall – whose promotional board included the phrase Yes We Can – the band kicked off in a similar upbeat manner with A Handful of Songs, the only problem being that the background thrum from passers by resulted in players on the back row being out of sync with those at the front! A professional sidle into a more central position by our leader, David immediately overcame this minor blip and after that the band as a whole were indeed in a World of Our Own with everyone in time.
The premier performance of a Louis Armstrong Medley worked well as did Any Dream Will Do with the ladies providing a crowd pleasing harmonic sound complementing the rest of the band and Pippa’s jumper no doubt representing Joseph’s coat. All this was complemented by the energetic contribution made by the YAA’S mascot who undoubtedly attracted interest and therefore much needed funds to such a vital service.
After a well earned break, the second half began with the band responding to a birthday request by Pop on behalf of his granddaughter before moving confidently through the eclectic body of tunes which had the Friday shoppers tapping their feet before reluctantly moving on to more mundane tasks like choosing a piece of brisket from Morrisons for the Sunday roast.
Adding to the variety was our percussion section not least the contribution of Linda on the drum in another first – the feel good – ahem – Beatle’s composition, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Mike’s realistic train whistle and John’s surprise inclusion of castanets (or whatever made the effective clacking sound behind me) all added to the overall rich sound of the afternoon.
As the final song was played …
Bring me Sunshine
..is what many people must be wishing for at the moment.
gig finished. Phil Barr