Reporter: Phil Barr Photographs and Videos: John Sargent, Jane Barr
On The Road Again…Wakeylele at the White Rose Centre, Leeds 5th May, 2022
After a poignant musical tribute to Peter Harney by a small section of the band the day before at his funeral (which I have been told was received with heartfelt applause) the mood was naturally more upbeat as 20 plus band members and film crew arrived at the bustling White Rose Centre near Leeds for what turned out to be a barnstorming performance of a well rehearsed set in two parts. This was after first solving Pop’s puzzle of looking for Car Park D when all the signs outside were in numerals but we know he likes to keep us on our toes.
The area where we set up as well as being light,(dazzling in fact!) and airy below an attractive glass dome was also close to a lift resulting in plenty of passing trade for the YAA stall. Peter Joule made his debut on the front row encouraged by our multi – talented secretary Margaret Walker, fresh from her role in presenting the large cheque to the YAA at Nostell. Joe Fisher also made a welcome return on the front row.
As always, David was very aware of the potential problems caused by the background hubhub and led from the front in keeping the band on track and it was with some relief that the sound came through as well as it did on the videos recorded by our growing film crew. ( If it grows much bigger we may find ourselves having to look in to hiring a truck to carry the photographic equipment.)
After the much needed interval – a large advert near us read ‘Rumbling Tummy’s? to indicate the food court above us – we resumed with the noticeable addition of the YAA pilot mascot. When I posed the question of whether it could be the same(female) person who wore the paramedic’s mascot suit we saw at the Ridings, Sue claimed that it couldn’t be because this person had a beard – how she knew this I have no idea and in any case hasn’t she ever heard of the bearded lady? Putting this trivia aside however, the highlight of the day has to be when a couple, having listened to one of our numbers, not only applauded enthusiastically but used the adjective ‘brilliant’ to describe our performance and wanted to know where we were based. They departed wearing beaming expressions on their faces – at the same time you could hear a rustling sound from Pop and Joe’s straw hats as they expanded. And so the time came for the finale – Old Time Medley – which the band belted out in confident style to leave the passing shoppers skipping merrily along to Sainsbury’s, not caring at all that pork chops had gone up another 50p only two hours ago.
Thanks once more to David for all the work he does to keep the show on the road, from the regular updates to arranging songs to leading practices as well as gigs in what has been an especially busy week.
Thanks also to Mike for his part in coordinating YAA events. Up next a joint venture with Sandal Singers on 16th March at Sandal Methodist Church on Barnsley Road.
A couple of days after the event, the YAA regional fundraiser got in touch with our organiser Mike Hindley with the following note
I hope you are well. I just thought I would let you know that on Thursday the stall took a fantastic £356.33! I’m told the band was fantastic and really helped attract donations to the stall so thank you very much for attending again.
Will let you know as and when we have further dates
West Yorkshire Regional Fundraiser