Wakeylele return to the Ridings! 1st Oct 2022

Alongside the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Stall. L to R John W, Stan H, David B, Joe F, Mags B, Sue T and PeterJ.

Return to the Ridings, Wakefield 1st October 2022

by Phil Barr. Video Ross Bennett Photos Phil Barr

A new month, a new season of gigs and a new spring in the step of our leader following Tuesday’s practice session when David revealed a previously unseen talent – a nifty step routine to accompany the strumming of Amarillo –  the Broadbent Shuffle –  of which Hank Marvin and the Shadows would have been proud. Mike Sidebottom meanwhile confided that he too had returned fully energised after his experience on a high altitude zip wire whilst on holiday in Wales.

Zip Wire exponent Mike S in the foreground with L to R behind him: Lynn S, Mike H, Richard H, Roy B, David Bl, John W, Stan H and David Br.

And so the  atmosphere in the Ridings positively crackled with anticipation as the band tuned up ready for the off; indeed such was their eagerness that the opening medley was completed a few minutes before the official starting time of 11a.m. This made Dave “Budgie” Burgess’s late arrival look worse than it really was (11:02) although a pair of wings wouldn’t have gone amiss on this occasion. At this point for the purposes of balance it needs to be said that I had somehow not included ‘A World of Our Own’ in my copies of the playlist and after a frantic failed shuffling of papers I had to resort to singing from memory whilst strumming a subdued C chord with the odd G thrown in for luck.; on finding the chords afterwards I noticed that there aren’t any plain G’s in the song. Roy and Richard seemed to find all this very amusing judging from the muffled chortling sounds over my shoulder. 

 Notwithstanding these minor blips a goodly number of Saturday shoppers showed their appreciation of the free entertainment and residual warmth on the same day that energy prices rocketed although Sue kept complaining of being cold but this may have been partly due to the shock of being charged £16.99 for  her flu jab at Boots.

Meanwhile the first set continued apace with the successful gig debuts of ‘Come up and See Me’ and ‘Daydream Believer’. Special mention though must be made of  ‘Enjoy Yourself’ which was sung with particular gusto after David hinted that this could be its last but one appearance. It will be sadly missed – ahem, cough, cough. Interestingly during this song a young mum, wearing fashionably frayed jeans, beamed with pleasure  as she swayed in rhythm with her youngster but then again she has time on her side whereas in Billy Connolly’s words “We have Nae. ” Talking of time, the well earned interval arrived and the group dispersed to various cafes to discuss coffee amongst other things. 

 When the band resumed it was clear to see that a back row trio comprising of  Stan, Dave and Roy decided to play standing up in order to display their credentials although Joe rather took the edge of this impressive sight by naming them the Two Tenors and a Fiver.

By now the Ridings was in full swing with spectators viewing from the balcony of the floor above us, adding to the bustle of shoppers continually emerging from the escalators alongside us and grandchildren of the band dancing or bouncing  balloons about, all of which together with the music helped to attract people to the YAA stall in healthy numbers.

‘Youngest Groupies in Town” Roy & Margaret’s grandchildren, Poppy and Toby, dancing to Honolulu Baby with their balloons.

Adding to the colour was a gentleman in a red checked suit reminiscent of an old time music hall comedian who reminded me of Rupert the Bear. To complete the picture Doctor Priti donned her YAA outfit together with her red and yellow soprano uke for photo opportunities and  to further the visibility of that great organisation helping to save lives.

Doctor Priti and bandleader David Broadbent. We would like to adopt her and take her to all our gigs.

Before we knew it the final medley had been bashed out in fine style thanks in no small part to Mags proficient selection and use of her growing bag of percussion instruments and so the return to the Ridings was complete with Richard commenting that the level of confidence amongst the group seems to grow with each performance. This is almost certainly due to a combination of David’s leadership and the band’s commitment and desire to improve. Thanks also to Mike Hindley, looking resplendent in his themed waistcoat, for organising the gig , to the YAA team of volunteers for hosting the event and to our small  but much appreciated family supporters who do a great job of lifting our spirits.

 Next up is another YAA event at the White Rose Shopping Centre on Saturday,15th October with an 11 a.m start. (Budgie plans to arrive by helicopter.)

2 Comments on “Wakeylele return to the Ridings! 1st Oct 2022

  1. Ah! The long-awaited return of the “Poundland Band”
    Phil’s report (brilliant as ever) captures all the main features and casual nuances of what, I think, proved to be a most successful and enjoyable affair (thanks Mike for your continuing link to YAA and getting us this gig).
    My sincere thanks too to all who played a part in this session. I’m thrilled (to concur with Richard) that there is a feeling of a growing confidence and professionalism within the band – something so clearly manifested in the levels of musicality apparent on this occasion.
    Well done everyone. On to the next…….

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