Sunnyside 2011

JAM SESSION CD:  Rob Dee has very kindly compiled a CD featuring virtually all of the singers who performed at the Friday night jam session (regrettably, Phil Jennings' epic performance of Eve Of Destruction slipped through the net).  He will supply a copy for just 6 (5 of which will be donated to our Alder Hey charity appeal).  Cheques, please, to Mr R Duncan at 20 Coed Cae Road, Abertridwr, CF83 4EH.

Pics below kindly supplied by John Burke, Rob Dee, Babs Hughes, Dean Hubert, Alan Coombe, Maureen Whitehouse and Harry Whitehouse.

Sorry, but pics of the Friday night jam session at the Sunley Management Centre, and Saturday's show at the Sunnyside aren't
Performers in order of appearance at the Sunnyside were Dave Jay (MC), Dave Michael, Jon Stack, Dave Wilcox, Snowy, Paul Ritchie,
Chris Eley, Jane Hubert, Roger Sea, Johnny Storme, Russ Dee, Dean Hubert, Michelle Gibson, Creeping Bentgrass, 
Laura and Emily Buckley, Johnny Red.  What a line-up!

Report by John Burke:

We got there on Friday to find a few groupies hanging about the bar area... Well we'd have been disappointed otherwise wouldn't we. Rob Dee had arrived at the same time as we did and after bringing in the luggae we unloaded instruments and set up to run through a couple of songs, Rob joining us to sing Simon & Garfunkel's The Boxer.

Pierre and his brother Nino arrived and told us the sad news that Jet Harris had passed on.

Then Miss Franny and Jeannie grabbed our ears and led us off to get changed before the meal. Great to eat in the dining room with like-minded souls on every side. 3 Daves on our table. Conversation followed the format "What?" "What?" "No not you..." The kitchen and waiting staff could have done with some help but they worked wonders to get us all fed and watered.

The Friday night jam session was excellent - who could forget Phil Jenning's excellently raucous Eve of Destruction? Several singers came on to help David and myself on Johnny B Goode and we were very pleased to be asked to provide a live backing for everyone to sing Halfway to Paradise at the end of the night.

Nice to meet Dave Michael and Daniel for the first time - I loved Dan's sense of fun.

Saturday dawned and we sat down to an excellent cooked breakfast before heading into Northampton for a look round. In past years we've gone into Wellingborough so it was a morning of discovery before heading for the Sunnyside to suss out the new layout.

Very different. The bar at the back had disappeared and a wall separated the old stage area. We set the stage at the side of the ramp from the upper balcony but another new wall blocked the view of the side balcony so artists faced the ramp and turned from side to side occasionally to make sure the audience were still with us!

We had been asked to bring our own kit this year and needed a full half hour to set up. We decided to leave this until later as once Johnny Red had set up his very comprehensive stage gear a crowd of singers gathered to test their tonsils around the mic and we walked back to the hotel to get showered and changed.

Then I got the PA, speakers and keyboard set up and we blasted through our version of Bad Moon Rising to test the sound, Jeannie and Miss Franny running round the different areas of the place to listen for any imperfections in the sound - hiccups, burps, slurred words, bum notes, swear words, that sort of thing...

We'd had to crank it up a bit because of the size of the room and standing just in front of the speakers, I have to say we enjoyed ourselves immensely on that test and it was a struggle to force ourselves off, but we did!

More new faces - I'd never met Russ Dee or Roger Sea before and it was great to shake their hands and catch up.

And then at 4:30 the music started. Dave Jay, thwarted from walking into the audience by the new layout, still delivered some cracking numbers and then switched on his polished MC mode, introducing each act. There are very few seats now with a view of the stage. It did make it a bit frustrating but the sound carried and there was plenty of applause and cheering and a really brilliant atmosphere and there were some absolutely superb acts.

Jane Hubert made her Sunnyside debut with some fabulous vocals. She sang a fast Helen Shapiro song and then started "Funny... but it's true..." and I went cold and all the small hairs on the palms of my hands - er... I mean back of my neck - stood up. Wonderful!

Roger Sea had a brilliant mirrored jacket - I want it when he's done with it ha ha! We followed Michelle Gibson onto the stage. David had blabbed it was my birthday and Dave Jay got the audience to sing Happy Birthday to me. As he said, "suitably embarrassed"!

Harry (who has obviously got to know us by now) came to whisper in my ear to make sure we finished our set on time! We started with an Elvis number, Suspicion and then went through our set, ditching a planned number in order to get in a request from the audience dedicated to the perfect woman - When You Say Nothing At All... We had to ditch another song in order to finish on time (a Cliffy too - Moya would have loved that one...) as both having to bring instruments forward and the Happy Birthday bit had eaten into our time, but when I checked my watch we had finished on the dot of our allotted time - by heck, and I still had a joke or two in hand...

Laura and Emily followed us after the raffle. A brilliant set and two great girls - we were chatting with them later. Johnny Red delivered a great tribute act to Billy and then we all came on for the traditional rendition of HTP to finish the night.

A brilliant night! Everyone calling for a repeat next year. Everyone happy. Everyone quite willing to have stayed another few hours and sung some more. Harry, we salute you.