By John Burke
Cor - and there it
was, gone...! Another totally brilliant Billy weekend. We arrived at
Sunley early on Friday afternoon and went for lunch at Sunnyside. Miss
Jeannie was struggling with a cold but still managed to look her radiant
self and Miss Franny was also trying to out-do David and I in the
glamour stakes - no mean feat I would have thought - I had applied Dr
Ducknoise's patent head polish and was glinting nicely from every
We set up our gear at Sunley and ran through a couple of numbers, with
Rob joining us for Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer". He
forgot to record it, so once the evening proper started we did it
again... We had only gone on to warm up, but then the room filled and
despite several offers to allow others up, the audience kept us working
for an hour or so - slave drivers or what?!? We threw a bit of Abba and
Take That into the proceedings in an attempt to get them to eject us but
Anyway we spat our dummies out and refused to play any more and one by
one the other artists came to show us how it should be done and what a
fabulous night! Phil Jennings told us over and over and over again my
friend... A chap called Hetherington spun round three times in a quiet
corner and in a flash returned as Johnny Storme. The feeling and emotion
coming through Johnny's music never fail to move me - magical. Alan
Wilcox made a very impressive debut. We had a great spot from Dean and
Jane singing together, shiveringly good!
Jan turned up with a whip and chased performers on and off with a calm
efficiency - a stray flick caught me WHACK! on the forehead - I was
worried for my good looks, though David reassured me by saying they had
fled years ago... Don't know what he means...
There were no bad performances of course. Dave Jay, Paul Wilcox, and the
Grand Master Rob Dee, who asked if we'd finish the night.... What?!? You
want us to go back on?!? Reluctantly we drag ourselves back up to the
microphone. It may have looked as though we couldn't wait...
Anyway we are always immensely grateful for the reception we get from
the Billy crowd - no matter what provocation we give, no one has ever
thrown anything... A brilliant, even BILLYant, night full of friendship
and good fun. Apologies to any singers I've missed, we loved you all.
Saturday. Sunley do a purty good breakfast! Then we dragged ouselves
into Northampton so the girls could look round the shops and David and I
went up and down the mall on the ground floor and then on the upper
floor and then gave up and went to sit in a Costa with a bucket of
coffee each and waited for the Misses Franny and Jeannie to come in
laden with bags.
We were at Sunnyside early to help out. Harry had us stacking tables and
setting chairs out as he was expecting serious numbers of people to turn
up. In the end there couldn't have been more than a couple of thousand,
but it seemed a good idea at the time...
The stage was set up on the right of the room as seen from the upper git.
Rows of chairs at the railings on the left from the performers' point of
view looked a bit like a jury passing judgement but there were some
friendly faces on the there. Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell for two...
Dave Jay got the ball rolling with a cracking set and the time just flew
by. Steve reprised his "Secret Agent Man" from Friday night -
what a cracking song! We went and did our spot - Somebody Else's Girl, I
Can Hear Music, The Young Ones (for Moya!), Tulsa, The Single Girl, Love
Hurts, Lost Without You and You've Lost That Loving Feeling. Then the
long hook came out from stage left and we were dragged off...
Thanks to all those who asked when we were going back on - no that was
just the Friday night...! Gluttons for punishment some folks... Great to
meet, shake hands with and ...oh rasp-of-the-berry it... exchange manly
hugs with a few day trippers - Snowy (all that hair and at such an
advanced age - has the man no feelings for the follicly challenged?),
Russ Dee came in his white coat - and left with it still white - I'm
sure I couldn't have managed that... Laura and Emily, gorgeous as ever
and a great great set, Roger Sea... it's just such a wonderful event
isn't it? Billy brings us all together and for those who couldn't be
there or stuck upside down a long long way away, we thought of you all!
Again a series of excellent performances, culminating in Johnny Red's
tribute to Billy and all of us up to sing HTP and then it was all over.
We packed up the gear, headed back to the Sunley and opened a bottle of
bubbly in David and Miss Jeannie's room before Miss Franny and I slunk
quietly back down to our room tripping up, banging against doors,
giggling and setting fire alarms off etc... Hey rock and roll! Everyone
else was so drunk already they just didn't hear us...
Thank you Harry. The effort involved in putting a night like that
together and the pressure that comes with the wondering whether
everything will go off alright (even though it always does) is
considerable and I cannot praise Harry and his helpers enough. I hope
our own efforts go some way to help convince him it's all worthwhile
because, as always, we had an absolute ball and we wanna do it again!!!
Well what a fabulous
Sunnyside...again!!! it's always great to meet up with everyone and the
standard of performance was excellent as usual...what a talented lot we
Dave Jay kicked it off in his easy relaxed style...and then the music
and the talent rolled thick and fast...everyone was so good must say
that the 'New face' Alan Wilcox was superb and several of us 'maturer'
performers were heartily sick...lol my performance was a little more
subdued than usual
...and included a lovely song which i sang in Japanese..'Sukiyaki' nice
to see everyone knew the words and sang along with me.
I can't remember what everyone sang but i loved it all...Laura and Emily
sweet as ever..loved the "Ahhh" Emily lol .and Janes vibrant
yellow dress was a knockout..
The headlining act was again the ever young and ever professional Johnny
Red...a great talent indeed!
And then the finale...a mass rendition of 'Halfway to paradise' had
everyone on the floor holding hands and singing out loud and proud for
our dear Billy!
A fine raffle and auction along with the resourceful Cathy selling
pieces of Billy Fury Way ribbon helped to push the weekends charity
funds well up.
A big hand to all the people who worked hard to make this another top
Billy event...and a 'Sell out' it was too!!
Can't wait for next year!!!!
By Russ Dee
Here is my account
of a terrific event Once again led by harry the maniac and his wife
maureen and many
I arrived at 3 00 sat (couldnt make fri cos of family commitments) the
room was already buzzing
It was great to see again so many old faces nearly 10 years now cathy
jean babs and colin johnny and diane margaret dewick linda chris eley
pat young pat and frank henry alan coombe chris dee and many more and
some new faces jan and a few others
Dave jay got the show off to a terrific start with his sixties set and
then compered the show fantasticly well dave tried to charge me full
whack for a share of his room i asked him if i left at 4 in the morning
would he knock me some thing but he wouldnt tight git
the show absolutley flew
iwould like to say a few words about all the
id never met before but i found him to be a really nice guy sang a
lovely gene pitney song
im sure they would be great doing comedy one of them (not john) has a
tooth missing (mum knocked it out
so she could tell them a part) they kept us laughing all the time great
set as usual
music is in good hands for the future if all the acts are as good as
he was on titanic i think roger imo you were on fire great to see you
your usual clean self enjoyed it mate (still never saw judith)
dean and jane hubert
as alan the show is in great hands in the future with these two on board
one of the high lights for me
great set was that japanese song my way snowy lol
emily and laura
why have i not seen you on the tele yet loved wondrous place
great to see you at least do two songs it
was our loss you didnt do any more
spent most of the night with paul and his wife great guy with a great
set and paul what did you do with my chewing gum
one of my influences why i started singing billy rob you were great
and last but not least
you did a fantastic and very fitting tribute to the great man to cap
what was a superb night
well done all and lets see if harry wants to do all this again
im sincerely sorry if I've forgotten anybody
At present, we have 15 live
acts scheduled for Saturday at the Sunnyside, and music will
probably start at about 3.30pm. Add to this Friday night's jam
session at the Sunley, and that's quite a bargain for £10 a ticket.
For those who aren't in the
know, this annual event takes place at the scene of Billy Fury's last
public appearance in 1982, and it raises money for the Heart Fund at
Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
If you haven't booked
accommodation, please email or
call 07941 219207 to check about room availability at the Sunley. Northampton Round Spinney Travelodge is currently
offering rooms for Friday March 16 for £19, and Saturday March 17 for
See you there!
(Or please send a cheque for £10 per
ticket, plus 99p total p&p, payable to Peaksoft, to 5 The
Wick, 37 Esplanade Gardens, Scarbrough, YO11 2AW.)