Aquarium show makes a splash
THE transformation of the National Marine Aquarium into a night club to help launch the newly-created charity Children In Mind was such a success that it is hoped similar events could happen again on a regular basis.
They raised £4,500 for the charity and the Aquarium management, who also made a substantial amount over the bar, were so delighted they have invited the charity organisers to host another such extravaganza, when they re-open after a major refurbishment in May.
GILLS ALOUD: Diamond Geezers, pictured, joined Joey the Lips and Kat Marsh at the National Marine Aquarium for the Children In Mind fundraiser
MANY TANKS: From left, Simon Westaway (Joey the Lips), Neil Whitchurch (Diamond Geezers), and Gary Eastman (Diamond Geezers) pictured before the Children In Mind fundraiser
A further event for Children In Mind is also planned for Christmas.
Around 350 people attended last Saturday's bash, which offered a fantastic opportunity to amble around the display tanks at leisure, drink in hand, and observe some of the fascinating marine life, as well as listening to a fine selection of musical talent from the city.
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With the stunning backdrop of the massive wall-sized fish tank, an acoustic stage was set up with cabaret-style tables and chairs around which we could sit enjoy the music and absorb the surroundings.
Singer/songwriter/producer Joe Biddle who had arranged the cabaret line-up, started off the proceedings, by presenting a set of covers and originals with the aid of an amazing aerobic vocal display from Amy J.
This was followed by a rather more subdued than usual, but equally excellent, set from Kat Marsh, who wasn't able to deploy her loop pedal effect this time for fear of disturbing the fish!
As the party got underway upstairs people drifted off to boogie to the sound of Diamond Geezers who were in particularly fine form, delivering tracks as diverse as Mr Blue Sky and Brown Sugar with a superb rendition of Park Life.
Then it was the turn of ten-piece party band, Joey the Lips, who boast an impressive line-up of three horns and three vocalists, to entice people on to the dance floor to shake a tail feather.
Back downstairs, at the ongoing cabaret stage, Patrick James Pearson delighted those present with melodic, heartfelt self-penned songs, accompanying himself on piano and drum, while next up, half of Francis and The Drakes, aka Steve Gribble and Dave Ankers, wove lush intimate harmonies around their intricate guitar-work.
Then to close, Thomas Ford treated the appreciative augmented audience to a bunch of authentic blues numbers, delivered with his usual flair, fire and passion, on voice, harp and guitar.
Congratulations to organisers Jane Anstis, Neil Whitchurch and co and thanks to Nub Sound and the musicians for supplying their time free of charge.
Here's to the next time.