This was to be a dinner dance raising funds for the Thursley Village Hall renovation project, alongside the very worthwhile charity Action For AT. The band only play a few charity shows a year, though this one was local, and we had played here before, so knew it would be great (and knew it was for some very worthwhile causes).
Catering was handled by a Thursley based company (Lucy Goble), and there were lots of volunteers on hand to make sure the evening went as planned. The event itself was the brainchild of Action For AT’s Susie Shillingford, who had tirelessly co-ordinated the whole event, as well as pulling together various auction prizes – not forgetting various donations from village hall supporters. On the day, the Village Hall fundraising crew were at hand, in the kitchen, clearing tables, greeting guests etc. It was seamless, and all because of the huge amount of work that went on ‘backstage’.
The band had their own dressing room – Maltesers, chocolates, and supply of refreshments at hand – what more could we want 😉 Rollercoaster’s Alistair compared the evening, chivvying the crowds along, urging folk to find their seats, hosting the ‘heads and tails’ game, reading auction and raffle prizes. The auctions were silent bids, though one lot (a Peter Blake original) went to a live auction – at which point local legend Peter Rickenburg took the mic and drove the bidding along.
The band eventually hit the stage at 10.45pm, which meant we would be playing straight through. We kept it lively, as the crowd were definitely an energetic, up and dancing bunch. During I Will Wait, we were treated to ‘The Bottom Dance’ by Phil and Becky Shayler – seeing is believing.
Once again, this was a gig with the perfect crowd. They just wanted to party on… and the atmosphere was fun all the way – they even managed to get an encore out of the band!
It was all for charity, and with over £11,000 raised, it was certainly a worthwhile event to play. i’m sure we’ll be seeing many off the guests in the future. Huge thanks to Susie Shillingford of Action For AT, and the Village Hall Committee, for making us feel so welcome… see you all soon!