Packed house for command show

w2835d809 Clubland pix - Sheldon Bonner.
w2835d809 Clubland pix - Sheldon Bonner.
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This week’s column is almost exclusively dedicated to the Wakefield and Pontefract Concert Secretaries’ Federation command show, which took place last week at Carlton Social Club.

This club, situated between Lofthouse and Rothwell, was full for this show and both hospices in our area benefitted from the proceeds of the evening.

The well-known entertainer Sheldon Bonner was chosen to act as compere on the night and I know that this affable chap is always enthusiastic about everything he does in clubland.

Federation official Les Turfrey was presented with a lifetime achievement award, after 39 years involved in clubland.

I first got to know Les when he was concert secretary of Wakefield Prison Officers’ Club, the original club was actually inside the prison walls and I appeared in a double bill with Bobby Knutt.

Les later became a magazine publisher and concert secretary at Westgate Common Club, where he still serves as a club official.

I’m sure that everyone feels that Les is a worthy recipient of such an award and the federation have got this one just right.

As for the command show itself, the acts chosen to appear came from five different categories. The male singer on show was Wakefield’s own Trevor Craig.

I saw this lovely singer not too long ago in the Wakefield star search talent show final and I’m sure that, given the right kind of advice, this young man could do very well indeed.

The duo invitation was extended to Dean and Jane Hubert of Two Steps Forward. It was an astonishing 19 years since I saw this lovely couple at their first booking at the old Thornes WMC. This Wakefield couple have been deserved clubland favourites ever since.

The comedy award went to James Brandon. I first met James when he was a stage magician and since he was excelled as an actor, DJ, comedian and singer.

Married to Wakefield singer Natalie Brandon, James has got the lot as an entertainer in my view.

The female entertainer on the show was Ellie Gent. Ellie was the only entertainer on the show I had not seen before and for some reason this Barnsley lady reminded me very much of the great Marti Caine.

Based on what I saw, Ellie’s PA sound wasn’t great and her act would probably work best in smaller rooms, but the popularity of Ellie Gent should not be underestimated.

Closing show out was local trio Carefree, who are doing very well in local clubs at the moment. I spoke to Carefree member Rob Dooler and he told me that he was delighted to be involved in the show. I do hope I see these guys again soon.

There were a number of well-known faces in the audience including the lovely singer Ali Jordan and her husband Martin Brown. This smashing couple brought a little bundle with them in the cute shape of their baby daughter Layla.

This gorgeous young lady stole the entire show, until Layla’s bedtime saw this budding entertainer making her exit. I hope that Layla’s mum and dad cut this column out and keep it, as this is sure to be the first of many reviews for this talented tot.

There is not a lot of space left for anything else in this week’s column I’m afraid, but events like this one are always well worth dedicating a column to. An active concert secretaries’ federation is part and parcel of keeping clubland alive in any area and I say more power to their elbows.

If you have any news or views for this column we would like to hear from you. Just drop me a line at the Express, email mark-ritchie@btconnect.com or call my office number on 01924 890800 and leave a message.