Late last year the Wakefield and Pontefract Concert Secretaries federation began to mourn the loss of that truly great clubman Jim Tomlin, who died after a long battle with a debilitating and upsetting illness known as Alzheimer’s disease.
Jim was the president of the federation and known by most people in the Wakefield and Pontefract areas. It is now time to pay tribute to the work that Jim put in on behalf of our local clubs as a special tribute evening is being held next week, on January 19.
A galaxy of clubland stars have pledged to appear on the night and all proceeds will be donated to The Alzheimer’s Society. Although Jim was known and loved throughout the entire five towns district, he was Pontefract through and through and the show will be staged at Prince of Wales wmc in the town. People from throughout the area are sure to be there, so if you are planning to go along , I do suggest that you arrive very early, The club can be found in the Nevison area of Pontefract and I shall be going along to act as compere on the night.
Among the stars appearing are comedy entertainers Jo Little and Johnnie Martell, singing stars Ricky Graham, Ali Jordan, Cat Lee, Carrie Michaels, Jonathan Carroll and Sheldon Bonner and other star guests. The whole evening provides a tremendous opportunity to say a fond farewell to a genuine and true clubland great.
Mick McGinley from The Lupset Hotel was on the telephone last week to let me know that his venue is trying something new on the entertainment front. Sunday night entertainment audiences seem to have dwindled in recent years, as people’s leisure habits have changed immeasurably.
Mick is now launching a series of Sunday afternoon shows featuring top bands and acts of all kinds and this weekend sees the start of this run of gigs. The star attractions is the brilliant family band Beardsmith, who should pack the place for what should be a great afternoon out. This superb attraction will be on stage around 3pm and it should be interesting to see how things go for the industrious Mr McGinley.
Local favourites the Scratch Band are always worth making the effort to get ready to go out to see and Wakefield City Club is the place to catch the lads on stage this weekend. Friday is the big night and I’m sure many Scratch Band fans will be there. Incidentally I hear that the new country music nights at the City Club are doing well.
I visited the venue a couple of weeks ago and one or two of the regulars plus Tom, the club steward, were all commenting on how well Tuesdays were going, which is nice to hear these days. If you like to keep it country, why not go along and take a look.
Wakefield act Big Beat appear locally this weekend with a Sunday night appearance at Alverthorpe wmc. By coincidence I was in the audience at Alverthorpe when they last appeared there and the act involved some comedy for the extremely broad-minded. Their agent Al Crossland tells me that Big Beat are concentrating more on their musical talents these days. Why not go along and take a look?
Surely one of the best entertainers in the North right now just has to be the brilliant Ricky K, who I saw recently playing a leading comic role in the pantomime at the Spa Theatre in Bridlington. Now his panto run has finished, Ricky has a club engagement in this area this weekend. This brilliant visual comedy entertainer appears on stage at Westgate Common club on Saturday night and I’m sure the place will be packed. Incidentally Westgate Common club will also host the next Wakefield and Pontefract concert secretaries federation showcase night. The date is January 26 and singer Jonathan Carroll will compere the show. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend on federation nights,
An evening with The King is in prospect this weekend at Crigglestone wmc this weekend as Wakefield singer Jim Santana pops up on stage on Saturday night. Elvis fans take note that the dance floor should be busy with rock and rockers for this one.
Hard-working and enthusiastic entertainer Sheldon Bonner is the man on stage at The New Brookhouse club on Saturday night. The last time i saw Sheldon in action he was appearing at a charity show with glamorous singer Carrie Michaels and Carrie is also in town this weekend when she is set to take the stage at Lofthouse Gate club on the same night. There is a bit more to Carrie these days as she is about to become a Mummy for the first time. Hopefully everything happens as per schedule for Carrie, otherwise Lofthouse Gate concert secretary Jane Hooley may need to arrive armed with the towels and hot-water.
Theatre trained singer Chris Wood is hoping for stage stardom in musical theatre-land after landing a couple of prominent roles in recent times. Chris is well worth listening to and Outwood wmc is the place to see him when he takes the stage down Ledger Lane this weekend for a Saturday night appearance.
Finally for this week, I worked in a double bill show in South Yorkshire last weekend alongside a new singer on the club scene by the name of Lesley Ball. To say I was impressed would be a bit of an understatement, so remember the name and go along and see this lovely singer as soon as you see her advertised locally.
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 or call my office number on 01924 890800 and leave a message for me. Most people choose to e mail me and the address is mark-ritchie @btconnect.com