SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

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SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby ROB DEE » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:44 pm

Hi Everyone,
Hope you all got home safely and recovered from a wonderful weekend with some of the best people.
I have written some notes on my site http://www.billy-fury-tribute.com
Go to the guestbook page.
Rob.
KEEP ROCKING LIKE FURY
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Harry » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:14 pm

I'm just back - thanks to everyone who helped to make it (in the words of so many people) the best-ever Sunnyside.
Just direct your feet to the Sunnyside of the street.
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Moya. T.B.F.F.C. » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:23 pm

Welcome back! Right....now I'm waiting for all the reports to start flooding in! I had the most depressing w/e wishing I was there. Specially when I got the text from Geoff (at 6.30 AM) to tell me Billy's Mam had just arrived.

Thankz-a-BILLYon Steven for passing on that gorgeous piccy - which I can't put on coz I don't know how to reduce it, so if someone can put it on for posterity - that would be FANtastic.....you know the one - with the flowers.
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Moya. T.B.F.F.C. » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:27 pm

'Arry - don't know of you got my email or not? Will copy & paste here now.....

Wot a palava...... I got woken up this morning at 4.38 with a txt message from a number I didn't recognize (since found out it was you) telling me to go to the virgin get message website to retrieve a picture message and enter this code.
I did that but it wouldn't accept MY phone number - my phone is SO OLD I think Noah pushed it out when it stopped raining!!!! I tried entering YOURS & that didn't work either!!!! Meanwhile 1.1/2 hours of still trying I gave up. Now I know it's you....can you please email me the piccy coz......I HATE TO MISS ANYTHING!!!!

Luv M x (suffering from sleep deprivation)!
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Geoff H » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:00 pm

SUNNYSIDE 10 (March 19th & 20th 2010).

If this was the last Sunnyside event, then it was a corker, to end what has been a brilliant ride. Both Friday and Saturday evenings were packed with some wonderful music, from an array of great artists. Add to that, the friendliest group of people you could imagine, and you’ll get some idea of just what Harry’s Baby has achieved.

For Judith and myself, the journey to Northampton was uneventful and our Sat Nav (Gladys) directed us straight to the hotel. The first people we met were our old friends, John & Mags Cummings, as we tried to sign in for our rooms. The young lady behind the desk couldn’t find either of our names on the booking sheets but a call to the manager soon sorted things out. After a unpacking our case, we ventured back into the hotel to find Rob & Chris Dee, Johnny Storme and his wife, Diane, Henry Swindells, Katie and Alan, and Steven Sinclair, relaxing in the “meeting room”. Rob sang us a couple of songs and then gave the microphone to a new face, who, was introduced as Little Elvis. A few more people turned up to chat, while Rob played us some 60’s music in the background.

After a shower and change of clothes, Judith and I ate a hearty meal in the carvery and then returned to a packed meeting room. I can’t remember who was singing when we got there, but we sat in the company of another Alan & his wife, Linda C & Sally, and Kenny & Rita McIntyre. Later we were joined by John Stack and his wife. Various people got up to sing a song or two to keep us entertained but, possibly the most memorable was the return of Little Elvis, who sang a never to be forgotten version of the Elvis classic, “One Night”. Other new friends to take the stage included Dave Wilcox and Paul Ritchie, both impressing us with their vocals. Unlike last year, when my nerves got the better of me, as soon as Rob Dee asked me to sing, I was out of my seat and heading for the microphone. I was going to start off with “24 Hours From Tulsa” but, for whatever reason, I heard myself telling Rob that I was going to sing “I Only Want To Be With You”. That turned out to be a good move because, from the off, I could see people singing and clapping along. My second song was The Beatles’ hit “All My Loving” and I really enjoyed singing that one. Creeping Bentgrass played quite a number of songs in their inimitable style and towards the end of the night Dean & Jane Hubert sang two great songs together.

Saturday greeted us with rain as we made our way across to the hotel for breakfast. There were a few tired people in the hotel lounge that morning, but Harry kept us smiling by providing Sounds of the Sixties on his radio.

The main event at the Sunnyside was due to begin at 5pm, but some people were there just after 1pm – obviously wanting to make sure of a good seat. As with the previous night, Cathy and Jean were busy running the raffle, while they were ably assisted by members of the Homan family. Maureen manned the BillyFury.com merchandise table, while both Billy fan clubs sold various related items. Judith and I arrived a little after 4pm and I began to set up my guitar and music podium. We found good seats, right at the front of the room, along with the McIntyre’s, Lynda C, Sally, and Margaret Dewick.

Harry welcomed everyone to the Sunnyside, then it was up to my old friend Dave Jay to compare, and introduce the first act of the night, John Stack. Guitarist, John played a set of lesser known Billy songs, warming the audience up with numbers such as “Am I Blue”. Everyone was, then, surprised as Harry took the microphone again to announce the arrival of a special guest, none other than Billy’s mum, Jean. It, honestly, felt like royalty had arrived. Vic England, had driven Jean from Liverpool to be with us and her arrival brought big smiles to many faces.

Next up, was Paul Ritchie who stood in at the last minute for the ill Roger Sea. Hailing from Birmingham, Paul treated us to songs such as “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and “Great Balls of Fire”. Dave Wilcox was next to take to the stage and, although quite nervous, managed to get everyone singing along to his rendition of “Nobody’s Child”. I only met Snowy for the first time last year, but he’s got quite a stage presence. The flowing locks and long dress coat give him quite an appearance. Last year, he rocked things up a bit, but this year, his set was more laid back, with songs such as “Everyday” and “Tell Laura I Love Her”.

With Dave Jay managing the artists, and Colin Paul and Rob Dee mastering the sound system, there was time for an extra artist to be added for one song. The exuberant Little Elvis (aka Mark) bounded onto the stage to sing his version of “Teddy Bear”. The only way to follow him was with a class act, and that came in the shape of Dean Hubert. Judith and I met up with Dean and Jane last year, and we’ve kept in contact ever since. He has a smashing voice and included songs from his Billy show, including “Last Night Was Made For Love” and “I Love How You Love Me”. Singing for the first time in five years, was Laura, along with her sister Emily. Nervous or not, the twosome soon got back into the swing of things, entertaining us with a medley, plus Shakin’ Stevens’ “Give Me Your Heart Tonight”.

Dave Jay, missed last year’s event, but was back on form this time – not only comparing, but – singing in his laid back style, songs like “Penny Arcade”. Then it was my turn. I tell you, as an artist, there’s nothing better than to see the audience singing along with you, and that’s just what happened with “When My Little Girl Is Smiling”. That gave me a lot of confidence and, by the time I was singing my last song, “Daydream Believer”, I was having a ball. Thanks to everyone who spoke to me afterwards commenting on my performance.

Dave and John, aka Creeping Bentgrass, took to the stage after me, and treated us to some more hits from the sixties, such as “Every Time You Walk Into the Room” and “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”. The duo have a real easy listening style, and compliment each other well. That meant, the final act before the raffle and auction was Rob Dee – Mr Tribute Himself. I’ve known Rob for seven years now and a nicer fellow you couldn’t wish to meet. When he goes on stage, his personality comes through with ease, and fans of Billy were treated to “Cross My Heart”, “Sleepless Nights”, “Play It Cool”, and “I Think You’re Swell”, to name but a few.

The last new artist on this year’s list was Michelle Gibson. It was nice to hear a female vocalist and, dressed in a lovely red dress, she kept the party mood going with “I’m Hurt” and “Speak to Me Pretty”.

And, so, it was time for Colin Paul and the Persuaders to come to the stage and play. Like Rob Dee, I’d first met Colin at Newark in 2003. Because I’d previously seen him on stage in Blackpool a couple of years earlier I was a little in awe of him but, within five minutes of meeting him, he made me feel right at home. Colin and the band are superb at what they do. Each musician knows exactly what they’re doing and provided the perfect backing to Colin’s vocals. I’m not sure how many songs they sang but they had people dancing from very early on with their set of rock n roll numbers. During the break, Billy’s mum had been presented with some flowers and she was very moved as she told us how delighted she was to be with us all. Those gathered were even more delighted when, at Colin’s request, Jean joined him on stage to sing “In Thoughts Of You”. It was a very moving occasion and I’m sure that there were a few tears being shed in the audience. And, just to round things off, everyone joined in to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jean who was 89 on the 25th.

To all the artists I’ve had the pleasure of performing with over the years, it’s been great. To all the friends we’ve made, thank you for being such good friends. To Harry, thank you for making it all possible. And to Maureen……thank you for supporting Harry. Behind every man…….. Here’s to the next time, whenever, wherever.
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Moya. T.B.F.F.C. » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:12 pm

FANtastic report Geoff. XXX & also for keeping me posted during the event. I can't wait to get the video.
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Harry » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:31 pm

Many thanks for this Geoff.

Rob has kindly sent me some pics, and we have somethat we took ourselves.

I'm going to start a running report on the Sunnyside 10 page, to which I shall add your report and any others (and pics) that I receive.
Just direct your feet to the Sunnyside of the street.
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby kevin » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:00 pm

Congratulations once again and thank you Harry for a superb weekend.
Those who sadly couldn't make it really missed out.
The Friday night at The Innkeepers Lodge was memorable - just like one big family get together with some excellent artists who all entered into the spirit of the occasion.
The Saturday show exceeded all expectations.
All the artists contributed superbly - Colin Pauls new line up was absolutely superb & Rob Dee just gets better and better. It is fair to say that most artists in clubland are influenced by Elvis and when they perform Billy tracks you can hear that influence. However, Rob is first and foremost a Billy fan and sings Billys songs without the Elvis overtones - well done Rob!

For my part it was such a relief that Laura (with kid sister Emily) managed to perform so superbly after 5 years absence.
They put all of the harmonies together by themselves without any input whatsoever from me.
Laura has had such a bad time with ill health and really deserves for things to improve.
Thank you to everyone who gave Laura & Emily such a warm reception.
Kevin
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Jean » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:29 pm

A great report Geoff - thanks.

And let's hope it's not the last Sunnyside!!

xxx
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby snowy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:44 pm

We had a wonderful time meeting up with people and watching the great entertainers. there was some fabulous singers doing there stuff for us all..thanks Geoff for the description "long flowing locks" ha ha!.. glad you enjoyed my set.
Really nice to see Billys mum there, Pat enjoyed chatting with her as her gran used to live in the same street as Jean.
Unfortunately we couldn't stay to the end, Pat is recovering from pneumonia and gets very tired and weak after a while.
Hope there will be another next year...
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Frankie B » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:45 pm

First time at sunnyside hope it wont be the last fantastic show great friday jam session rob dee fantasic every body made my wife and me a great week-end .............
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby eternity » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:00 pm

hi i would like to thank veryone i meet at sunnyside i was treated as if you all new me all my life.what a fantastic evening.took some nice pics music was fab meet rob jan cathy harry jean and so many more.the highlight of my night was billys mum allowed me to have my photo with her which i will treasure it .for ever.it came out great i must say when mrs w sang in thoughts of you i was all choked up it was so emotional the great lady was awsome.i now know what ive been missing . many thanks to harry and his wife and to all my new friends mavis loved it to. the thoughts i came away with are we loved billy back then and we all still love him now and nothing will ever change that.mike roche
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby bispham2 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:00 pm

We bundled keyboard, guitar, bag of cables, microphone stands into the car boot and then took it all out again to get the suitcase in before setting off to pick up David and Jeannie. All the stuff had to come out again whilst we rearranged the jigsaw in the boot and then we were off, throwing money with wild abandon and using the M6 toll road to save a bit of time, then stopping at the services to use it up again... The sandwiches we had brought from home went down better with a few chips and then we were off again towards Northampton.

One of the first people we met was Dave Jay. We'd spoken on the phone many moons ago but it was the first time we'd met. We found a few people in the function room, but Harry was getting nervous as Rob was running late and couldn't be contacted. He needn't have worried as Rob and Chris had been sitting in the car listening to a horse called "A Thousand Stars" romping home at 20 to 1!!! "I should have had money on it!" said Rob.

We set up the gear and played a couple of songs to practice then Miss Franny and Jeannie firmly grasped our ears and led us off to the restaurant. Fed and watered we changed, David and I into matching red shirts. "We look like we've had the operation to separate us and are too tight to buy new shirts..." I said.

Harry had asked us to prepare an hour's set for the Friday night and we sat watching the other artists, loving every minute, but hearing many of the songs we had planned on singing. During one of the breaks I swapped a few files about on the keyboard so we wouldn't play all duplicates! Colin Paul sat next to us and said "I can't wait to hear you two!" "Why?" I asked. "I've heard so much about you!" he said. Well it isn't true Colin, it was an accident and anyway we were miles away...

There were a few singers we hadn't heard before. Last year was our first Sunnyside anyway, but this year we were impressed by the standards set but when we came out the audience were nicely warmed up and immediately started to sing along. Whether this was to drown us out or just because they were enjoying themselves wasn't clear...

We played a somewhat eclectic mix... I'd bet no-one has ever played Justin Hayward's Forever Autumn at Sunnyside before but it seemed to go down well! Then we got into a run of Billy songs, When Will You Say I Love You, Like I've Never Been Gone, Somebody Else's Girl, A Thousand Stars, King For Tonight, and the first public airing of a new arrangement of I'm Lost Without You.

At some point Rob Dee slapped a couple of wigs on our heads. By heck, I came over all nostalgic... Looking at the photos we look complete prats, but perhaps that's an improvement!

Image

The following day we were at Sunnyside early and had lunch there. Very good it was too. We set up the gear, did a sound check and then sat down to enjoy the singers. Harry dropped the wonderful bombshell that Jean Wycherley was here. We all stood to welcome here. Paul Ritchie had the unenviable task of singing in front of her first, but handled it with what appeared to be ease and confidence.

Our slot came closer and we got changed into black suits, black shirts and sequinned cerise ties... The things I do... David and I went together into the disabled toilet to get changed - God knows what anyone outside might have thought, there was a great deal of hilarity ...

The ties looked as though our tongues were hanging out but across the room Jean Wycherley had noticed us and gave me a nod of approval - or perhaps she was laughing, I'm not sure...

There wasn't a single ropey act that evening and we were following Geoff Howlett so we knew we had to be good. Well, perhaps next year then... We played 4 Billys and a couple of other songs, David cracked a joke about The Night Has 1000 Eyes being about speed cameras. Well that's because late one night we were coming home from a gig at which he'd drunk a fair amount of liquid and I had to stop so he could relieve himself at the side of the road. I stopped next to a gatso and was dying for a speeding car to come past but... alas. Heh heh!

6 songs, 20 minutes, it is amazing how fast that goes. We came off and enjoyed the last few acts.

What a superb headlining act in Colin Paul and The Persuaders. Total class. Jean sang In Thoughts of You, Jean Todd, Cathy and Jan grabbed me for a dance. We had an absolute ball.

Others have said what a great weekend it was and I absolutely agree. Ours wasn't over yet because once we got back to the hotel we ended up all four of us in our bedroom with a huge bag of chocolate and a bottle of cava plus the remains of a bottle of wine that Miss Franny and Jeannie had been glugging all night. It still had some in because it wasn't the first...

David half opened the bottle of bubbly then stood it on the window sill whilst he helped jeannie take her boots off. Whilst this was going on the cork shot from the bottle with a sound louder than a sonic boom. It was gone midnight so sorry anyone who thought their time had come...

Image

Have I already said this? A brilliant weekend with friends old and new and some excellent entertainment.
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby stratobuddy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:10 pm

I am hoping that Katie will write something eventually, but she has been off the internet for nearly 2 weeks now with a landline problem. :(
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Re: SUNNYSIDE It's all over now

Postby Linda C » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:50 am

Thankyou Geoff and John for your great reviews. I am so glad you are there to put the words together as I am useless.

I would like to thank everyone who made the weekend so special for me, you know who you are. The music just gets better every year as do the singers. I am so proud of you all.

Harry, there are not enough words to thank you for all the work that you have put in to arrange Sunnyside for us. Thankyou. I pray in a few months time when the problems seem a distant memory that you will think "it was so good, lets do it all again".

A special thanks for all the hugs, I loved them all.

Warmest love to everyone xx
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