Baker-Johnson has produced a three-hour video of the event, which he is
offering for £10, including postage, with all profits being donated to
our charity appeal. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
for payment instructions. This link
will provide 38 minutes of highlights, edited from Bruce's video, of
Saturday night's show.
cast on Saturday night (in order of appearance)
Pierre Petrou (MC)
Vince Eager and Rockola
Staines kindly hosted the Friday night jam session, for which he also
provided PA equipment.
Thanks to Cathy Homann's daughter Jo and granddaughters Sophie,
Catherine and Shannon for organising
the raffle on Saturday, Ken Darvell for running the door on
Saturday, Maureen for selling billyfury.com merchandise, and Chris Eley
for running the auction.
were greatly assisted by manager Marie Yates and staff at the Sunnyside
and Debra and staff at the Innkeepers Lodge Northampton
to Chris for his kind gift of a framed photograph of Billy's appearance
at the Sunnyside - I've decided that the most appropriate course is for
me to bring it to every future event in Northampton - and to Paul for
presenting me with a guitar signed by all of the performers.
those who have visited out little flat will have discovered, we have
very little room to store anything. After I had spent a couple of
months showing the guitar to my family and friends, I donated it to our
local hospice, St Catherine's, for auction for their funds. I trust that
everyone will understand.**
from Mrs Jean Wycherley
The last time I was at
Sunnyside was in December 1982 watching Billy give a wonderful
performance which I assume you have all heard as, fortunately, it was
How well I can still
remember that night. I remember thinking that Billy's popularity never
declined despite his semi-retirement. His fans still adored him and
packed this room. They were as loyal then as they were in the sixties
and still remain to this day.
The high standard of his
performance, singing many of his hits inter-woven with some more recent
recordings was as good as it ever was. It is still hard to believe
seeing him on that night, that this was to be one of his last ever
I am delighted that so many of you have travelled here this evening to
attend the last tribute event at Sunnyside. My thanks go to Harry
Whitehouse for organising this evening and to all the tribute artists
keeping Billy's memory and music alive twenty-seven years on.
I had intended to surprise you all tonight be attending this nostalgic
and somewhat sad event. However, the date coincides with my grandson's
birthday as he resides abroad, it is not possible for me to attend both
occasions. I would have enjoyed meeting you all and joining everyone for
this special evening. I am sure you will all have a wonderful evening
and I will think of you all as I enjoy my family's birthday
I send my love to you all and thank you for keeping my son close to your
hearts as he always is in mine.
Albie spoke to me on the telephone, expressed his regret at being unable
to attend and sent his good wishes.
Pictures by Bruce
Baker-Johnson, Dean Hubert,
Rob Dee, Maureen Whitehouse, Mags Cummings, Cathy Homann, Rita Adderley,
Pat James, Bruce Seaton, Margaret Dewick, Babs Hughes, Alan Woodham. Many thanks
for your assistance
don't think anyone would argue that this was our most successful
Sunnyside event to date.
sold out two weeks in advance, and turned down more than 100 requests
for tickets from local people.
major change was the use of a base hotel - the Innkeeper's Lodge
Northampton East - where many guests stayed, and where the jam session
was held on Friday afternoon and evening in a meeting room reserved for
who stayed for the entire weekend had a brilliant time, most of them
paying less than £80 for three nights' bed and breakfast accommodation
for two people for three nights in a good hotel, and enjoying a carvery
meal for a fiver.
entertainment was superb and the company was truly wonderful.
the Friday evening jam session, and the
main show on Saturday night were packed.
to everyone who made it such a remarkable success.
yes, of course we're going to do it again - just check out the Sunnyside
2010 page on billyfury.com and start counting down the days.
Johnny Storme writes...
Prior to Sunnyside I emailed Harry to say that I might not be
singing due to this lung problem and I cut out a few songs that I knew
I’d not be able to sing because of it. Arranged with Pauline and
Henry to convoy on the way up. Set up my new sat-nav and packed
ready for the trip.
Followed Henry’s car up to the last few miles, stopping for a bite
to eat on the way. Henry suggested we take over as we had the full
postcode entered on our sat-nav. Henry has now learnt NOT to suggest
anything! LOL! I took over the lead and we ended up at a car
“You have reached your
destination,” it said. I looked round and thought that this place
was a bit of a dive… ok, a big shower but no sleeping
Henry then informed us that it was indeed a carwash and my sat-nav
was useless. We later found out hat to get you to point B you had to
enter a correct postcode and not one that had been made up… or did
I really need glasses?
We arrived at the Innkeepers Lodge and recognised some faces from
the board along with old friends from previous Sunnyside
Memory lapsed again whilst booking in
and I thought that it was a good job I’m retiring. After settling
in we joined everyone in the room where Paul had set up his gear for
Soon we joined the long queue for the carvery and settled down to
eat. After filling ourselves we again joined everyone in the room to
listen to the talented singers.
John and David entertained for most
of the evening and they were fantastic. Christine, Rob, Bruce,
Steven, Paul, Dean’s wife and other’s I’ve forgotten names
of…. (memory going fast) also did us all proud by singing for us.
My voice faltered a bit on the
first song I did that night but Paul came to the rescue with
Christine’s request for a Furyboys song. The evening drew to a
close soon after with everyone joining in the singing to R’
After brekky we decided to have a run around in Henry’s car but
soon I became unwell and he kindly took me back to the Innkeepers.
(Before anyone asks….. I hadn’t been drinking!) After a lie down
in a dark room it was time to get ready and we arrived at the
Sunnyside a little later ready for the sound check… did we get one
guys as my memory fails me!
Now in no particular order as I have lost the list… well… put it
in a safe place.. Hurrhum!!
Christine (Ladies first)
What a fantastic voice! Your HTP was superb along with the rest of
your set. Now if only my voice was as powerful. More I say! More!
Now this guy is too good looking for my liking. And has a gold
jacket exactly like the one I used to have. Dean does a great
tribute to Billy. Another star.
Wow Jett.. You move a lot more than I do! Great Elvis and Billy
songs. Another the ladies like.
Andrew is a smooth kinda guy that carries a Billy song very well
along with other great songs on the night… Gave a few of the crowd
an eye full as he changed for the evening..errr… almost on stage!
Superb performance as usual Andrew.
Well what can I say Bruce? You got up there in front of an audience
and wowed them. Nerves got the better of you on one song but you
came through it triumphantly and excelled in all the others. I take
my hat off to you Bruce, you were fantastic. It’s very hard to get
up there and do what you did and I’m proud to be one of the
artists joining you that night.
Now Pat is another guy that can steal the hearts of the
Great set Pat. Loved the songs and what a great
Rock 'n' roll Snowy!! You could be a singer in a rock band! Some
great Elvis numbers done in your style. Loved the ballad at the end
with Sophie. Fantastic!
John and David continued from Friday, giving us a great set that
really showed off the way they entertain everyone. These guys are
Pro's and a great laugh. Keep entertaining you two!. Stunning!
Rob does a fantastic Billy Fury tribute and Saturday night was no
exception Rob. You rock.
Geoff was the warm up act this year for the headliner Vince Eager
and Rockola and what a warm up act he was. Geoff told me he was very
nervous beforehand but wow! Stunning performance.
I saved Paul until last as we have something special regarding
singing. I am in awe of Paul’s singing ability and was proud to
share a couple of songs with him. Paul is a big man with a huge
heart who makes everyone smile whenever he is around them. I was
honoured to sing with him. Thank you Paul.
The evening finished with a fantastic set from
Vince Eager and Rockola who can really belt out the old
songs. What a stunning weekend.
I'd like to thank Pierre for his
excellent compering and Harry and everyone that made this a night to
met Jean under her clock at Lime Street Station. We were both really
excited as we always are when we are going to meet up with our Billy
When we arrived at
Northampton Station Paul was just pulling up in his car having set
up his equipment for the Friday night jam session.
the usual formal hand shakes
we set off for Cathy's. Cathy was waiting for us as excited as we
were. It was so lovely to see her again.
We arrived at The Innkeepers on the Friday evening. Lots of hugs and
kisses with friends old and new then Cathy dragged Paul, Jean and
myself out of the dinner queue.
were not very pleased until we saw the reason why .........MOYA at the
bar.....it was FANTASTIC to see her. After our dinner we all went into
the room for the evening jam session which I think everyone will agree
with me was a big success and Paul was a fantastic compere.
arrived at last. We arrived at Sunnyside about 2pm so we could get a
had a meal and then caught up with all our old friends and got to know
the lovely new ones.
5pm arrived and at
long last the evening entertainment commenced - from the very first note
until the very last one each and every artist was just
There were lots of
high spots for me but one that had me fighting back the tears was when
The Furyboys started to sing- now you may not all realise this but I
quite like Johnny and Paul on their own
but together WOW words fail me they were just AMAZING.
moment was being handed a rose by our Rob- thank you Rob xxx but as I
have said before I just loved each and every one one of you, so much so
that at about 10pm I realised i'd not had any tea
or dinner to you southeners
end of the evening came and as usual we all joined hands and belted out
HTP. This always is a very special moment for me just looking round at
all the wonderful friends I have made on billyfury.com and fighting back
Sunday lunchtime Bruce, Di, Cathy, Jean, Paul and myself all went out
for lunch then back to Cathy's where we were all talking 50 to the dozen
Then the day we all dread Monday and time for tearful goodbyes. Paul set
off in his car back to Bromley and Cathy took Jean and myself back to
Northampton station. Jean and myself arrived onto the platform as the
train was just pulling in - strange that I'm usually yelling at them to
open the doors again.
Just then we
noticed Katie and Alan, well this was the icing on the cake as we all
sat together. We all waved goodbye to Cathy and had a lovely journey
until much too soon Katie and Alan had reached the station were they had
to change trains
Jean and myself
arrived back at Lime Street where I got on the train for Newton-
Le-Willows. Jean seemed to be loitering - can't think why
Back now to reality but what an absolutely perfect
weekend was had by all - oh and I mustn't forget that snog.
John Burke writes:
What a FABULOUS weekend! The Billy Fury weekend went in a blaze of
meetings, hugs, laughs, highs and great, great music.
went down to an Innkeeper's Lodge hotel in Northampton that was
more-or-less just filled with Billy fans including the wonderful Moya, a
close personal friend of Billy's who had come all the way from her
adopted home in New Zealand. Moya's a pint-sized person with a
tanker-sized personality and was such a lot of fun!
Friday afternoon we met up with some familiar faces, Harry, Maureen,
John and Diane, Bruce and Diane, Pauline and Henry, Steve Sinclair,
Katie and Alan, Rob and more! Paul had set up his gear but wasn't around
so we played a few songs to test the set-up and then invited someone
else to have a go but without Paul we weren't sure how to work the CD
and mini disc players.
We played a few more songs then - I mean our normal set runs 4 hours and
no one seemed to want to wave a large hook near us... Rob brought his
guitar out to sing a couple of songs and David and I joined in with a
few "ooh-ahh-oohs" which reduced him to laughter at one point
Moya came to sit next to me for the meal - I didn't eat all that much
for laughing actually... Ah well, get us northerners together you
know... She did very well for someone used to standing on her head...
Then lots more familiar faces - Cathy, Jean and Marie (who rushed
straight in for the snog, by 'eck, that's my kind of woman!
then Friday night was the first main gig - an informal gathering in a
packed room with many of the great artists who have sung on the Sounds
Special monthly feature on Billy Fury web site. We met up with all the
artists and the other regulars from the site's forum and it was a great
night with music from (in totally random order) Rob Dee, Bruce Seaton,
Johnny Storme, Jewel, Dean Hubert, Angus, Steve Sinclair, Jane, Pat
James, Paul Staines, Snowy, Phil Jennings plus David and myself.
Paul and Johnny, dubbed The Fury Boys by the female members of the
forum, (The Fury Girls...) did a fantastic duet together and set hearts
fluttering all round the room judging by the reactions!
Then it was the turn of The Fury Girls themselves at the end of the
night to gather to sing "Fans of Billy Fury" to the tune of
"Land of Hope & Glory", whilst I desperately tried to keep
up accompaniment on the keyboards! A big thank you to all those ladies
who turned to me and started humming the fast bit after you stopped
singing - I was on a keyboard, not the Halle Orchestra... Honestly, talk
We ended with all the singers up for a rousing rendition of Billy's most
famous hit Halfway To Paradise. I'd offered to do the backing but with
so many singers they were soon dragging way behind the keyboard so I
carried on with just the guitar - it didn't matter a bit as we were just
enjoying ourselves far too much to care.
such a great night there wasn't much chance of sleep until we had wound
down a bit and a bottle of wine in the room with David and Jeannie
brought the night to a close and David and Jeannie went back to their
own room and we collapsed like a light switched off.
Saturday was the main event at the Sunnyside club where Billy had given
his last stage performance. The singers were joined by Jett Scream,
Geoff Howlett and Andrew Tween.
Out of 14 acts we were chuffed to find ourselves only 4th from the top
of the bill, which was topped by Billy's ex-flatmate Vince Eager with
his band Rockola. I strongly suspect talent had nothing to do with our
placement but I can dream...
With three hours of music before we were due to go on, there was plenty
of time for a few butterflies in the stomach and I was unbelievably
nervous as the MC, disc jockey Pierre Petrou from London's Radio
Northwick Park introduced us. But the roar that followed us as we walked
onto the stage banished the nerves. Last time I heard a roar like that
we had the whole audience behind us and only shook them off after half a
I quickly made sure the guitar was still in tune and then promptly
cocked up the intro to I'm a Believer! Not to worry, we gave what seemed
like a good set of six songs and we hadn't gone all that far before the
floor filled with dancers which is always a good
sign! And it saved the audience from actually having to look at our
Lots of people made very kind comments afterwards but we found it quite
strange and having spoken to some of the other singers we knew we
weren't alone. You grow into a gig and we felt that we had only just got
going and then our 6 songs were up and we had to come off. But enough
people said how much they had enjoyed it to make up for any regrets
about only having a 20 minute slot and the whole night was a buzz with
some really great acts!
I was grabbed to dance with Babs and then Jean and Marie and then once
more all the singers joined Vince on stage to sing "HTP" and a
really great night ended on a high.
We left on Sunday morning after doing a final round of goodbyes and
reflected on lots of new friends made and meetings with people from the
forum who I've felt I've known for so long. The proudest moment?
Probably when someone from one of the two fan clubs came to say how much
he had enjoyed my arrangement of Billy's King For Tonight which he
described as "rocked up"!
total from Sunnyside 09, to be forwarded to our official charity, Alder
Hey Children's Hospital, is £1,550.71 (and one US cent!).
have already credited an extra £30 on behalf of NMMG, which was handed
over to me at the event, but I shall be sending the balance as a cheque
for the Heart Fund this week. A scan of the cheque and the eventual
receipt will appear later.
is a very good reason for this procedure - the taxman is not going to
believe that £1,550.71 is a personal donation from me, and we don't want
to place in jeopardy the tax refunds that have already been applied to
other people's donations by doing anything questionable with this one.)
Although we had a record attendance, we could probably have sold another
100 or more tickets, thanks to late local demand, if I hadn't been
concerned about over-crowding. Each year, the headline band are
always very kind, and charge us a heavily reduced fee. I regard the
actual sum as
confidential, so I show the ticket sales figure net of fees, credit card
charges and bills. (Incidentally, someone asked me if I made the
artists' laminates - in fact, they are a professional product, made by a
firm that produces them for big name concerts and tours.)
sales less fees and bills: £529.50
Friday raffle: £ 180.21
Saturday raffle: £ 305.00
Paul's CD sales: £ 63.00
LDLMD sales: £ 48.00
Donation re HTP £
£ 1021.21 £1021.21
fourth annual (almost) event at the Sunnyside, Northampton, scene of Billy Fury's
last public performance, will be held on Saturday March 21, 2009.
act will be Vince Eager and Rockola.
we will again hold a Friday night jam session, although at a new venue..
2006 and 2007 events provided brilliant weekends.
For 2009, the
entire experience remains only £10 a head.
As usual, all
profits will be donated to the official charity of billyfury.com, the
heart fund at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool.
by badge. This 2.25-inch diameter badge names you as a
"Sunnyside 09 sponsor".
appearing to date include:
Eager and Rockola
(and in alphabetical order, subject to change)
Rob Dee (of the Fury Sound)
Pierre Petrou (MC)
The programme is as follows:
Friday March 20:
Free jam session starts at the Innkeepers Lodge, Northampton East, Talavera Way, Round
Spinney, Northampton NN3 8RN at 7.30pm.
We hope as
many people as possible will also be able to have dinner together at 6.30pm at the hotel
carvery. No booking or payment is necessary to attend the jam session, but if you wish to
have dinner, please state this when you book your Sunnyside tickets. (For
the moment, there's no guarantee that we can fit new folk in for dinner, as extra numbers are open to
discussions with the hotel. I'll do my best, of course.)
menu can be viewed here.
We have the
jam session room at the Innkeepers Lodge all afternoon, so if you're
able to arrive early on the Friday, please feel free to turn up
and socialise. Please note, however, that those staying at the hotel
cannot check into their rooms until 2pm.
Saturday March 21:
The live music will probably start no later than 5pm. The performance
area will be available for eating/socialising from 2pm.
The venue serves decent food at very reasonable prices.
We are expecting the fan clubs to have memorabilia stalls.
There will be another high quality raffle, and probably an auction or
Tickets remain at £10 each, plus £1 per order if you would like them to be posted. The "ticket" is in the form of a 58mm badge, with the words "Sunnyside 09 sponsor". If you later find you can't attend, bookings are refundable (less any Paypal commission and postage) until January 31.
Please contact me as soon as possible if you would like to perform. The only reward is your own satisfaction in singing to a wonderful audience, and an offer of your own free ticket.
There are no hotels or B&Bs within easy walking distance of the Sunnyside.
1 The Innkeepers Lodge, Northampton M1, London Road, Northampton, NN4 0TG.
The hotel where we are holding the jam session on the Friday night is now
fully booked. I am suggesting this other hotel in the same chain
because of the excellent deal available. It will also be easier to
arrange transport if as many people as possible stay together. The total cost for a room for Friday and Saturday night, including continental breakfast, is £79.90. They will take your credit/debit card details when you book,
but you will not be charged until you arrive. The booking can be cancelled at any time before 1pm on Friday 20 March. IMPORTANT: You book on the website, http://www.innkeeperslodge.com. You must book for THREE nights to get this rate. (The third night is free, and obviously, you don't have to stay for the third night.) There are only 31 rooms, so you are advised to book early.
2 Travelodge, Upton Way, Northampton NN5 4EG. £29 (room only) per night. If you book at this rate, no cancellations are allowed.
3 Hilton Hotel, Watering Lane, Collingtree, Northampton NN4 0XW. If you wait until late December, Hilton usually have a weekend break offer covering March. In past years, this has been about £109-£119 for two nights' bed and breakfast, plus dinner on the first night.
Please email me at email@example.com for any further information, or call me on 07941 219207.
TO BOOK SUNNYSIDE 09
click the button below to pay by credit/debit card, or post a cheque, payable to Peaksoft, to 5 The Wick, 37 Esplanade Gardens, Scarborough, YO11 2AW. Tickets cost £10, plus £1 per order postage.