THIS yearâ€™s Will Snap Band concert has raised more than Â£6,000. The Stables at Wavendon was packed to hear the fourth annual concert by a group of Milton Keynes business people who have pooled their considerable musical talent in aid of Willen Hospice and MK Snap.
And the audience left exhilarated after another great performance from the band, which this year comprised only three of the original line-up.
But new faces keep it fresh and more arrive on stage every year, confirming the depth of musical talent lying within the workplaces of North Buckinghamshire.
The Will Snap Band, through concerts and sales of a specially recorded CD, has raised more than Â£20,000 in the last four years since coming together for the benefit of The Willen Hospice and MK SNAP. This yearâ€™s concert was sponsored by HBS.
A total of four talented vocalists displayed the full range of their talent throughout the evening but it was the musicians behind them who made the show.
Dave Wakelyâ€™s sublime guitar, John Bestâ€™s rock-steady bass, the energetic Stewart Bailey on keyboards and Paul Bell on drums gave the band a solid base on which to perform.
The band revived last yearâ€™s format, with two sets of differing styles. First, The Jazz Monkeys, led by Rich Moloney with Dave Wakely on guitar, John Best on bass and Mark Wheeler on drums, set a wistful tone with accomplished renditions of Paper Moon, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square and Secret Love.
They were joined by singers Leah Richardson and Danni Cadby (pictured) for a curiously quick version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Next, aka The Chip Shop Boys, came Stewart Bailey and Trevor Marshall. Their set took us to the 1970s and 1980s, beginning with Soft Cellâ€™s Say Hello Wave Goodbye and then a medley – which blended perfectly – of Imagine, into Oasisâ€™ Donâ€™t Look Back In Anger, into Let It Be and back to Imagine.
Stewartâ€™s piano playing was exceptional, performed with feeling and professionalism. Trevorâ€™s voice lent itself well to the repertoire, although it was a shame that he had to rely on lyric sheets for the words.
A surefire way to end the first half on a high is Robbie Williamsâ€™ Angels, which saw all the band on stage, got the audience singing and gave us a taster of what was to come.
The second half began with the Kaiser Chiefsâ€™ I Predict A Riot and soon the audience were up and dancing. Then followed songs including Dancing In The Street, Gimme Some Lovinâ€™, Knock On Wood, You Canâ€™t Hurry Love and Take Another Piece Of My Heart before drummer Paul Bell took the mike for Mustang Sally.
We were hearing the strongest male voice in the band – letâ€™s hope he sees more of the microphone next year.
Then came more classics, including 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Town Called Malice and Walking On Sunshine, a guest appearance by Pete Langford of The Barron Knights and by now most of the audience, including your reviewer, were revelling in what was a wonderful night.
This was the first Will Snap gig I had been to. I truly intend that it will not be the last. Well done, guys.
Vocals: Trevor Marshall (FM 103 Horizon); Danni Cadby (Crawford & Co); Leah Richardson (Milton Keynes General Hospital).
Guitar & vocals: Rich Moloney (Wavelength Studios).
Drums & vocals: Paul Bell (MK Pumps and Motors).
Guitar: Dave Wakely (Virtual Viewing); Tony Hulatt (CLM).
Bass guitar: John Best (Milton Keynes Council).
Keyboards: Stewart Bailey (Virtual Viewing).
Saxophone: Karen Mason (Lawyers Direct).
Drums: Mark Wheeler (Argos).
Compere: David Pibworth.