With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

A Night To Remember – Barbican, York – Thursday 8th September 2022 October 5, 2022

This is the second time I have attended this incredible charity spectacle pulled together by the immensely talented and magnificently caring Big Ian from the York band HUGE. The event has been running for quite a few years now, although not during Covid, pretty much like everything else. The show is a proper old-school music revue with many artists taking vocal and instrumental duties throughout the evening and all giving their time for free in aid of some fantastic charities. Some of those benefiting are St. Leonard’s Hospice, Dementia Projects In York, and Bereaved Children’s Support in York among others.

The ensemble cast included a huge (at least 30 players) band led by George Hall with the whole evening being hosted warmly and skilfully by Big Ian. Given the news that had just hit he kicked it all off with a minute of silence for Queen Elizabeth on her passing. Singers and musicians performing on the night were Jess Steel, Heather Findlay, Beth McCarthy, Graham Hodge, Daniel Lucas (a.k.a Boss Caine), The Y Street Band, Gary Stewart, Simon Snaize, Annie Donaghy, Kieran O’Malley, Las Vegas Ken, musicians from York Music Forum and the Singing for All Choir led by Jessa Liversidge.

There were some great moments and particular highlights for me were; Big Ian leading the band through Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” at the start. Dan Lucas, backed by a great band, taking a walk through Dire Straits’ hit “Walk Of Life”. Heather Findlay sang a very strong rendition of the Kate Bush classic, “Babooshka”. Graham Hodge was supported beautifully by Kieran O’Malley on a sublime take on “Always On My Mind”. Simon Snaize preformed a rousing “Maggie May”. Gary Stewart’s 250 Ways To Leave Your Lover” was bloody good. The performance of the Bill Wither’s classic “Lean On Me” by George Hall left me emotionally drained, but in a good way. The night closed with a full on audience sing along for the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” followed by a thumping version of “Chain Reaction”. The latter is not one of my favourite songs, but Jess Steel poured her heart and soul into it and no one in the audience could resist sing and dancing along, including me! A fantastic show for some great causes, truly a night to remember!

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A Night To Remember – York Barbican – Saturday 3rd March March 10, 2018

As the oft used recent phrase says ‘some heroes don’t wear capes’; Ian Donaghy a.k.a Big Ian is one of those heroes. He is the man behind the excellent musical variety gig ‘A Night To Remember’ in York. It has just entered its fifth year with an incredibly emotional and fun show last Saturday, 3rd March. OK so why is Ian a hero for putting on shows like this, because he does it to support some amazing local charities and since 2014 his initiative and passion have helped to raise more than £100,000 for some very worthy causes; St.Leonards Hospice, Dementia Projects in York, Bereaved Children Support York & Accessible Arts & Media. All the very talented roster of artists gave their time for free for yet another sell out show. I have no idea why Mr Donaghey is called Big Ian but it is certainly clear that he is a man with a really big heart.

Artists who gave some excellent cover versions on the night included Heather Findlay, Jess Steel, Chris Helme (off of the Seahorses), Graham Hodge, Boss Caine,  Beth McCarthy, Annie D, Kieran O’Malley, These Jaded Streets and the inimitable Las Vegas Ken. Backing them all was a superb band of musicians led by George Hall. Big Ian was a fabulous host on the night and he also gave us some top tunes himself. He had us all loudly singing along at the end of the evening to the Joe Cocker arrangement of “With A Little Help From My Friends“, but for me Ian knocked the ball out of the park with a stunningly soulful take on Rag ‘n’ Bone Man‘s “Human”. The night was kicked off with a rather amusing and very supportive video from Ricky Wilson off of the Kaiser Chiefs there was another brilliant video later from DIY SOS kingpin Nick Knowles. That one certainly had a number of the women around me swooning. But the best videos were from people who will benefit directly from the money raised; the Bereaved Children Support Group told us all about the impact made on their lives by the group’s founder Jo Cole. “I Just Love Maltesers” helped explain how we should treat people living with dementia, through what was an amusing and very emotional clip.

Jess Steel put on her full Dusty Springfield vocals for a storming “Son Of A Preacher Man” and Ian’s daughter Annie showed her vocals could one day be a great match for her Dad’s with “This Is Me” from the current film ‘The Greatest Showman’. Boss Caine a.k.a. the very talented Dan Lucas interpreted two classic songs in a way that only he could. His “Tiny Dancer” was a great cover of a truly great song. Elton would have been very happy with that. Chris Helme was joined by Alan Leach off of Shed Seven on Drum’s for a chilled out sing along of “Que Sera Sera” and an electrifying “Never Tear Us Apart”, the INXS song. Chris Leach’s daughter was playing keyboards for them. We were also treated to a couple of songs from Archbishop Holgate’s School‘s production of ‘School Of Rock’. This had been postponed at the school by the snow, so Big Ian gave these lads and lasses a great opportunity to play to a massive crowd. Those kids took it well, I particularly enjoyed “Stick It To The Man”. Then of course how could Las Vegas Ken’s rendition of “My Old Man’s A Dustman” failed to have got you singing and dancing? I hurt my throat hollering that chorus. But my personal favourite highlight, and it was a close thing with so many excellent artists performing, was These Jaded Streets epic remodelling of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”.

If you couldn’t make it on the night it is not too late to contribute to these fantastic causes, just click here and give whatever you can as Big Ian himself said on the night, don’t have that takeaway, give the pizza a miss and give a few quid here!



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