The last convention of 2012 was no different to the previous three in that it was great entertainment, plenty of new members and a totally rewarding experience for those who took the trouble to travel to Blackpool in November. Saturday afternoon was a very good attendance with the evening and Sunday numbers rather less – but this is to be expected at this time of the year. The technical area was much better this time with the sound system and official video recorder raised on a platform, this was a great improvement on previous conventions and it is hoped that this will be the norm for the foreseeable future. The weekend actually got off to an almost tragic start when just as John Walley was about to sing the first song of the weekend, bass player and Vellum editor Tony Thornton had an hair-raising fall from the stage when his stool slipped backwards off the edge of the raised platform. Fortunately although Tony was shaken up and bruised, he was not seriously injured and with Dave Partington available to take up the bass playing role, the concert was not seriously delayed. Thankfully Tony returned to his bass duties later that afternoon and received warm applause for his spirited comeback. The entertainment was a good as ever and young new players continually show up to display their skills. Matthew Bird and Bradley Clarke made their stage debut, albeit with just the solo from ‘Windows’ but they both showed great potential and we look forward to seeing more of them in the near future. Another who gave a memorable performance was Joe Crowley who had traveled all the way from Canada to be with us. Previously his only experience of a GFS convention was via YouTube and he was delighted to be with us. A great singing voice and lovely ukulele playing ensured that we would be seeing more of Joe before the weekend was over. Neil Baxter from Wigan was another first-timer and he gave us his very own unique version of ‘In My Little Snapshot Album’ with his comedy and personality and again, he received warm applause from all around the Lancaster Suite for his efforts. Saturday evening after the film we had another young man making his debut in Stuart Lowther who continued the trend of arriving unknown and giving a great performance with his playing skill. The GFS is riding the crest of a wave with young talented players coming from all over the place. I have to pay a tribute to Matthew Richards who as our resident keyboard player, plays anything that you can think of and plays the keyboard beautifully – also when he takes to the stage with his banjo-uke, he brings the house down – a fantastic player! I could go on and on about all the great performances but suffice to say that everybody who went on stage did a great job – and I must not forget the concert organisers who ensure that the show runs so smoothly. Pamela Baddeley, Daz Barry, Dennis Mitchell and Gerry Mawdsley all did a great job, the GFS is fortunate that we have people who can man any position within the show and all are volunteers. The people at the reception, the sound engineers, the band, the comperes and the ladies in shop all contribute to make each GFS convention an unforgettable experience. We also videoed the weekend so I cannot wait to watch and replay all the wonderful performances over a very successful November weekend on DVDs that will soon be available in the GFS shop.
NOVEMBER 2012
GFS riding on the crest of a wave
The last convention of 2012 was no different to the previous three in that it was great entertainment, plenty of new members and a totally rewarding experience for those who took the trouble to travel to Blackpool in November. Saturday afternoon was a very good attendance with the evening and Sunday numbers rather less – but this is to be expected at this time of the year. The technical area was much better this time with the sound system and official video recorder raised on a platform, this was a great improvement on previous conventions and it is hoped that this will be the norm for the foreseeable future. The weekend actually got off to an almost tragic start when just as John Walley was about to sing the first song of the weekend, bass player and Vellum editor Tony Thornton had an hair-raising fall from the stage when his stool slipped backwards off the edge of the raised platform. Fortunately although Tony was shaken up and bruised, he was not seriously injured and with Dave Partington available to take up the bass playing role, the concert was not seriously delayed. Thankfully Tony returned to his bass duties later that afternoon and received warm applause for his spirited comeback. The entertainment was a good as ever and young new players continually show up to display their skills. Matthew Bird and Bradley Clarke made their stage debut, albeit with just the solo from ‘Windows’ but they both showed great potential and we look forward to seeing more of them in the near future. Another who gave a memorable performance was Joe Crowley who had traveled all the way from Canada to be with us. Previously his only experience of a GFS convention was via YouTube and he was delighted to be with us. A great singing voice and lovely ukulele playing ensured that we would be seeing more of Joe before the weekend was over. Neil Baxter from Wigan was another first-timer and he gave us his very own unique version of ‘In My Little Snapshot Album’ with his comedy and personality and again, he received warm applause from all around the Lancaster Suite for his efforts. Saturday evening after the film we had another young man making his debut in Stuart Lowther who continued the trend of arriving unknown and giving a great performance with his playing skill. The GFS is riding the crest of a wave with young talented players coming from all over the place. I have to pay a tribute to Matthew Richards who as our resident keyboard player, plays anything that you can think of and plays the keyboard beautifully – also when he takes to the stage with his banjo-uke, he brings the house down – a fantastic player! I could go on and on about all the great performances but suffice to say that everybody who went on stage did a great job – and I must not forget the concert organisers who ensure that the show runs so smoothly. Pamela Baddeley, Daz Barry, Dennis Mitchell and Gerry Mawdsley all did a great job, the GFS is fortunate that we have people who can man any position within the show and all are volunteers. The people at the reception, the sound engineers, the band, the comperes and the ladies in shop all contribute to make each GFS convention an unforgettable experience. We also videoed the weekend so I cannot wait to watch and replay all the wonderful performances over a very successful November weekend on DVDs that will soon be available in the GFS shop.
NOVEMBER 2012
GFS riding on the crest of a wave