ROCK bands from across the York area will be joining the battle against cancer next year when a major concert is staged at York’s Grand Opera House.

York Rocks Against Cancer will give the opportunity for local bands to showcase their talents to a much larger audience on a stage that many groups can only dream about appearing on, said organiser Graham Bradbury.

He said the seeds for the concert were sown about a year ago when Ian Surgenor, a member of the Guv’nors band who had recently lost a fellow musician through cancer, wanted to do something to raise money for a cancer charity.

“He knew I had organised the John Barry Concert and had many contacts for such an event,” he said. “So we got our heads together and arranged a meeting with Julie Russell, of York Against Cancer, and Lizzie Richard, general manager of the Grand Opera House, and York Rocks Against Cancer was born.

“The Guv’nors, along with The Super Models and York Turnpike Trust, will each have a 40-minute set, plus we are in negotiations with surprise guests to appear on the night.”

He said it was especially pleasing that Tony Audenshaw, Emmerdale’s Bob Hope, was giving up his time to promote the concert, which takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 15.

“Tony sings with a band, White Van Man, but because of unknown filming schedules at this time, they cannot commit to appearing, but Tony is helping and offering advice for other personalities to support York Rocks Against Cancer.”

Mr Bradbury said many people had been affected by cancer. “We aim to make this a tribute concert to those we have loved and lost, while at the same time raising money for York Against Cancer.

“We don’t have a target - but every pound we raise will be put to good use in the York area – so if we could get a near capacity audience we could raise in excess of £10,000. That all depends on the generosity of our audience – we hope that this article will prompt people to come along and support us on this inaugural concert.”