IT was the night some of York’s most talented musicians invaded Leeds to raise the roof of the famous City Varieties Hall and bring in more than £6,000 for Cancer Research.
Organised by larger-than-life York singer “Big” Ian Donaghy, the show on Saturday attracted the cream of York talent for an acoustic show which included Emmerdale star Natalie Anderson taking to the stage to provide backing vocals.
Big Ian, famous in York as frontman of the band Huge, said: “I lost my mother to lung cancer three years ago and there were a lot of people involved in the show who have had similar experiences.
“I felt honoured to share the stage with so many top singers and musicians. I have never worked so hard for a gig in my life, but it felt phenomenal.
“I just love acoustic music. With Huge I have a nine-piece band which can blow the doors off anywhere, so this was quite a change.”
Among the line-up was Graham Hodge, Heather Findlay and Adam Dawson and Las Vegas Ken Sanderson, who Ian said “roused the crowd with a rendition of The Wild Rover”.
However “shrinking violet” Jess Morgan, a young hairdresser from York stole the show.
Ian said: “Her covers of Hopelessly Devoted To You and Jolene had her friends and family almost exploding with pride.
“In my opinion Jess has the biggest and most striking voice I have ever heard in York – and I’ve sung with Lulu.
“The crowd also sang Bring Me Sunshine for little Jamie Inglis who sadly passed away last week – a little boy who has left a lasting impression at Lord Deramore School.
“Good things happen when you involve good people. It was an honour to play in such a beautiful venue with such a great bunch of guest singers”.
Ian said he now hopes to bring the show, called The Guestlist – Sing Up To Cancer, to the Theatre Royal. The Leeds event raised £6,100.