Art and Music for Bhopal in Reading

Jo Dennis’s Donald Trump & Theresa May cruet set

Social Club is an amalgam of musicians formed from a group of reunited school mates, augmented by a bunch of more recent friends, playing a range of lively blues, rock & roll, folk and Americana. After having played a Bhopal benefit, last November, Social Club were inspired to host a fundraiser of their own at the South Street Arts Centre in Reading.

Social Club’s Ian Dennis worked tirelessly, over the last six months, to secure a venue, and venue sponsors, and pulled plenty of strings to put together a storming line-up including nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians. One Social Club member even jetted in from Dubai for the gig!

The night opened with a highly talented youngster, Tommy Lindsell, playing a couple of excellent covers along with one of his own compositions. After that, The Bacuma Boys brought to the table a series of excellent acoustic covers of music, mostly from the 1920s.

A stunning performance from Simon Mayor and Hilary James followed. Their eclectic set included the use of a wide variety of instruments, including a ‘mando bass’ (an acoustic bass mandolin)!

Social Club (Steve and Peter Bowler, Ian Dennis, Alan Falkingham, David Galley, Heather Lawn and Andrew Milburn) rounded off the evening in still-sweltering heat with a wonderful set of rousing anthems.

The art raffle drew plenty of interest, although there were suspicions of rigging when the band kept winning! Thankfully, or maybe not so in their case, the master of ceremonies was having none of it and kept redrawing to find a winning ticket from the audience! However, after it was put to the vote, Steve was allowed (by a majority of 52 to 48) to keep Jo Dennis’s Donald Trump & Theresa May cruet set – fitting reward in view of the themes of his song ‘Nightmare’ #itsacruetworldwelivein

Our thanks go to all involved, especially Ian Dennis for spearheading this terrific fundraiser, John Luther and his team at South Street Arts who made everybody really welcome and provided superb sound and lighting, along with the many artists and musicians who donated their time to perform or their artworks for the raffle.

These events mean a great deal to us at the BMA since we’re almost totally reliant on the donations of our supporters and it’s an enormous morale booster when anybody goes the extra mile like this. We are always on hand to offer help and support with any awareness or fundraising endeavour so do please feel free to get in touch if you’ve been inspired by Social Club’s effort.

Watch Social Club perform ‘Nightmare’ here: CLICK



Girl with candle Bhopal

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