Saturday 3rd August 2013

It’s always lovely to work so close to home and to be by the seaside so when we were asked to participate in the CLASSIC CLUB’S evening, a trip back to the 50s, 60s and 70s at the Astor Theatre in Deal we were delighted especially in aid of RNLI Walmer. Chris West was host and DJ and provided a seamless night of music encompassing all the decades.

The Astor Theatre was an Edwardian theatre saved by James and his team to create a wonderful, multi-purpose arts space providing facilities for the whole community to use. It was built in 1906 for ‘entertainments, meetings and receptions’ and was known as Stanhope Hall. In 1915 it was renames The Winter Gardens as the adjacent walled garden (now the car park) was flooded to create a skating rink during the winter months. In 1944, having served as a WVS canteen during the war, Deal’s MP. John Jacob Astor gave the theatre to the people of Deal for their ‘courage and fortitude’ during the Second World War and renamed the Astor Theatre. In 2009 the theatre was rescued from neglect and disuse by a new management group.

It was a pared down version of the usual band with no piano or trumpet but we had the pleasure of playing with local Margate bass player Dave Whitford and the trusty Simons. Simon brought along his two Dennis Cornell amps and even dug out the Echoplex for his 50s sounds.

Thanks to the lovely audience who were so attentive and quiet during our performance. The sound inside the theatre was perfect; I could hear every note. Following us was Jody South and her sounds of the 60s and then Ben Mills (X Factor) doing a mixture of 70s and carefully chosen pop hits to end the evening.

Thanks to James and his team at the Astor and to Chris West for the booking.

Head down to Deal and go and check out the space yourself. Thanks Sally for the photos; it’s always lovely to see you.