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Live music tour will raise money for village halls

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | Mid Wales entertainment | Published:

A dance band is planning to roll back the years and raise money for village and community halls with a special tour of the region.

Some of the members of the band

The Big Magic Dance Band is a 10-piece group of musicians, including four from Llanfyllin, which is teaming up with the venues to bring live music back to the towns and villages.

Singer and guitarist, Eddy Gartry said the aim of the tour is to raise money for the halls whilst creating a memorable night out. The band, which has a large saxophone section, keyboards, guitars and drums hopes to play every Saturday night until Christmas.

He said that presenting most genres of dance hall music from the 50's to the present, each night would also feature a very special guest, virtuoso musician or singer and a DJ.

"Most local senior citizens can enthuse about the great times they had at their local village dance halls, back in their youth," he said.

"In the past, there'd be regular Saturday night dances in the village halls, featuring any one of the many jazz or rock and roll bands that would perform there. People took pride in their dance floors too, they were sometimes expensively 'sprung' to make dancing

easier. They'd be cleaned and polished regularly.

"Amateur dramatics were more commonplace back then too, as were pantomimes, children's entertainments and specialist hobby clubs.

"Since those heydays however, some of our local town and village halls have all seen a lot less action, some even falling into disrepair."

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Mr Gartry said the response to the idea has been very encouraging.

"It begins on September 7 at Llanfair Caereinion Institute, Wattlesborough on September 14 and Oswestry Memorial Hall on September 28. The band will be at Priest Weston on October 5 and Montgomery on October 26.

"The band will visit Welshpool Town Hall on November 23 and will end its tour on December 21 at Berriew Community Centre. People are encouraged to book their tickets early as Welshpool Town Hall is almost sold out already."

Although a large number of village halls have been booked the band would still like to hear from any village hall organisers who would like to bring their local community together for a dance. Those interested can call 07966148448 to arrange a meeting.

Tickets for the dances can be reserved by e mailing w.gartry@hotmail.com or telephoning the number. Some are available at village stores and cost £8 in advance or £10 on the door.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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