On Stage with the Tiller Boys!
Steven and I in Arromanches!
Welcome back to my third installment when Paul and I performed on the 6th June in Arromanches for the D-Day Commemorations. Arromanches is a town I know very well as I first performed there for the 65th anniversary in 2009. I first started performing for the commemorations in 2004 when I was engaged to sing in the town
Arromanches in the Rain!
of Ver-sur- Mer. I’ve been coming back every year since in-between performing at Utah and at various venues in the American quarter.
One of things which makes Arromanches so special are the veterans in particular Len Cox who always likes to get up on stage and sing with me. I expect many of you have seen him in my photos and also on stage performing along side me in my D-Day video. These moments are very special as every year there are a few veterans less so it’s about making every moment count. This year I was given a USB stick of photos from last year by photographer Yves- Noel Jacquelin. I haven’t had a chance to go through them all yet but there are some wonderful photos and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you later on and writing to Yves to thank him. Perhaps what makes these photos so priceless is they capture a moment in time of veterans singing and enjoying the Arromanches moment and festivities.
Of course I’ve learnt from experience that the weather for D-Day can be a combination of all sorts and this year was no exception. I was booked to do two shows one at 1.00pm /1.30pm which turned into 2.00pm due to the bad weather and a evening show at 9.30pm. What can I say always pack a mack and boy did we we need it as when we arrived at Arromanches it was raining cats and dogs! Perhaps the biggest problem wasn’t the rain so much but the fact the town had rigged up a stage with no electricity. With only an hour to make the magic happen Paul sprung into life and went to the source as I got out my 50 meter cable and he ran a lead right around the car park and over a lamppost and round the barrel of a gun to make it safe for the public. Only in France and perhaps less said about that the better but the show must go on and it’s turning an impossible situation into the possible!
Coats on for my Evening Glamour Show!
Everything that day was slightly delayed due to the weather but it was thrilling to be back on stage performing for the veterans at 2pm and my friend Steven brought along his gang from Pegasus Bridge who made up my chorus line of “Tiller Boys”. In past years we would have had the veterans on stage but now it’s starting to get too much for many of them to make the stairs so the Tiller boys represented the veterans as they were back in the day which added an extra dimension to the show especially when they started to do their high kicks to “We’ll Meet Again”!
Paul on Stage Doing His Thing!
That evening Paul and I were down to do a straight through hour and a half show before the fire works but I was asked to extend it to a straight through two hours which is no problem. However when it came to it that two hour show became a straight through two and a half hour show as the fireworks were taking longer to light. I was so proud of Paul as he took over and performed a set of his own while I was selling CDs which kept the crowd entertained before the big firework display.
In my next blog I will tell you more about my final show in Port en Bessin but I must dash now as I’m off to a show and this weekend I’m performing in Aylesbury for Buckinghamshire’s Armed Forces event and I have much to do and get ready!
Keep Watching and Toodle Pip with more news to follow soon! 😉