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Peter Cowap Music Festival 2010

Read a candid interview with Danny Hardman, one of the events organisers, who explains the reasons behind the somewhat controversial move this year from the Boar's Head to the new Arena along with some of the trials and tribulations encountered and overcome to get it all off the ground. Click here.

The Peter Cowap Music Festival

A review by Middletonia

Middleton Arena Once again, I attended the annual Peter Cowap tribute event. This years was quite special due to a major change of venue. Once known as "Dusting of the Plaque" at the Olde Boar's Head, sheer numbers attending this popular event forced organisers to consider this rather controversial move to the newly built Middleton Arena, along with a new name, The Peter Cowap Music Festival.

The 'Boar's' (Pete's local) was initially the ideal place to display Pete's plaque and hold the "Dusting" event which was a fairly intimate affair in this ancient hostelry full of character with all its nooks and crannys. The move to this large ultra-modern facility was going from one extreme to another and concerns were expressed that the ambience would be lost. However, it was no longer working at the Boar's with each yearly event attracting more visitors. Organisers were left with little choice but to go ahead with the move and nobody really knew what to expect until it happened. After months of somewhat stressful organising with many obstacles to overcome, the afternoon event went ahead as planned on Sunday 2nd May with very few hicc-ups and near enough on schedule throughout the day.

Random Harvest The need for tickets was also new for health and safety reasons, even though they were still free. The initial 300 soon went up to 400 due to demand but there was talk only a day before the event of people still unable to have obtained one. I myself didn't get the ones I had reserved until a couple of days beforehand making it a bit of a last minute rush to get them to people in time. This is really the only thing that I think could be organised better next year with some clearer system in place. Understandably, organisers didn't want tickets 'wasted' on people who might not even bother to turn up when others were desperate to go, but this resulted in them becoming a bit like gold-dust! A possible solution is to ask the public to send a stamped addressed envelope to an organisers address, a temporary PO Box or to the Arena itself. People seriously wanting to attend will not mind paying for a stamp to secure their ticket. There could perhaps be an email address made available for enquiries as this is a quick and cheap way to communicate considering most people are online these days or can get access.

Having not yet been to an event of this kind at the Arena, I was a little unsure what to expect and also guilty of wondering if it would be the same. I had a concern that it would all feel so formal compared to the relaxed atmosphere of the Boar's. Would we all be seated in rows like the cinema or theatre, unable to move until a suitable break? Worst still, being a smoker (and there are still a few of us despite the stigma we have to suffer!) once we had handed our ticket in, would we be able to leave the building at all for nicotine fix intervals and be able to get back in?

A relaxed environment Well I must say I was pleasantly relieved! The guys on the door didn't take our tickets so we could wander in and out as we pleased knowing we could produce the ticket again if asked. Inside the main hall, round tables were dotted about creating a relaxed and sociable air. You could choose here, the balcony area, another smaller lounge area with its own bar where other bands performed a little quieter, largely acoustic sets away from the main stage, or wander round them all as you pleased.

No shortage of seats this year Although the event is still largely catering for the slightly older generation (as a lot of the bands were formed back in the 60's just like Pete's), some younger bands contributed and the organisers aim is to encourage younger talent as well as audience to secure the future success of the event to keep both Pete's memory and music itself alive in Middleton. This years was a mix of various genres from classic rock & roll, contemporary rock, blues, soul and folk rock, in short something to suit everyone and although you had to shout in conversation, it wasn't deafeningly too loud. The MC's between acts were witty and entertaining and a host of images old and new relating to Peter, the bands and others involved were projected to the backdrop of the stage throughout the show.

Roy 'Tiddy' Gibbs and Powerhouse I didn't arrive until around 2.15 but witnessed some very talented musicians. Richard Leicester did a fantastic job fronting the older members of Random Harvest covering favourite Eagles tracks for a sixteen-year-old! Regulars Tony Auton and Victor Brox transfixed the audience and John Firth's 'drum moment' during the latter went down particularly well to a cheering crowd. I have to say though without a doubt that final act Powerhouse' frontman Roy 'Tiddy' Gibbs stole the show! Even in his 'slightly advanced' years, boy can he move, sing and entertain. He had the dance-floor packed with a selection of popular classics. Even if it's not usually your type of music, he sure had you feeling like it was! What a performance and climax to an excellent day.

It was noted that there was only one female artist performing, Israeli singer Mor Shapira. Organiser Phil Moore said that although it wasn't intentional, he appreciates it is an imbalance and something they need to address next year so organisers will be appealing for more female talent for the next event.

On the whole, I have to agree with the organisers that the day was a huge success, a credit to them and reward for all the hard work put in to make it happen. The decision to move to the Arena is not one to regret. It is rare we have anything like this in Middleton and even if music and live bands isn't your thing, I would recommend it as an event worth seeing....certainly something different!

Can I book my tickets for next year yet?


The event raised £832 for Francis House Children's Hospice, the chosen charity of the organisers.

The organisers would like to thank Middleton Township, Link4Life, Arena manager Graham Duckworth, Middleton Guardian, Middleton Civic Association, Barr Construction, Wigwam Acoustics, RH Brown Electrical Services Ltd and Total Displays & Interiors without all of whom the event might not have happened.

Also thanks to Barr, McBride, Concept Metal Products Ltd and Crown Windows for their kind donations to Francis House.

PCMF organisers are Graham Cooke, Roy Costigan, John Firth, Danny Hardman, Brian Leicester and Phil Moore.
06.05.10



More pictures courtesy of Danny Hardman, Roy Costigan and Middletonia

In-Con-Dite
In-Con-Dite


Tony Kennedy's Slapheads
Tony Kennedy's Slapheads


The Arena
The Arena


Mor Shapira and John Tapp
Mor Shapira and John Tapp


Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages


Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages


John Tapp Richard Leicester
John Tapp and Richard Leicester


Random Harvest
Random Harvest


Non Profit Organisation
Non Profit Organisation


String Theory
String Theory


String Theory
String Theory


String Theory
String Theory


Toms Rigg
Toms Rigg


The Cherry Hintons
The Cherry Hintons


Johnny Sax and Tin Tin
Johnny Sax and Tin Tin


Johnny Sax and Tin Tin
Johnny Sax and Tin Tin


The Victor Brox Band
The Victor Brox Band


The Victor Brox Band
The Victor Brox Band


The Victor Brox Band
The Victor Brox Band


Victor Brox The Tony Auton Band
Victor Brox and The Tony Auton Band


The Tony Auton Band
The Tony Auton Band


The Tony Auton Band
The Tony Auton Band


The Tony Auton Band
The Tony Auton Band


Tony Valente and Fred Fielder MBE
Tony Valente and Fred Fielder MBE


Powerhouse
Powerhouse


Powerhouse
Powerhouse


The Dusting of the Plaque 2009. Click here for a review.

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