Performers Shine for Rays of Hope Concert


On Monday night the River & Rowing Museum played host to the ‘Rays of Hope’ concert in aid of the the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.  All the performers put on a fantastic show and shined for this great cause.   The concert was organised by Jayson Jaurigue, Managing Director Eight Ray Music.  Jayson who is originally from the Philippines and has family based there, felt compelled to show his support following the disaster that struck the island on November 8, when Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 4,000 people and affected an estimated 11 million others.

The evening was hosted by Jamie Bruce, a former contestant from the BBC1 TV show The Voice with local DJ Jamie Taylor spinning the discs in between the acts.  Miss Kitty’s, a modern burlesque act managed by Mollie Marriott, a Henley resident and daughter of the rock legend Steve Marriott from the Small Faces opened the show with a fast moving, high kicking, dance routine to the delight of the audience.

The acts that followed included The Revue who really got the audience going with some classic rock ‘n roll and blues songs including ‘San Francisco Bay Blues’. Local Henley singer/songwriter Megan Henwood then sang two new great songs from her forthcoming album and Etham Basden, who at just 16, performed a real passionate set of his own songs – definitely one to watch.  The Acorn Music Theatre group performed a small interlude musical play with their take on the ‘Three Little Pigs’ story and got some of audience joining in to form the three different houses!

In the second half, Brother Strut a funk-soul band featuring Stevie Jones on the saxophone who has guest appeared on Elkie Brooks’ album. Stevie formed the strutting six-piece band in 2012 with seasoned session players who between them have played on hundreds of hit records – Steve Pearce (bass), Frankie Tontoh (drums), Otha Smith (electric guitar), Melvin Duffy (electric guitar/pedal steel) and Andrew Murray (piano). They have just released their first album ‘‘First Strut Is The Deepest which was co-written with Megan Henwood.  The next band on was the Tom Michell Trio, the local blues band featuring Tom Michell on vocals and guitar, Pete Thomas on bass and Tom Sibly on drums who recently performed at the Henley Blues & Jazz Week. The final act of the night was Sean Rumsey who got through to the knock-out stage of The Voice this year and who gave a fantastic soulful end to this brilliant concert.

The event was supported and sponsored by a number of local Henley businesses including Eight Ray Music, the River & Rowing Museum, Magoos and Ri-Web.

The concert has raised just over £3,500 with more donations still coming in.  JJ said afterwards, “I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone that came and especially the acts and all the sponsors, we couldn’t have done it without them.  The money raised is going to help make a difference to start re-building the lives of the people affected by this tragedy and it’s good to be able to give something back and to know that peopole of Henley have supported this worthy cause. Thank you.”