Big Weekend of music in Portsmouth for cancer charity

IN TUNE Stefikie with lead singer Steve Silk. Pictures: Paul Jacobs (13898-3)
IN TUNE Stefikie with lead singer Steve Silk. Pictures: Paul Jacobs (13898-3)

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THERE was a solid 24 hours of live music playing at a city pub this weekend.

The music marathon took place at the RMA Tavern in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

And punters paid a fiver for access to the event, which saw about three dozen acts, ranging from rock, to world music, to soul and dance, take to the stage at the pub in Cromwell Road, Eastney over Saturday and Sunday.

The event, dubbed the Big Weekend, was organised by local promoter and owner of Sweet Memories Vinyl Records store, Nick Courtney.

It came together in a bid to raise money for the charity after Nick’s mother-in-law, Moira Warr, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Nick said: ‘We did one of these about two years for my wife Denise’s dad when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

‘I wanted to do something again, this time for my mother-in-law.

‘We’ve had a massive variety of music playing, every kind of music you could think of.

‘There’s been loads of local bands, but we’ve had them coming from as far as away as Devon – a fantastic trio called Sound of Sirens.

‘I’ve been doing this kind of thing for 10 years and I put on 500 bands a year at the various nights I host, so when I asked bands to play, they were happy to help.’

Denise, from Baffins, added: ‘Mum was diagnosed late last year and she didn’t tell anyone for a couple of weeks because she was in such shock.

‘She’s had two operations to remove the lumps, and it looks like they’ve caught it before it spread. She’s been in chemotherapy, but it’s looking quite optimistic.’

The couple are also preparing to do the Brighton marathon on April 14. It will be Denise’s third – she ran in 2010 for a baby charity, two years ago for Orchid, the male cancer charity, and this year it will also be for Breast Cancer Care – but Nick’s first.

Ian Mortimer, 27, from Waterlooville, performed as Skin for a Canvas.

He said: ‘I knew Nick and my mum’s recently got through breast cancer as well, so it’s something I was keen to get involved in.

‘I’ve got a song called Victorious for people who are going through this kind of thing.’