HUNDREDS of people descended upon one of the region’s most well-known sights on Saturday night, raising thousands for sick teenagers across the North-East.
Crowds flocked to see the stars grace the stage at The Sage, Gateshead for the second annual 3 Mobile Bandstand for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT).
And although the final figures have yet to be totted up, it is hoped last year’s fundraising total of more than £50,000 has been smashed.
Stars including singer and actor Jimmy Nail, EastEnder’s Jill Halfpenny, soul sensation Ruby Turner, Roland Gift of 1980’s band The Fine Young Cannibals and TCT’s patron Roger Daltrey CBE, provided an eclectic mix of music. This was interspersed with stand-up comedy from Cold Feet’s John Thompson, Gavin Webster and Vic Reeves.
Sharing the bill with the big names were many of those who have received treatment for cancer from the RVI’s cancer unit.
Singer Melissa Cavanagh, 17, from Sunderland received a standing ovation. Her rendition of Angel, by Sarah McLaughlin, moved many of the audience to tears.
She said: “I think it went well and I just couldn’t believe the reaction. It meant a lot.”
Melissa was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes at the age of 13.
Emotions ran high for much of the performance as heartfelt tributes were also paid to three cancer unit patients that have lost their own battles with cancer recently – Fliss Graham, 22, John Anderson, 19, and 15-year-old Jordan Thompson, who died just a week before the show.
Jordan’s mother, Andrea, 38, of West Denton, said she was pleased she had attended Bandstand 2007. She said: “It was lovely.” The surprising finale of the show, led by Roger Daltrey and Jimmy Nail, was a rendition of Fog on the Tyne, the song made famous by footballer Paul Gascoigne.
Audience member Lisa Gardiner, 27, of Lemington, said: “That was a really nice surprise.
“It’s not the kind of song you’d expect a member of The Who to sing, and it was a really great up-beat ending to what was an emotional show.”
Bandstand 2007 also showcased the talents of local bands including Kubichek!, The Toy Guns and Buffalo 77, after rehearsals at Durant Hall, part of the Unitarian Church, before a lavish after-show party was enjoyed at Calsberg’s Tuxedo Princess.
Simon Davies, Chief Executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “A big thank you to everyone that bought a ticket and helped support the event. Every one of you has helped to make a big difference to the lives of teenagers with cancer in the North-East of England.” A new Teenage Cancer Unit at the RVI is due to open in 2009.