Last Friday my son Ollie and his band played at a ‘Kids against Cancer’ concert at Eastwood High School.

This is a cause very dear to Ollie’s heart as he lost his dad to cancer, three years ago.

I must admit, I was pretty tired on Friday and could have quite easily stayed in with a DVD and bottle (or two) of red wine, but I wanted to support my son and the cause so I made the effort to attend – and boy, am I glad I did.

The show was really good and made even more impressive by the fact that it had all been organised by a small, but committed and enthusiastic group of Leigh youngsters.

It was brilliant too, to see just how much the school and staff really got behind the kids to help facilitate the event.

One act in particular really stood out for me – a young girl called Sheila Lord.

She is a tiny little thing who was almost dwarfed by her acoustic guitar but WOW – what talent.

Her voice, lyrics and playing have a maturity and depth way beyond her tender 15 years!

I’d bet money that on Friday, the audience witnessed a future star in the making.

In fact, the choice of bands was perfect – they all played well and I enjoyed all the sets.

The whole evening was very moving and the youngsters had obviously spent a long time setting music to powerful videos of people of all ages with cancer.

The music and images had been really well edited and I don’t suppose there was a dry eye in the house as photographs of children with cancer appeared to the wistful sounds of Eva Cassidy.

I interviewed one of the ‘Kids against Cancer’ main organisers, Michael Bromfield, aged 15 from Eastwood High.

The original idea for this event wasn’t mine, but one of my friends, Victoria Bull.

She asked a few of us - Daniel Edmonds, Sarah Holmes, Catherine Marshall, Xiehe Campbell, Jade Dunphy, if we would help her with the organisation of the concert. Each one of us had personal motivation, mainly a family member or friend that we know/knew that suffered from cancer.

Getting Bands to play at any gig is easy, as artists usually love promoting their work.

I knew most of the bands personally, but I still had to search around to ensure we got a good, eclectic mix of music.

Everyone was extremely helpful. The school gave us use of the entire theatre and facilities for free, and we booked it over 4 months ago now.

I wondered what kind of support Cancer Research had given to the event?

Events have to be registered with Cancer Research and we got a lot of promotional stuff from them. However, we got loads of support and feedback from local businesses such as Tesco's, KeyMed, SoundTrack, Adventure Island, HMV and Fantasy Flowers who all donated items towards the event – even Coronation Street contributed a signed photograph of all the cast to our cause. Southend West MP David Amess also came along and made a speech too and I think he won the Corrie picture in our auction as well!

I’ve really enjoyed organising this and it’s something I’d definitely consider doing again. There’s just as much of a buzz doing the promoting side as much as the charity side of things, but with the charity events, you get a bigger sense of achievement. We raised well over £1000 for Cancer Research, so it was worth every bit of effort we made. And I must have done something right I guess, as already some bands have asked me if I can set them up with some gigs!

So do we have a future Harvey Goldsmith in the making?

I'm into acting – that’s what I’ve done most of my life really. I also love singing and play the piano, so my options are open at the moment – there’s no set master plan for me to follow.

If you’d like to support the talented young artists who played then please visit their little corners of cyberspace:






Donations to Cancer research can be made via

To see photographs of the event please visit

...And speaking of live music

Local author, producer and musician Mark Cunningham has asked me to help raise the profile of a situation which could affect all music lovers.

The live entertainment industry in the UK could be about to be threatened by an Ofcom initiative that could send us all back to the 'dark ages'... unless the industry, performing artists and the public unite to prevent it before it's too late.

Ofcom, in its infinite wisdom, is planning to auction the radio frequencies that are currently used by the entertainment industry.

Without strong opposition, it is likely that parties such as cash-rich mobile phone service providers will outbid the live industry to obtain this frequency spectrum.

The consequence of this will be that the wireless microphones, in-ear monitoring, instrument systems and radio communications that have become crucial to the quality, sophistication and SAFETY of modern-day concerts, festivals, theatre shows and sporting events will no longer be able to be operated legally.

As an example, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for events such as Live8 or recent tours by Robbie Williams, U2, Madonna and the Rolling Stones (and Her Majesty's birthday celebrations!) to operate under such restrictions.

And that's without taking into consideration the investments made by lesser-known, unsigned bands in expensive wireless equipment... all of which would be rendered useless.

It takes little imagination to realise the chaos this will cause to an industry that currently turns over almost £15 billion annually in the UK.

A campaign is growing by the day with a view to informing the regulator of the potentially calamitous effects any wrong decisions will have on the entire entertainment community.

If you would like to know more about how you can help persuade the powers-that-be to make a U-turn on this initiative, please contact Mark Cunningham via or