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Sunday for Sammy has now become established as the high-water mark in the North East's entertainment calendar. The 2008 event, staged at Newcastle City Hall on Sunday 8th February, featured a stellar cast of performers.

Actors Tim Healy, Kevin Whately, Timothy Spall and Christopher Fairbank resurrected their Auf Wiedersehen Pet characters yet again for a hilarious sketch set in Sherwood Forest and written by the shows creators, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Denise Welch, Charlie Hardwick and Angie Lonsdale performed a side-splitting piece celebrating the final voyage of the Tuxedo Princess and were joined by Zoë Tyler and Coleen Nolan in another, lampooning their popular TV show, Loose Women. The Geordie version is called Slack Lasses. Ex-Lindisfarne musicians Ray Jackson, Billy Mitchell and Ray Laidlaw rocked the City Hall with some magnificent music. Comedians Brendan Healy, Steve Womack and Peter Peverley had the audience in stitches. Young dancer Liam Mower reprised his show-stopping performance in the West End hit Billy Elliott and brought the house down.

75% of proceeds from the sale of this product will be donated to the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund.



Pete Fyfe - - 16/02/2009
The opening bars of "Blaydon Races" with it's almost biblical sound production and pounding drum beats set the scene with some wonderful clips of the now sadly departed Sammy Johnson (Jimmy Nail's mate in "Spender") after whom the concerts are named. Now, I don't know what it is about those of a Tyneside persuasion but the camaraderie and goodwill of Geordie folk knows no bounds and starting the evening with a great rendering of the theme from Auf Wiedersehen Pet "That's Living Alright," Tim Healey proves a fair ol' chanter. Providing just as much vitality is the 'house' band featuring amongst others Billy Mitchell, Ray Laidlaw and Tim's son Mattie on drums. Steve Womack is a name I've heard often enough but have never seen... until now. In the time honoured tradition of the best folk comedians such as Shep Woolley, Jasper Carrott and Billy Connolly, he actually tells jokes that make people laugh as opposed to some of the so-called young upstarts we have today... oh, and did I say he's got a tremendous voice as well. For the youngsters auditions are usually the domain of the X-Factor but let's give it up for some of those acts that auditioned and performed at Sunday For Sammy, namely The Known World and Jen Stevens and The Hiccups. Peter Donegan did his dad proud with rocking versions of "Putting On The Style" and "Rock Island Line" whilst Billy Mitchell gave his all in a sparkling rendition of Mark Knopfler's "Wye Aye Man."

The sketches in between courtesy of the Auf Wiedersehen cast (sadly minus Jimmy Nail this year) were highly amusing with spontaneous outbursts of giggles from the members but not to the exclusion of the sell-out audience. To end the show in true style was the welcome return of Ray Jackson and the ultimate crowd pleaser, Lindisfarne's "Run For Home" complete with sing-along/clap-along chorus. The photography and production are first class and everyone involved in the background should be roundly applauded. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house by the end of it all and it will all come round again in 2010 - I can't wait!

As a footnote I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone at Mawson & Wareham who have, for the past forty years provided the North East with some astonishingly good products such as the 20 disk Northumbria Anthology Boxed Set, Lindisfarne's "Time Gentlemen, Please" and more recently Billy Mitchell's superb "Devil's Ground"... in other words do yourselves a favour and buy, buy, buy. You won't be disappointed.
Pete Fyfe - - 16/02/2009

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