The annual Christmas Soul Party on Saturday December 9 has been getting people grooving for 20 years now,
During that time it has raised almost £160,000 for local charities and good causes. The lions share of the money raised has gone to St. Michael’s Hospice, but local band Soul X Press have also been supporting other great charities such as Surviving Christmas, The Bexhill Tree of Hope Children’s Charity, The Eastbourne Children with Cancer Fund, Emma’s Fund as well as buying specialist wheelchairs for children who needed them in a hurry, plus musical instruments for William Parker School.
The first ever Soul Party was held in The Yelton Hotel (now the White Rock Hotel) and featured Soul X Press, The Blackman Brothers and The Thunderbirds. It raised £1,500.
Following this huge success the event moved to a bigger venue, The Marina Pavilion (now The Azur), then Hastings Pier, The White Rock Theatre and most recently St. Mary in the Castle.
Len Benton, Mandie Brooks and Mike Raxworthy have performed in every Soul Party up till now, but have been joined throughout the last 19 by many, many talented musicians, bands, singers, dancers and sound engineers, all giving their time and talent for free.
Mike has had five Blues Brothers in this time - two who will be returning to celebrate this 20th anniversary.
He said: “‘So many have contributed to the fund, and our thanks goes out to all of them for joining in when invited.”
This year’s concert features a new young soul band called ‘Funk and Disorderly’, The fabulous ‘Kytes’ and as usual the 16 piece ‘Blues Brothers, Soul Sisters Show’. Three bands adding up to 5 hours or live music
“Every year we see the same faces in the audience and a whole host of new ones”, said Mike,“Please come along, enjoy a great party and help us to raise even more this year!”
All proceeds from this concert will be split between ‘Surviving Christmas’ and ‘St.Michael’s Hospice’.
Tickets are still only £8.50 in advance from The Hastings Tourist Information Office on Hastings Seafront or £10 on the door at St.Mary in the Castle on the night. Doors open at 7pm.