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Sir Bob rocks record-breaking Concert at the Kings
Old school showman Bob Geldof had the record-breaking crowd at Concert at the Kings in All Cannings rocking on Saturday as darkness came down over the Pewsey Vale.
Sir Bob put the personal tragedy of the loss of his daughter Peaches out of his mind for a couple of hours as he headlined the Rock Against Cancer concert - his third live show of the week.
He arrived in Wiltshire in the early afternoon and spent time in garden of the King's Arms pub joking with fellow performers such as Paul Young and The Troggs.
Sir Bob joked: “We are all only here for the money. I was in Italy last night and I am knackered but I am here for the money.”
He showed he was in good form and ready to help raise money for cancer charities when he went on stage part-way through Paul Young’s set with Los Pacaminos to deliver a tray of tequila shots for the band.
Young said: “It was a great bit of fun. We are all having a really good time here in Wiltshire and pleased to be supporting the cancer charities.”
The line-up of talent was put together by Sir Paul McCartney’s sound engineer John Callis, known to everyone in the business as 'Grubby'.
After Steve Harley with Cockney Rebel and The Straits performed sets that got the crowd wild with excitement some wondered if Sir Bob would be able to top their appeal.
But the ever professional veteran was full of energy and banter as he urged the crowd to mock his snakeskin suit by copying his expletive ridden derision of his chosen outfit.
He wound his band members up to follow his lead as he jigged, shadow boxed and cavorted across the stage to the delight of his fans as he performed favourites such as Rat Trap, Joey and, of course, I Don’t Like Mondays.
Steve Harley added £10,000 to the coffers of cancer charities by announcing on stage he was not only going to auction off his guitar but if the highest bidder lived within 150 miles of London he would personally deliver it and perform some of his songs for the buyer.
He said: “I think this is a fantastic cause and I want to do my bit. This doesn’t really cost me anything apart from my time.
“I will be glad to do a bit of a performance at someone’s house as long as they don’t invite too many guests.
“I did this once before and I ended up driving hundreds of miles to deliver it so I thought I better put a restriction on the distance. The crowd here was amazing.”
He finished his set on a high with his song Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) which reached number one in 1975.
Two of the The Troggs did not have far to travel as both Peter Lucas and Dave Maggs both live in Wiltshire.
Lucas who has a home in the village of Broad Chalke, near Salisbury, said: “These days we pick and choose where we play but we really wanted to do concert as it is for such a good cause”
Others in the crowd had come much further including Melinda Gibbs from Canberra in Australia who was in Wiltshire visiting family.
She said: “It is just incredible that you have bands like these performing in this beautiful village setting.”
Bride-to-be Hayley Cole chose the concert for her hen do and got her fellow hens to canoe to All Cannings from Devizes.
She said: “I wanted to do something a bit different. The canoeing was fun we only fell in once.”
Friends Jenny Brown, Jenny Quest, Lesley Hall and Wendie Westwood, who are all massive fans of Paul McCartney, travelled from Sussex when they heard Grubby with his connection to Sir Paul was organising the concert.
Kings Arm’s landlord Richard Baulu, who co-founded the concert with regulars Grubby and the Sweet’s Andy Scott after the two music men were struck down with prostate cancer, was delighted with everything about the day.
He said: “It was fantastic. We had everything planned with precision this year and even the weather did as it was told.
"It was like a garden party atmosphere and everyone was having a good time.
"I didn’t get to bed until 4am on Sunday and then had to do Sunday lunch so I was totally exhausted afterwards but it was well worth it.”
Tickets almost sold out but money is still being counted.
Mr Baulu said: “The £10,000 boost from the auction of Steve Harley’s guitar is great.
"We don’t want to say exactly how much we have raised until it is finalised and costs taken into consideration but we are confident we have done well.”
Two years ago there were massive queues for the beer tent but this year the only problem was a run on Pimm's meant a shortage of cucumbers.
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