Lifetime gig in China for band members

BY the end of the month, popular six-piece reggae/Latin band Ali and the Beachcombers will be a third smaller.

Just before Christmas, bass player Kev Bennett and saxophonist Ed Salter joined a Newcastle band with a four-month residency in Shenzhen, China.

Beachcombers frontman Ali Huntly says: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and we all wish them well and thank them for their invaluable contribution to the band’s success”.

Kev, from Hartlepool, and Ed, from Royal Tonbridge Wells, met at Hull Uni’s Scarborough campus, and are both music-production graduates.

Ali says: “We always knew they wanted a career in the music business, so this is a great start for them. There’s also a possibility that this contract could be extended - possibly for up to two years. Meanwhile, we’ll carry on for now as a four-piece. We’ve done this in the past when band members have had other commitments, with Rich Hodgson switching from electric guitar to bass, my sister Amaya on keyboards, Alastair James on drums and myself on acoustic / Spanish guitar. This line-up has several gigs under its collective belt, and they’ve been good, but we’re not going to categorically state that the band will stay this way, so watch this space”.

Rich says the Beachcombers’ last gigs for now in their current line-up will be at the Newcastle Packet on Saturday, at Blue Crush at 5.30pm Sunday and at the Hayburn Wyke near Cloughton on Saturday 19 February. To book a place on a free minibus to the Hayburn Wyke ring (01723) 870202.