Is this the way to Amarillo? No, but it’s the way to raise money for a £150,000 Women Of Steel statue in Sheffield - Tony Christie has joined the bill for a star-studded concert.
The chart-topping singer, whose hits also include I Did What I Did for Maria, Avenues and Alleyways and Jarvis Cocker-penned smash, Walk Like a Panther, will join the biggest array of Sheffield pop and rock stars ever assembled.
Heaven 17, ABC’s Martin Fry, Baby Bird, John Shuttleworth, the comedy creation of Graham Fellows, John Reilly of Boy on a Dolphin, Philippa Hanna, fresh from her tour with Lionel Richie, Nat Johnson, buoyed by her sensational Tramlines show in Sheffield Cathedral and Rotherham folk legend Ray Hearne are already confirmed in the line-up.
And even more will be joining the celebration for one night only - Saturday, November 9 - giving their voices for free to support the city’s unsung heroines at a unique concert at Sheffield City Hall.
There will also be special guest appearances by Reverend and the Makers’ front man Jon McClure, Dean Andrews, from hit TV show Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, BBC Ancient Egypt presenter Joann Fletcher and DJs and presenters from our local radio stations, including Real Radio’s Dixie and Gayle, Capital’s Hirsty and BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster.
Purple Cats Choir, Cornerstone Brass, Classic Calypso and The Yorkshire Tea Bags skiffle group will also add extra variety to the evening.
And Sheffield’s own Grammy award winner Eliot Kennedy and guests will lead the house band for this once-in-a-lifetime show. He’s even writing a special song for the occasion, with local St Elmo’s Fire rock legend John Parr and John Reilly.
The concert is one of many fundraising plans to support the Women of Steel Appeal, raising £150,000 needed to produce a figurative bronze statue, which will be in Barkers Pool, to honour the Sheffield women who kept the steelworks running while their men went off to fight in both World Wars.
It is hoped the statue will also become an inspiration for other women today and in the future.
Now dwindling in numbers, the surviving Women Of Steel are all in their 80s and 90s, and are hoping to see the statue erected in their life time.
Internationally acclaimed artist Martin Jennings has been commissioned to produce the statue and around £45,000 has already been raised. It is hoped that the concert will add thousands, helping to reach the target. Everyone can support the appeal by donating at www.justgiving.com/womenofsteel.
“The women used to go to tea dances at the City Hall during the war. That also gave us the theme for the show, which will present songs for dancing and romancing,” said John Palmer, former Director of Communications at Sheffield Hallam University, who is producing the event with Graham Walker of The Star and Eliot Kennedy.
“With the recent memorial to the Bevan Boys who worked in the mines during the war, it now seems that the Women of Steel are the only unsung heroines not to be honoured properly for their efforts. That tribute can only come from Sheffield and we’re really pleased that our local big names want to honour some of the city’s most deserving characters, whose achievements should not die with them.”
Graham added: “In this special year, when we’re celebrating the centenary of stainless steel, we wanted to show the world that the traditional values which made us famous in the past will bring us respect in the future. We owe it to these remarkable women to make this happen.”.
The Star, Sheffield Hallam University and Pyronix, are headline sponsors of the show, with the Eliot Kennedy One Song Foundation, Sheffield International Venues, Human Design Studios and Very Creative Ltd also supporting the one-off event.
Full details at the show’s new web site at www.womenofsteeltheconcert.co.uk.
* Tickets are £20 and £22, and may be subject to a booking fee, available in person at the venue, Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 5.30pm, call the Box Office on 0114 2 789 789, Monday to Saturday 9.30am - 9pm, or buy online at www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.
Make your evening extra special with a Yorkshire inspired VIP supper before the concert, including welcome drink, pie and peas, premium seats and a ticket to the after show party, where you and your guests will be able to mix with some of the stars of the show.
If you can’t get to the show, you can still support the women with a donation to www.justgiving.com/womenofsteel and there will be other fun opportunities to help raise the money as the show date approaches.