June 07, 2010
AROUND £60,000 has been raised for Woking and Sam Beare Hospices at a concert performed by Modfather Paul Weller on Sunday.
Tickets to the exclusive gig sold out as more than 1,200 Weller fans clamoured to see their idol perform in his hometown for the first time in 30 years.
The leisure centre near Woking Park was transformed to provide an impressive venue, with support acts the Steve Brookes Band and The 5:16's warming up the crowd before Weller made his grand entrance.
He played a mix of old and new material, with tracks from the critically acclaimed Wake up the Nation album mixed in with The Jam classic That’s Entertainment.
The whole atmosphere was electric and when Bruce Foxton, The Jam’s bassist, joined Weller on stage for The Butterfly Collector the words were echoing around the hall.
Sam Molnar, who is a friend of Weller's and organised the gig, said: "It has been a lot of hard work but with the help of Vic Falsetta and Mary Lacey at the hospices, it has culminated in a fantastic night.
"Paul played for over two hours and when I spoke to him afterwards he said he really enjoyed it.
"We are hoping to raise around £50,000 to £60,000, which has been made possible by the support of Paul Weller, Woking Leisure Centre, the support bands and all the volunteers."
Mary Lacey, director of fundraising for the hospices, added "This event has been turned round at very short notice and everyone involved has done a fantastic job.
"The hospices are very grateful that Paul Weller ‘Woke up Woking’ for us’.