A country musician from Spalding has played a part in raising more than £4,400 for disaster-hit communities in England and overseas.
Nicky Brennan (60), of Little London, used his talent with instruments such as the accordian and guitar to play at three concerts in aid of flood victims in Norfolk and people in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Hundreds of country music fans packed into three venues in Norfolk where Nicky played as part of the Mervyn J Futter Band and helped raise £4,420.
Nicky said: “We came up with the idea of organising some charity shows for people in the Philippines originally.
“But when we had the coastal floods in Norfolk last December, we then thought of giving half the money raised to that and the other half to the people in the Philippines.
“We’ve done charity shows over the years but they weren’t perhaps on as large a scale as these shows.
“They were absolutely packed, all the venues were sold out and there wasn’t a seat left.
“We had a good cross-section of people at some of the shows, including teenagers who really got into the music.”
Nicky, a civil engineer who moved to Spalding from Ireland 27 years ago, has been a country musician for more than 30 years.
He was a member of the group Shamrock with Jimmy Murray, playing in pubs, clubs and other venues across South Holland and elsewhere for 15 years.
Nicky was also part of the Cotton Mill Boys after the group tasted success on 1970s TV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
“I listened to country music on the radio as a child and the sound just registered with me,” Nicky said.
“I’d known Mervyn J Futter for about 20 years because we played in some smaller clubs and one day, he asked me if I was interested in joining his band.
“On average, we play about three nights a week and the adrenalin flow from playing live gives you a great buzz.
“The charity shows were great, it was a pleasure to be part of them and we wouldn’t be averse to doing some more.”
Nicky’s partner, Judith Cross (70), said: “It was a marvellous idea from the Mervyn J Futter Band to organise the shows and there were several other bands who helped us in raising the money.
“The concert on February 7 was an all-day country music festival near Swaffham which raised £2,820.
“Nicky knows I’m very proud of him and it would be lovely for him to be recognised for helping to raise money for those poor people in north Norfolk and the Philippines.”