Catriona Taylor
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The Stromatolites hold Charity Gig in memory of colleague

Catriona Taylor
Posted by
20 Mar 2014

A group of work colleagues have raised almost £1,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research by staging a charity gig.

The event was the brainchild of Simon Ashberry, who works for Orange Digital in Chadwick Street, Leeds. He put together a band called The Stromatolites, who played in front of a packed house the Grove Inn in Leeds this March.

Bass guitarist Simon, 50, recruited Jim Small on vocals, Rob Utley on harmonica and vocals, Paul Key on drums and Paul Fearn and Dave Gough on guitar. 

“We all work in the same building but we’d never played together before and only actually had two rehearsals before the gig,” explained Simon, who lives in Baildon, near Bradford.

“Considering how little practice we’d had, I was delighted with how we sounded. It was fantastic that so many people supported the event.”

The gig was in memory of work colleague Paul Murphy, who died in the summer of 2012 after being diagnosed with leukaemia. “Paul was a great music fan and we hope we did him proud,” said Simon.

Among the songs the band played was a cover version of the Velvet Underground’s Pale Blue Eyes, which was played at Paul’s funeral.

“Stromatolites are a rock formation made up of ancient fossils, which we thought was quite appropriate considering we’re not all in the first flush of youth!” said Simon. Simon thanked another work colleague Mike Kelly, who did a DJ set on the night, and the local band Whiter Than who were the support band for the gig and also provided the PA.

“Lots of people have been asking us to do a repeat performance so I guess that means they enjoyed what we did,” said Simon.

Many thanks to Simon and the team involved, and to everyone who supported their fundraising to help beat blood cancer. It sounds like it was a fantastic night, and for those who couldn't make the event, donations can be made in support of The Stromatolites on their JustGiving page.


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