Sidmouth festival-goers raise �1,000 for Africa aid

Sidmouth couple help find venue for famine appeal concerts by The Spooky Men’s Chorale

Warm-hearted locals joined with generous festival-goers on Friday to donate �1,042.00 towards the East Africa Famine Appeal at two ‘secret’ Spooky Men’s Chorale concerts in Chapel Street United Reformed Church.

Someone let the cat out of the bag, as the church was filled to capacity for both a midday and midnight performance by Australia’s Spooky Men.

The event came about when Sidmouth pair Christine and Cecil Hardy met a ‘Spooky’ they knew, Chris Samuels, who recently co-organised The Big Sing in Bristol which hopes to raise �50,000 for WaterAid.

The group wanted a church with good acoustics to perform in so all the money could go to charity.

Once Jill O’Hara from the United Reformed Church discovered the choir was not a noisy rock band but a great combination of drop-deadpan humour and Acapella music, she, and the church’s minister, the Reverend Robert Jennings, made it possible to use the church, which was already offering local music and workshops during FolkWeek.

The concerts included classics from the zany Spooky repertoire as well as beautiful Georgian songs.

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As well as their the Spooky Men’s Chorale donated 20 percent of their merchandise sales to the East Africa Appeal.

Chris Hardy said: “Everyone involved was overwhelmed with the generosity of the audience and the marvellous commitment shown by The Spooky Men’s Chorale. It was a wonderfully uplifting end to a fantastic festival.”