A HARTLEPOOL band has been given a regular spot at the world-famous Cavern Club after playing what they thought was a once-in-a-lifetime gig.
The Valentines travelled to Liverpool to play on the stage that has hosted big names like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen and The Who.
After thanking club directors for the opportunity, they were invited back to play an annual slot.
The 1960s cover group – made up of Tony Bulley, Neil Forcer, Tom Glenn, Terry Ashley and Elton Waller – also raised almost £1,000 for the MS Society during the gig. They decided to support the charity, which helps people with multiple sclerosis and funds research, in honour of lead singer Tony’s wife, Nicolle, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000.
Tony said: “The five of us were just high as kites once we got on the stage. To play where so many big names have before was just amazing.
“The venue holds about 250 people, and we took 60 down with us, but they were shoulder to shoulder, it was rammed.
It was an amazing feeling and just the best day ever, we couldn’t sleep afterwards, we were like excited kids.Tony Bulley, The Valentines
“The club is so famous that people come from all over the world to go there and there was people in the audience from Australia, Mexico, Denmark, and they were all taking pictures and videos of us.
“It was an amazing feeling and just the best day ever, we couldn’t sleep afterwards, we were like excited kids.
“We pulled all of our best stuff together into one set and played some Beatles, Kinks, Searchers, and things like that.
“Playing there was amazing but to have our friends and family with us, and to raise nearly £1,000 for charity made it so much more special.”
Tony added: “After we got back, I was chatting to one of the directors of the club to thank him for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but he said it didn’t have to be.
“He’s invited us to go back every year and play. He said he got some great feedback from the audience and would love to have us back.
“We’re going to go back every April and we just can’t believe it. It’s a huge deal for a band from Hartlepool to be able to go and play the Cavern Club every year and we just can’t believe it. We’re still not over the excitement.”