Botanical Gardens, Birmingham

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Dancing in the Botanical Gardens

3rd September 2023

by Ray Packham

A beautiful sunny day heralded the return of this annual event which hasn’t been held since Covid struck. The turnout certainly proved that this long running event had been missed.
Opening up at 1pm, Elaine Eley (Dancin2Nite) our DJ for the day, opened up with White Rose which many hadn’t heard for sometime and followed with the popular Wave On Wave. A wide mix of tracks were played ranging from One Step Forward to One Tequila,Two Tequila, Three Tequila Floor.
Local lad Kenny Jr is well established on the scene and is highly regarded all over the UK and was a nominee in the recent CCN awards. He has a programme containing all the latest dances tunes and opened up with Train Wreck and Diamonds In A Whiskey Glass but showed he can do oldies too with a great version of California Blue. His first set came to a close far too soon!
Paul Weston was next up. He was a last minute replacement for Kelly McCall who had to cancel due to family illness. Paul too is a local lad, one member of the very musical Weston family, his brother Cliff has just picked up the Musician of the Year award at the CCN Awards. Paul’s first set included Mr Lonely, Vertical Expression (Of Horizontal Desire) and Lovin’ All Night which suited the dancers well. How they kept going on the grass, slope and in hot weather beats me.
Elaine played a few more tracks before the official announcements along with the raffle and competition draws.
Kenny Jr returned with Heaven In My Woman’s Eyes then a favourite of Kenny’s, I Loved Her First. God Blessed Texas livened things up before drinking songs 1,2 Tipsy and Tennessee Whiskey featured.
Final act for the day which had passed all too quickly was Paul Weston who showed his guitar skills on Messed Up In Memphis before moving on to Monday Morning Merle (the latest dance from Vikki Morris – another CCN Award winner). A Brummie version of If You’re Going Through Hell brought laughs before Places and Till you Can’t brought the set to a close. However, calls for an encore saw Kenny Jr return to the stage to join Paul for their versions of Church On Cumberland Road and Backroad Nation. A fitting end to a fine day and here’s looking forward to next year’s event.

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