Smokey 2

CCN-2023 - Nikki Jo Brown Female

Nikki Jo Brown

30th September 2023

by Ray Packham

Award winning Nikki Jo Brown from Newcastle arrived early on 30th September having performed at Wrexham the night before. She was careful in her set-up and had a good sound balance. She opened up our sold-out charity night with Better Man and included Green,Green Grass of Home and Neon Moon in the early part of her first set. Old favourites, Penny Arcade, C’est La Vie and Closer (has this come back into fashion?) were well remembered.
Johnny B again kept the dance floor busy and featured Monday Morning Merle as his latest favourite before swiftly moving through the raffle and announcements.
There is no no doubt that Nikki has a lovely voice and a personality to match and our regulars gave her a huge welcome back on stage.
A varied programme saw This Is Me, Commitment and Here I Go mixing with Cowboy Rides Away and High Class Lady. My personal favourite was the encore of Close Enough To Walk.
Nikki was driving back to Newcastle immediately after the show becausw she was flying to Italy early the next day!
£615 was raised towards our charity fund which, this year, will go to the Midlands Air Ambulance.

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Artist-images - Thorne Hill

Thorne Hill

9th September 2023

by Ray Packham

Thorne Hill (Paul), from Crewe, took to our stage on the 9th, he had been part of the band Arizona Flame from Telford who had performed for us several years ago. Setting up took no time at all and very quickly a smartly dressed Paul presented his first number to the expectant crowd. Themes seemed to run through his set with Missing then This Is Me Missing You and Places coming together and later on Cold, Cold Heart and Your Cheatin’ Heart sounding good.
Johnny B made sure the dancers got no rest by playing Rodeo Queen and Tucson Too Late in the interval along with Vikki Morris’ two latest dances.
The raffle and door draws along with local announcements preceded Paul’s second set which contained dancers’ favourites Codigo, Vertical Expression and ‘Til You Can’t and older dances, Just To See You Smile and Most Beautiful Girl In The World. All very well received and deserving of an encore of The World.

Darren Busby

12th August 2023

by Ray Packham

Smokey2 CMC welcomed Darren Busby back to the club after a five year gap due to Covid. A long time favourite, he attracted a huge crowd and soon had both listeners and dancers in the palm of his hand with a wide ranging programme of both standard numbers and new Country. A surprising number was Cliff Richards’ Lucky Lips which led to a full dance floor.
Darren charmed everyone with chat and smooth vocals over two full sets and his throat problem was not apparent. Johnny B filled the gaps between sets with a fine choice of dance tracks.
We now anticipate our Christmas 2024 show with the Darren Busby Duo.

Artist-images - Gary Leonard Smokey2

LA Country

8th July 2023

by Ray Packham

It’s been a long time since I last reported on the dance events at this friendly club, probably prior to covid striking. Around that time the organisers were trying to obtain the services of Gary Leonard who was highly recommended and three years later he arrives to grace the Smokey2 stage.
This was a really filthy night , weather wise, with torrential downpours accompanying the thunder and lightning leading to flash flooding and road closures but that didn’t stop the regulars turning out and a healthy sized crowd was in place by 7.30pm when Johnny B encouraged the dancers out onto the floor (having first checked with Gary what his set lists looked like).
They didn’t take much persuading! At 8pm Gary opened up his first set with Neon Blue, swiftly followed by Playboys. We had been told that there would be little rest for the dancers and boy was that true. Very little chat between numbers meant that Gary fitted 15 tracks in his first set which included mainly modern Country and a barn dance.
Gary has a fine sound balance and the level was just right for the room. He plays acoustic guitar, carrying a spare in case a string breaks in his set and has exceptional backing tracks which on some numbers includes backing singers which adds to the quality of the well chosen dance inspired presentation.
Johnny B came back during the interval with more dance tracks, the raffle draw and local gig guide. There was a warm welcome for Gary on his return to the stage and he continued where he had left off providing quality music which dancers and listeners loved. 

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