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Merseycats on stage for sell-out party gig; Drummer Best tops charity bill.

Byline: BY MIKE CHAPPLE Daily Post Staff

ONE of Merseyside's most popular charities - the Merseycats - is approaching its 20th anniversary by celebrating with its biggest annual Christmas party.

Original Beatles drummer Pete Best will top the bill with his band for the sell-out gig at the Devonshire House Devonshire House in Piccadilly was the London residence of the Dukes of Devonshire, one of England's most prominent aristocratic families, for around 200 years until it was demolished in the 1920s.  Hotel, on Edge Lane, tonight, which will be attended by Merseybeat fans from all over the world.

It's an indication of how influential the charity, which has raised thousands of pounds for sick and underprivileged children, has become since its foundation in 1988.

It sprang from what was supposed to be a one-off fundraising gig held at the New Montrose club in memory of Merseybeats drummer John Banks John Banks can refer to several people:
  • John Banks (New Zealand), Mayor of Auckland
  • John Banks (United Kingdom), Attorney General for England and Wales
  • Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet, 17th-century English Member of Parliament for several constituencies in Kent

"So many old faces and Merseybeat fans from all over the country turned up that we thought that instead of making it a one-off we should meet up on a regular basis," explained Joey Bower, one of the founder members, along with Dave Lovelady, who are still going strong as part of Merseybeat legends The Fourmost, also on this weekend's bill.

Originally they intended to call the charity the Mersey Rats, after the showbusiness charity, the Water Rats
For the Australian TV series, see Water Rats (TV series).
For the animal, see Water Rat.
For the British charity, see Grand Order of Water Rats

"Water Rats"

"But they objected, so we became the Merseycats instead, which was a far better name anyway," said the guitar/vocalist.

"Another founder member, Don Andrew, created Ambrose Mogg, our great Merseycat logo, and we've been going from strength to strength ever since."

He added: "I'm amazed a·maze  
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.

2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.

 at how so much has happened in the past 20 years.

"What's been especially great, apart from raising all the money for needy kids, is that so many of the old bands from the Merseybeat era have got back together and stayed together after reforming to perform at Merseycat gigs."

Joey promised that The Fourmost will be playing all their 60s hits, including the John Lennon-composed, Hey Little Girl, on the night.

"There have been people from all around the world who have been trying to get tickets and on the night there will be parties over from Japan and Sweden and I'm sure they'll find the trip worthwhile.

"Musically speaking, it's fantastic to be working alongside Pete Best again - I have every admiration for him.

" It's also great that, after being invited to play the very first Merseycats Christmas gig, in 1989, we're still around to have been invited back again to play for a second one, 19 years later!"


From left, Billy Hatton, Dave Lovelady, both of The Foremost; Frieda Norris, John Norris, John, 1657–1711, English clergyman and philosopher. As the most prominent follower of Malebranche he wrote, in exposition of that philosopher's system, An Essay towards the Theory of the Ideal or Intelligible World (1701–4).  Clucas, secretary; Wally Shepherd, chairman; Kay Kelly, treasurer; Geoff Nugent, of The Undertakers and Joey Bower, of The Fourmost Picture: MARTIN BIRCHALL/mb221208merseycats-1
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 27, 2008
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