Review, Photos, Video and press link from the Mike Peters Buskathon round the hospitals of North Wales.
Thursday 8th July 2010
When your life is rock ‘n’ roll you learn to expect the unexpected. Having twice had cancer Mike Peters knows about expecting the unexpected.
The unexpected today, Thursday 8th July, is a fast moving bush which whacks into Mike Peters left eye.
Not a good start to a day. Today is the day Mike busks around three of North Wales Hospitals promoting cancer care and the joining together of these three major hospitals under the banner of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. It certainly shouldn’t be the day Mike ends up in hospital as a patient again.
And so it is, that after a 10:30 meet at The Chapel we head of to the eye unit at St Asaph. Fortunately they are able to see Mike promptly and we are soon on our way, albeit with slightly sore but scratched, eye and packs of eye wash and anti-biotics.
The first port of call is Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor. A swift set-up and Mike is instantly in busk-athon mode. No amps, No PA, and an transient audience. No matter, there is plenty of opportunity to hand out leaflets and chat to visitors, patients and staff about everything from the local cancer care services to the up-coming Snowdon Rocks. Sadly at this point we have to inform people that the Rhuddlan Rocks event is totally sold to anyone apart from walkers and people taking advantage of the VIP package. But there is definitely some interest in the walk, so who knows!
There are lots of staff around to see Mike’s appearance. Dr. Edwards, who treated Mike during his battle arrived with guitar in hand to join Mike playing ‘One Guitar’ and ‘Knockin’ on Heavens Door’, before getting back to the important work of seeing his patients. As ever, plenty of photo opportunities and even an impromptu choir at the end of ‘Strength’ made up of Bangor staff.
Despite the fact it’s not a setting we normally see Mike in, the atmosphere is really good, and at the end of the first busk, we are all buoyed by the good vibes in attendance. A hasty pack and we are off to Busk number two, at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan (no apologies for all the welsh in this review….we are in Wales after all!).
A slight delay due to road works, but another swift set-up and Mike is off on busk number two. A similar pattern to the first busk ensues, and aided by some cups of tea, there are lots of chats and photos with anyone nearby. As well as the passing trade, there are quite a few surprised looks at seeing Mike Peters busking. Not a sight you expect on your out-patients visit! It’s a good job we brought a big box of leaflets as there are loads of people taking them. The atmosphere is relaxed again, as we realise its been a brilliant idea and it certainly raises awareness of cancer support and the work of Love Hope Strength.
At Bodelwyddan we are also allowed to take a collection, so Mike opens his guitar case and there is constant clink of spare change. Who knows, he could make a living at this game. So on top of raising awareness and promoting LHS we are making money for LHS funds well. Result!
Another pack-up of the LHS signage and leaflets and we are off to Wrexham Maelor Hospital for the last busk. On the way we decide to call in at Rhuddlan castle to check on details for Rhuddlan Rocks. Plans are well in hand and its great to see the ‘Sold Out’ sticker on the posters. At each visit it’s clear to say what an amazing gig this will be, it’s an amazing setting.
We stop at a couple of tea-shops from some light refreshment, but it seems we are out of luck. We decide on the hospital café at our final stop in Wrexham instead, which is conveniently placed next the entrance and the spot of the busk. Hearts would normally sink at hospital food, but after some rather tasty toasted tea cakes ad home-made scones, accompanied by some hearty mugs of tea, we are suitably refreshed ready for the first part of the last busk. Mike intends to get the visitors as they come in, and go out, to maximize the day. We are joined by some Alarm fans, who have come along to support the cause. More tea and chats!
All in all its been a great day. The goal of raising awareness and promoting the LHS events has been achieved. Plus a few pounds in the bucket, all of which will go to local cancer care.
Thanks goes, to all the staff, from tea ladies and receptionists, to trust staff and consultants. Thanks also for all the support from public and fans alike.
Full slideshow of photos from the Buskathon