Next stop Japan after benefit boost at Hitchin’s Club 85


JoanOvArc - Credit: Archant

A showcase for local talent at Hitchin’s Club 85 venue has helped add cash to the coffers for charity performances in far-off Japan.

Sam Walker, lead vocals and guitars, JoanOvArc

Sam Walker, lead vocals and guitars, JoanOvArc - Credit: Archant

Stevenage rockers JoanOvArc are heading to the other side of the world in April to play their part in a series of benefit gigs for victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake.

And joining them will be G Laroche, best known as organiser of September’s annual Balstock music festival in Baldock.

JoanOvArc have been performing around the world for more than a decade and a charity worker who first came across their music on a video game invited them to take part in a series of gigs he is organising in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo.

Drummer Shelley Walker said: “Japan is a place we have not yet been to, but after seeing the tragic effects of the 2011 disaster we are determined to help raise money for families who have been affected.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us with this charity project.”

Club 85 boss Bob Mardon said: “What a great evening, so much talent, so much enthusiasm, so much fun, a capacity crowd and all for a great cause. This is what Club 85 is here for.”

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The Hitchin show was supported by acoustic acts Andrea Wilde and Roxy Searle, rock bands No Sleep Til Bedtime and NOVA and JoanOvArc themselves, who auctioned off a signed guitar for the cause.

Jesus Hooligan and Billy Skins 5th also featured on the bill.

Fundraising on the evening included geisha girls collecting donations.

More than £1,200 was raised and organisers say that cash is still coming in.