Rockers PistonZ to support Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice with emotional performance tribute to late drummer

Bedford band PistonZ: From left to right, Andy Brimley, Tony Elliot, John Bolton, Den Burridge and B

Bedford band PistonZ: From left to right, Andy Brimley, Tony Elliot, John Bolton, Den Burridge and Bob Smith. Picture: PistonZ - Credit: Archant

A rock band will pay tribute to their much-missed drummer by performing at a music festival in aid of the Moggerhanger hospice that cared for him in his last days.

PistonZ will play at Sue Ryder St John’s Busk Till Dusk on Saturday, August 12, in what will be an emotionally-charged performance as they remember their late stickman Bob Smith – who had lung cancer and died at the hospice in November, aged 61.

The band from Bedford have been on the county’s live music circuit for more than 10 years, and lead guitarist Den Burridge said they felt proud to pay tribute to their friend in this way.

He said: “PistonZ have always been keen to play for charities, and the opportunity to show our appreciation for the care that was given to Bob in the final few weeks of his life is something we feel honoured and proud to have.

“Maybe he’ll be looking down on us.”

Fourteen acts will play across two stages and a buskers pitch at Busk Till Dusk, which is part of the Big Weekend held to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder St John’s. The following day – Sunday, August 13 – it hosts its annual country fayre.

Services are free for patients at the hospice, but it needs to raise £1.4 million to fund another year of the care cherished by families across the area.

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Den added: “The care Bob received from the hospice staff was outstanding, and he remained our same old mate right to the end.

“He was a window fitter and flat roofing specialist by trade, and had a great sense of humour and a keen dry wit. He was a kind-hearted family man, who never had a bad word for anyone or anything.

“He would always look at you with a lopsided grin on his face while playing, often as his glasses slid down his nose and onto the drums.

“He was interested in astronomy, and in the last week of his illness there was a supermoon and the hospice staff allowed his bed to be positioned so that he could see it through the window.

“We like to think he’s somewhere up there now rocking along with Rick Parfitt, Gary Moore and Jimi Hendrix. We miss him terribly.”

PistonZ’s tribute to Bob will be on the main stage at Busk Till Dusk. If you’d like to attend tickets are on sale online at

Prices are £10 for adults and £6 for children. A family ticket – two adults and two children – is £28.