Fund-raising the roof for Border Search and Rescue

Organisers Robin Thompson and Steve Tees with Damon Rodwell 
of BSARU and Phil Laidler's wife, Anne
Organisers Robin Thompson and Steve Tees with Damon Rodwell of BSARU and Phil Laidler's wife, Anne

The Cross Keys Hotel in Kelso rocked to the sound of an eclectic mix of musical styles.

A concert showcasing an astonishing array of local musical talent was staged in memory of local man Phillip Laidler who died suddenly last year. Philip, a prominent aficionado of live music and a regular face at the Kelso Folk and Live Music Club, was also a keen hill-walker with a particular love of the Cheviots. The concert was a fund-raiser for the Border Search and Rescue Unit, which Philip supported enthusiastically.

Organised largely by renowned local musician Steve Tees, the Philip Laidler memorial concert provided a feast of Scottish traditional, world, jazz and classical music, featuring established artists such as Carly Blain & Graeme Armstrong, Bob Liddle, Stephen Tees & Andy Smith, Lis and Martin Marroni with Ian King, and the Blackthorne Ceilidh Band, and also also lots of young talented musicians; Jane Oxnard & Scott Turnbull, Carly Blain’s “High Line”, and the legendary Small Hall Band.

The audience was treated to fiddles, accordions, guitars, drums, viola, cello, whistle, flute, mandolin and singers. The large Cross Keys Hotel ballroom was packed out to capacity – regrettably, some people even had to be turned away.

There were several generous prizes donated to the raffle and with 230 tickets for the afternoon event sold, there was a total of £1,435 raised for the Philip’s favourite worthy cause.

BSARU spokesman Damon Rodwell, himself an occasional performer at the folk club, was delighted with the event.

“I took the family along and was amazed at the size of the audience and the quality and variety of the performers. It was stowed out and the musicianship on display was extraordinary. It was particularly good to see such a wealth of young talent, suggesting that live music in the Borders has a healthy future, and the amount raised for BSARU was far beyond our expectations.

“Phil would have loved the event, and all those involved in staging it can be extremely proud of their contribution. It was a thoroughly fitting memorial to a popular and a big-hearted man.”