This Year, E.S.K.K® Martial Arts & Fitness held its 9th Annual Celebrations on Good Friday at the Social club in Moresby. Peter Hinde, organiser of the event, also compared the evening with his usual good cheer and legendary "so bad they're good" jokes.
The evening was centred around a fantastic hot buffet with local band Untamed (featuring yours truly on drums) providing an eclectic mix of live rock music to start and end the night.
After the food and before Untamed gave their second performance of the night, Chris Denwood and Jenny took time to review the fantastic year we've had, with a brief look back at all the changes we've seen over the past months and welcoming all the new members. It was also time for Chris and Jenny to voice their thanks to their team of instructors who keep the heart of the group beating - Jon Roll, Peter Sempie, Roy Lewis, Stuart Graham and Peter Hinde. Special thanks also went to John Smallman for his invaluable assistance at the Monday karate class. There was not a dry eye in the house as Chris finally gave a very special thanks to his "wonderful fiance" Jenny for all her support to him and the group!
There was also a musical surprise in the form of a second live band who took to the stage after the speeches and before Untamed's return. In only a few weeks and with only two opportunities to learn some songs, Chris' idea to form a band with only E.S.K.K members turned into a full on rock performance with Dave Parker on rhythm guitar, Doug Aitken on lead guitar, Heather McGowan on bass, Kara Smallman on lead and backing vocals, me on drums and Chris himself on guitar and vocals!
The band and the audience appeared to very much enjoy the short set of rock & roll. Although not a perfect rendition of the songs, it was nevertheless entertaining, fun and in keeping with the close-knit family feel of the group. So much so that as Untamed finished their second performance, Chris was invited to the stage yet again, this time to help Untamed blast out a final version of "Summer of 69" from the drummer's seat! Kara had supported Untamed with her angelic vocals earlier in the night and took to the stage for this final song with Peter Hinde. The pair (along with the whole audience) echoed out Bryan Adams' famous lyrics as Chris kept the beat!
All in all it was a fantastic evening to have been a part of. Sorry if you didn't make it; Easter is a busy time and thanks to those who turned out to make it such an enjoyable evening. Thanks too to all the E.S.K.K members, old and new for another year's support. A Final heartfelt thanks (but no jokes please) goes to Peter Hinde for pulling the evening together and providing the most entertaining raffle of all time!