Sunday, 26 September 2021

Nepal aid concert sells out

GURKHAS performed a dance with knives at a sell-out concert in aid of the Nepal earthquake appeal

GURKHAS performed a dance with knives at a sell-out concert in aid of the Nepal earthquake appeal.

Four members of the Queen?s Gurkha Logistic Regiment were applauded by the audience at the Kenton Theatre in Henley for their khukuri knife display.

The khukuri is a traditional Nepalese curved blade similar to a machete which the gurkhas held as they danced in a rotating diamond formation.

They thrust their knives forward and then to the side, showing the weapon to its full advantage.

Other acts included folk-duo Freada, trio Diminished Quartet, afro-beat, dub and jazz group Nubiyan Twist and singer Mollie Marriott, the daughter of Small Faces frontman Steve Marriott.

Henley singer-songwriter Megan Henwood, who organised Saturday night?s show, also performed for the capacity audience of 220.

The gurkhas held a bucket collection in the foyer of the New Street theatre.

Miss Henwood, 27, played songs from her new album, which will be released next month, as well as Hope On The Horizon, which she wrote while visiting Nepal as a teenager in 2006.

She said: ?The Kenton is a wicked venue and the night was great. We knew if we sold out we would make £2,500 and the audience were so generous with their additional donations.

?The whole night was pretty overwhelming but we?re still getting donations through, which is fantastic.? Miss Henwood said it felt strange to be organising a show instead of only performing.

?Normally I am the one who is told when to go on and how long I?ve got,? she said.

?I?m not very good at telling people what to do, so it was a new experience for me. It was nice to have the Gurkhas? help with the bucket collections because these were young Nepalese guys whose families had been affected. They were so humble and grateful for what we were doing. It was a pleasure to be around them.?

Miss Henwood said her highlight of the night was when all the acts joined Nubiyan Twist, featuring her brother Joe, for the finale and the audience were on their feet.

She said: ?We all got on there with the band while they were playing ? Joe beckoned us all on.

?We had agreed we would join them on stage for a final bow but we were actually dancing and getting overexcited. I said to myself ?what am I doing?? I don?t dance, I usually just have a guitar in front of me.? The concert raised more than £4,000, including £1,130 raised by a raffle with prizes donated by Magoos in Hart Street, Henwood & Dean boatbuilders in Dairy Lane, the Henley Show and Duke Street chocolate shop Gorvett and Stone.

All the artists and backstage team worked for free and the Kenton did not charge for use of the venue.

The only outgoings for the night were the ingredients to make a traditional Nepalese curry for the performers, which was cooked by the Happy Gurkhas free of charge.

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