MUSIC is a big part of my life and although I sing Rat Pack, I do listen to a whole spectrum of music from tenors like Andrea Bocelli to 80s bands such Dire Straits and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

In fact, every now and again Val and I will have an 80s hour and play all our favourite songs from that era, so you can imagine how thrilled we were to be invited along by the organisers to this year’s 80s Fest at Sale FC Rugby.

We were warmly welcomed at the gate by the founder and event organiser of the 80s Fest, Gillian Potter-Merrigan who, now in her fourth year of putting on 80s Fest, told us about how she came up with the idea to put on this popular annual festival.

She explained that whilst sitting in a pub with her partner Brian she decided that instead of working for others at their events, as she has done on many occasions, she would take the bull by the horns and put on her own event and with Brian’s support and encouragement 80s Fest was born.

The original plans, she informed us, were actually written out on a beer mat there and then.

The festival this year which was headlined by The Duran Duran Experience also featured tributes to The Jam, OMD, George Michael, Madonna and the fantastic 2Rude Ska who had everyone up dancing. Between each band we were kept entertained by DJ Caz Matthews from the North Manchester FM Breakfast Show and FAB Radio.

During the day we bumped into our good friend Dave Hulme. I have performed on a few occasions for Dave for his Alex Hulme foundation and it was lovely to see him again.

Dave is the General Manager of Sale FC Rugby and he proudly told Val and I about the club’s history. It was interesting to learn that the club, that was established in 1861, is the 5th oldest rugby club in the world.

Dave showed us around the club and took us into the new function room, that on this occasion was being used as the VIP area and what a beautiful room it is, I especially liked the colour changing mood lighting set into the ceiling and the full length balcony. It looked stunning.

We spent a lovely day in the glorious sunshine listening to great music from the fantastic tribute acts.

The crowd, many of them in fabulous 80s themed fancy-dress outfits, all enjoyed themselves too and it was great to see the community brought together.

The tantalising smell of the array of food on offer including burgers, paella, crepes and Jamaican food including cakes from local business Gem’s Delicious Treats, was too much for me and I got stuck in with a burger and of course we had to have an ice cream! What better way to spend a summer’s day?

Well done Gillian Potter-Merrigan on a successful, enjoyable festival and thank you so much for inviting us.