The stars come out for Mike

Big names play charity concert.

A host of Birmingham’s musical talent lined up at the Asylum on Tuesday evening to pay tribute to one of their peers.

Mike BurneyMike Burney, best known for his work with Wizzard and generally regarded the city’s finest saxophonist, has been unable to perform recently due to serious illness and many of the people he has worked with over the years took to the stage to help raise money for this unsung hero.

The night’s proceedings were kicked off by young singer Becky Downes and then Mike’s own band the Old Horns, supplemented by Moseley’s finest Steve Ajao and singer Nanette Allen. Then came Steve Gibbons, who led his band through a bluesy, laid back set that suited the night perfectly.

As the venue approached capacity the night got hotter, and appropriately enough Roy Wood’s band took the stage, followed by their main man himself. The city has produced many rock’n’roll legends over the years but it doesn’t take long to realise that should the Birmingham Supergroup ever be formed there could only be one frontman – and it wouldn’t be you Ozzy. Kicking off with California Man they blasted through a quick rundown of Move and Wizzard classics, the latter band’s numbers being reworked particularly well by a top-notch horn section. Given the reason for being there, they had to be. And yes, on the warmest night for what seems like years, Roy finished with That Christmas Song.

Next up were the only band who could have followed Roy Wood at an event like this. King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys came on, ran through their set and entertained the audience just like they always do. There was no great musical virtuosity on display, even though everyone who took to the stage was more than capable of holding their own in such company, just a succession of entertaining bands who seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the audience did.

The evening was rounded off by Mike appearing on stage to thank everyone who took part and attended, before most of the musicians came back on for one finale featuring what may have been the biggest horn section the city has ever seen – a fitting tribute to a man they all acknowledge as the master.