A young band is following in the footsteps of rock star Mike Peters to raise money for a charity that helps hospital patients.
The Wrexham-based group, Gogs, are organising a charity gig in aid of Awyr Las/Blue Sky at the Starbucks café at the town’s Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre from noon to 5pm on St David’s Day, March 1.
Guitarist and drumbox player Matt Winson, 29, is a barista at Starbucks while his wife, Rosie, sings and plays the ukulele and the third member of the trio is bassist Dan Fisher.
They’ve been inspired by the courage of Alarm frontman Mike Peter and his wife, Jules, both of whom have bravely battled cancer.
Last year 1,500 people joined the couple for their 11-day By Your Side Walk and Snowdon Rocks events to raise money for the North Wales NHS Charity Awyr Las that provides enhanced services over and above what is available on the NHS.
Matt, who has worked at the coffee shop for three months, came up with the fundraising idea alongside Starbucks manager Claire Edwards.
He said: “We wanted to raise funds for Awyr Las and thought about having an open mic session during the day.
“As well as ourselves we have KC Valentine, who is with the Wrexham Operatic Society appearing, J Bleak, a local Wrexham poet doing a session as well as R Kive, a Wrexham rap artist and the Blue Genes, a local three piece acoustic band coming along.
“We will have collection buckets dotted around the cafe and hopefully we can raise a good amount of money for what is a really good cause. We will get the show started at noon and there will be performances right through until 5pm.”
He added: “It is something a bit different and hopefully we will get a lot of support and raise a good sum of money for what is a really good cause.”
Rosie, 23, who hails from Caernarfon, gained a degree in drama at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University and is now studying for her Master’s degree at Chester University.
She said: “We write and perform songs in both Welsh and English. I like to tell stories through our songs so they aren’t all about love and romance!”
Rosie, who studied drama at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University and is now studying for her drama Master’s degree at Chester, added: “I’m looking forward to playing in “Eagles Meadow. Awyr Las is a charity that’s really close to my heart and I want to raise a good sum of money.”
Bassist Dan Fisher, 26, said: “It’s a chance for us to get better known in Wrexham too. We are doing really well and have a good following now. And we have gigs lined up across the border in England and in South Wales.
“We are also doing the Little Dragon Festival in Colwyn Bay in the summer which is being headlined by Scouting for Girls and Goldie Looking Chain.”
Dan, who joined the Gogs last year after previously playing bass in a band called Borderline, says he moved to Wrexham to live with family from his native Berkshire, added: “Matt and Rosie have played together for many years in a number of bands but we have really clicked as a trio and have high hopes.
“We are bringing out an EP of original songs in the near future which is exciting for us all. It’s all about exposure now and getting our name out there.”
Starbucks manager Claire Edwards says the idea for a daytime open mic charity event has been given the thumbs by regular customers.
She said: “We talked about what we could do to celebrate St David’s Day and decided we should try and raise some charity funds too. Matt came up with Awyr Las which does some amazing work in North Wales and we thought why not, let’s go for it.
“We are going to have a section of the cafe set aside as a performance area and I’m sure customers will appreciate what we are doing. It’s certainly going to be something different.”
She added: “Our regular customers are always very supportive of any charity fundraising we do and I hope we raise a good amount of money for what is a very worthwhile cause.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley is delighted Starbucks staff are raising funds for Awyr Las.
He said: “The idea of having a open mic event with different performers from around the Wrexham area is a great idea and I’m sure it will be a successful day.
“The Wrexham public gets right behind any fundraising that’s for a good cause and Awyr Las is a really good charity that does a great deal of amazing work in the region.”
The charity event will be at Starbucks, Eagles Meadow from noon until 5pm on Thursday, March 1st and entry is free.
From left, Starbucks Eagles Meadow supervisor, Maddy Hembury-Heyward, Gogs guitarist and Starbucks barista, Matt Winson, vocalist Rosie Winson, bassist Dan Fisher and Starbucks barista Mykie Winter get ready for the St David’s Day fundraising event for the charity Awyr Las.
Gogs, from left, guitarist and Starbucks barista, Matt Winson, vocalist Rosie Winson and bassist Dan Fisher.