Our annual Gala Dinner for 2011 took place on Friday 25th November, again in the Celebration Hall of the Asturias Restaurant, Punta Prima, Orihuela Costa, where Carlos and his team prepared a sumptuous three-course meal for us including a choice of chicken, pork, fish or vegetarian option, plus house-wine, soft drinks, water, a glass of Cava and coffee. All for a mere 12.50 euro per head.
In a departure from our normal format of an after-dinner speaker, this year there was an after-dinner rock 'n' roll show with Alan (Piano) Smith, which included his personal testimony.
Al is a professional entertainer and while you may not have heard of Alan before, you will have heard of the stars with whom he has worked.
Alan (Piano) Smith started out in the early 60s touring Germany. He worked alongside Birmingham rock ‘n’ rollers like Denny Laine (Moody Blues), The Fortunes, and The Applejacks and was at school with Jasper Carrott. He was under Harry Hammond’s management - Harry handled the Overlanders (No. 1 “Michelle”) - and was support to Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Marty Wilde and Danny Williams. He was Roy Orbison’s chauffeur when Roy toured the UK in the early 1970s. Alan was asked to be Roy’s pianist but had to decline because of a prior contract!! Oh, yes he also appeared with the Glenn Miller Band as well !! Since then he has done a one man rock ‘n’ roll show and has his own Pianosmith Trio which plays standards and light jazz. Alan has recently returned to his home in Knowle, West Midlands, after a six-month spell aboard a cruise ship on the Rhine and Mosel - this might sound glamorous, yet Al maintains it is fine for a week, but any longer is more like a custodial sentence.
After dinner Alan shared his testimony about becoming a Christian , punctuated by rock ‘n’ roll, a quiz and some hymns...... an explosive combination!!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable and challenging evening - what a shame only 50 people came, but there was also on that weekend.
Left to right: Alan, Terry and Saxman Joe - the Unlikely Lads.