I GOT a phone call from a former neighbour of mine the other week asking me if we could publicise a concert she was organising and appearing in in Southport.
Not having known Janette Monroe was a professional singer while living round the corner from us; my default position being that the seaside resort is a tad outside our readership area; and knowing she now lives in Burscough, I have to confess I wasn’t expecting to be able to give her much in the way of coverage.
But the more she talked the more I was persuaded to find space.
First of all she is Wigan born and bred and has an impressive and interesting musical pedigree which includes singing on cruise ships, touring with Max Boyce, singing advertising jingles and having songs she has composed used in a hit Disney series and the cult Mighty Morphin Power Rangers show of all things!
Another string to the bow of this former mill worker from Marsh Green that she is mates with Russell “The Voice” Watson and he had agreed to appear at her gig and, indeed, duet with her.
The third reason for my initial reaction’s crumbling was that Janette is playing an increasingly crucial role in the running of the NSPCC and Childline in the North West and the concert at Southport Theatre last weekend was aimed at raising money for the latter in this its 25th anniversary year.
The Grahams were invited to pop along and I can happily report that this Wigan lass’s gig was an out and out triumph.
The large auditorium was all but full, Janette sang her heart out, Russell Watson had the audience in the palm of his hand (he gave his services free, by the way) and by the end of the night the organisers, who had managed to get big-hitters Barclaycard and Eric Wright Group to put money into it too, were able to announce that a whopping £30,000 had been raised by the event.
Well done Janette - you really were on song!