Pop singer Hazel O’Connor to play at Wigan College singer

Winstanley College students Sophie Moffatt, left, Rebecca Sanderson, Piers Whipp and Hannah Andrews, who are promoting a concert at the college by 80s punk star Hazel O'Connor
Winstanley College students Sophie Moffatt, left, Rebecca Sanderson, Piers Whipp and Hannah Andrews, who are promoting a concert at the college by 80s punk star Hazel O'Connor

AN 80s punk act will travel to Wigan to give an exclusive college performance.

Winstanley College students are currently in the final stages of planning a gig by legendary rocker, Hazel O’Connor.

The singer and actress who starred in the 1980s British film, Breaking Glass, and had massive success with an album of the same name, will be performing at Winstanley College on March 3.

Four 18-year-old students, Sophie Moffatt, Rebecca Sanderson, Piers Whipp and Hannah Andrews have been responsible for the planning and preparation of the gig right the way through.

They have been learning the ins and outs of organising a concert.

Hannah said: “None of us had ever heard of Hazel O’Connor before.

“We are all a bit too young really but since we knew she was coming here, we have all been listening to her music.

“We really like her stuff, she comes across to us as the Lady Gaga of her day, she has her own unique style.

“We’ve now finished a video about the concert that we hope to show across the country, we’ve nearly finished our advertising posters and we have secured a support act.

“Although Hazel will be bringing her own team with her, we have organised for students to be shadowing them.

“So people can learn about what lighting technicians do and what happens backstage.”

The concert has come from discussions with their tutor Andrew Critchley, a long-term friend of her manager.

Mr Critchley said: “This opportunity has come about because two years ago I brought in the rock band FM to perform at the college and be streamed live over the web.

“I knew the guys in the band personally, so it was easy to arrange, and they ended up releasing an EP from the concert.

“They thoroughly enjoyed the evening, so last summer I sent out numerous emails to test the water to see who else would be interested, and I had some very interesting calls.

“Names such as Billy Ocean, Micah Paris, Rick Astley, D:Ream, Imagination Band and a few others showed interest but at a cost, but Hazel seemed really up for it and very keen to get something done.

“It was a no brainer really, Hazel is perfect for the college.”

At 55, Hazel is still an energetic performer, and will bring her full Bluja Project band to the campus, featuring Claire Hirst (ex David Bowie’s band) on saxophone and Sarah Fisher (The Eurythmics) on piano and backing vocals.

Hannah added: “My friends’ parents have already been saying they would like to come to the gig because they were into her when they were younger.

“We hope the gig goes well on the night, we’re sure she will do a great show-stopping performance.

“We also hope that we will be impressed to see what we have all done together, it’s been a big effort and a lot of hard work as we all have A-levels to still focus on.

“We also believe that Hazel might be staying behind after the show to sign autograph, we hope that will happen.”

Acoustic performers who all attend Winstanley College will be supporting Hazel.

They are Jamie Webb, Liam Fraser and Jack Casteldine.

Tickets are still available from www.ticketweb.co.uk or call 08444 7710000.