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Platform hopes to pack 'em in!

John Freeman

The new Platform Spring and Summer 2009 brochure is now available and packed with details of the exciting and varied programme of concerts and events on offer at the popular Morecambe venue over the next few months.

The first show, comedian Jason Manford has already sold out and the Promenade Concert Orchestra Viennese Concert on Sunday, 25 January looks set to follow suit.

Folk fans will enjoy Lau from Scotland, Appalachian music and dance with Debby McClatchy and Dave Swarbrick's band Lazarus in February. March sees a St Patrick's concert by traditional Irish band Craobh Rua and the good old favourites The Houghton Weavers (pictured above), another sure-to-sellout event. Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham will play Scottish jigs and reels in April and singer/guitarist Dick Gaughan will be in concert in May. The beautiful voice of Irish singer Cara Dillon completes the folk menu at the end of June.

Simon Yates, "The Man Who Cut the Rope" will tell his story on 13 February and the ever popular Henry Blofeld returns with a brand new "Evening With Blowers" in March.

One of the highlights of the season is surely a debut appearance by one of UK's finest soul singers, Ruby Turner who's at the Platform in February. Ruby has performed in Morecambe before at the Light and Water Festival and, old virtual-lancaster team members recall, at Lancaster University back in the 1980s when the Union ran events in the Great Hall.

You might also choose to celebrate St Valentine's Day with a Sunday afternoon concert of love songs with Wendy Sharrock and Brian Lancaster accompanied by Charles Edmondson or enjoy an evening of nostalgia with Gerry Marsden in his night of songs and stories in February and the hugely popular Alan Price in May. Also in May, The UK Beach Boys will be evoking memories of the long hot summers of yesteryear, followed by The Manfreds on their "Let 'Em Roll" tour in June.

Other highlights include The Hamsters, playing the music of Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top, Masters of the House singing songs from the musicals, comedian Mark Steel, Western Swing from Lancashire's Swing Commanders and gospel, blues and swing from Tipitina (includes a workshop for those who would like to join in) and the music of the Boomtown Rats, performed by two of the originals with a new band.

“The closure of Morecambe's Dome later this year will be a sad day for many of us," commented Coun Jane Fletcher, cabinet member with responsibility for arts and leisure on the planned line up, "but Lancaster City Council continues to provide a large and varied programme of entertainment that caters for everyone’s taste, be it via festivals and events, grants to other arts organisations as well as through its popular Platform venue in the heart of Morecambe.

"The Platform's Spring/Summer brochure is more packed than ever with concerts and events ranging from music, comedy and dance to theatre and cabaret not forgetting a whole host of children’s shows and community events and we really hope people will come along, support and enjoy this marvellous facility."

The events listed above are just a taster of the shows on offer. To find out more, simply pick up a free copy of the brochure at Lancaster and Morecambe Information Centres or by telephoning the Box Office on 01524 582803. Alternatively catch all the events on the Whats On pages.