Norfolk bands to help new cancer charity

Peter WalshMembers of two Norfolk groups are used to taking centre stage when they perform, but they will be happy to let a new male cancer charity take all the limelight at a special gig to launch the new venture.Peter Walsh

Members of two Norfolk groups are used to taking centre stage when they perform, but they will be happy to let a new male cancer charity take all the limelight at a special gig to launch the new venture.

The Harvs and Hollow Earth will be topping the bill at the University of East Anglia's LCR for a concert in aid of the Blue Ribbon Foundation next month.

The event is the brainchild of prostate cancer survivor Mel Lacey, who wanted to start a charity aimed exclusively at male cancers after he won his battle with the disease.

Mr Lacey, a freelance media solutions consultant, vowed to launch the BRF for men to emulate the work the Pink Ribbon Foundation has done for women in their battle against cancer, but needed between �5,000 and �10,000 to get it started.

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The concert, on April 16, will not only help officially launch the charity, but generate the cash to get it up and running and helping men to beat the disease.

Mr Lacey, a fan of both The Harvs and Hollow Earth, approached both bands to play in the gig and they have agreed to do so for free so every penny can go towards the project.

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Ian Harvey who formed the band The Harvs with his son Liam, 31, about 12 years ago said he was delighted to be taking part in the concert.

He said: 'Mel and his family have been coming and watching us play for a few years. They used to turn up quite regularly until a couple of years ago and then dropped off the radar - it turned out he had cancer.

'Once he got over that he decided to do this thing and got in touch with us at the end of last year and just said he was hoping to arrange an event to try to kick off a new charity to help people with male cancers and asked if we would be interested - we just both immediately said yes. My father Len was diagnosed with colon cancer at Christmas time and although it's not a specific male cancer, it's still brought it right to my doorstep.'

Kym Blackman, lead vocalist of Hollow Earth, a progressive rock band, said Mr Lacey has been their PR manager so was happy to help with the project. He said: 'He told me about the BRF and we thought let's combine the two - why don't we do a big charity gig that will showcase the band and support the foundation that Mel is trying to start? It has just snowballed out of that.'

Mr Lacey said the UEA gig, which is being sponsored by Aylsham Road-based independent financial advisers Smith and Pinching, is an extremely important part of the establishment of the new male cancer charity with every penny going to the charity.

He said: 'The success of this gig and the subsequent launching of a BRF will mean that more men can be alerted to the threat of all male cancers. When you are told you have the disease, it is like getting hit with by a high-speed train. I have been very fortunate, my wonderful surgeon, Mr Edwin Ho, caught my cancer just in time. Now I want to do all I can to give other men that same chance. Please support this event and make it possible.'

Tickets are �10 from the UEA box office on 01603 508050 or or from Mel Lacey by email at

Are you raising money in memory of a loved one or friend Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 7772436 or email

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