James Butler – Impromptu Party
By Margaret Sheard
Video by Chris Elliott
I recently attended an Afternoon Tea Talk organised by The Friends of the TRNC Emergency Services when James Butler gave a talk about his experiences when he was a dental technician. I had been to a previous talk he had given as well but on the second occasion James also played his guitar for us, which was a real treat.
James is a near neighbour of mine and I was aware that he was very much into music so I was very pleased when he phoned on Sunday morning to invite Chris and I to an impromptu party to celebrate his birthday, which was actually on the previous Friday. There were a few people we had not met before and some we already knew, like Maggie White from ADA TV with her husband and Mark Rumbelow who arrived with Justin.
The event started at around 3pm on Sunday afternoon and while I was getting ready I could hear the music drifting up from his garden. When we arrived, I was amazed to see a host of musicians, all friends of James, who had got together to play for James and his guests. Of course this included James as well, who is a very good guitar player.
I didn’t know all of the musicians but eventually managed to find out who they all were. As well as James, there was Kelvin who is well-known around the island, Andy and Charlie who play with the Misfits, Tony Elkins on drums, Dennis Wakefield who sings and plays saxophone and guitar and also Justin who had come along and couldn’t resist joining in. I hadn’t expected all of this and we all had a brilliant time with the music blasting out jazz, blues, rock and roll favourites, all toe tapping stuff. I even noticed some people walking past clapping and cheering the musicians on.
James’s friend Eva had been busy with her friends preparing food and everyone enjoyed the lovely variety of dishes which were laid out on a table by the pool. The wine flowed and the music played and we all had a fabulous time.
I had a few words with Dennis who said he had been involved with music since he was a young man in his 20’s and as well as playing guitar, saxophone and singing, he had also been a bandleader from time to time, this was all non-professional and his working career took over so he played for pleasure when he had the time. At one point he had a pub in the UK and he formed a Trio which meant that as well as running the business he could also entertain the customers. Now in North Cyprus, he occasionally appears with The Misfits. Dennis said he is in the process of forming a new Dennis Wakefield Trio which will comprise of himself, Charlie and Tony and they will lean towards jazz, blues and soul type music and it will be the intention to invite people to jam with them occasionally. This sounds like another good music scene for the island and we look forward to seeing them.
We had only intended to stay for a couple of hours but found ourselves still there enjoying the music well into the evening. This was a brilliant impromptu party, so thank you James for inviting us to share this birthday bash and hear you performing with your friends. You certainly did make fantastic music together.