Stephen returns a musical favour

Mike and Sue Knowles, of Davenport Avenue in Bispham, have set up an appeal to raise money for an operation for their son Joe (3), who suffers from cerebral palsy.'Mike and Sue with Joe and his sister Olivia (9).  PIC BY ROB LOCK'24-12-2013

Mike and Sue Knowles, of Davenport Avenue in Bispham, have set up an appeal to raise money for an operation for their son Joe (3), who suffers from cerebral palsy.'Mike and Sue with Joe and his sister Olivia (9). PIC BY ROB LOCK'24-12-2013

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Stephen Pierre is doing what he does best to help an old music mate.

Pierre, a well known jazz musician who owns the Galleon Bar, is producing a charity EP to be released next month.

All the proceeds will go to the family of three-year-old Joe Knowles, who need £38,000 to pay for a life-changing operation.

Joe Knowles was born with cerebral palsy and cannot walk without help.

His parents, Mike and Sue, have taken him to specialists across the country and have been told an op can be done – but it is not available on the NHS and will cost.

Pierre is an old mate of Mike’s and has stepped in to help.

“I knew Michael 20 years ago when I played with the Colin Hadley Trio, which was a very good jazz band,” said Pierre, who splits his time between Blackpool and London, where he regularly performs.

“Michael was about 17 – he was the drummer and I was the singer, and we got along well.

“When I reopened the new Galleon Bar a few years ago, Michael came in, we started chatting and basically became friends again.

“He mentioned his little boy was having tests and things weren’t quite right and I told him that I’d help if ever I could.

“Michael has favours in the bank because back in 1996 I recorded a charity song for another local family and he played drums on that, so all these years later I thought I’d do my bit to try and help him and his family.”

Pierre has enlisted help from local artists like Belvadere and Johnny Wright (from the band Rixion, signed to a major record label in Canada) and is starting to put together a mini-album of songs.

With help from the musical director of the resort’s Legends show, Pierre is aiming to raise as much cash as he can.

“This is really important to me because it is a young Blackpool lad, whose father is someone I know, and if we can help this youngster get an operation which will change his life for the better then it will be fantastic,” added Pierre.

“With downloads and Facebook and Youtube it is much easier to get songs out there these days so hopefully the public in the town will respond and get behind us.”

It is hoped the EP will be available to buy at the end of next month. We’ll keep you posted.