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Star-studded concert raises thousands for cancer charities

PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 October 2018

Gareth Grayston's band Diamond headlined the concert. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGE

Gareth Grayston's band Diamond headlined the concert. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGE

GARETH GRAYSTON

A star-studded charity concert has proved a huge success after raising over £1,000 in aid of Stand up to Cancer.

The band were joined by other performers for their final song 'Valerie'. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGEThe band were joined by other performers for their final song 'Valerie'. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGE

The all-singing, all-dancing event – organised by Gareth Grayston, whose traumatic battle with the bowel cancer forced him to have part of his bladder removed – took place at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket.

Mr Grayston’s band Diamond headlined the show alongside a host of new talent including Jessica Richardson of ITV’s The Voice Kids, London-based solo singer James Harper and Essex girl band D’LuXE.

He said: “It went really well. Everybody was up on the dance floor.

“By the time that Diamond got on, everybody was having a good time. We played one song where the lights were dimmed and everybody turned their flash lights on their phones on which was special.

Bright lights in the shape of Stand up to Cancer initials were part of the set at the concert. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGEBright lights in the shape of Stand up to Cancer initials were part of the set at the concert. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGE

“The support acts really enjoyed playing and we got loads of good feedback from people who were there.”

The 36-year-old was dealt a devastating blow by medics in 2009 when he was told he had bowel cancer that had spread to his bladder.

But, it was following his recovery that his mental health began to suffer.

He formed Diamond in 2013 in a bid to use music as therapy, and has now put on two glittering performance with some of the biggest up-and-coming artists, all in aid of cancer charities.

Diamond managed to sneak a selfie with the crowd half-way through their set. Picture: GARETH GRAYSTONDiamond managed to sneak a selfie with the crowd half-way through their set. Picture: GARETH GRAYSTON

Mr Grayston said: “It was traumatic. It took a real toll and strain on me, I think I had been focusing so much on the physical pain that afterwards it just hit me.

“Everyone was so supportive but I just fell into this kind of pit that I thought I might never get out of.

“Afterwards, the mental side of things was what I really struggled with. I turned to music as therapy, I’d always enjoyed singing.

“We formed Diamond back in 2013, and since then we’ve performed at countless gigs.”

The band have performed many concerts together in aid of charity. Picture:  STEVE PARTRIDGEThe band have performed many concerts together in aid of charity. Picture: STEVE PARTRIDGE

The concert was Supported by Cancer Research UK with all ticket sales and on-the-night donations to be given to the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.

“I would like to put on another concert that was a bigger social event with a bigger crowd in the future,” said Mr Grayston.

“This concert was great and we raised over £1000 and donations are still coming in.”

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