In memory of Isabella

The Isabella Blues Band
The Isabella Blues Band

A BAND set up in memory of a baby who died just after her first birthday has embarked on a series of gigs to raise money for charities which helped her family.

The Isabella Blues Band has already played one gig, and another is planned at the Comrades Club in Heckmondwike on August 3.

Guitarist and music teacher Steve Walker, of Church Lane, Liversedge, said the band came about after he held a charity night in February at the Swan in Liversedge for the Ronald McDonald House and Heartline charities.

“I wanted to give something back after the help they gave us when my grand-daughter Isabella Dean was born with heart problems,” he explained.

Isabella was diagnosed with a complex heart condition when she was just six weeks old and her parents, Rachel and Mark, spent nearly 11 months at her bedside at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

They received invaluable support from Ronald McDonald House, where parents can stay while their children are being cared for, and Heartline.

The Swan gig, which also featured local bands, was so successful that the Isabella Blues Band was formed from several of Steve’s musician friends, and so far almost £4,000 has been raised.

“I can’t believe how much it’s taken off,” said Steve.

“When you lose a child it tears the family to pieces, so it’s really humbling to see how much support we’ve had.

“After Isabella died, friends approached us and said they had to do something to help. At the time I wasn’t in the right state of mind to do anything, but after the Swan gig, it just felt right.

“As well as doing the gigs, my wife and a team of friends are busy making Isabella Blues teddies and cards which are selling really well.”

The band comprises Steve, singer Sadie Louise Wind, Keith Appleton on keyboards, Dave Uttley on bass and Andy MacVeigh on drums.

“As the name suggests, we’re blues based, but we play everything from early Robert Johnson to Joe Cocket, Eric Clapton and even Amy Winehouse,” added Steve.

Tickets for the event at the Comrades are £5 in advance or £7 on the door, call Steve on 07704 320745.

Also playing will be The Britrocks and The Dirty Vinyls.