It was a capacity crowd of folks raring to dance the night away at the Kaylee Hall in Poole’s Corner for a special first-ever fundraising event last Saturday night.
Called Heat the Hall, the night featured an ensemble of frequent Kaylee Hall dance performers, including Old Habits, Phase II and Under Pressure — all of whom came out volunteering their time to help generate support for the hall’s upkeep costs this winter.
Owned and operated by the Fraser family, the hall had to shut down last winter due to high oil heating costs for the large space that once was a warehouse and has been in operation as a community hall for the past 14 years.
“There was a lot of growlin’,” said Charlie Fraser on Saturday night at the hall when I spoke to him about what the reaction was from the community due to the hall’s closing last winter.
“We were going to close again this year, but most of the bands wanted things to keep going, so they decided to get together to put on this fundraiser to help out.”
As I spoke to Fraser, who is a well-known and respected fixture at virtually every single event that takes place at the hall, the party rocked around us. The dance floor was packed with couples jiving away to Old Habits as they kicked out a fantastic groove of Great Balls of Fire, with special guests Pat King of Phase II on keyboard, and P.E.I.’s “granddaddy of rock ‘n’ roll” Niall MacKay on vocals.
MacKay kept those booming vocal chords pumping for more classics like Jerry Lewis’ Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be the Day.
Old Habits, led by Eddy Quinn on vocals (who has been a dedicated performer mainstay at the Kaylee Hall for over eight years), was the first band of the night, keeping things a rockin’ for the first shift through until about 10:15 p.m., with a set highlighted by hits such as All the Way to Cardigan, Rock This Town, Have I Told You Lately and Excursion Around the Bay.
“Eddy, I want you to know that my microphone’s never been so high off the floor,” said lead singer of Phase II, Gerry Hickey, as the consummate P.E.I. dance band blasted into its set of dance-floor-filling tunes such as The Beatles’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Music, George Jones’ The Race is On and Bryan Adams’ Summer of ‘69.
“I remember it well!” shouted out one of the patrons from a table near the back, when the name of the tune was announced before they went into it.
Yes, there was certainly no heating issue in the building that night, as things were cooking with the energy from hundreds (sweating off all those holiday calories) as the beat pounded on, and Phase II delivered more hits like a stupendous CCR medley (including Bad Moon Rising and Fortunate Son) and Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl.
Finally, the four-piece P.E.I. country dance band known as Under Pressure took the Poole’s Corner party beyond midnight as Sharon Winters and Christa Young on vocals belted out an awesome variety of country oldies and classic rock hits to finish off the night with a bang.
All in all, it was a fantastic undertaking by these generously-spirited bands, and the successful turnout shows how well-loved the Kaylee Hall truly is as a venue.
And if you’re a fan of the Kaylee Hall and didn’t make it out to the event, but would still like to support the members of the Fraser family in their endeavours to keep the hall going this winter, call 651-2424 to make further donations to the effort.
Next week: It’s time to ring in the new year Lebanese style once again, at the Lebanese levee.
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at email@example.com or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
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