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Mudsharks rejoin forces for one-off Raglan fundraiser

Raglan’s legendary Mudsharks are back next month for a one-off gig guaranteed to get the town rockin’ again — like it used to in the ‘80s when Mudshark Mondays became a phenomenon.

Not only will celebrated local bluesman Midge Marsden, now living in Auckland, put in an appearance on the night but so will another six of the early band members — Dave Maybee, Sid and Freddy Limbert, Peter Skandera and Gary Verberne.

All will be playing for free at the Raglan Club, says local musician Dave Maybee, in what’s billed as the Raglan Volunteer Rescue Services Fundraiser. Music, food and auctions promise to make it more than just a gig, he says, with 400 tickets only up for grabs from next week.

“Raglan Club has wholeheartedly supported this event by generously providing its facilities (for free) and making a generous donation of its own,” Dave told the Chronicle on Monday.

He was approached recently to organise a gig to help Westpac’s annual Chopper Appeal, he says, but decided to cast the net wider and raise funds for all Raglan’s volunteer rescue services — Westpac Air Ambulance, the Fire Brigade, Coastguard, Surf Life Saving and St John Ambulance.

“They all do a lot of fundraising themselves,” adds Dave, resident here for 30-odd years and who along with fellow Mudsharks formed a central part of TVNZ’s historic hour-long documentary Raglan by the Sea. The celebrated doco preceded the successful Heartland series also hosted by Gary McCormick, who is himself an honorary Mudshark.

Next month’s fundraiser will be the Mudsharks’ fourth reunion in recent years. Their gigs have alternated between the club and the pub, but this latest one will be the first on a Saturday rather than the usual Monday.

Dave and fellow musician Sid Limbert — who’s recently returned to live in Raglan — started the Mudsharks as a duo, every second Monday in the front bar of the Harbour View Hotel from early 1981 through to ’89.

It was free entertainment aimed at pulling in the punters on a quiet week night while not upsetting too many locals who might be “set in their ways”, recalls Dave. “There were acoustic guitars, mandolins and a very makeshift sound system, complete with a yard broom duck-taped to the floor for a microphone stand.

“Clarry Cresswell — saxophone legend from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s — sat in and had a lick with the crew,” Dave adds.

And Midge joined the Mudsharks soon after.

The latest Saturday night gig kicks off with local musicians yet to be confirmed, but only after Raglan’s “gourmet foodie” Colin Chung has taken over the club kitchen and supplied finger food for patrons at $5-10.

A silent auction in which people bid for accommodation packages will be ongoing, while $1-2 electronic raffles and other big auctions — with local stock agent auctioneer Chris Leuthart — will be run from when doors open at 6.30 and inbetween the Mudsharks’ sets.

*Doors open at Raglan Club at 6.30pm, Saturday May 19. Donations of goods and services to auction can be made by phoning Marise or Maxine at Westpac 825 0602, or Craig 027 4405636.

Edith Symes

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