08:00 Monday 19 November 2012

Delay fails to dampen the spirits at lights switch on

Written byHELEN KREFT

HUNDREDS of people squeezed themselves in Burton’s Market Place for a the annual lights switch on... that was not without its hiccups.

Christmas lights
Christmas lights

A technical fault due to a blown fuse halted proceedings for 15 minutes, but despite the cold weather the crowd remained entertained with Britain’s Got Talent finalist Michael Collings.

Michael, who claimed international attention when he performed Fast Car by Tracy Chapman during the talent show back in 2011, said: “I don’t know what people will expect from me tonight.

“I don’t know what I will be playing — I will just wing it.

“Since being on Britain’s Got Talent, it has been brilliant. I have been all over the UK doing gigs.”

Mr Collings treated the crowd to his version of Sting’s Englishman in New York, as well as the people’s favourite — Fast Car.

Alex and Boss — winners of this year’s Burton Mail’s Got Talent — also entertained the crowd with a Sonny and Cher classic.

Singer Alex White, who plays alongside guitarist Anthony Hall, said afterwards: “It has been really good since the competition and we have had a few gigs out of it from people saying ‘oh we saw you in the paper.’

“We weren’t sure about entering before but I would say to anyone even if they don’t win they can still get work and it’s a really good laugh.

“It was terrifying before we went on stage tonight because we haven’t done anything this big before but everyone was singing along, and taking photos.”

The band, Through The Rain, also played while the technical difficulties were being sorted.

Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths was also hand on to kick off proceedings and thanked the crowd for attending and supporting the town, as well as urging them to support local shops, pubs and restaurants in the run up to Christmas.

Mayor of East Staffordshire Len Milner thanked sponsors Star City, Burton Place, Coopers Square and The Octagon shopping centres as well as ‘bollard man’ — Touch FM’s Mark O’Sullivan, who Councillor Milner was happy to point out, recently became a victim to the town’s infamous bollards.

The event was rounded off with a fireworks display by Burton-based world musical firework champions Pyrotex.

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