By Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
“Great music” was how the reviewers described the new CD released by the Beaumont Brothers. And, if this clip is anything to go by, we can only agree.
Singer songwriter, and guitarist, Andy Beaumont is a fundraiser of long standing. He gives up much of his spare time to play at pubs and clubs around north Wales, donating all his profits to the ME Association.
Now his brother Geoff and nephew Bob have joined him. They’ve played in bands together for much of their lives, playing a mix of blues, Americana and Folk, and have appeared at many music festivals.
Have a listen to them playing at a recent Narrowboat Session
It’s perfect music for bobbing along on a canal, or if you are stuck inside due to illness: gentle, upbeat, but calm:
Andy’s wife, Kate, has suffered with the most severe form of M.E. for over 20 years and has been bed-bound since 2013, so the ME Association is close to all their hearts.
Andy has been Kate’s main carer for nearly 20 years and says:
“Music has always been important to me, and has been a lifeline during Kate’s illness. It’s a way of combining something I love doing with raising money for a good cause. When she was well, Kate used to come to hear me play. But now, she often struggles to tolerate any noise. But she’s really supportive and knows what it means to me.”
Andy and Kate, both biological scientists, met in 1988 at a Marine Science Conference in Swansea. Kate, whose main hobby had been scuba diving, became ill in 1995, and was diagnosed with M.E. which slowly got worse until she had to retire from her Post-doctoral research position.
In July 2013 she suffered a relapse which confined her to bed. Her symptoms included intolerance of light, noise or touch and some pain. She was unable to read, watch TV, listen to the radio or talk for more than a few minutes.
“It was a frightening and despairing time for us both. She very gradually began to emerge from the nightmare during 2015 and is now able to listen to a little radio, watch TV for a short time, read a little, whisper a few words and engage more with me and the life around us.”
But Andy is determined not to let the condition beat them. He added:
“Using my musical activities to raise funds for M.E. research is very satisfying. I’m happy to feel that the good luck I’ve had in my life – my health, rewarding career, living in beautiful countryside, loving relationships, fun with music – can now be used to help those whose lives have been struck down and strangled by the dreadful bad luck of living with M.E.”
We asked Andy what he would do next and he replied, “I’ve set myself a £3,000 fundraising target – then I’ll decide!”
New music and fundraising
Well, thanks to all his singing over the summer, he’s already well on the way to achieving that goal.
The boys have just released a live EP – “The Beaumont Brothers” – containing 6 songs recorded last year at the Bangor Curiad Festival in North Wales, where Andy lives.
It costs just £5, and all money raised will be donated to the M.E. Association. It is available by CD or by download from Andy’s bandcamp website.
To learn more about Andy’s fundraising and music, to purchase music, or to support his fundraising effort, please visit his JustGiving page, which also provides contact information.
The music can also be purchased as CD’s direct from Andy.