in special tribute

St Paul's in Birmingham is a relatively small but very refined gallery, brimming with beautiful work. On Thursday August 4th, it launched limited edition fine art prints of The Move's first two album covers. In collaboration with and signed by former members of The Move, they were produced in memory of founder band member, dear friend and Birmingham legend, Carl Wayne. Open to the public and advertised by related web sites, mailing lists and local newspapers and radio, the launch saw the gallery packed with Carl's family, close friends, former colleagues and many fans and acquaintances.

On arrival it was clear that a very special, Move-related event was taking place. A stand outside the gallery displayed images of the two prints and we were welcomed with free wine. The room was already buzzing as we entered to view the prints. I must say, they are impressive, although it was very strange and difficult to note Carl's autograph missing. I was particularly pleased to see a framed reproduction of the front page of  Carl's website displayed next to them, with "Carl Wayne 1943 - 2004" written in gold and featuring one of my own favourite photographs of him. 

Two enjoyable hours of mingling and chatting ensued to create a thoroughly enjoyable and successful occasion in Carl's memory. The atmosphere was relaxed and celebratory as people moved around and greeted each other, catching up and sharing stories and memories of Carl with laughter, warmth and raised glasses. Carl's wife, actress Susan Hanson and his son Jack were in attendance as well as many celebrities from the Birmingham music scene and beyond including Roy Wood, Bev Bevan and Rick Price of The Move, Mike Sheridan, Danny King, Dave Pritchard and Roger Spencer (Idle Race), Dave Morgan, Jim Onslow, Gerry Levine, Roger Bromley, Griff (original Roy Wood Big Band drummer), Keith Smart (original Wizzard drummer), soul diva Ruby Turner and actress Stephanie De Sykes. This throng of people, all connected in some way to Carl, and all eager to remember and talk about him was a brilliant reflection of his popularity, the event a wonderful celebration of his life and work. The evening was covered by BBC Radio WM and The Birmingham Post and Mail.

Later on, some of the party moved down the road to the Jam House for further celebrations and a performance by Bev Bevan's band featuring classic Move hits.

Sale proceeds from the limited edition prints will be going to Carl's cancer research charity. To find out more about them, and to purchase online, visit the St. Paul's Gallery website. The prints will be on permanent show at the gallery, open Tuesday until Saturday, 10am - 6pm.

Helen Macdonald