In the Mood for Dance− by columnist John Sharples

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IT was March in 1997 when I met the Nolan sisters. I was still in the UK working my final event at the holiday camp in Southport. The event was a 70’s weekend. Boney M had played the main ballroom in the afternoon and the place was electric.

We had an Abba tribute the night before and tonight the Nolans were going to perform.

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Everyone was really excited. The Nolans had major hits in the late 70’s and early 80’s and there were members of their fan club staying for the weekend, so expectations were high.

The sound crew turned up in the late afternoon to set up in the cabaret bar and I met the girls during the soundcheck. They were so lovely. Great fun to chat with and we had a really good laugh.

That evening, the time came for me to introduce them onto the stage. There was a play on and I proudly stepped out and announced “Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope that you are all in the mood for dancing because it’s time to meet the fabulous Nolan Sisters.


Nothing happened. No music, no Nolan Sisters. I went into the dressing room where there was a big discussion going on with the sound man. Something had gone wrong with their DAT tape and all the backing tracks were on it. They didn’t have the music in any other form.

There I was with a room full of a thousand people and they couldn’t go on stage because their sound had broken down. I was mortified. I didn’t want to be the one to go out on stage and get lynched.


The girls were so apologetic but there was nothing they could do. Then I had an idea. In my CD collection I had a copy of the Nolan Sisters’ greatest hits. I asked them if they thought they could get away with miming. They were a little unsure, but after a bit of begging they agreed to do it.

They went from hit to hit without a fault and the audience loved them. To this day I have never told anyone about it. The audience had no idea that they were completely miming and they got me out of a very sticky situation.

I tell you this story because they are in the news at the moment. Two of the girls are suffering with cancer. I hope that all goes well for them. They were so kind and fun to be around. Not many acts would have done what they did and I am eternally grateful to them for doing it.




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