South Kirkby Miner’s Club Pontefract
May 12 2016
Reviewer Mark Ritchie
Younger cabaret fans will be unaware just how highly regarded Sunny Daye was back in the late 1980’s and through the 90’s. A cabaret headliner with some of the largest holiday centre chains, the name of Sunny Daye usually attracted a good crowd and members of the audience
Appearing on television in a couple of the now largely forgotten Michael Barrymore television vehicles, national stardom seemed at one time a certainty for this most expansive of singer/ entertainers.
At South Kirkby miner’s club, this was an annual member’s night and Sunny Daye was appearing in a double bill with 60’s Explosion, a genre tribute duo, who are also available just as impressively as 70’s Explosion.
Sunny Daye has marketed herself in many ways over the years. Soubriquets such as The Tart on Tour and bawdy self-descriptive, such as ‘Fat but Shag-able’ have become legion to supporters of ‘Mizz Daye’.
A succession of personal tragedies and health problems have blighted her career. Surely Sunny Daye is the archetypical show-business near miss. In my view, there was a spell when this fine artiste was only one good, pushy management away from television stardom. Is it too late now? Possibly.
On the night in South Kirkby Sunny Daye gave it to them with both barrels. Top songs, larger than life humour and some bendy dance moves were lapped up by the warm Yorkshire audience and the result was a terrific cabaret atmosphere.
The evening continued in similarly uplifting fashion. The 60’s and 70’s Explosion people merged both decades of their two successful shows together and left an audience, who were ready to lap up the nostalgia, happy as they headed home.
So, what’s next for Mizz Daye? Well recently she appeared in one of the bewildering myriad of telly cooking shows. On the Sunny Daye promotional publicity there are references to a recent appearance as a ‘Boot Camp Finalist’, in one of the Cowell TV talent- shows, in which the judges are much more famous than any of the acts they claim to have discovered.
It just doesn’t seem anywhere near enough for an artiste who I first saw in the summer of 1987, when she was a young girl working as a guest in the Mick Miller show on Blackpool’s Merrie England bar, on the North Pier. According to an old Blackpool friend, who saw the show many times, Sunny Daye stole the show every night and it seemed only a matter of time until stardom came knocking.
For whatever reason, the big break never came. Referring to Sunny Daye at the height of her talent and popularity, the musician Heather Nixon once told me, it stardom eludes someone possessing this level of talent, what hope is there for the rest of us?