Lithgow, NSW: Curtain raiser for state’s oldest club
By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Workies Club Photos: David Hill
The oldest registered club in NSW will take centre stage when the curtain officially goes up on the revamped showroom at Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club on March 19.
The showroom is part of a $6.5 million refurbishment of the club, known affectionately as “the Workies’’, along with a new 36-room 4-star (self-rated) motel, art gallery, restaurant, conference centre and more.
The former Irish tavern space has been transformed into a new entertainment venue featuring a new stage and audio visual technology and table seating ideal for dinner shows.
The 3.12m wide dropdown screen over the stage allows for a diverse range of activities from business conference presentations to movie screenings for children down the track.
Lithgow Workies Club general manager Geoff Wheeler said: “Our showroom is one of the largest venues of its type in the area suitable for a dinner show, and we can more than double the capacity by removing the tables.
“It also offers flexibility to conference groups looking for venues with large presentation rooms, small breakout spaces and tabled meal areas. It even has its own full bar.’’
The showroom, which has already hosted capacity crowds for Tom Jones – the Australian Experience and other gigs, will be officially opened by media and sporting personality Mike Whitney along with the motel and other works from 7.15pm on Saturday, March 19.
The evening will be rounded off with spectacular entertainment from Australia’s “Queen of Soul’’ Lisa Hunt and her band in the revamped showroom. Tickets: $20.
Hunt, whose soulful style began in an African American gospel church, has had songs on numerous compilations around the globe as singer and songwriter and has sold more than a million records.
The Can You Feel It songstress debuted with her album A Little Piece of Magic and was on the international chart topper CD Soulsation by Lovestation.
Hunt’s American soundtrack compositions include Subway Stories and Goodnight Moon with Lauryn Hill, Natalie Cole, Pattie Labelle, Billy Crystal and Susan Sarandon, while her studio credits include sessions with famed producers Jellybean Benitez (Madonna), Toni C (Whitney Houston), Frank Farion (LaBouche, Milli Vanilli) and The Berman Brothers (Amber, Ultra Nate).
Her voice can be heard on several top 10 dance tracks all over the world including as “the voice’’ of Lovestation (UK), Club X (Germany) and D1 (USA). In Italy she has been the featured vocalist on tour and recordings of Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari for many years and has worked with a range of artist from Opera tenor Pavarotti to Ray Charles and has shared the stage with musical greats such as Eric Clapton, James Brown, Dionne Warwick, Brian May, Randy Crawford, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis and Andrea Bocelli.
In Australia Hunt has toured and recorded with Jimmy Barnes, Diesel, Radio Freedom, Midnight Oil and Johnny (B Good) Johnson as well as Ronan Keating, Macy Gray, Mouse T, Delores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, Tina Arena and Cheb Mumi.
Hunt has also appeared as an actress in Off-Broadway musicals, produced and starred in her own “bluesical’’ production The Roots Of My Soul and, for the past few years, toured the rhythm and blues retrospective Forever Soul in Australia and the Middle East and released more original music including the single Music Makes Me Free.
The entertainment continues at Lithgow Workies Club with Jalapeno Deluxe playing the showroom on March 4 and the Lady Gaga & Katy Perry show coming up on April 15.
Mr Wheeler said the showroom entertainment line-up would be varied, with comedians to appear on the program in the future.
“We want people to come out of the city and other regions and enjoy our hospitality and see that there is so much to see and do in the area.
“Members and guests can now dine at our Esk Restaurant while watching the sunset over the mountains and Tuscan garden, watch a show, have a nightcap in the bar and then retire to their motel room just one minute’s walk down the corridor.’’
Lithgow Workies Club, Tank St, Lithgow, has regular entertainment in the showroom. Go to www.workies.com.au or phone (02) 6350 7777 for details, tickets and to book into the new motel.
- Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity