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Mike Rutherford to return to Guildford for charity rock concert

Lead guitarist of Genesis and rock phenomenon Mike Rutherford will return to his home town of Guildford for a charity rock concert next month.

The music icon will play at the Wintershall Charity Rock Concert, in the grounds of the Wintershall Estate in the Surrey Hills, on Saturday July 2.

Mr Rutherford, along with Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Anthony Phillips, founded Genesis 48 years ago when he was at Charterhouse public school in Godalming. The band has sold 150 million albums and their farewell gig at the Circus Maximus in Rome in 2007 attracted a crowd of 500,000.

In the meantime, Mike + the Mechanics, who he will be playing with at the concert, was set up in 1985 as a ‘bit of fun’, and has sold more than 10 million records. "There’s a nice history to the concert, which will be the sixth event in around 30 years," he said. "It’s a nice local event, that raises a lot of money on the day in a special setting."

Mr Rutherford, who lives on the Surrey and Sussex border, does a lot of other charity shows but sees this as "completely unique" and a "one off".

"It’s close to home, and there is something that feels more special about doing a charity show close to home, because you are raising money for people closer to you.

"When you’re playing on stage, you don’t think about the charity, you just want to make sure people are having a good time, and make it fun for everyone."

The concert will be raising money in aid of Haste, The James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Foundation and other Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire charities. As well as his band, artists such as one of the world’s greatest drummers Queen’s Roger Taylor will be performing. Returning from a sell-out US tour, and one of the most exciting rock bands to come out of Britain in the last 20 years, The Darkness will also be playing.

"At the end, all the artists come together – that is something the audience will never seen anywhere else," said Mr Rutherford.

Asked what he was looking forward to about the concert, Mr Rutherford said: "No rain."

Last held in 2011, the concert raised more £200,000, which was used for research by Haste into atrial fibrillation. The Wintershall Concerts were the inspiration of Peter and Ann Hutley. First taking place in 1988, they have continued every few years. All have taken place by the Chapel Lake in the heart of the Estate and have raised millions for local charities.

Previous performers have included Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, Lulu, Ronnie Wood, Bob Geldof and Georgie Fame.

Tickets are available at www.wintershallconcerts.co.uk.

© Getsurrey, by Georgina Townshend

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