The expat entertainment sector has a steadfast reputation for coming together in times of crisis and in aid of worthy causes, especially during the recent coronavirus pandemic and the current war in Ukraine.
One singer who has demonstrated a passion for helping others is 38-year-old Lucy Pardoe, a British expat best known for being one half of the Rock of the Ages duo, a show that has earned her the reputation as one of the best rock singers on the coast.
Born in Eastbourne, Sussex. Lucy's venture into the world of entertainment began at the age of two when she began to dance. By the age of ten, Lucy was dancing professionally after training in ballet, tap and modern jazz. She performed around the UK, and also appeared in shows in Mallorca and Italy. However, she would hang up her dancing shoes to pursue a different career.
"I retired from dancing at 28, and seeing as I had also been working in the makeup industry, I thought this would be a good career move," Lucy explains to SUR in English.
Lucy came to Spain in 2016 and settled in Mijas. Her plan was to "just continue working as a freelance make-up stylist", but after meeting her partner, local musician Ollie Hughes, her life would take a different direction.
Although Lucy had had no real experience as a vocalist, her love of the entertainment world led to her applying for a role at the Salón Varietés Theatre in Fuengirola. Although she did not get the part, it was here that she met the singer, Ruth Norris, who persuaded Lucy to form a duo. It was not long before she would also form a band with her boyfriend Ollie.
"Ollie is a rocker and he is an insane guitarist. He played the guitar long before becoming a singer. He had been performing a Robbie tribute for more than 20 years and decided he wanted to do something different. This is how Rock of the Ages came about," Lucy says.
Although not from a musical background, she grew up listening to a variety of different music. Her favourite is country music, but it was Ollie's influence that turned her into one of the coast's most popular rock singers.
The Rock of the Ages show was initially put together for a charity event, but the couple have gone on to perform it at venues all along the coast.
Another initiative that boosted Lucy and Ollie's popularity was the Rock the Lockdown online concerts, which took place throughout the early stages of the Covid crisis.
The concerts proved to be highly successful, with performers joining in from Spain and other parts of the world.
"This was Ollie's bright idea. However, he comes up with these ideas, but does not know how to make them happen. He is not the best on social media, so it's me who has to make it happen. We had artists from Singapore, Australia, America and the UK, it was absolutely amazing" Lucy says, beaming as she recalls the initiative.
Lucy also endeavours to support the local artists and venues, although she admits that this is partly fuelled by her love of live music.
"I think the expat entertainment scene on the coast is amazing. Pretty much all we do on our days off is go to watch other singers. It's a mix of wanting to be supportive and because we genuinely enjoy going to see live music.
The incredibly talented singer has also earned an admirable reputation for using her talents to raise funds for charity, something Lucy says she "feels good to be part of".
Her latest fundraising appeal took place last Sunday (10 July), when Lucy and several friends participated in a zip-wire flight in Alhaurín de la Torre to help the Operation Great Escape dog sanctuary, an event that raised almost 300 euros.
"The zipline in Alhaurín de la Torre was on my things to do list, so I thought why not do it for charity. These charities do amazing jobs and I just wanted to help in some way,"
"It was a really cool experience but not as scary as I thought it would have been. Skydiving next, for sure," the animated singer concludes, with a smile.