High Quality Acts battle it out at Shipston Proms Fame Contest 2015

The Shipston Proms Fame Contest was held on Saturday 20th June at Townsend Hall in Shipston-on-Stour in front of a very enthusiastic audience supporting the six acts battling for the prize of appearing on the main stage at the Independence Day party for the last night of the Shipston Proms on 4th July.
The contest was split up into two parts, bands (3 or more members) and soloists or duets. The winners of both sections would appear on the stage at the last night of the Shipston Proms, along with The Peas, Duke and Creedence Clearwater Revived.
The 5 strong judging panel was composed of Ian Cooper, Kim Perry (one of the youngest recently elected councillors), Jo Peebles (Shipston High School), Alan Thompson and Tom Threadgill (lead singer with Launch event band Kinky Farnham).
The acts would each have the opportunity to come on stage and sing two songs in total, but in two parts. The organisers created two running orders for each acts presentation to the judges and large audience.
First on stage were local 3 piece rock group Brixton Alley with a line-up of Jonny Magro (guitar/vocals), Ben Wells (bass/vocals) and Alex Wells (drums). Two members were from Shipston and the third from Stratford-upon-Avon and they have been playing together for 1 year.
They gave us a drivin’ rock number to get the evening off with a bang and high standard of music.
Next on stage was duet Savannah presenting a multi-part song with vocals by Savannah and keyboard.
Next up on stage was the youngest act of the evening when 12-year-old Toby Coffey (Shipston High School) took to the stage, with a confidence that belied his youth!. He sang solo with a backing track and had a very clear and soulful voice.
Then we had Kineton High School 4 piece band Delirium, who had entertained us at the recent Shipston Wool Fair. The bands line-up was Jonathan Cartledge (vocals), Tom Penson (guitar), Jake Hawkins (bass) and Harry Emerson (drums).
They are all 15 years old and have been playing together for 4 years since they were in year 6 of primary school! (School Of Rock). They gave us an impassioned rock number strongly led by lead singer Jonathan.
Then back to a soloist when Battered Soul member and singer Charley Mack to the stage with her guitar and singer/songwriter style similar to Avril Lavigne.
Last up in the first section was local singer and guitarist Beth Ayres who dedicated her song to her Dad for Father’s Day. She sung the Beatles song Can’t Buy Me Love with a strong voice and guitar backing.
After a break the acts performed again, but in a different order. The only slight change was that Savannah was joined by Bertie on guitar for her second number.
Brixton Alley also gave us one of their own numbers, rather than a cover.
So after another break for the judges to confer, Shipston Proms organiser Tim Porter announced the result to a breathless audience.
First the winner of the solo/duet was announced with young Toby Coffey getting the decision just ahead of Beth Ayres.
Then for the band the judges warded first prize to Brixton Alley.
Well done to all the acts that were brave enough to come up on the stage in the Townsend Hall and perform, and we will see Toby Coffey and Brixton Alley on the main stage at the closing event of the Shipston Proms, in the main square, on Saturday 4th July.
The full set of images on Flickr can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/widerviewphoto/sets/72157652596134483
The organisers would like to thank sponsor Alex Lilley of Redwax for supporting the Shipston Proms Fame Contest in 2015.

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