Shipston Proms 2015 Finishes with a Bang

The 17th Shipston Proms had its finale on Saturday 4th July with an Independence Day Party free concert, in the square in the South Warwickshire town of Shipston-on-Stour. The acts on stage were the two Fame Contest winners from 20th June (Toby Coffey – Solo/duet section and from the band section Brixton Alley), The Peas, Duke and finishing off with Creedence Clearwater Revived.

The Proms this year featured a wide range of musicians and bands ranging from classical concerts, including an excellent Young Musicians concert in Barcheston, through World Music with the Brazilian influenced sounds of Incandescendo, Stratford Folk comes to Shipston (with Tori Rushton and her band Daisy Chain Quartet leading the event), Blues from Sons of the Delta, Soul from Shipston High School band Battered Soul through to excellent Open Mic events at the Black Horse in Shipston and Gate Inn in Upper Brailes.

The schools also got involved with a well received Primary School concert in Shipston (Shipston, Acorns & Brailes CE Primary Schools) and an excellent Shipston High School Summer Concert, showing the high standards that Head of Music David Hunt had coached and guided out of the High School children.

This just scratches at the surface of the over 30 events on this years calendar.

The setup for the Last Night of the Proms began at 6pm on the previous day with the arrival of the 40ft artic trailor (Thanks to Fosseway Hire) which was parked outside Lloyds Bank and R. Clarke Electrical services, and setup to give a large level stage.

On the Saturday morning the Shipston Proms team arrived at 7:30am to help erect the marquee that was going to become the Proms bar, and once up the bar itself was built. The team had to work around the Saturday morning shoppers as the road itself was fully closed until 3:30pm. The sounds and lights team then started the long process and wiring up the stage from lunchtime and final preparations were finished around 6:30pm when the bands on the bill did their soundchecks.

For the pre-show in El Café we had local Shipston band 16 Strings and a Dead Goat (Eleanor Stanley – violin/guitar/vocals, James Thomas – guitar/vocals, Mike Beeston – percussion, Matt Watkins – bass) entertaining the El Café customers with their mix of folk, rock and blues. The band name came from having a fiddle, 12 string and a bodhran – hence 16 strings and a dead goat, but now with added bass from.

First up on the stage at 7pm was Shipston Proms Fame contest winner of the solo/duet category Toby Coffey. Toby is a 12-year-old attending Shipston High School and having impressed Shipston High’s Head of Music David Hunt in his demonstration of his singing, was then allowed to apply for a place in the concert.

Toby sang three songs including When I was your Man (Bruno Mars) and the finale of Gravity to an appreciative audience.

Next up we had the Fame Contest band winners Brixton Alley (Jonny Magro – guitar, Ben Wells – Bass and Alex Wells – drums) with their three-piece alternative/indie band and strong lyrics, including their own songs. They enjoyed their set on the large set to a growing crowd.

Next up were exciting duo The Peas (Kelvin Leitch – guitar/ vocals Kelly Rashleigh – double bass – vocals) with their eclectic sound. They are described as a duo of many parts with songs from the 80s onwards, now laced with kazoos, mouth trumpets, beat box, vocal harmonies, double bass, acoustic guitar, bass drum and tambourine! They definitely fitted this description and the crowd really enjoyed their songs.

Next up on stage were a band from a different genre when Duke (Markos Pandazis – (Vocals/Vocal baselines/Beatbox), Edward Travers – (Beatbox, FX, Vocals) and Flynn Stronach – (Guitar, Vocals) took to the stage with their Beatbox sound.

Duke, from Cheltenham, are three voices, one guitar, no backing tracks, looping or sampling to produce their amazing covers sound. They had the crowd jumping up and down to the pulsating sound, including a Bon Jovi sing along, which bounced around the High Street buildings until 10:30. Duke were kindly sponsored by The George Hotel, Shipston.

Then we had the headline act Creedence Clearwater Revived, featuring Johnny Guitar Williamson, with their repertoire of classic CCR songs from 60s onwards, which got the crowd dancing until they finished just before midnight.

Then it was time for the Proms team to start the clear-up and put the High Street back to its normal trading form with parking available. Then after the Press Releases, Blogs and images are finalised it is a recovering break before the team continues its thoughts about the 2016 event and line-up.

The full Last Night of the Proms Flickr image set can be viewed at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/widerviewphoto/sets/72157655507910462

With 16 Strings and Dead Goat Pre-show Flickr set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/widerviewphoto/sets/72157655524153501

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