Shipston Proms 2019 goes out with a Bang

The 21st edition of the Shipston Proms had its climax on Saturday evening with the free last night of the Proms Street Party in the town square in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. The square was packed with around 1000 people enjoying the music, along with Proms beer (run by Chris Mair and his team) and hot food from R&D Walker Butchers (Moreton-in-Marsh)

The line-up was headlined by 90s band The BritPop Boys, supported by Oliver Darling and the Living Legends and Mr Blonde.

Also featured were the Shipston Young Musicians Choir, Fame contest solo/duet winning Kathryn Packer and the Shipston High School Jazz Band, for the Fame Contest bands section.

The two weeks Proms had offered a variety of musical acts from classical, through Jazz to Blues, Folk along with favourites such as Mrs Porter’s Chamberpot Pourri, Shipston High School Summer Showcase Concert, Young Musicians Concert and Songs from the Shows.
The middle Saturday cafes and pubs trail were well supported with acts playing at venues such as Blue Bean Café, The Three Ewes, El Café as well as pubs George Townhouse, The Falcon, The Horseshoe and the White Bear. The acts performing included Greg Brice, The Mojitos, The Elastic Band, The Farrells and Cheshire Brooks.

Included in this year’s program were overseas visits from Kent DuChaine and Veronica Sbergia and Max deBernardi, arranged by long time Proms committee member (and past chair) Tim Porter.

The last night Street Party was officially opened by Shipston Town Cryer Marion Lowe and Shipston Proms chair Charlotte Haines, who then introduced the Shipston Musicians Choir. They had recently performed as part of the Young Voices contest in the Genting arena in Birmingham in front of 10,000 people!

They enchanted the audience with several songs included some from The Greatest Showman film.
Next on stage from 16-year-old Kathryn Packer, winner of the solo/duet category at the well attended Fame Contest. She sang several songs in her beautiful and powerful singing voice accompanying herself on keyboards.

Then Kathryn was joined by her fellow members of the Shipston High School Jazz Band, who had won the bands category at the Fame Contest. The band was led on trumpet by the school’s Head of Music David Hunt, with Oscar Wilson (Double Bass), Kristian Davies (Electric Guitar), Ciaran Barry (Trombone), Matthew Barrett (Baritone), James Barrett (Trombone) and Atom Gill (Drums). Kathryn again was vocalist and keyboard player.

The Jazz Band showed their skills through several songs to the delight of the growing crowd in the hot town square.
Next, after a break was Stratford-upon-Avon based Mr Blonde, with Shipston’s Darren Clarke on keyboards. They got the crowd dancing to a range of 1970s hits including numbers from Chic (Nils Rodgers band) and Stevie Wonder. This included great singing from both lead singer Louise Hatton and backing singers Sally Moist and Anne-Marie Garvie. They were supported by Adam Smith (Drums), Jeff Welsby (Lead Guitar) and John Archer (Bass Guitar).

After a break for kit change next Oliver Darling and the Living Legends were introduced and gave a selection of 1950/1960s Rock n Roll, along with Matt Radford (Double Bass) and great guitar work and vocals from Oliver Darling. They were joined by Martin Winning and Nick Lunt on brass and Alessandro Cinelli on drums.
Now after 50s, 60s and 70s sounds the headline act The BritPop Boys moved us into the 1990s BritPop generation with songs from Oasis and Blur amongst others. The line-up was Gaz Keenan on vocals, Jon Harris (lead guitar), Steve Hopkins (bass guitar) , Jason Sidebottom (keyboards) and Oscar Stone (drums)

The crowd now was dancing and joining in at the end of a great night's musical extravagance, with was put on for free due to the support of main Street sponsor The Cotswolds Distillery and the other sponsors of the event with the support of the committee and a wide range of volunteers who put on the event.

Thanks go to Clearsound for the lights and Sound at this and other events during the fortnight, along with Wixeys Transport for the stage, electricity support from MKM and Security from Armour Co Group.

As Proms chair Charlotte Haines summed up the Street Party “Wow guys! Look how many of you there are here! Thanks for supporting the Proms!”

Shipston Proms 2019 goes out with a Bang
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 30 June 2019
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