Shipston Proms 2023 a Great Success

The 25th year of the Shipston Proms was celebrated in Shipston-on-Stour over the last 2 weeks. The Proms cover music from classical & opera to blues and hard rock, with performers both locally and further afield.

This year’s last night event was headlined by King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, supported by local band The DropOuts and The Weekend Warriors from Oxford. The winners of the Shipston Introducing competition for solo (Honor) and bands (Amber Liadan) kicked off the evening event festival in the town square.

The two weeks included a Ska themed launch party featuring Hope & Glory, supported by Papa Nui. Also on the schedule was an Ibiza-on-Stour Dance night, an Opera evening with local professional singers Anna Patalong and Benedict Nelson, a Taiko drumming workshop, the popular pubs and cafes trail on the middle Saturday, The Cotswold Choir, Young Musicians at Barcheston church, The Shipston Music Society classical piano concert, Open Mic evenings at the Black Horse pub and the popular Songs from the Shows evening in the Townsend Hall.

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The last night in the town square was as always, an eagerly awaited free event which the Shipston Proms committee, chaired by Charlotte Haines, had worked hard to get a great line-up.

On the first Sunday of the Proms fortnight the Shipston Introducing contest took place with two categories. This was for bands or Solo/duets for any interested local performers. The standard has always been high over the years with the prize a slot on the last night’s free concert in the town square.

This year the band section was won by Amber Liadan and the solo/duet by Honor. Amber Liadan was the lead singer/guitarist supported by Phil Moffett on lead guitar and harmonies with Julius Carvero on Drums. The Trio has been performing for a couple of years though Amber has been performing for more than 10 years and has released an album called “Warrior”.

Amber’s set included her own songs including some from that album and her music is modern folk pop with a touch of rock and Celtic influence.

Soloist Honor has only just started in the last couple of years to sing to backing tracks to popular pop songs including Valerie by The Zutons. She is now looking for band members to move her singing career forward.

Next on the main stage was The Weekend Warriors from Oxford who won the band section of Shipston Introducing in 2022, and after their success were invited back to play a longer set. The Weekend Warriors are made up of teenagers Gilly Harris who played drums, Joseph Noble on bass and Louis Cummings on keyboard and vocals together with dads Ben Cummings, trumpeter, and David Noble, guitar. They were also joined on stage by local 11-year-old Shipston guitarist Sam Conisbee and Josh on saxophone for a couple of numbers.

Then after a changeover the local Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire band The DropOuts (who had been keen to get on the bill) took to the stage. The band was Warren Trueman (lead vocals & bass guitar), Ben “Benny” Arthurs (lead guitar), Chris “Bear” Arthurs (rhythm guitar & backing vocals) and Tim “Bert” Sheasby (Drums)

After the earlier artists they gave us a different hard rock set, with lots of audience participation, with numbers from Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queen and Motorhead.

Then the headline act King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys took to the stage in their blue suits and a great rockin’ boogie set with lots of brass and an upright bass. The band was King Pleasure (sax and vocals), Bullmoose K Shirley (lead guitar), Shark Van Schtoop (bass), Gary “The Enforcer” Barber (Drums), Mighty Matt Foundling (keyboards) and Big John ‘Boysey Battrum (sax).

To wrap up the evening Proms chair Charlotte Haines thanked everyone for attending events over the last fortnight and thanked people for buying raffle tickets and putting donations into the buckets as the 2022 event cost the committee over £30,000. Hopefully if the support is their again both in volunteers and funding the event will take place in the second half of June 2024 in the Shipston-on-Stour town square.

Shipston Proms 2023 a Great Success
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 2 July 2023
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