Saturday Music

Cornbury Music Festival 2005 reviews

published: Wed 13th Jul 2005

Saturday 9th to Sunday 10th July 2005
Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, OX7 3EH, England MAP
£70 for w/e, camping £10 extra. days £40
last updated: Tue 14th Jun 2005

Saturday’s acts are good solid fun lots of crowd pleasing tunes delivered to us to sing along to. We stop to have a listen to Stitch the first school band to open proceedings on the Second Stage, a guitar based rock band and surprisingly good. We wander around the arena before heading to the main stage to watch some dancing by school kids in brightly coloured costumes accompanied by fluttering flags before the main stage programme for the day started.

A group of twelve 11 to 16 year olds are playing as we arrive in the main arena, we don’t get to hear them up close but they sound full of energy and it certainly sounds like they’re enjoying themselves. The violin sounds particularly good and as I head off for a closer look, they stop and leave the stage!

So I turn around and walk around to the other stage to catch Romney. However it takes a while to get there by the time I’ve bought a coffee and once again I arrive shortly before the end. It’s the kind of blues I like to listen to, soulful and throaty and with just her brother Jeff on guitar for company. She has a great voice and an unassuming style. Pleasant and down to earth and another highlight all be it very brief.

Our compere for the day, Janice Long welcomes us to Cornbury and introduces Purple Stacks who play a set of crowd pleasers that The Commitments would be proud of. The 13 piece Soul/Rhythm and Blues band made from numerous well known session musicians are fronted by the lovely purple clad Louise Marshall who appeals to us to get more lively, getting the crowd awake with soul standards and covers. But despite her youth Louise delivers a mature performance and before splitting the crowd up for a chant – our side of the field is clearly the most lethargic. More soul classics follow and there’s no denying the quality of the musicians on stage.

Judging by the numbers of her fans we’ve been bumping into all day, there are quite a few of her fans here. The Welsh star of the Eighties dressed in trademark denim jacket and jeans with a floral top, looks at us through her blonde locks and can certainly still sing, belting out a bunch of hits I’ve never heard before and the crowd at the stage barrier sing along to all them. She delivers her three biggest hits 'It's a Heartache', 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' and 'Holding Out for a Hero' to a great reception. I’ll even admit to singing along to the chorus of one of those. Bonnie has a decent band but the bass seems way too loud, although I am near the front. Certainly a delight for her fans, she still has a hugely impressive voice and enjoyable to watch on the day and we even get a treat of her guitarist playing his guitar behind his head, you can’t get more Eighties!

How often have my friends told me to see her? Often and I’m sure they’ll delight in me retracting all I’ve said on her and how I couldn’t watch because I couldn’t stand her speaking voice. Thankfully she speaks sparingly but sings often. The two couldn’t be more poles apart! Wearing a plain red dress and white belt Amy’s singing voice sounds as though she has been singing for decades and is just jaw droppingly amazing. She clearly likes her Cynthia tattoo as she hikes up her sleeve repeatedly to expose it, maybe it’s a girl power thing. It was stunning to listen to the vocal talents of Amy and it even made me oblivious to her speaking voice, which didn’t seem so bad as she bantered with the audience. Although the music and words washed over me and I didn’t know any of the songs, she was one of the surprise highlights of the festival for me.

I happened to be at the beer tent when I heard this fantastic ska band playing at the Second Stage. Old school original ska tunes with amazing Motown like vocal harmonies mixed well with their own tunes. Two singers, one in a trademark Trilby share the microphone duties with a band that includes a spanking horn section. With lashings of beats, the crowd at the front are skanking and The Dualers sounded fantastic and I’ll be looking out for chances to catch them again. They recommend their new tune, ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ and so do I having heard it, it’s out at the end of August.

See separate review of Saturday’s headliner Joe Cocker.

review by: Scott Williams

Saturday 9th to Sunday 10th July 2005
Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, OX7 3EH, England MAP
£70 for w/e, camping £10 extra. days £40
last updated: Tue 14th Jun 2005

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