The Fishwives Choir are a group of women who are all related to UK fishermen, have been involved in the commercial fishing family or from fishing families...phew lots of fish in that sentence. They originally formed to release a 1 off charity single to raise money and since they have continued to perform at concerts around the Country. They give a voice to those lost at sea with their Shanty inspired modern folk.
Chastity Brown, another American voice graced the Songbird Stage on Sunday morning. Singer-songwriter based out of Minnesota, Brown has been dubbed as an 'encyclopedia of roots music'. It feels good to the soul to just lie in the grass and listen to her, especially if you are nursing a hangover on a Sunday morning.
C.C. Smugglers were so far away from anything else over the weekend that I was shocked I wasn't about to hear Country music again! Describing themselves as 'Good times music inspired by American and World folk, swing, jazz & blues' they didn't feel modern which I loved. Lead singer Richie Prynne was all over the place, in a good way! He ran around the stage, bumping & grinding and moving his arms/legs/head everywhere! The 6 piece created a real buzz with foot tapping feel good music that you just have to get up and dance to.
Slim Chance is made up of musicians who all at one time or another were members of the late great Ronnie Lane's band. As you would imagine, playing in that band, the musicianship was of the highest level. As they went through a set of Ronnie Lane's songs, mixed in with some originals, the Cornbury audience surrounding the Songbird stage whooped and cheered in applause at each possible interval.
My second highlight of the weekend came from the Trevor Horn Band,. An English super group formed in 2006. I was completely blown away. So many incredible songs. The four members invented the 1980's. Stephen Lipson, Lol Crème (10cc), Ash Soan and Trevor Horn have scored over 200 hit singles & albums between them. They performed songs by the Buggles including 'Video Killed the Radio Star' and the backing singers took to the front of the stage and performed t.A.T.u's 'All The Things She Said', written & produced by Trevor Horn. Special guests were Stewart Copeland, drummer from the Police who performed 'Message in a Bottle' on the Drums with the band, then the awesome Seal who came on stage and performed 10CC's 'I'm Not In Love', 'Slave to the Rhythm' by Grace Jones then also his own songs 'Kiss from a Rose' and 'Crazy'. Seal is another level. He oozes star power and is hypnotising to listen to and watch. Stood in the pit, staring up at this man was a moment I'll never forget. The Trevor Horn Band were another highlight from the weekend and by the looks of the crowd, I wasn't the only one who thought that!
Staxs are a Cornbury Festival regular who are a group of amazing artists and musicians but they always have guest singers. This year would be Joss Stone. I've never seen Joss Stone live before but I knew her soulful, stunning voice so couldn't wait to hear what she had to offer, especially backed by the amazing Staxs.
Jack Savoretti is quickly becoming one of my favourite artists so the minute that I saw his name on the Bill, I screamed a little bit. I saw him for the first time at Cornbury two years ago & since then, I haven't looked back. Good choice Cornbury. His gravelly voice sends shivers up my spine and watching the power that he puts into every single song, through his voice and the music produced by his band, it shows that Jack Savoretti is on his way up! He opened with 'Written in the Stars' then performed 'Tie Me Down', 'Not Worthy' 'Vagabond' and 'Knock Knock'. Savoretti pulled in an impressive crowd & I'm certain that he's only going up. With a new album 'Written in the Stars' flying up the album chart – keep your ears open for this one.
Roger Hodgson, what a hero. I think I'm in love a little bit. What a wonderful human being with so many classics from Supertramp. He knew what the audience wanted & he produced them! We were treated to 'Breakfast in America', 'School', 'The Logical Song' and I didn't want him to finish! What a musician. I felt very lucky to be stood in front of him listening to these amazing songs, some of which I hadn't realised were SuperTramp songs (Is that bad?) My one issue however wasn't to do with Roger Hodgson. It was that Blue were over 1 hour late & got a shortened playlist, yet Roger Hodgson was "contracted for 75 minutes. We were very suddenly told the set was being cut to 60 minutes." This comes straight from Roger Hodgson's team on Twitter. That was a poor decision by the team at Cornbury. You can't keep fans waiting for over an hour for a boy band, then pull of somebody like Roger Hodgson? Tut tut...not impressed.
Joanne Shaw Taylor, a girl with a guitar and what a sound she made. A lot of female artists at the moment tend to play the Acoustic guitar but not Joanne Shaw Taylor. She took her electric guitar and shredded every single song she performed with these amazing guitar riffs! I think I stood for a solid 3 minutes with my mouth open in awe at this woman. She left school at 16 to pursue her career and my god, she's got this talent which I could only dream of having.
Sunday evening at 8.30pm came and it was time for the main act of the weekend - Billy Ocean. Another legend of British music. The 65 year old had so much energy that he danced across the stage during his songs, he enticed the crowd to get involved, to sing and shout. With favourites such as 'Caribbean Queen' 'Red Light Spells Danger' and 'Love Train' Ocean showed why he's been around for so long, timeless feel good factor. He provided a fitting finale for a great weekend of music, food and company. Ocean's voiced sounded great and to be where he is right now at the age he is, every single person who loves music has to applaud him. He's as commanding now as he ever was.
So the 12th Cornbury Festival was finished. My thoughts? Fantastic weekend. I discovered some incredible new bands, heard from old time Legends and ate amazing food and the Weather held out? My only negatives were the cutting of Roger Hodgson's set, (BOOOOO) Blue's late arrival which added confusion to the audience and also myself as I wasn't fully given information or details and left a little bit in the dark by the powers that be.
However, saying that, this was easily the best Cornbury Festival I've been to in 5 years. WAHOO. Cornbury is back to its very best!
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