Cornbury - you beautiful beast. Full of Champagne drinking, Hunter wellie boot wearing, bubble blowing human beings all gathered together to celebrate live music in different forms.
3 delicious days in the Oxfordshire Countryside were upon us again with headline acts Seal, Jamie Callum & Bryan Ferry with a few little treats in between. My initial thoughts of the weekend & it's line-up? Hmmmmm. Not that impressed to be honest. A few of the Line up I've seen quite regularly at Cornbury and couldn't avoid a sense of "Again? Really?" but as always, opened minded & ready to be impressed. I must say however that Impressive PR really looked after us this year so a huge thanks to them. Also, the food at Cornbury is just brilliant. Yes you can get burgers but the range of food choices was fantastic from Mexican, Chinese, Indian to Italian. Cornbury is a spectacle that I couldn't recommend more.
I trundled off to Cornbury with my camera securely around my neck and head back into the very familiar surroundings of Great Tew Park. The second you drive into the grounds you can tell that this festival is different. The Security guards are smiling. The Children are running around laughing, safe. It's a very family orientated festival and when you arrive you are quickly welcomed into this community.
The Hummingbirds, from Liverpool are a 5 piece modern folk outfit who were the first on my list to watch. They class their music as their own take on 60s/70's Americana Folk music with a bit of Merseybeat heritage thrown in!
The Dunwells, were next up and are Cornbury Festival favourites. British Pop Rock band from Leeds with songs full of big choruses! The Lottery Winners
were great! Extremely entertaining. They had been promoted from the smaller stage onto main stage and utterly deserved to be there. They have just signed their record deal & were ready to celebrate with the Cornbury audience. Front man Thomas Rylance was utterly brilliant, both with his performance style & uniting the band and crowd. If they don't make it in music he can have a job as a stand up! "Average indie pop" was how they described themselves & I loved it. Stella Parton is the sister of Dolly Parton. Parton has a distinguished career of her own. Parton played a number of her songs & covers of her sisters. She's recently realised a tribute album to her sister...which may be slightly weird? Simo are an American 3 piece which I had heard a lot about backstage with the other Photographers so I was eager to listen to them. JD Simo on the guitar was amazing & animated! They played rock music played by lovers of Blues and Rhythm and Blues with a Jazz aesthetic.
The Beat sees original member Ranking Roger now joined by his son. Produced a set full of the Beat's hits plus some new songs from new album. Lemar was unfortunately 30 minutes late but the apologised instantly. Smooth, soul voice that we've become familiar with. A joy to listen to on Friday afternoon.
Soul II Soul feat. Caron Wheeler celebrating 25 years in the business with a show at Cornbury Festival! Jazzy B & Caron Wheeler played tracks from their distinguished career starting with Keep On Moving. The set was great and iconic. Jazzy B started on the decks and then came forward, joined in and became more animated!
Jamie Cullum - Outstanding. Great showman. Non stop moving. Finished with uptown funk. To watch he was brilliant. Crowd surfing. Jumping off his piano. He doesn't have a set list. the band were on edge as they didn't know what he'd be playing next. His band went off stage when they thought he was playing a slow song, then he'd go hard and they'd have to run on stage. Jamie Cullum was PERFECT for the Friday slot. Well done to Cornbury!
latest on this festival
festival home page
first three Saturday acts revealed