Friday, 12 August 2022

Rocking on the Meadows

THE third Music on the Meadows festival in Henley has been hailed the most successful yet.

THE third Music on the Meadows festival in Henley has been hailed the most successful yet.

More than 3,000 people attended the free family event, which took place on Mill Meadows from noon until 10pm on Saturday.

Throughout the afternoon, more than two dozen young bands and solo acts played on the bandstand at the riverside beauty spot.

Most were from the Henley area and regularly perform at the monthly youth acoustic nights at Magoo’s bar in Hart Street.

They included Fooled By A Rose, a heavy rock group consisting of frontman Jake Clark, guitarist Joe Lunnon, bass player Kian Hickey and drummer Jake Collins.

The band, which formed a few days earlier, wrapped up with a cover of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me that included a lengthy guitar solo.

Another rock act was guitarist Sophie Lloyd, 20 who performed her own elaborate compositions on her black Gibson Les Paul guitar.

Pianist Matt Arthur and singer-songwriter Georgia Michel gave a spontaneous rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, which they had not previously rehearsed.

Christian rapper Teelow Awojobi, a former student of The Henley College, appeared with his collective JC4Me.

The line-up also included Lizzie Karim, Finlay Burch, Jake Malloy, Jade Allum, Sidni and Jesse Brener, Georgia Cusk, Molly Liddell, Loic Pohl, Alfie Brown, Annabel Marlow, Daisy Willow, Lottie Bell, Kier Wills, Mollie Sanchez-Biles, Ilana Stein, John Henry Kelly, Jake Molloy, George Bucks, Stacey Griffin, Anusha Stribbling, Maya Rees, Natalie Gleeson and bands CircusStreet, JaXX, Daisy And The Dinosaur, The Majority Thieves, Lonely Ocean and Kahuna. Henley’s Acorn Music Theatre Company opened the festival with a pirate-themed routine including songs they had written themselves.

Jayson Jaurigue, who runs Henley talent agency Eight Ray Music, and singer Mollie Marriott, the daughter of late Small Faces frontman Steve Marriott, acted as comperes while youngsters Jack Connelly, Sam Linaker and Ross Duncan, who live in the town, managed the sound and lighting.

The festival, which was launched in 2013, is a tribute to former Beatle George Harrison, who lived at Friar Park in Henley until his death in 2001. His widow Olivia still lives at the estate off Gravel Hill.

Proceeds will be divided between The Listening Roomz, a youth drop-in centre run in partnership with Riverside Counselling, and music charity Brass for Africa.

This year’s celebrations included an “art jam” where visitors were encouraged to paint pictures of Harrison.

Revellers could get an elaborate “hair sculpture” and body art at stalls run by Henley’s La Medusa and Chi salons and there were stalls selling international food.

The festival was headlined by Here Comes The Sun, a “supergroup” featuring Henley residents Matt Richardson on vocals, Jerry Soffe on bass, Hugo Loudon on drums and Pete Brown, the son of Sixties star Joe Brown, on lead guitar.

Their set included several Harrison compositions including I Saw Her Standing There and Get Back. Before they hit the stage Mr Richardson’s son Felix, eight, gave a solo performance of the Beatles’ Loves Me Do while playing an electric ukulele.

It was the first time that the youngster, who attends Sacred Heart Primary School, had played in front of a live audience.

Organiser Maggie Atkinson said: “There was a good mix of very cool, high-quality musicianship with a family-friendly atmosphere.

“The young people also played a big part in organising it and showed they can be hard-working, reliable and responsible when they’re passionate about something.

“Attendance was way up on last year, which was probably down to the incredibly hot sunshine we were blessed with. It was everything we wanted it to be, and more.”

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