REWIND has been staged in Henley for eight years but as a resident and rower I
REWIND has been staged in Henley for eight years but as a resident and rower I have only ever observed from the other side of the fencing.
So I was an absolute newbie to the event, despite having literally grown up with the music genre — I went to the same school as the lead singer of Cutting Crew — and couldn’t have been more surprised at the variety of the music being played and the family-friendly atmosphere.
The weather on Sunday was very different in the early afternoon, to Saturday, and the first acts were blessed with blue sky and sunshine.
I caught Earth Wind and Fire finishing their set and easily blended into the crowd despite not being ‘dressed’ for the event. Heart FM ran a competition for the best dressed Rewinder which on Sunday was won by a group who had come as Tetris.
I managed to slip into the pit as the British Electric Foundation started their performance. This is a collaboration between former Human League member Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who later became Heaven 17, and wasn’t a single artist but a series of invited singers. Claudia Brucken opened with the classic Kraftwerk synth song The Model, followed by Peter Coyle who was the lead singer of the Lotus Eaters, who performed a tribute to David Bowie that had everyone singing along.
Mari Wilson followed, singing Just What I Always Wanted, with Jaki Graham, the Farm’s Peter Hooton and Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory hot on her heels.
Unfortunately at this point the heavens opened and Gregory played as the crowds were drenched in a heavy downpour that had many running for their cars.
During the break between acts a traffic jam appeared on Remenham Lane and many weekenders began the trek back to town along the towpath.
They should have stayed, as Heather Small lifted the spirits of those who had shown a little British stoicism with a brilliant performance that roused the drenched throng. Her set included Search for the Hero complete with Olympic torch background — it being a track well known to Team GB Olympians and truly apt given what the weather had been throwing at festivalgoers.
Something I had not been aware of was that as well as the main stage there are two further stages — one, I suspect, providing much-needed protection from the elements on Saturday, and one directly opposite Temple Island.
On the Riverside Stage I found a local band, Junior Guevarra, formed of musicians who have grown up in Henley.
They say everyone knows everyone else in Henley and the bass player, Shaun Da Silva Longuiera, who went to Gillotts School, currently lives in Henley, flat-sharing with amongst others the assistant curator at the River and Rowing Museum.
Every great band has started by covering others tracks, but these guys took hold of the music and made it their own, playing Bill Withers, holding a growing crowds attention despite opening as Adam Ant took to the main stage.
Adam Ant opened with a track that wasn’t one of his bigger hits but then drew the crowd back in with an amazing stage production behind the track Antmusic, putting people back on their feet despite it being 9pm on a Sunday night. A very cool finish to a fabulous event.