Golden Oldies

Whether you like clas­sics, coun­try or rock, there’s a mu­sic fes­ti­val to suit your tastes. Susie Kear­ley finds out more.

The People's Friend Special - - REAL LIFE -

IF you ever fancy let­ting your hair down, dye­ing it pur­ple and re­liv­ing your youth, then you’ll fit right in at some of the lively mu­sic week­ends across the UK where age­ing party-go­ers en­joy a bit of nos­tal­gia, lis­ten­ing to bands from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Mu­sic lovers of all ages gather at these events, de­signed to whisk you back in time, with orig­i­nal per­form­ers (look­ing a bit older these days), or trib­ute acts, some­times cover­ing bands who are no longer per­form­ing.

Welsh­pool has a Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val ev­ery July un­der a huge mar­quee in Powis Cas­tle Show­ground (www.coun­try­west­ern.org.uk).

The week­end fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin with the Welsh­pool Western­ers charg­ing down the bank in tra­di­tional cos­tume with fake guns blaz­ing, to the tune of “The South Will Rise Again”.

Rev­ellers can en­joy a free boat trip along the canal, and get tea and cake in Rosie’s tea tent.

My hus­band and I went to the an­nual Le­gends of Rock week­end in Great Yar­mouth, which has trib­utes to Bri­tain’s most pop­u­lar rock bands.

Rev­ellers are en­cour­aged to don fancy dress, from glam rock to dodgy shirts, and en­joy 50 bands play­ing over four days and nights, with hits from Led

Zep­pelin, Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd, to name but a few.

The con­cert hall is nice – beau­ti­fully fur­nished with car­pets, com­fort­able chairs and ta­bles ar­ranged around a par­quet dance floor.

De­spite colour­ful out­fits, we felt pos­i­tively un­der­dressed! Dozens of age­ing party-go­ers ar­rived in out­ra­geous cos­tumes, ready to party into the small hours.

A lively evening of high spir­its en­sued with danc­ing and three trib­ute bands, singing the songs of Sweet, David Bowie and T. Rex. It was a late night, but ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

The next day, we watched trib­utes to Whites­nake, For­eigner, Jour­ney, Cream and the Who. Some were ex­cel­lent, but as the Who gui­tarist smashed his gui­tar to smithereens, I was mor­ti­fied. What a waste!

Vic ex­plained it’s a Who tra­di­tion!

Then the sound sys­tem blew up, just as a trib­ute band to Jour­ney were get­ting started.

It was a good time for a break, any­way, so we went to the charm­ing café for a nice cup of tea and met fel­low party-go­ers Deb­bie and her bud­dies from Lon­don, who’d come along to cel­e­brate her re­cent re­cov­ery fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful surgery for a brain tu­mour.

Deb­bie was mak­ing the most of ev­ery mo­ment. She’s since had the all-clear on fur­ther check-ups, and given birth to a beau­ti­ful baby!

We saw a trib­ute to Alice Cooper on the last day, com­plete with dra­matic the­atrics.

We danced with an rocker called John, com­plete with in­flat­able gui­tar, and met a gen­tle­man dressed as Alice Cooper.

The af­ter­noon brought a trib­ute to Roxy Mu­sic, a calm and re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Gary Moore, Deep Pur­ple and Rain­bow took us to teatime.

The evening con­cluded with trib­utes to Led Zep­pelin and Black Sab­bath.

Vic said he felt ed­u­cated. He’d heard lots of bands

he’d never lis­tened to be­fore. I thought he was a lit­tle sur­prised by the ec­cen­tric­ity of the whole thing!

Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd were among the pop­u­lar acts that day, and Vic, hav­ing en­joyed the trib­ute to Gen­e­sis im­mensely, sang “Land Of Con­fu­sion” all the way home.

One of the per­form­ers we watched that week­end was Oliver Whawell, who plays the sax­o­phone and oboe for trib­ute band Roxy Musique.

“It’s an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege and hon­our to play in Roxy Musique,” he says. “The fans are de­voted to the mu­sic, and we work in­cred­i­bly hard to keep the dream alive.

“When we play at fes­ti­vals we get to shine: the au­di­ences hear us tear into songs that per­haps they’re less fa­mil­iar with, and they re­ally wake up. Peo­ple re­alise that Roxy Mu­sic be­longs up there with the greats.”

Oliver ex­plains how the band works to­gether.

“We lis­ten to stu­dio ver­sions of Roxy Mu­sic songs, and ev­ery live ver­sion we can get our hands on.

“Then we pick our favourite ver­sions, and each mu­si­cian plays their own parts in their own pre­ferred ways.

“Our ver­sion of ‘Mother Of Pearl’ is two-thirds stu­dio ar­range­ment, one-sixth 1974 Live and one-sixth 1979 Live!

“Our ver­sion of ‘An­gel Eyes’ blends the orig­i­nal rock ver­sion from 1979 with a com­pletely new disco ver­sion from the 1980 tour, as well as in­cor­po­rat­ing el­e­ments of the live shows.

“This keeps the mu­sic fresh and we get a lot of pos­i­tive com­ments about this mixed-up style.

“The real chal­lenge is when we per­form songs live that Roxy Mu­sic have never per­formed live them­selves.

“When we at­tend Roxy Mu­sic shows we are al­ways hop­ing to hear new songs.

“We have played the role of a Roxy Mu­sic trib­ute act for a long time now, so we’re well re­hearsed and feel that our live ar­range­ments are close to how Roxy Mu­sic may have played these dream songs.

“See­ing the de­light on faces in the au­di­ences, and peo­ple singing along, is all the re­ward we need for our en­deav­ours!” Oliver smiles.

Find out more by vis­it­ing www.clas­si­crock­tours.com/home.html.

Deb­bie cel­e­brates her re­cov­ery with friends.

Head to Whitby if you’re a fan of coun­try mu­sic!

Amer­i­can coun­try mu­sic singer Tr­isha Year­wood.

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