IN PICTURES: Dancing in park at Rugby's spectacular music festival

“It was well organised and presented with some amazing, talented young singers.”

Live performances have become an annual bank holiday treat for Rugby’s music lovers.

For the last decade or more, Rugby Rotarians have been putting on a festival of music that has drawn crowds in greater numbers to Caldecott Park.

This year they excelled, not only in attracting interest and quality performers but in raising the enthusiasm of the crowd.

The show opened with a programme of noisy rock music from the booming voice of Andrew Van Garratt.

He set the scene for a mixture of musical acts whose youthful performances of familiar and self-penned songs livened up the crowd.

It can be said that there was a stirring in the air when Rugby’s Got Talent, runner-up, Thea Watson, stepped onto the stage. She had agreed at the last moment to stand in for the winner of this year’s competition, Lizelle Harrison,

who had to return to South Africa.

Accompanied only by her acoustic guitarist,Thea’s voice carried over the park causing heads to turn in her direction and

ears to engage with her voice. As in her recent performance at Benn Hall, she proved that Rugby really does have talent.

A diversion into the sing-along world of folk music was appreciated when theScutters, followed by The Sean Quigley Band, took the stage.

Scutters member Des Fraser said afterwards: “We had a great time performing at this fabulous event and thankfully the weather was kind.

“The festival was well organised and presented with some amazing, talented young singers.”

As popular as they are, what arrived next proved to be something of a contrast. A top of the range performance from Liquid Insanity; a genuine Rock-N’-Roll duo who had fists and hips pumping with their back-to-back delivery of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and Get Back, by The Beatles.

By the time Liquid Insanity had taken their bow, a distinct sense of anticipation had built up. When Dan Sambell of BBC CWR called for the start of the Abba Party, the crowd yelled back and moved closer to the stage to give a noisy

welcome to the appearance of two, then four iconic images of seventies pop culture.

From then on, it was non-stop music from ABBA Reunion, one of the country’s top Abba Tribute bands. And the crowd loved it.

They sang along with every song; they jived to the name of The Game and Super Trouper; they swooned to Fernando and even huckle-bugged, and whatever else, to Does Your Mother Know? They even snaked their way round the park, conga style, to Mama Mia and Waterloo.

Mike Folly, of Rugby Dunsmore Rotary Club organising committee, said: “The Rotary Clubs in Rugby work hard to create a good quality day of entertainment featuring local talent allowing them to showcase their expertise and music skills.

“We think this year was probably the best year we have had so far!

“We owe our financial sponsors ‘Come home to Houlton’ our sincere thanks for their support as without them we could not organise an event like this. All profits will go to local charities.”

Organisers would like to thank the Caldecott Park rangers and gardeners for their hard work.

The Rugby Advertiser would like to thank photographer Warren Strickland for allowing us to use some of his photographs from Rugby Music Festival

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