Music review: Sunlight heralded the first weekend of the Shipston Proms

Here is a round up of the first weekend of the Shipston Proms festival, written by Susan Perry.

Uncle Funk (photo by Charlotte Haines/The Wright Photographers)
Uncle Funk (photo by Charlotte Haines/The Wright Photographers)

Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno were a riot of sound and colour as they sang and performed their way through the disco classics at Launch Night at this year’s Shipston Proms. The UK’s top live disco band had so much charisma that they left the Shipston crowd at the Townsend Hall chanting for more.

Dressed in flamboyant carnival gear Uncle Funk and his six piece band played hit after hit, including Sister Sledge’s Lost in Music, Earth Wind and Fire’s Boogie Wonderland and finished with Chic’s 1978 classic Everybody Dance and Clap your Hands. The audience did not fail to join in!

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Not only did Uncle Funk provide a dazzling show from the stage, but he brought the razzamatazz down to the dance floor when he invited the audience to sit down in lines for the classic sit-down routine to The Gap Band’s 70’s hit ‘Oops Upside your Head.’ That was a great deal of fun for everyone.

It is no wonder that they have made multiple appearances at Glastonbury and the Proms is hoping that Shipston will see more of them in the future.

The following evening, The Cotswolds Choir, formed in 2017 by Amy Walter and based in Shipston performed to a packed audience in the Cherington village hall. They sang a variety of songs from musicals and theatre including ‘This is Me’- The Greatest Showman, Hallelujah -Shrek, My Song - Elton John and Abba and Grease medleys.

At The George in Lower Brailes the Stratford based combo the Mos Eisley Brothers entertained the crowd with some mellow rhythms and great harmonies. Meanwhile, singer, songwriter Greg Brice played in front of an appreciative audience at the Halford Bridge Inn. As well as playing his own songs, he played a couple by Eric Bibbs, plus a Lyle Lovel ‘If I had a Boat, and lots of blues classics. He swapped form his sweet-sounding acoustic Martin guitar to his flat body electric with ease changing the mood immediately. Jeanne and Josie, both members of the audience, said they particularly enjoyed Greg’s interpretation of the Rolling Stones ‘It’s all over now.’

Both acts on the Sunday were very lucky with the weather. The Brailes Singers entertained in the grounds of the George in Brailes and the garden of the Lion, Tredington was full with people enjoying the music of the Elastic Band.

The Shipston Proms runs for another ten days, including appearances from the exuberant Leamington based Hanksters, blues legend Oliver Darling at the White Bear and arena rocker Rick Parfitt Jnr, son of Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt, on the final night. The Proms full programme can be found on shipstonproms.org or please go to their Facebook page for updates..