Shipston Proms

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Discovering new music, whether it has been around for decades or current, is one of life’s pleasures. There is a great radio show called ‘BBC Introducing’ which started up in 2007 and
has since introduced the world to some now well known performers like Ed Sheeran, Florence and the Machines and Jake Bugg. On TV, a way of finding new music is through the
BBC Jools Holland show. Jools is brilliant at including both new and popular artists in his studio show and we also have a chance to learn what their influences are.

Books by musicians are also a good way of being exposed to new artists. I’ve just been reading Stevie Van Zandt’s autobiography. I knew him mostly from his acting role in The
Sopranos, as gang member Silvio, but I didn’t realise that he had been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, nor that he was and still is a prolific songwriter and performer
in his own right. (He also helped to get Nelson Mandela out of prison with his anti-apartheid activism). His influences are many including bands involved in, what he calls, the British
Invasion of America back in the Sixties eg. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Manfred Mann. I asked Alexa to play me the songs of the 60’s band Manfred Mann which were new
to me, before switching back to the disco inspired Dua Lipa album I had been listening to. She won what would be the last ever to be female category at the Brits Award 2020. Her
influences are Prince, Outkast and Gwen Stefani when she was with No Doubt.

Our Proms is a good way of getting introduced to music that we may not normally listen to,
with all sorts of genres being played throughout the festival. It may be worth checking out Tim Samsara and Harry Synge this summer if you’ve never been to a dance party. Or, if
you’d prefer a heavier sound, then supporting band Dawn ‘til Dusk are playing rockier songs on the Final Night.

At Open Mic night you can listen to a variety of musicians in an informal setting. There is classical music out there too including the popular Young Musicians concert at Barcheston
and also an event to showcase new musicians. More details in next month’s Forum.

Hopefully people will be able to make the most of the Proms as there is a great deal of music to be heard on our doorstep. Please keep the dates free 10-25th June, go and see at
least one event you’ve never been to before…….and let us know what you think!

SHIPSTON MUSIC TRAIL  3-5 September 2021

The Shipston Proms music trail weekend was heralded by a welcome burst of September sunshine and a shimmering set from professional singer Louise James at the Hub. Out of the venue’s picture window, Brailes Hill basked in the evening sunshine. Inside, the managers Kayleigh and Alex had created an atmospheric Casino Night with Louise opening with a spinetingling James Bond soundtrack.

It was a vibrant start to the music weekend which on Saturday, saw back-to-back music in the town pubs and cafes.  It was great that The Lazy Pug, relative newcomers to Shipston, were keen to get involved, plus the Horseshoe, especially as the new tenants had only been in a couple of weeks. Popular local musicians Barney Porter and Jerv played a lively set there early evening. Other familiar faces amongst the musicians were former Shipston High School student Ben Bryan, now living in Manchester, who played two acoustic sets at El Café, the Leamington based Hanksters who busked for us last year in the town square were at the Three Ewes and the duo with the double bass, Prom’s regulars the Peas were performing at The George.  It was great to welcome them all back.

New acts for us were the dance orientated FAZFunk, think Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Daft Punk, who had people bopping at the White Bear and West Midlands based Jack Reach and the Shaders who at the Lazy Pug played a very popular and professional covers set including songs by Van Morrison and Oasis. Not new to the George, but new to the Proms were The Artichokes a charismatic twosome who sound like four and who played their version of rock classics in the second act for the night at The George. The Dropouts from Moreton in Marsh were a band we hadn’t seen before, and they delivered a very confident and very loud set of classic rock songs at The Coach and Horses.   I hope we see them all again.

The Shipston Proms Open Mic Night on Saturday evening at The George Inn Lower Brailes was packed out with both performers and audience. There was a great deal of talent on show and a particular highlight included a set from 16-year-old Josh Rowley playing guitar and using a loop pedal to create his backings, followed by music on his newly learnt 5 string banjo.  Definitely someone to watch out for in the future!

On Sunday afternoon the sun continued to accompany our music trail and, under the brightly coloured marquee of the White Bear in Upper Brailes, highly respected musician and composer Jon Brindley entertained the very appreciative crowd with his fiddle, guitar and accordion playing his own unique interpretations of songs that have moved him, including the tear wrenching Woody Guthrie’s Mexican Lament ‘The Deportee’.  The George hosted the Patsy Gamble Jazz Trio on Sunday afternoon. Patsy Gamble, from Stroud, is one of the finest saxophone players in the UK and delivered an inspirational programme of jazz standards with James Agg on double bass, and Tristan Watson on guitar.  Back in Shipston the Peas played again in the packed garden of the Black Horse while singer, songwriter, Greg Brice held court from a truck outside the Thirst Edition to a very appreciative crowd.

All venues, acts and audiences contributed to a very lively and community spirited weekend.  I met our former babysitter Kelly in the Lazy Pug, the first time I had seen her in 27 years!

We thank everyone who got involved to make the weekend such a success and look forward to welcoming you all when we return to a full Proms next year.

Shipston Proms

The Shipston Proms is organised by a committee who aim to bring the community a varied and exciting programme of music over the fortnight. The committee meet once a month, usually on the third Wednesday at 7.30pm at the White Bear. The Proms also have a group of volunteers that assist during the Proms fortnight – helping with manning events, shaking buckets, selling raffle tickets and, on the Final Night, setting up the Square and ensuring it is returned the same way (or better!) than the Proms found it. ​

The Proms wouldn’t happen without the committee and the volunteers.​

If you would like to join the Committee or help out as a volunteer, please contact us either through Facebook or by email –

​You can also help by being a Sponsor or Friend of the Proms. Details on the relevant pages!​

If you have any further feedback or suggestions for future years, please keep them coming via our Facebook Page, Twitter feed or email to

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