Wickham Festival News

The Spooky Men’s Chorale

With a repertoire which ranges from traditional Georgian music to Abba, the group of Australian singers usually ranges from 12-16 singers according to availability and guests. With their unique brand of humour and musical style, these Wizards of Aus always cast a spell on fans.

The Spooky Men’s Chorale were created by Stephen Taberner and made their first appearance in August 2001 as part of an evening called “This was nearly my life” at Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney. Taberner claims he called up every man he knew who could sing and “taught them 3 songs, and asked them to show up wearing black and with an interesting hat.” The three songs were “Vineyard”, a Georgian church song, “Georgia”, a mock Georgian original, and “The Mess Song”. The latter was an existential rumination on the aftermath of breakfast written by New Zealand’s Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair of The Front Lawn.

In the first couple of years the group performed and rehearsed sporadically until the National Folk Festival of Easter 2004, held in Canberra, which effectively launched the group and where, thereafter, they became cult figures. The gig at the National was also the debut of what would become the Spooky theme song (“We are the Spooky Men, We dream of mastodons …”) which typified the brand of humour they were beginning to define. The attention received at the National Folk Festival in 2004 gave rise to a series of opportunities to put their music before a wider audience. They are now a staple at folk festivals.

Seth Lakeman

Seth Lakeman released his new album ‘A Pilgrim’s Tale’ on February 7th 2020, in a year that marks four centuries since The Mayflower ship departed the UK. The album will be released amidst a selection of UK concerts where Seth will visit locations significant to The Mayflower tale such as Immingham – where Separatists made a dangerous escape from England to Holland in their search for religious freedom – and Dartmouth – where the ship was anchored for repairs – will be visited in this expansive tour. This stirring and beautiful record is narrated by the actor Paul McGann (Dr Who/Withnail and I/Hornblower/Luther), and features a host of guest performers including Cara Dillon, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ben Nicholls and Seth’s father Geoff Lakeman.

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower ship setting off to the Americas. The ship carried British and Dutch passengers with hopes of fresh settlement, and who were famously met by the Wampanoag first nation tribe upon their arrival. Bottling the spirit of the 17th century pilgrimage, Seth has written and performed a selection songs that shape a fictional narrative of the journey, informed by extensive research from text such as the journals of William Bradford, conversations with modern day ancestors of the Wampanoag people at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, and information sourced at the national heritage sites that still exists in the UK.

The Proclaimers

The Proclaimers are confirmed to return to Wickham Festival, headlining on Thursday 1st August.  The Scottish duo are making a triumphant return where they last played a stunning set in 2015. Craig and Charlie Reid wowed the crowd with a brilliant upbeat set and now they are back with a mix of old favourites and new tunes to promote their latest album.

The album ‘Angry Cyclist’ was released to immense acclaim on August 10th 2018 (Cooking Vinyl) debuting in the UK Official Album charts at 17 and at number 3 in the UK Official Independent Album Charts. The Proclaimers 8th Top 40 UK album.

The Proclaimers then headed back out live from July through to December this year with 48 sell out dates across the UK and a 13-date tour of Canada from Victoria to Montreal.

2019 will see concerts so far confirmed for Iceland, Dubai, Singapore, Norway and further festivals and shows in the UK.

Strikingly individual, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid emerged 31 years ago with their debut album This Is The Story and Top 3 single ‘Letter from America’. Since then their enduring appeal across generations has have over the years seen them enjoy huge success across the globe

The Proclaimers songs are timeless, capturing a gamut of human emotions, written with poignancy, emotional honesty, political fire and wit. Their songs feature at weddings, funerals and everything in-between and there is one song, an early celebration of falling head over heels in love that is known the world over and has become a staggering global anthem. There are many others that have gained great popularity in different parts of the planet and then there is a wide cross section of sublime songs embraced by a multitude that has kept up with The Proclaimers studio albums, compilation collections and extensive touring over three decades.

Edward II

Edward II will be returning to Wickham Festival in 2021.  They’re one of our regular favourites and there’s no doubt, watching their videos just doesn’t do them justice.  This is a band that has incredible on stage talent and energy that has to be enoyed live.  If you’ve got energy to burn and brought your dancing shoes … who doesn’t love some reggae beats with a twist.

Their brand new Dancing Tunes CD, featuring a selection of traditional Jamaican songs with beautiful artwork by the renowned Jamaican artist,  can be ordered direct from their website.

They’re something very unique and different that’s full of history and culture; hailing from Manchester they’re a very British act combing English folk with reggae.  Whilst we have an interest and focus in local Hampshire bands, we love our friends in The North!  Watch their Manchester’s Improving Daily Video if you’re new to appreciating this band…

Please visit their store to show your appreciation for this Wickham favourite.

Originally known by the neat title of Edward the Second and the Red Hot Polkas, Edward II reformed some 10 years after originally disbanding. With their unique mix of English folk, world music and reggae, they are a great live act who will bring the crowd to their feet.

Edward II, the English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles, have been secretly working on a totally new project and will be back in 2017. Temporarily turning away from the rural songs of the middle England Morris teams, this time around the band has been delving deep into a repertoire of songs born of the industrial revolution, specifically of their home town, Manchester.

Still upbeat, and with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies and fiery melodeon melodies, this will be a new set mixed with some of the old favourites and a familiar sound for the faithful.

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    Presenting our official Wickham Festival 2022 video produced by Tim Bearder. Enjoy! 😃 www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8MRJHri1tw ... See MoreSee Less

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    Thank you to Peter Chegwyn and the whole team for putting on another great festival. For me, my favourite acts were: Grace Petrie, Spooky Men, Dhol Foundation plus Johnny Kalsi DJ set, Saw Doctors (unexpectedly good – never seen them before), Longest Johns – got to have them back again! Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Lil’ Jimmy Reed, Show of Hands, Slambovian Circus of Dreams – probably the most outstanding and surprising band of the whole festival! For the future – all of the above will be great to welcome back. And Frank Turner if you can get him again, Boo Hewerdine – with a band, with someone else, or even on his own. Always good value. And how about David Ford? I don’t think he has been before but would love to see him. And a huge thank you to Steve Knightly and all who helped to put together the Song for Wickham. It was beautiful and very moving. A real anthem for the village and lovely for the whole audience to join in with.

    It was great ! but it is now so big it needs a real open air stage !! was cramed into those marqee,s watching bands !! real stage next years PLEASE !!

    Scott Doonican You made it into the video ... 🙂 Thanks, Wickham Festival team, it was a blast, cannot wait till next year ... ❤

    A week on and still buzzing! Discovered the The Saw Doctors and can’t get the N17 ear worm outta my head 😂😂

    Helen Coppock

    Cracking short video but Wickham Festival you are so much more than this!! A taster but you have to be there to feel the unique vibe!!

    Just back from dog friendly Cropredy .Guess what not a single person was killed by dog. Cmon Wickham you know dogs are better than people !!

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    The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. One of the most popular bands at this year's Wickham Festival. Thanks to Stuart Barry for a great live video.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtjfMwpvXlQ
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    My new favourite band! Saw them at Cropredy this weekend too. I then bumped into Sharkey and RJ on the field yesterday, they were enjoying the festval, and they spoke very highly of their experience at Wickham too.

    My discovery of the festival. They are absolutely brilliant, totally got me (and the lady wife!).

    Absolutely brilliant. Hill Billy Pink Floyd. Please invite them back.

    Not even heard of this band, but am now following them,great performance ,definately one of my highlights x

    Great band, one of many highlights 👍🤘

    I couldn't decide what I made of them I initially. Then after three or four songs I think I decided I liked them. They were perplexing 😁. But overall, yeah..... pretty good. I'd definitely watch them again 👍

    Tans Slambovian bio polar express 😀

    Brilliant really loved their sound

    Loved them at Wickham. Once I find out where Slambovia is I'm going to pay a visit 😉

    Enjoyed their set but it was loud!

    Great band

    They were fantastic 👍

    Love them xx

    Matt John these are the guys I was telling you about 😁

    Vanessa Sherlock x

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    Don't forget you can save a whopping £100 on every 4-day adult weekend season ticket for Wickham 2023 by printing the form below and returning it with cash or cheque to the address on the form. 2023 tickets also onsale via www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets ... See MoreSee Less

    Dont forget you can save a whopping £100 on every 4-day adult weekend season ticket for Wickham 2023 by printing the form below and returning it with cash or cheque to the address on the form.  2023 tickets also onsale via www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

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    Purchased ours this eve online. Last time we were there was in 2015 when Billy Bragg and the Proclaimers were there. Loved every minute of it. So excited for 2023 🤗

    We managed to find a cheque book!! Sent ours off already!! Can’t wait!!

    What's a cheque? I know a few Poles and a Ukrainian but not these cheques? I can PayPal or Google pay

    Found my cheque book, the last cheque I wrote was also for Wickham. And the one previous!

    Bought before we left the site!

    Ours is in the post

    Got mine before I left. Can’t wait!

    Who has a cheque book these days and I certainly wouldn’t post cash. Shame 😞

    Posted ours off already!

    Sent ours off yesterday 😉

    Posted ours 👍

    Sent ours off pronto 💚👏👏👏🎶

    Sent mine off yesterday.

    Mine is in the post

    Cheque on way!

    Sandy Gunton please xx

    Michael Tindal-Vincent Not bad considering your just around the corner 😉

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    And we're off! Site completely cleared in 4 days. Now back to its natural state of very parched grass. But, oh, what wonderful memories we have of our best-ever Wickham Festival. Thank you one and all. We'll do it all again next year, Aug. 3-6. 'Earlybird' tickets now onsale via www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets ... See MoreSee Less

    And were off!  Site completely cleared in 4 days. Now back to its natural state of very parched grass.  But, oh, what wonderful memories we have of our best-ever Wickham Festival.  Thank you one and all.  Well do it all again next year, Aug. 3-6.  Earlybird tickets now onsale via www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/ticketsImage attachmentImage attachment

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    Should add that not a speck of litter was left behind thanks to Smudger's amazing litter-picking crew.

    It was fantastic and no trouble at all and I live right across from it! Well done to all of you, look forward to next year x

    I walked past yesterday. We love having such a great festival within walking distance of our house and also nice to see it back to normal.

    Thanks for all the effort you put in. Much appreciated 🙏 it wouldn't be here without your good self taking the time to stage it. Great times and memories. Fortunate to see both sides of the festival

    Was great fun. Thank you. Tickets bought for next year already.

    Really enjoyed and have purchased my early bird tickets for 2023 👌👌

    Well done Wickham gang!!! At least you don't have to contend with discarded tents etc as per Glastonbury!

    Thank you for another brilliant festival,have already purchased tickets for next year. xx

    Was great thanks to all who make this festival work so well

    Absolutely loved it. First time we've been. Great bands, especially the Saw Doctors, but I'm a little biased, and everything was so well organised, including the weather 😆

    A wonderful weekend, thank you everyone so much. You were all amazing.

    Amazing weekend thanks for the fun, laughter and music

    Thanks to all involved. Loved our tent neighbours who were litter pickers from aardvark. Cheque in post for 2023. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

    The breakdown is the hard bit - adrenaline doesn't pump in quite the same way as on build-up. But four days.... wow!!! Get some serious Zzzzs.

    It was brilliant, saw lots of old friends and made more new one,see you next year.

    Thanks so much everyone who made Wickham Festival a fantastic Event to attend see you all next year ! x

    What a fantastic festival - looking forward to next year with Claire Hartt-Palmer, Paul Jerome, Alison Jerome, Deanna Gaze, Mark Gaze and many others!

    Thank you Wickham, thank you artistes, See you next year

    Brilliant! Well done to everyone - it was an amazing weekend! Do you have a list of any ‘left behind’ items? One of my friends lost a bunch of keys and would love to be reunited with them!!

    Great festival. Thanks for all your hard work.

    Fabulous festival, thanks very much! 👏👏👏 Look forward to it next year! 😀😀😀

    So much happiness right there ❤️ Next year…

    Very impressed with the infrastructure of the show. Such hard work by all. If I have one complaint, it's that the portaloos in the campervan field weren't replenished with paper and sanitizer as often as I was told. I had my own facilities but occasionally used the public ones and took my own supplies. Just a thought.

    Thank you for another fab weekend 😊

    One word…… AMAZING…. Booked for next year!!

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