Wickham Festival News

Madeline Bell and Fish promise special SAS Band slot at Wickham Festival

The SAS Band hope to crown their headline appearance at the Wickham Festival with a special tribute to the music stars who have died in 2016.

Already this year fans have mourned the passing of David Bowie, Prince and Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire among others.

Spike’s All Star Band is made up of varying big name artists who play their own and other musicians’ hits for a great party atmosphere and Madeline Bell, who will be appearing with them on August 6, is planning a fitting send-off.

Madeline Bell
Madeline Bell with the SAS Band at the Brook in Southampton

She said: “We want to do something big for this show. I would love to do a tribute to the people we have lost because there have been too many already this year.

“I have spoken to Spike who asked what I want to do in August. I said: ‘Let’s do something different. We have lost some big names so let’s do a tribute’ so that is something we might look at doing.”

One of the great joys of playing festivals for Bell – and for Fish who will also be part of the SAS line-up at Wickham – is the chance to meet up with old friends in a happy environment.

Fish: “I got very excited when I saw the Wickham line-up. To be honest, I did not know too much about the festival when Spike rang and asked if I would do it. Then I saw the line-up and thought: ‘Wow!’ I said yes straight away.

“There are some fantastic artists there and it will be great to see a lot of old friends. It will be great to meet them away from funerals!

“Festival bills like this are the only real chance we get to meet up and see people we have not seen for years.”

Bell added: “The only other time we see them these days is at funerals – we don’t get too many weddings now! And it really has been a bad year for funerals.”

The pair will be joined at Wickham by Toyah Willcox and Queen drummer Roger Taylor for what is sure to be a magical night.

The band was founded by Spike Edney who has worked with such giants as Queen and the Rolling Stones and it has featured legendary names as diverse as Roger Daltrey, Lulu, Bob Geldof, Bruce Dickinson, Leo Sayer and Tony Hadley who headlines Wickham on Thursday August 4.

Fish said: “I met Spike when he was playing keyboards with Queen on the Magic tour in 86. Marillion played with them and when Spike set up the SAS Band, he contacted me about playing a few shows with them.

The SAS Band
There is always a good party atmosphere when the SAS Band play together

“I had no hesitation getting involved; I thought it was a great concept. It did not quite work at first. We found the one-off gigs were better. We did try a tour but the fun went out of it a little, it became more like work. Changing things around a bit kept it fresh.”

This will be a special night for Spike who comes from Portsmouth and whose first venture with the SAS Band was at the Gosport Festival.

Fish added: “I played that very first gig. I remember it well, we had a great time. I remember our dressing room was in an old school. But it was a great gig. So, this will be a bit like a homecoming for us, especially for Spike who comes from down here.

“I think the last time I played with the SAS Band before this summer was back in 2006. I normally can’t do it because I am so busy with my own stuff. Usually I am either writing or touring an album and have so much other work on that I can’t fit the SAS Band into my schedule.

“But I am taking a year off before I do my last album which will come out next year and then I will retire in 2018. That will give me a bit more time to do things like this which is great because it is so much fun.

“I love this band. It is a really interesting challenge. When you are with your own band it is a bit like falling off a log. I would not say it is easy but you are comfortable, you are in control, you know what you are doing.

Fish loves playing with the SAS Band

“You are in control so you can concentrate on other things but it is a good rush to have when you are not in control; it keeps you on your toes. But working with different musicians with different sounds and approaches is brilliant; you really have to work at it.

“For instance I often only find out the running order when I get to the show. The set-list largely depends on the singers and the line-up on any given day.

“But often I won’t know who is going to be there until the sound check or the rehearsal. I will just turn, up see who is there and we go from there.

“At Wickham I guess we won’t have chance for a rehearsal but that’s fine; we all know what we are doing. And once you are in the groove, you just go with it. That is part of the attraction for me.

“You know there are going to be the odd mistakes – that’s why we wear brown trousers! But if you don’t show it then the audience thinks it is part of the show.

“We have a laugh about it after the show. There is no finger-pointing, no blame. It is just fun. We enjoy it and that transmits to the audience who enjoy it too. So we are all really looking forward to Wickham. I have heard a lot of good things about it so it should be a fun night.”

The SAS Band will be supported by the Trevor Horn Band who are likely to perform a range of hits produced by the legendary frontman who worked closely with Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Yes. Also on the bill are Oysterband plus Chas & Dave.

Madeline Bell and Fish
Madeline Bell and Fish are looking forward to playing at Wickham

The Wickham Festival, voted best Festival (Under 15,000 capacity) at last year’s Live UK Music Business awards, has Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley topping the bill on the opening night on August 4 with the Stranglers and Bruce Foxton’s From the Jam as the main attractions 24 hours later.

Lindisfarne close the four-day event on Sunday August 7 with strong back-up from Steeleye Span, Hayseed Dixie and festival favourites the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Weekend tickets are £160 or £80 for Under 16’s with Under 10’s admitted free. Day tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday can be bought for £60 (£30 Under 16’s) while evening tickets (after 6pm) are £40 (£20). Details at www.wickhamfestival.co.uk or email eastfest@talk21.com

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    Excellent Festival planning meeting on Sunday in the gloriously sunny garden of the Kings Head pub in Wickham. The Festival is ON, the planning is going well, tickets are selling like hotcakes, and we're looking forward to August! 😃 ... See MoreSee Less

    Excellent Festival planning meeting on Sunday in the gloriously sunny garden of the Kings Head pub in Wickham.  The Festival is ON, the planning is going well, tickets are selling like hotcakes, and were looking forward to August! 😃Image attachment

    Comment on Facebook

    Tickets bought...first time for me after the cancellation of 2000Trees and Cambridge FF ...and seeing this fantastic line up, so many of my fav bands, particularly Nick Parker Megson, Seth Lakeman and Gaz Brookfield - can't wait !

    Thank you all! 👏🎶i we cannot wait to be at wickham once again!

    Great news.

    Hi , Are you still taking applications for bands ? Thanks

    Every time you put something on here it causes me to have a virtual bag pack 😃. Can't wait🎵


    Must find out what I did with last year's tickets

    I recognise that garden Rebecca Wolage Jeremy Pereira Rich Pereira Claire Pereira.

    Sue Waight Di Carter


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    The SAS Band (Spike's All-Stars) will be at Wickham on Thursday 5th August feat. Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel); Graham Gouldman (10cc); Tom Robinson; Toyah; Madeline Bell (Blue Mink) & more. Tickets www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets
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    Comment on Facebook

    Not missing this. Tickets booked 👍

    Love the SAS Band and working at the Wickham Music Festival so double happy. Can't wait.

    Great festival. 😁

    Sue Bladon Marcia Brogan ... so looking forward to our Hampshire & Wickham Festival outing ... fingers crossed Mel C might rock up with the SAS band to make my day!! 💜

    That'll be ace! (Did I mention The Slambovian Circus of Dreams from New York?????........not to be missed either).

    Can’t wait- it’s been too long!

    Jamie Moses ?

    Can’t wait to see them x

    No Roger Taylor?

    Can't wait!

    Do you think Toyah will bring Robert?

    Fingers crossed this doesn't happen here Peter......

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    We're looking forward to welcoming Van Morrison to Wickham on Saturday 7th August 2021. Tickets selling fast.
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    Comment on Facebook

    Snooze.. but Slambovian Circus of Dreams !!!!! Wowser,, good call Pete XX !!!!!

    Dave Murray

    Voted the UK's Best Small Festival. Safe, relaxed & friendly. The ideal summer staycation! Save £40 on 4-day weekend season tickets if you book now. www.wickhamfestival.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less

    Voted the UKs Best Small Festival.  Safe, relaxed & friendly.  The ideal summer staycation!  Save £40 on 4-day weekend season tickets if you book now.  www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

    Comment on Facebook

    Looking forward to this, great festival and line up.

    Sounds good! Would love to see Lindisfarne, Van Morrison, the South, amongst others 👍🏻

    I saw The Waterboys at Hurtwood Park a couple of years ago.. they were brilliant.

    Great work Wickham - see you in the summer!

    What’s the covid passport status of the event?

    Great festival and right on our doorstep! \😁/

    Got weekend ticket, tee shirt 2021. Bring on August

    Sam Jefferies I wanna go to this if I'm not gigging myself. I've seen Van Morrison live very good. Also it's on around my birthday

    I like Van Morrison! 😁

    Stanley Jordan! That'll blow a few minds.

    John Otway blimey, last time I saw him I was 18.. (60 now)

    Gemma Noakes shall we get tickets?

    So looking forward to this.

    Will you have the 2 metre distancing rule in place???

    Got tickets🥳

    Wickham has a great line-up this year.

    Which artists are appearing which days ?

    Love Van the Man. Saw him many years ago at the Rainbow Theatre in London. Fab ! It's a great line up too.

    Something to look forward to😎

    What are weekend season tickets?

    Wow! Van Morrison, The Waterboys AND Nick Lowe. Bring it on 😃😃😃

    Not forgetting The Slambovian Circus of Dreams from New York State? (www.slambovia.com)

    and amazing The Slambovian Circus of Dreams !! good call Peter !!!

    Can’t wait for the big day 😊🍺🎶

    Looking forward to going.

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    Great to see outdoor beer gardens opening. Won't be long before we can raise a glass on our Wickham Festival fields again. Less than four months to go, tickets selling fast 😃 www.wickhamfestival.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less

    Great to see outdoor beer gardens opening.  Wont be long before we can raise a glass on our Wickham Festival fields again.  Less than four months to go, tickets selling fast 😃 www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

    Comment on Facebook

    Bought our rhubarb cider direct from Lilleys last year. Bloody lovely

    I’ve arranged a heatwave

    Jayne MW Michael Dickinson Lauren Burton We should do something like this 🤣🤣🤣

    Fab fammily festival

    Can’t wait 🍻

    Salud 😎🍻🎶

    Pam Smart what are we wearing?

    Pauline Whiteman

    Can't wait. So looking forward to it.

    Looking forward to it 1😊

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