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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    If you live in Dorset or Hampshire and/or are looking for something to do over the Easter weekend, there's a great little Festival at the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton with some top-class bands inc. 3 Daft Monkeys; The Men They Couldn't Hang; and Merry Hell. www.folkrattleandroll.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less

    If you live in Dorset or Hampshire and/or are looking for something to do over the Easter weekend, theres a great little Festival at the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton with some top-class bands inc. 3 Daft Monkeys; The Men They Couldnt Hang; and Merry Hell.  www.folkrattleandroll.co.uk

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    Martin Steeden Karina Steeden

    The SAS Band (Spike's All-Stars) will be at Wickham on Thurs., 6 Aug. led by Queen's touring keyboard player since 1984 Spike Edney, and featuring a host of well-known vocalists performing their greatest hits and more. Vocalists will include Wickham favourites Graham Gouldman (10cc); Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel); Tom Robinson; Toyah & Madeline Bell (Blue Mink). Day & Weekend tickets now onsale via: www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets ... See MoreSee Less

    The SAS Band (Spikes All-Stars) will be at Wickham on Thurs., 6 Aug. led by Queens touring  keyboard player since 1984 Spike Edney, and featuring a host of well-known vocalists performing their greatest hits and more.  Vocalists will include Wickham favourites Graham Gouldman (10cc); Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel); Tom Robinson; Toyah & Madeline Bell (Blue Mink).  Day & Weekend tickets now onsale via: www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

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    The ultimate party band to celebrate our 15th Wickham Festival (inc. two at Stokes Bay) supported by Nine Below Zero and John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett. Should be a great opening night party! www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

    2006 - Steeleye Span, Osibisa!! My claim to fame is that I had a corkscrew... so that Maddy Prior could open her 'lubricating' bottle of red wine!! :-)

    Ridiculously good!!- Peter, you keep giving!!! Annie- all stars indeed 😎😎

    I don't think we have even missed one.

    Fabulous to see the SAS band coming back to Wickham!

    Sounds awesome. What a line up. Another great festival weekend.ooking forward to it.

    This year's lineup just gets better and better. Thank you to the Wickham team. I'm so glad I booked again this year.

    What a Great Booking 👏🎉

    Another crowd pleaser. Going to be a great year yet again. A chance to nip to the bar to top up the beer while Toyah is singing as well 😁 (sorry, not a fan) 😎

    Really excited, it can’t come soon enough.🎉🥳

    Wow love them so much , missed them the last time they played Southampton,so this is great news.

    Already booked. I am very happy about this!!

    What a way to kick off the festival! :-D

    Wow! Really delighted. We see these guys each in Guildford and they are brilliant!

    Brilliant, what a fab start to my Friday

    Can't wait..................….Spike and Jamie here we come. Would be a bonus if Tony was there too but I doubt Roger will be with us!!

    Brill we will be there 🍺

    Local lad Spike and his knockout band - never disappointing. This just gets better and better :-)

    Well done Pete!

    Bl***y love you Wickham!!❤️

    oh great news.. quite the bag of goodies..

    Oh it’s our 15th too then, we sort of lost count. 😂

    Yay - you just keep giving 😀😀😀


    Brilliant!!! 🌟

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    4 days ago

    Wickham Music Festival

    Another band just confirmed. Gadarene will be at Wickham on Friday 7th August. Click on pic to view video. www.facebook.com/gadarenemusic/videos/1021730457889726/ ... See MoreSee Less

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    Love this- another band to look forward to!!- 168 days!! 😂😂 Annie 👀👀

    We've always said that one of the great things about Wickham is not necessarily the band's that you know it's the discoveries that you make when you are there. Hattie Hatstar you can take a bow now...

    They sound amazing!


    Yay! Looking forward to catching up Jon Dyer ❤️

    Looks like they will certainly entertain.


    Kim Haddock

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    2020 will be our 15th Wickham Festival (inc. two held at Stokes Bay). Who or what have you enjoyed most in that time? ... See MoreSee Less

    2020 will be our 15th Wickham Festival (inc. two held at Stokes Bay).  Who or what have you enjoyed most in that time?

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    Music wise: the Waterboys (great to see them back), Gilbert O'Sullivan, Wilko, Tom Robinson, Boo Hewerdine, Eddi Reader, Trevor Horn Band, Spike's AllStars, Undertones, Hattie Hatstar, Tankus the Henge and so many more. Other wise: Real ale, great food, friendly atmosphere, brief escapes into Wickham, Hand to Mouth puppets, great campsite and so much more. This year will be our 7th Wickham and it's the highlight of our year. May there be many more.

    Treacherous Orchestra last summer: I had high expectations and they delivered in spades :-)

    Show of Hands, Stanley Jordan, Lindisfarne and Seth Lakeman

    Last year was my first time at wickham. For me skinny lister , dreadzone and the proclaimers. The friendly people and the free shuttle bus . Hope to come this year

    Having discovered Wickham Music Festival 6 years ago we have been back ever since (having ditched Cropredy after 25 years of attendance) and Wickham is truly superb. The atmosphere, the countryside, the village, the beer, the stalls and of course the music make it a fabulous event !! Best bands ? 10cc, The Men They Couldn't Hang, Tom Robinson Music, Merry Hell, Holy Moly and the Crackers,Lindisfarne Live,John Otway, Skinny Lister, Show of Hands, the list goes on and on. Keep on doing what you do !!

    The Blockheads - such a tight band still, great musicians

    The South,Dhol Foundation, Barsteward Sons, Holy Moly, Skinny Lister, Otway.....ooooo too many 🥰

    10cc Graham Nash The men they couldn’t hang Tom Robinson Fisherman’s Friends Seth Lakemen and many more 🌹

    10CC, Show of Hands (never tire of seeing them), Kate Rusby, Frank Turner, KT Tunstall, Treacherous Orchestra, The South, Vent du Nord, Spooky Men, Barsteward Sons, Les Barker....could go on. The beer tent, the stalls, the atmosphere - and Bunny Chow!

    So far, Tankus The Henge stand out as having been awesome. Lots of great artists and too many to name but TTH give great entertainment.

    Just discovering the festival in 2015, which introduced me to incredible musicians and folk music and encouraged me to seek out live music and other brilliant artists. I will be forever grateful :). (attended 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2019) (In particular, Seth Lakeman, Kadia, Skerryvore, Show of Hands, Electric Eden, Devin-Jade, Alice Milburn, Tom Millichamp, Richard Morris, John Adams & Megson)

    A first and a last for me. My introduction to John Cooper Clarke was at Wickham, loved him ever since. And a last chance to see the legend that was Roy Bailey, obviously not well but determined to carry on. Forever in my memory. Wickham I only wish you lasted a week, then I could see all the wonderful artists you book.

    Tankus the Henge, Big Brother Soul, Holy Moly and the Crackers, Toyah, Jools Holland, Fisherman's Friends, Dhol Foundation and many more. Had a blast last summer, cracking line up every time I go. Always good entertainment between acts with the Morris dancing, puppet shows and comedy acts as well

    Hazel O'Connor The stranglers The Proclaimers Hugh Cornwell. Gilbert O'Sullivan Barbara Dickson Small Town Big Brother Soul. Always a great chilled out family festival whatever the weather. 😎☔🌞🤠

    The atmosphere, the campsites, the atmosphere on the campsites, the laid-back approach, the commitment and dedication of the organisers.......oh, and the music!! Steve Harley (and finding out what his son is up to each year!), The Levellers, Show of Hands, Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy, Caravan of Thieves and that awesome version of Bohemian Rhapsody, Tankus, trying to guess which band Sam Sweeney will be playing in each year.......I could go on virtually indefinitely!

    Tankus the Henge, Gilmore & Roberts, Tom Robinson, the Spooky Men, Merry Hell, the Young 'Uns, Oysterband, Edward II, Roger Chapman. Much more besides. Plus great beer and (usually) great weather. Just wish there was a shuttle bus from Fareham.

    1. Atmosphere amazing. 2. Venue amazing. 3. People amazing. 7 years ago I popped my festival cherry by coming to Wickham with my wonderful, soon to be wife, Becca Knight and the great man that is Skyline Drifter. We’ve been back as soon to be parent times ....... new parent times ...... and now we have an amazing son who’s shared his first few years as a Wickham-ite. One of our favourite times of year when it comes around. Love and respect. We’re all glad to see Tankus back this year. Callum’s their number 1 fan and he’s hoping for another hay fight with Jaz .........

    One for the road on one of the smaller stages, they were brilliant! Such an intimate festival and it would be great to see them on a larger stage. 😁👍

    Expected The South, unexpected The Goat Roper Rodeo Band. Special mention to Otway I knew I would like but chuffed that Wickys loved it to.

    Too many great bands to name but highlights include - Steve Earl, the val doonicans, tankus the henge, the dohl foundation, the proclaimers grace petrie, billy bragg and the stranglers

    So much that is good about the festival, not least that it’s local to me! Still bring the motorhome though and have had varying experiences as you’ve tried to accommodate us all! Every year there is something different to experience and each year you try to better the previous years experience! Last year was a venture into a different campsite area. Took some getting used to but got to experience the farm shop more for goodies. The under cover arena facilities have pluses and minuses. Chairs are a pain but also a need if in controlled areas. The music is always great with some bands that show the festival punches above its weight. No downside to the festival from me (except the occasional weather issue! 😉).

    Just being there. Book my ticket for the year after while I am there because I know it will be a great lineup. First and second time seeing Jools was at Wickham though so that was a bit special

    Volunteering and meeting like minded people, Frank Turner last year was just unbelievable.

    I’ve loved all of the festival, been every year and hope to enjoy it for a lot more. Thank you Peter Chegwyn and all the crew xx

    I love paper trains. Generally as a whole, wickham festival is fantastic

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    Back by popular request. The Marching SKAletons will be leading a merry dance around our Festival site as well as performing onstage Saturday lunchtime www.youtube.com/watch?v=fILLCdsUEXQ ... See MoreSee Less

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    Great! Will you be able to sort out the wasp problem! Last year they were everywhere, especially the vip areas. Many thanks Wickham😊

    Looks intriguing 💖 we must have missed them before ... so good to have another chance 🎶

    This years line up just gets better and better. Roll on August !



    Daniel Fell! 😁😁😁

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