The Wickham Festival got off to a stunning start with four fabulous acts giving fans a tricky decision.
With two main stages, festival-goers were spoiled for choice as Los Pacaminos and 10CC rocked one Big Top while Grace Petrie and Oysterband drew a huge crowd to the other.
Even the late withdrawal of Chris Difford could not dampen the spirits. The Squeeze stalwart was desperately disappointed to have to pull out at short notice.
Alistair Russell deputised with his usual aplomb while Will Varley opened on the other stage before the two clashes of styles.
Grace Petrie has been trying her hand at stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe – no surprise listening to the introductions to many of her songs. She made a special flying visit just for Wickham.
She said: “I love this festival. It has a great feel so of course I was delighted to make the journey down.”
And it was well worth the effort as her set proved hugely popular in one tent while Paul Young and Los Pacaminos were going down a storm in the other.
There was a real party atmosphere for their frenetic Tex-Mex rock set which had the place jumping for a very different genre of music. The band fully deserved their raucous reception.
They were followed by Wickham favourites 10CC making their third appearance and proving as popular as ever as they wheeled out all the big hits to the obvious delight of the crowd singing along word-perfect.
Meanwhile Oysterband, long-time supporters of the event, were delighting fans with a classic set of old and new material, blending fast and slow songs with sublime skill.
Listen out for interviews with Paul Young, Grace Petrie, Graham Gouldman of 10CC and John Jones of Oysterband. These will be posted on the site soon with links on Facebook and our twitter page – follow us @festivalwickham
Tickets are still available for the remaining three days and with fine weather forecast, demand is sure to be as high as the temperatures – especially for the Friday night headline appearance of the Saw Doctors.
In a UK festival exclusive, the popular Irish band will be making their first visit to these shores for five years and it promises to be a very special night. Click here for tickets.