Bank holiday weekend saw an idyllic setting transformed for the first time into a place for music and merriment.
Sedgeford Hall estate is the ideal place for an event such as this. Lying in a hollow on the outskirts of the village, there is minimal disruption to the surrounding area. The event was signposted well, and even someone who’d never been out that way before (me), managed to find it without any trouble.
The event was hosted by Unique Norfolk Venues, with music organised by Twisted Melon Promotions, and between them they managed to put on something that was very enjoyable.
It was very much billed as a family outing, and there was face painting, a bouncy castle, a few games and activities that children and adults could enjoy, and even donkey rides.
There were also various stalls, a bar and food.
Musically, there was a very strong line-up, many of which were from this neck of the woods, with others travelling from the Norwich and Cambridge areas, and there were a few surprises.
Mostly though, the bill was geared very much toward acoustic acts, with a big selection of singer/song-writers across the whole weekend, as well as some very good rock bands, and it just goes to show that there is a whole lot of talent in the area.
Oliver Heath from Jessie’s Ghost did a great job both as stage manager, and on the mixing desk ensuring that everyone sounded as they should. He also did an impromptu solo set to fill in while waiting for another act to arrive at the venue.
Jay Harrison is another chap worthy of mention, stepping in to do an early set on Saturday after a last minute cancellation, and he just kept going until the next act on the bill arrived. He also performed later on with the rest of the guys from Renegade, and if that wasn’t enough, he did another solo set on Sunday, followed immediately by filling in on the drums for Club 33!
Ross Woodhouse also performed on Saturday instead of Sunday, again due to last minute cancellations, but he was there on Sunday again with Club 33.
Saturday unfortunately was marred by the weather, and due to a rather torrential downpour midway through the afternoon, a lot of people headed for home.
Opening day one was a story teller from Norwich called the Duke of Nukem followed by The Legacy from Wisbech, a covers duo who also went down very well.
The performance seemed a little nervous and disorganised though, but a bit more experience should help overcome that. Overall they played a good selection of songs from many different genres.
Ross Woodhouse from Sandringham was up next, and again, he’s one of the many singer/songwriters on the bill. With thought-provoking lyrics, a great voice and wonderful tone, there’s a lot to like.
On to King’s Lynn’s Jay Harrison for his first of many appearances on the bill, and it has to be said that he possesses an amazing voice. Accompanied by nothing but an acoustic guitar, the vocal delivery was sublime. He is also a great showman and really plays to the crowd. As this was an impromptu set, he was clearly just winging it, and openly admitted it, but the set was enjoyable from start to finish.
Another of King’s Lynn’s artistes was on next, in the shape of Sam Lindley. He’s an acoustic folk singer/song-writer with a soulful vocal style, and is fairly new to the circuit. He’s already doing very well for himself though, and it’s not hard to see why. The acoustic scene is a very big pond, but it shouldn’t be too long before Sam is swimming with the big fish.
Dereham’s Shock Hazard were originally going to do an acoustic set earlier in the day, but alterations early on pushed them up the billing. Following on from that was Renegade, a rock foursome from the King’s Lynn area playing both covers and original material. Though not quite as “in your face” as the previous band, they were none the less energetic.
King’s Lynn was well represented at the festival and Vex were the band that came runners-up at the 2014 Battle Of The Bands.
They’re a funk/hip-hop/rock covers band that play versions of dance, rap and hip-hop in their own style. It provided the festival goers with a few more opportunities to sing along, and to have a dance too, and they went down very well with the crowd.
Yet another King’s Lynn artiste, in the shape of Harry Seaton was next on the bill. A singer/song-writer who is hugely popular elsewhere, it seems strange he can sell out shows in Cambridge, and even in London, but is virtually unheard of locally. He has a great stage presence, and good material to go with it.
Closing the show on day one were Norwich’s Addison’s Uncle, winners of the 2014 Battle Of The Bands, who played a very well received set at Festival Too.
Jay Harrison opened up on day two and he played another faultless set, apart from forgetting the lyrics to Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life” and had to invite someone up on stage to help him out. It was a light-hearted way to kick things off though.
Club 33’s members are from Lynn and the surrounding area, and they were probably one of the biggest surprises of the whole weekend, and were certainly the most popular with the adults and children at the show. Why? Well it’s because they do nothing but Disney songs – rock versions of Disney’s hits from the movies. They’re a fun band though, and would be great for events such as weddings and parties because they appeal to everyone.
The female gender had been notably absent from the bill, but here to change all of that was our very own Yve Mary B. She’s got an amazing voice, full of soul and charged with emotion, and her performance was very moving. She seems very demure in character, but when she sings, she has the voice of an angel, and it’s captivating.
After a Norwich group and a couplefrom Cambridgeshire, we found ourselves back with Lynn talent with Jessie’s Ghost (minus one). This is a band that has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and their popularity is only going to continue to grow. Their vocals were faultless, their harmonies absolutely spot on, and their stage presence immense. They’re a welcome addition to any bill, and this was no exception.
Rebelation are a nine-piece Ska/Reggae band who would have had a lot of trouble fitting onto the small stage at Sedgeford, so it’s probably just as well we were treated to an acoustic set from just two of them. I’ll be checking the full band out as soon as I can.
Norwich’s The Thinking Men took us back 40 years or so and rockers The Brink closed the Festival.
A fabulous weekend of fun and music came to a close. The weather was (mostly) kind, with plenty of people enjoying themselves.
This year it cost a tenner for two days of some of the finest local talent you’re likely to see in one place.
For those of you that didn’t go, you missed out on something rather special, so make sure you don’t make the same mistake next year!